Wales

A470 : Northbound : Nantgarw : Congestion : offslip : Delays possible : - (Severity: Slight)

Traffic WalesNewsFeed - 4 hours 19 min ago
Description : A470 : Northbound : Nantgarw : Congestion : offslip : Delays possible : , Incident Time : 22/05/2018 17:54 , End Date : 22/05/2018 19:55 , Severity : Slight , Authority : Welsh Government , Contact : Please direct any queries to Traffic Wales, quoting event reference RNMDA_2018059956:2018059965
Categories: Wales

A55 : Westbound : Britannia Bridge : Congestion : Delays possible : - (Severity: Slight)

Traffic WalesNewsFeed - 4 hours 19 min ago
Description : A55 : Westbound : Britannia Bridge : Congestion : Delays possible : , Incident Time : 22/05/2018 17:45 , End Date : 22/05/2018 18:15 , Severity : Slight , Authority : Welsh Government , Contact : Please direct any queries to Traffic Wales, quoting event reference RNMDA_2018059959:2018059963
Categories: Wales

M4 : Westbound : J32 Coryton : Congestion : offslip : Delays possible : - (Severity: Slight)

Traffic WalesNewsFeed - 4 hours 19 min ago
Description : M4 : Westbound : J32 Coryton : Congestion : offslip : Delays possible : , Incident Time : 22/05/2018 16:30 , End Date : 22/05/2018 18:30 , Severity : Slight , Authority : Welsh Government , Contact : Please direct any queries to Traffic Wales, quoting event reference RNMDA_2018059961:2018059961
Categories: Wales

Triathlete Non Stanford eyes two medals at Toyko 2020 Olympics

BBC Wales News Feed - 4 hours 25 min ago
Welsh triathlete Non Stanford has her sights on two medals at the Toyko 2020 Olympics after the relay was included in the Games for the first time.
Categories: Wales

Blackwood boob job benefit fraudster must repay £23,000

BBC Wales News Feed - 5 hours 51 sec ago
A woman is ordered to repay about a third of the £75,000 in tax credits she falsely claimed.
Categories: Wales

£13.4m claw back over NHS Wales waiting time failures

BBC Wales News Feed - 5 hours 47 min ago
Three health boards fail to qualify for a share of £50m extra cash for improving waiting times.
Categories: Wales

Grenfell-style cladding to be removed from Newport blocks

BBC Wales News Feed - 5 hours 47 min ago
Three blocks in Newport were the only social housing flats in Wales not to pass fire safety tests.
Categories: Wales

Mynd i'r Urdd? Dyma beth i'w ddisgwyl...

BBC Wales News Feed - 6 hours 15 min ago
Tips Beth Angell, sut i ymdopi ar faes yr Urdd.
Categories: Wales

Probe after red kite caught in illegal Aberystwyth trap

BBC Wales News Feed - 6 hours 33 min ago
The bird of prey was taken to a vet with injuries including broken legs and had to be put down.
Categories: Wales

Ferry and Foe – Irish Sea ferries and mail steamers during the Great War

Heritage of Wales News Feed - 6 hours 33 min ago

The wreck of the CORK is a poignant reminder of the essential ferry, cargo and mail-carrying services between Wales and Ireland that ran throughout the war. Neither of the key companies involved–City of Dublin Steamship Company (CDSPCo) and London and North Western Railway (LNWR)–escaped losses due to military service and U-boat activity.

The origins of CDSPCo can be traced back to Charles Wye Williams, son of the first Secretary of the Bank of Ireland, whose first steamship (named the CITY OF DUBLIN) entered service in 1823. The company went from strength to strength, establishing steam navigation companies on the inland waterways and cross-Irish Sea and trans-Atlantic routes. In 1850, the company acquired its first contract for the transportation of the Royal Mail across the Irish Sea between Kingstown (now Dún Laoghaire) and Holyhead. The win heralded an new era of intense competition between CDSPCo and the Chester & Holyhead Railway company (later the London and North Western Railway Company or LNWR), who were never content with just the rail transport part of the mail contract (their ships carried passengers to Kingstown, and cargo and cattle to the North Wall in Dublin –but took no benefit from the lucrative mail contract).

Again, in 1895 the CDSPCo managed to prevent the LNWR from obtaining the contract for a new ‘Accelerated Service’. The CDSPCo ordered four identical twin screw steamers from Laird Bros – the ULSTER (1896), MUNSTER (1896), CONNAUGHT (1897), and LEINSTER (1897). Other new ships for the CDSPCo fleet included the WICKLOW (1895), CORK (1899), KERRY (1898), and LOUTH (1899).

 

The CORK was built by Blackwood and Gordon, Port Glasgow, and was employed by the CDSPCo to transport cattle and passengers between Liverpool and Dublin. Source: Simplon Postcards http://www.simplonpc.co.uk/CityofDublin.html

 

The LNWR also ordered new ships–the OLGA and ANGLESEY joined the NORTH WALL and IRENE on the cargo run, and in late 1897 Denny’s of Dumbarton delivered the CAMBRIA, the first of four sister ships for the passenger service. The HIBERNIA arrived on February 1900, the ANGLIA in May 1900, and the SCOTIA in April 1902.

At the outbreak of the Great War, the LNWR steamships were soon requisitioned and converted at the Marine Department Holyhead into armed boarding steamers. Under the terms of the mail contract, the CDSPCo steamers were initially exempt and continued as the principal service to Ireland. However, they too were eventually ordered by the Admiralty to Laird Bros at Birkenhead to have deck guns fitted.

There are many descriptive entries in the journals of the CDSPCo ships noting sightings and encounters with U-boats. For example, the LEINSTER’s journal records ‘Night Sailing. December 27, 1917. Torpedo missed by yards’ and ‘Night Sailing. March 15, 1918: At 4.41 Stand by. At 4.45 Emergency telegraph on full astern to avoid submarine close alongside’. These were not chance encounters, but were a result of German orders to sink the Irish Sea mail steamers.

The Admiralty’s standing orders were to steam at full speed without lights–if the steamer slowed down it would present an easier target. The log of the ULSTER notes an incident of this awareness for 24 March 1917 – ’10.30am: slowed and stopped to pick up 3 boat crews which would not take our assistance. At 10.36am: Proceeded at full speed.’ This declining of help would suggest that the crew of the sailing vessel HOWE placed a higher value on the danger to the mail steamer than their own plight at that moment. The HOWE had been scuttled after being captured by a U-boat just a few hours earlier.

There are other incidents where CDSPCo steamers did indeed stop and help survivors – eight Chinese seamen in a lifeboat belonging to the MEXICO CITY, sunk by U-110 on 5 February 1917, were picked up by the LEINSTER on 6 February and landed at Holyhead. The ULSTER also sighted and circled a capsized lifeboat with four men clinging to it on 13 October 1917 until a patrol boat reached them.

The other reason which made the mail steamers prime targets was their use as troopships. The evidence for increased troop carrying is presented in the logs of the mail steamers as reasons for delays – e.g. ‘awaiting Admiralty instructions’, ‘embarking and disembarking troops’, and ‘awaiting escorts’. Escorts to protect the steamers were not supplied in any structured way at first, but were eventually formalised as destroyers from both the USA and Britain, seaplanes from the USNAS base at North Wexford, and Submarine Scout Zero class airships operating between South Wexford and Malahide Castle, and those from RNAS Llangefni on Anglesey.

 

This multibeam sonar image of the CORK was gathered by Bangor University and suggests that parts of the decks have collapsed.

 

The loss of the CORK to a torpedo from U103 on the 26 January 1917 was a significant blow to the CDSPCo. It also led to the deaths of seven passengers and five crewmen. Despite renegotiating the contract for the delivery of mails in August 1918, operating the service to the required tight schedules with the remaining vessels proved extremely difficult.

The ULSTER was very nearly the victim of the attack by UB-123 on 10 October 1918, but was saved by veering onto a zig-zag course. However, the LEINSTER was seen instead very soon after. With two of the U-boat’s torpedoes striking home, a terrible tragedy unfolded with 529 lives being lost.  The loss of the LEINSTER contributed to the deepening financial difficulties of the CDSPCo and would eventually cause the company’s demise.

 

The anchor from the RMS LEINSTER has been installed as a memorial at Dún Laoghaire. The official death toll was 501 – the largest single loss of life in the Irish Sea.

 

Of the LNWR vessels, the ANGLIA was lost carrying nearly 400 wounded soldiers and medical staff, after striking a mine laid by UC-5 in the Straits of Dover on 17 November 1915. The HIBERNIA was also requisitioned and operated as HMS Tara. It was torpedoed and sunk by U-35 on 5 November 1915 in Sollum Bay, Mediterranean.  The SLIEVE BLOOM was sunk in collision with USS STOCKTON on 20 March 1918 off Holyhead. The destroyer USS STOCKTON was one of the American ships tasked with anti-submarine duties in the Irish Sea.

Despite these losses, the LNWR emerged at the end of 1918 in a much stronger position to continue the Holyhead -Dublin mail service. Anticipating the problems that the CDSPCo would have with the any new contract’s stringent timetabling, the LNWR ordered four new vessels in 1919 and were successful this time in their bid.

On 27 November 1920, the MUNSTER carried the last mail under contract for the CDSPCo.  The company was wound up by a select committee of the House of Lords in 1922 after over a century of operating services between Holyhead and Ireland.

Geoffrey Hicking and Deanna Groom, RCAHMW

 

Source for further reading include:

  • Merrigan, Justin P and Ian H Collard, 2010, Holyhead to Ireland: Stena and its Welsh Heritage
  • Stokes, Roy, 1998, Death in the Irish Sea: The Sinking of the RMS LEINSTER


Commemorating the Forgotten U-boat War around the Welsh Coast 1914-18
: Exploration, Access and Outreach is a collaborative partnership project between the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of WalesSchool of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University, and the Nautical Archaeology Society.

The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. We take this opportunity to thank National Lottery players who allow the Fund to invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about. www.hlf.org.uk.  Follow the Heritage Lottery Fund on TwitterFacebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported

Categories: Wales

UKIP Welsh Assembly leader Caroline Jones did not declare husband's job

BBC Wales News Feed - 6 hours 43 min ago
New group leader Caroline Jones had not registered the fact she was married to one of her staff.
Categories: Wales

Games club is a winner for kids

The Church in Wales - 6 hours 47 min ago

Too old for messy church and too young for the youth group? Try the games club, says the Revd Becca Stevens

Categories: Wales

Badger baiters: Uncovering a secret network in Wales

BBC Wales News Feed - 6 hours 49 min ago
A secret network of badger baiters has been exposed by an undercover BBC Wales investigation.
Categories: Wales

Global Children’s Forum

The Church in Wales - 7 hours 5 min ago

Sharing the Gospel with children across the world was the theme of an international forum in Hungary last week. Three people from the Church in Wales were there – the Revd Rachel Bunting, Bishop’s Officer for family ministry, Swansea and Brecon Diocese, Clare Williams, St David’s Diocesan children and youth work coordinator, and the Revd Dr Mark Griffiths, tutor in missional research at St Padarn’s Institute. Rachel reports back.

Categories: Wales

M4 : Westbound : J36 Sarn to J37 Pyle : Incident : Lanes closed : Due to Accident :

Traffic WalesNewsFeed - 7 hours 19 min ago
M4 : Westbound : J36 Sarn to J37 Pyle : Incident : Lanes closed : Due to Accident :
Categories: Wales

M4 : Westbound : J36 Sarn to J37 Pyle : Incident : Lanes closed : Due to Accident : - (Severity: Severe)

Traffic WalesNewsFeed - 7 hours 19 min ago
Description : M4 : Westbound : J36 Sarn to J37 Pyle : Incident : Lanes closed : Due to Accident : , Incident Time : 22/05/2018 14:12 , End Date : 22/05/2018 16:15 , Severity : Severe , Authority : Welsh Government , Contact : Please direct any queries to Traffic Wales, quoting event reference RNMDA_2018059955:2018059955
Categories: Wales

Pontypridd rail passengers on commute squeeze

BBC Wales News Feed - 7 hours 59 min ago
Rail passengers from Pontypridd to Cardiff say what they want to see improved.
Categories: Wales

Ben Woodburn: Liverpool youngster can push for first team spot - Ryan Giggs

BBC Wales News Feed - 8 hours 9 min ago
Wales boss Ryan Giggs expects teenager Ben Woodburn to be pushing for a first team place at Liverpool next season.
Categories: Wales

Champions League final: Real Madrid hungry for historic win - Zinedine Zidane

BBC Wales News Feed - 9 hours 4 min ago
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane denies Liverpool will have more hunger than his side in the Champions League final.
Categories: Wales

Stabbed woman racially abused Glan Clwyd doctor

BBC Wales News Feed - 9 hours 29 min ago
Zena Edwards also spat at two police officers and was found with a small amount of cocaine.
Categories: Wales

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