SS Prunelle (1874)

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  • Sweden Gota (1874-1878)
  • Norway Saturnus (1878-1911)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Prunelle (1918)
Owner: TSC - The Shipping Controller (WWI)
Port of registry:  UK, London
Ordered: 1874
Builder: Bergsund Mekaniske Verksted
Yard number: 114
Launched: 1874
In service: 1874
Out of service: 22 August 1918
Identification: IMO/Off. no.: 142461
Fate: Torpedoed and sunk
General characteristics
Type: Cargo ship
Tonnage: 579 GRT
Length: 47.5 metres (155 ft 10 in)
Beam: 7.9 metres (25 ft 11 in)
Depth: 4.3 metres (14 ft 1 in)
Installed power: 1 x 2 cyl. compound engine
Propulsion: Screw propeller
Speed: 8 knots
Crew: 16
Notes: Captain Thomas Storm

SS Prunelle was a British cargo ship that the German submarine SM UB-112 torpedoed on 22 August 1918 in the North Sea 2 nautical miles (3.7 km) south east of Blyth, Northumberland. Prunelle was carrying a cargo of jute from London, United Kingdom ,to Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom.[1]


Prunelle was built at the Bergsund Mekaniske Verksted shipyard in Stockholm, Sweden in 1874. Where she was launched and completed that same year. The ship was 47.5 metres (155 ft 10 in) long, had a beam of 7.9 metres (25 ft 11 in) and had a depth of 4.3 metres (14 ft 1 in). She was assessed at 579 GRT and had 1 x 2 cyl. compound engine a screw propeller. The ship could reach a maximum speed of 8 knots.[2]


Prunelle left London and set sail for Dundee on 22 August 1917 with a crew of 16 and a cargo of jute on board. One of the crew members, namely the second officer, was Alfred Cheetham who had served as third officer during the Nimrod and Imperial Trans-Antarctic expeditions which were led by famed polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.[2]

At 1.40 pm on the same day as it had left London, Prunelle was targeted by the German submarine SM UB-112 when the ship was 2 nautical miles (3.7 km) south east of Blyth, Northumberland. The U-boat fired a torpedo at the ship without warning and the torpedo hit the ship on the port side near the engine room. The following explosion and rapid sinking of the ship killed 12 of the 16 crewmen on board including Captain Storm and second officer Cheetham. The four survivors were rescued shortly after, having clung themselves to the ships wreckage, and were brought ashore at Blyth.[citation needed]


The wreck of Prunelle lies at a depth of 24 metres (78 ft 9 in), but the current condition of the wreck is unknown.[2]


  1. ^ "Prunelle". 1995. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "SS Prunelle [+1918]". 22 October 2009. Retrieved 12 March 2017.