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Tabarka - a general history

Daily Mail December 10th, 1912:
Today, Messrs. William Gray and Co., Ltd., launched the handsome steel screw steamer Tabarka, which they have built to the order of Messrs. Frank C. Strick and Co., Ltd., of Sondon and Swansea, for La Tunisienne Steam Navigation Company, of Paris.
She will take the highest class in Lloyd’s and is of the following dimensions, viz.: Length over all, 362ft., breadth, 50ft., and depth, 27ft. 8 in, with long bridge, poop, and top-gallant forecastle. The saloon, staterooms, captain’s and officers’ rooms will be fitted up in the poop, and the engineers in houses on the bridge deck, and the crew’s berths in the forecastle. An electric light installation is being fitted throughout.
The hull is built with deep bulb-angle frames, cellular double bottom, and large aft peak ballast tank, ten steam winches, steam steering gear amidships, hand screw gear aft, patent direct steam windlass, large horizontal multitubular donkey boiler, stockless anchors, telescopic masts with fore and aft rig, boats on deck overhead and all requirements for a first class cargo steamer, including Porter’s patent derrick sockets for dealing with heavy lifts by combining the ships ordinary derricks.

Triple-expansion engines are being supplied by the Central Marine Engineering Works of the builders, having cylinders 24in., 38in., and 64in. Diameter, with a piston stroke of 42in., and two large steel boilers adapted for a working pressure of 180lbs. per square inch, worked under Howden’s system of forced draught.
The ship and machinery have been constructed under the superintendence of Mr. Archibald Walker on behalf of the owners, the ceremony of naming the steamer Tarbarka was gracefully performed by Mrs. F. W. Hunter, Hartlepool."
The following is taken, with kind permission, from www.wrecksite.eu:
"The Panamanian flag freighter, SS Granville (ex-Wipunen, ex-Tabarka), was torpedoed by the German U-338 (Manfred Knizel) on March 12, 1943 at 1356 GCT while en route from New York to Iceland in Convoy SC 122, with 1300 tons of British Lend-Lease cargo and 2400 tons of U.S. Army and Navy general stores. In addition, there was 500 bags of U.S. Mail and an invasion barge atop #2 and #3 hatches. The ship´s complement consisted of 35 merchant crew, 11 U.S.

Naval Armed Guard and one passenger, a U.S. Army Lt. Colonel. Eleven (11 ) crew members and 2 Navy men lost their lives. Four of the crew lost were Americans. At 1356 GCT (1156 local time), a torpedo slammed into the port side at #2 hold starting a fire in the hold. As fate would have it, the engine room flooded as the watertight door betwe en the coal bunkers and fire room was not closed because coal was being transferred from the bunkers to the fire room. The ship broke in two pieces amidships and sank within 15 minutes. Abandon ship was ordered between 1200 and 1206 (ship´s time) in boats and rafts. The survivors were picked up about an hour later by HMS LAVENDER (K-60) and landed at Liverpool on March 23rd. Ten of the crew lost were from the Engine Department, most of them working in the engine room at the time of the explosion.
The 2nd Mate was rescued but died on the rescue ship and buried at sea."

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