Wrecks List
Total Records: 1
Name Nationality Location Date Lost
Heronspool   British  Fastnet rock Co Cork  1939 

Heronspool : SS Heronspool
Owner R . Ropner & Co West Hartlepool 
Flag British  Builder Wm.Gray & Co West Hartlepool 
Port West Hartlepool  Build Date 1929 
Official No 160759  Material Steel 
    Tonnage nrt/grt 5202 / 4928 / 3228 
Ship type Steam Ship  Dimensions 421.2 | 54.2 | 27.2
Ships Role  Cargo Ship  Rigging Style   
Super Structure
Wreck Location 205 miles SW of the Fastnet rock Co Cork 
Date Lost 13/10/1939  Captain Sydney Edward Batson 
Cause Torpedoed and sunk  Crew Lost  
Position 50.13 N / 14.48 W  Passengers Lost   
Google Map Location

S.S Heronspool


The British steamer Heronspool (5,202 tons) was attacked and sunk yesterday by a U-boat. Her crew are reported all safe on board an American ship.

The Heronspool was owned by the Pool Shipping Company, and her port of registry was West Hartlepool.
According to a Reuter message from New York, the captain of the American liner President Harding (13,869 tons) wire- lessed yesterday that he had rescued the entire crew of 36 of the Heronspool.

The Heronspool was the first British ship to be sunk since the Glen Farg, a vessel of 876 tons, was attacked and sunk by a U-boat on October 4.

The Times, Saturday, Oct 14, 1939

Captain Batson, of the Heronspool said that at 6 o'clock on Friday evening he saw the Emile Miguet being shelled about six miles distant, so he steered his ship away to the north-eastward.

About 8 o'clock they heard an explosion and saw a column of water rise on the starboard beam. Half an hour later the submarine approached and signalled "What ship ? "

As soon as we could make him out, Captain Batson said, we fired two shots at him, whereupon he dived. I hauled to the westward for two hours, then zigzagged. About 11 p.m. the submarine appeared in sight nearly aft. We quickly fired two shots at him in succession. He disappeared, but reappeared at midnight and fired a shot which exploded close to our starboard beam. Then we sighted him on the starboard quarter and fired at him. Then he appeared on the port quarter and again we fired

After a while the submarine submerged again. but soon there was a violent explosion in the forepart of the Heronspool She had been torpedoed. Captain Batson continued:-
We then abandoned ship in two lifeboats,and after pulling away for some distance lay to. We saw that the.forepart of the ship appeared to have been blown away and that she was listing to port. The submarine appeared in full view a short distance away 20 minutes later but seemed not to notice us we sighted the President Harding about 5.30 a.m and shortry after that the Heronspool disappeared.

Most of the damage to the President Harding was caused by a wave described as 100ft high which came in over her port side in the darkness of Tuesday night. It threw her over almost on her beam ends.

M.Paul Van Zeeland, the former Prim Minister of Belgium, had been tossed about his cabin so severely that he was left unconscious. He suffered no permanent injury, but he said yesterday his body was covered with bruises. He was accompanied by Mme. Van Zeeland and their four children.

The Times, Monday, Oct 23,1939
Record Created on  09/11/2008
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