SS Newholm SS Ambassador SS
Mendi SS Skaala Privateer Dragon 1757 S.S.Percier MV Napoli
MV Lucy HMT Caroline German Submarine U-260 SS Basil Glenart
Castle SMS Margraf
Basil was a 3223 tonne steamship owned by the Booth
334 hp engines gave her a steady speed of 10 knots. Late
in World War 1 she was requisitioned by the British
Government for use as a troop transport ship. She was
also used to take Horses, Feed and munitions across to
France and was fitted, by the navy , with a 4.7” gun on
Built in Befast in 1895, she was launched as SS Mourne
but was sold in 1899 and became SS Basil.
On 11th November 1917 she was en route from
Southampton to Boulogne, commanded by Captain Edward
Whitehouse, with a cargo of artillery shells when she
encountered thick fog off the Sussex coast. Around
midnight the French Steamer Margaux was on her way from
France entering the fog bank at the same time. With no
lights to avoid being seen by submarines, both ships
were a a head on collision course.
head on with the Basil sinking almost immediately not
giving the crew time to launch the lifeboats. Booth the
owners reported that 48 were killed but other reports
state that 13 of her 41 crew survived.
Workman, Clark & Co. Ltd., Belfast
Owners(1899 to 1917)
Booth Steamship Co. (Booth Line), Liverpool
Previous owners (1895 to 1899)
Dixon Thomas & Sons Ltd. - Lord Line - Irish
Shipowners Co., Belfast
Ship was then called “SS Mourne”
Transport - Steel
103m x 13.3m x 8m
Triple expansion engines with three boilers and
a single shaft
Booth Steamship Co.
Founded in the 1866 as Alfred Booth & Co to operate
services to Northern Brazil and the Amazon. In 1881 the
Booth Steamship Co. was formed. In 1901 the Booth and
Singlehurst's Red Cross Line were amalgamated into a
single company and named Booth Steamship Co.(1901), Ltd.
At the same time, to tidy up the tug and barge
operations on the River Amazon, Booth & Co.was formed
and these small units transferred to this company. In
1911 the Iquitos SS Co.and it's fleet was absorbed by
Booth SS Co. In 1946 the Booth Line was sold to the
Vestey Group of companies and in 1975 all the group's
ships were pooled under Blue Star Ship Management Ltd
and the Booth Line ceased to exist as a separate entity.
The wreck has munitions in almost every hole.
Photo Steve Clarkson
Today SS Basil can be found in 38 m of water at position
(50°35,026'N 00°40,987'W)and has been heavy salvaged over the years and
like all other steel wrecks she is collapsing.