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Exactly 100 years ago last Saturday the SS Renfrew was torpedoed by a German submarine U91 off the Welsh coast.
Malcolm Speed, a former Courier reporter and latterly managing editor of the Daily Record, last Saturday remembered his grandfather, Malcolm Blair Speed, for whom he is named, one of 40 men, including the master, who were killed when the Renfrew sank.
The Renfrew was completed at Yard No.381 in April 1907 by W. Doxford & Sons Ltd at Sunderland. She was launched as the 3,830-ton turret-hulled cargo vessel Galavale for Vale SS. Co., Ltd., Glasgow with A. Crawford, Barr & Co. the manager.
In 1917 she was renamed SS Renfrew by Irismere Steam Shipping Co., Ltd Newcastle.
SS Renfrew, carrying iron ore from Bilbao to Barrow was torpedoed and sunk by U91, commanded by Kapitan Leutenent Alfred Von Glasenapp.
His submarine sank 50 Allied ships – 37 of them between Christmas Eve 1917 and October 14, 1918. U91 was broken up in 1921 and Kapitan Von Glasenapp died in WestGermany in 1958.
In the photo of Malcolm Blair Speed supplied by his grandson his cap tally badge states HMY Eileen.
This was a twin screw steam yacht completed in 1910 by John Brown Clydebank, Yard No 396 and named Doris after the owner Solomon Barnato Joel’s daughter.
When Doris married, without her father’s permission, he renamed the yacht Eileen. In 1914 she was requisitioned by the admiralty and was last heard of in 1960 in Kuwait named Fadhil Fatthallah.
Mr Speed wanted to thank Angus and Judy Martin for their ancestry skills in the hunt for information about his granddad.
Leading seaman Malcolm Blair Speed and Kapitan Leutenent Alfred Von Glasenapp the U91 commander. NO_c09memorylanec01
HMY Eileen. NO_c09HMYEileen01