British Tanker Company

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British Tanker Company Limited
Industry Ship transport
Founded 1915
Headquarters London, England
Key people
Charles Greenway
Products Oil
Owner Anglo-Persian Oil Company
Anglo Iranian Oil Company

British Tanker Company Limited was the maritime transport arm of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, the forerunner of BP. The British Tanker Company was formed in 1915 with an initial fleet of seven oil tankers. The Company became the BP Tanker Company in 1955.

History[edit]

Early days[edit]

From the moment oil was discovered in Persia (now Iran) in May 1908, the issue arose of how best to ship it back to Britain. The Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) initially employed independent contractors; principally the Asiatic Petroleum Company, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, to carry the oil by sea.[1] In 1912 the company acquired its first ocean going ship, the SS Ferrara, a conventional freighter that carried oil products in metal cases.[2] Tankers couldn't berth in Abadan owing to a natural sand bar off the coast known as the Shatt-al-Arab Bar, and often had to anchor up to 40 miles from the port. This meant oil had to be lightered out to the ships. Accordingly, APOC made two further shipping purchases, a barge Friesland and a tug Sirdar-i-Naphte. This situation remained until the mid 1920s when the bar was eventually dredged to allow ships direct access to the port.[2]

1915 to 1945[edit]

British Emperor, launched in 1916

However, the directors of APOC soon decided it would be better for the company to possess its own fleet of tankers. It set up the British Tanker Company Limited (BTC) in April 1915, with an initial capital of £100,000. The BTC placed orders with two Tyne based shipbuilders, Armstrong Whitworth and Swan Hunter, for a total of 7 steam-powered oil tankers. The names of the first ships bore the prefix British, and most future additions to the fleet followed the same naming convention. This acknowledged the fact that the British Government had invested heavily in the fledgling company to ensure a supply of fuel oil for the Royal Navy.[1]

BTC's first tanker was the 3,663 grt British Emperor, launched in 1916. She was employed to take oil from Abadan to the ports of Bombay, Karachi, Madras and Calcutta. She was the only BTC vessel not to be chartered by the Admiralty in World War I. Her career eventually ended in 1941, when she was sunk by the German auxiliary cruiser Pinguin, after evading all the Pinguin's attempts to capture her intact.

BTC's share capital was doubled to £200,000 in 1916, and further increased to £3,000,000 in November 1917.

In 1917 APOC made a successful offer to the British Government for the assets of the former German-owned British Petroleum Company, seized on the outbreak of war. This included the associate Petroleum Steamship Company (PSSC) who's 13 oil tankers passed into BTC ownership. The same year BTC was chosen by the Royal Navy to manage 7 RFA tankers giving them management experience that proved valuable post-war. The PSSC, now a subsidiary of BTC, took over ownership of the locally manned and managed fleet of small craft operating at Abadan.[1]

by 1919 the fleet had grown to 25 ships, a motley collection of new and second hand vessels including the Scandinavia, the only sailing ship ever operated by BTC.[1]

Over the next decade, the demand for oil grew throughout the industrialised world, and BTC expanded its fleet accordingly. By 1924 the fleet numbered 60 vessels. The 60th ship was the new flagship, the 6,998 grt British Aviator. She was the BTC's first diesel engined oil tanker, and was at that time the most powerful single-screw motor ship in the world.[2] A significant event was the signing of a contract with P&O in 1923 to supply bunkering facilities for the latter's ships.[1]

The cargoes carried by BTC ships consisted of both crude oil and refined oil products; the main refined products being fuel oil, benzine and kerosine. During the 1920s the principal destination for BTC was the United Kingdom, which accounted for around half of all cargoes discharged. Twice as much crude oil was delivered to the United Kingdom than refined products, with most of the crude oil being taken to the newly established refineries at Llandarcy and Grangemouth. The next largest destination for BTC was India, receiving 14% of the total cargoes carried. Cargoes discharged in Europe increased steadily, and by 1928 accounted for 13% of the total. In 1928 BTC's fleet consisted of 80 seagoing tankers, 5 coastal vessels, and 4 government owned steamers, with a further 13 seagoing tankers being chartered by the BTC.

The Depression[edit]

With the onset of the Great Depression in the early 1930s, the merchant navies around the world faced increasing unemployment. However, through a number of strategic mergers, as well as the continuing support of the Shah of Iran, APOC managed to strengthen its position within the industry, and the BTC's fleet continued to grow until the launch of British Energy in 1931 marked the end of the post-war fleet renewal. In 1932, APOC reached an agreement with Royal Dutch Shell to combine their UK domestic marketing and distribution networks. This involved the transfer of some ships to a jointly owned company, Shell-Mex and BP. With careful management BTC only laid up 6 ships for an average of 6 weeks between 1930-35. In 1935, with the Depression receding, the company started placing orders with British shipyards for a further 24 ships. The same year, at the Shah's request, the company was renamed the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.[1]

World War 2[edit]

With the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, the British government chartered BTC's whole fleet of 93 vessels to transport fuel for its armed forces. In addition the company was made responsible for the management of requisitioned ships and American assistance tonnage. By 1942 the company had 146 ships under its control. The fleet lost 44 of its own ships and 6 managed ships sunk during the war, many during the Battle of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean U-Boat campaign, with 2 others so badly damaged they could only be used as storage hulks.[3] In addition two ex-BTC tankers operated by Italian companies were sunk by British submarines while a third was sunk by RAF Coastal Command.

1945 to 1955[edit]

Within two years of peace in 1945, BTC had restored its fleet to its pre-war total of 93 ships. This included the purchase of 10 American wartime T2 tankers[3] and three ex merchant aircraft carriers.[2] The recovery was further bolstered by the building of 57 new tankers, each of 8,600 grt. These new ships increased the tonnage of oil transported from the Abadan refinery, but they remained within the limits imposed by the requirement to sail through the shallow waters of the Suez Canal. At this time the company decided that the old principle of owning 90% of its required tonnage was too onerous and that chartered vessels should be employed to make up the average 50% annual shortfall.[4] To ease the problems of managing this large fleet an associated shipping company, the Lowland Tanker Company, was formed to operate 10 time-chartered tankers exclusively for BTC.[4]

In 1951 the situation changed dramatically, when Iran nationalised its oil industry. AIOC removed all its staff from the country, and for the time being it had no access to Iranian oil. AIOC set about forming new alliances with other oil producing countries, especially Kuwait and Bahrain. The crisis lead to a major emergency logistics operation being undertaken to reroute and repurpose the tanker fleet to cope with the loss of the refining capacity at Abadan. In addition the Petroleum Steamship Company's fleet of barges, tugs, lighters and ancillary craft was hastily evacuated to Basra and Kuwait.[4]

In the early 1950s BTC began increasing the size of its deep-sea ships by building 13 so-called 'supertankers', each of 18,000 grt. These larger ships were particularly useful during the Suez crisis of 1956, which closed the Suez Canal and forced ships to sail around the Cape of South Africa, adding 9,000 nautical miles (17,000 km) to their journey.

In November 1954 AIOC renamed itself the British Petroleum Company, and the BTC became the BP Tanker Company from 1 Jun 1956, British Soldier being the first ship turned out in the new company's colours.[4]

The ships[edit]

Fleet list 1915 to 1945[edit]

Ship Built GRT Photo Built by Notes
Aras 1893 3,210 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Purchased 1918. Sold 1930 and renamed Lina Campanella. Scrapped in 1950.
British Admiral 1917 6,842 British Admiral 1917.jpg Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1937.
British Advocate 1922 6,994 Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland Captured 20 February 1941 by the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer and renamed Adolf, later renamed Nordstern. Sank 1944 during an air raid.[5]
British Ambassador 1924 6,940 Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland Scrapped in 1954.
British Architect 1922 7,388 Blythswood Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Glasgow Scrapped in 1953.
British Ardour 1928 7,124 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Sunk 5 April 1943 by torpedo from U-706
British Aviator 1924 6,998 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle First diesel engined vessel. Scrapped in 1953.
British Baron 1908 4,906 Armstrong, Whitworth & Co Ltd., Newcastle ex PSSC Roumanian acquired 1917.[3] Sold 1925 and renamed Norne. Resold 1928 and renamed Vincas. Scrapped in 1936.
British Beacon 1918 6,891 Workman, Clark & Co Ltd, Belfast Operated first for the Shipping Controller then after 1919 for the Admiralty. 1937 removed from management and renamed Olcades. Scrapped in 1948.
British Birch 1916 5,882 Short Brothers Ltd, Sunderland Launched as RFA Oldbury, completed as RFA Birchleaf. Purchased and renamed British Birch in 1919. Scrapped in 1931.
British Bombardier 1942 8202 Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast Laid down as Empire Fusilier, launched as Empire Bombardier. Operated for the MoWT. Purchased 1946. Scrapped 1960.[6]
British Bugler 1945 3,766 J. L. Thompson & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Ex Empire Arrow operated for the MoWT. Purchased 1946. Sold 1957 and renamed Montmajour. Resold 1963 and renamed Mantinia. Scrapped in 1981.
British Captain 1923 6,968 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Sunk 2 December 1941 by mine
British Cavalier 1942 9,891 Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland ex Empire Cavalier operated for the MoWT. Purchased 1945. Scrapped in 1959.
British Chancellor 1921 7,086 British Chancellor 1921.jpg Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland Sold 1952 and renamed Wanmas. Then sold 1954 and renamed Viva. Finally sold 1955 and renamed Gaaton. Scrapped in 1963.
British Character 1941 8,453 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1959.
British Chemist 1925 6,997 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1953.
British Chivalry 1929 7,118 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Sunk 22 February 1944 by torpedo from Japanese submarine I-37
British Colonel 1921 6,999 Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland Scrapped in 1953.
British Colony 1927 6,917 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Sunk 13 May 1942 by torpedo from U-162
British Commander 1922 6,896 British Commander 1922.jpg Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Dundee Sunk 26 August 1940 by the German auxiliary cruiser Pinguin
British Commando 1942 8,194 Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast Ex Empire Chapman operated for the MoWT. Purchased 1946, Scrapped in 1959.
British Commerce 1922 4,205 William Beardmore & Co Ltd, Glasgow Scrapped in 1937.
British Commodore 1923 6,865 Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Dundee Scrapped in 1953.
British Confidence 1936 8,494 Cammell Laird & Co Ltd, Birkenhead Renamed Anglian Confidence in 1957. Scrapped in 1958.
British Consul 1924 6,940 Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland Sunk 19 August 1942 by torpedo from U-564
British Corporal 1922 6,972 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Requisitioned by the MoWT in 1940 and renamed Empire Corporal. Sunk 18 August 1942 by torpedo from U-598
British Councillor 1922 7,045 Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland Sunk 3 February 1940 by mine
British Courage 1928 6,952 Lithgows Ltd, Port Glasgow Scrapped in 1953.
British Destiny 1937 8,470 Harland & Wolff Ltd, Glasgow Renamed Gaelic Destiny in 1957. Scrapped in 1958.
British Diligence 1937 8,408 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Renamed Anglian Diligence in 1957. Scrapped in 1958.
British Diplomat 1926 6,484 John Brown & Co Ltd, Clydebank Requisitioned by the MoWT in 1940 and renamed Empire Diplomat. Laid up in 1944 and scrapped in 1946.
British Dominion 1928 6,983 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Sunk 10 January 1943 by torpedo from U-620 while sailing in Convoy TM 1
British Dragoon 1943 9,909 Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland ex Empire Alliance operated for the MoWT. Purchased 1945. Scrapped in 1962.
British Drummer 1944 3,758 J. L. Thompson & Sons Ltd., Sunderland ex Empire Ensign operated for the MoWT. Purchased 1946. Sold 1957 and renamed Anella. Resold 1958 and renamed Norse Commander. Scrapped in 1966.[7]
British Duchess 1924 5,973 StateLibQld 1 125191 British Duchess (ship).jpg J L Thompson & Sons Ltd, Sunderland Sold 1952 and renamed Duchess. Scrapped in 1959.
British Duke 1899 3,645 Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland ex PSSC Terek acquired 1917. Sold to Italy 1930 and renamed Laura Corado. Sunk 30 March 1941 by torpedo from HMS Rorqual[8]
British Earl 1901 6,288 Armstrong, Whitworth & Co Ltd., Newcastle ex PSSC Pinna acquired 1917. Sold to Italy 1929. Scuttled 1940 but refloated and taken over by the US Government. Renamed Orissa, scrapped in 1950.[3]
British Emperor 1916 3,637 British Emperor 1916.jpg Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd, Newcastle First ship built for BTC.[2] Sunk 7 May 1941 by the German auxiliary cruiser Pinguin
British Empress 1917 6,847 British Empress 1917.jpg Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1936.
British Endeavour 1927 4,580 Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd, Newcastle Sunk 22 February 1940 by torpedo from U-50
British Endurance 1936 8,406 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle 1959 sold and renamed Redwijs II. Scrapped in 1959.
British Energy 1931 7,209 Greenock Dockyard Co Ltd, Greenock Damaged in an air-raid at Birkenhead in 1940. Scrapped in 1955.
British Engineer 1922 6,993 British Engineer 1922.jpg Workman, Clark & Co Ltd, Belfast Sold 1952 and renamed Emily. Resold 1954 and renamed Yarkon. Scrapped in 1959.
British Ensign 1917 7,048 Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1937.
British Enterprise 1921 4,204 British Enterprise 1921.jpg William Beardmore & Co Ltd, Glasgow Scrapped in 1936.
British Faith 1928 6,950 StateLibQld 1 127259 British Faith (ship).jpg Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Dundee Scrapped at Milford Haven in 1956
British Fame 1936 8,303 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Represented the company at the 1937 Review of the Fleet off Spithead.[1] Sunk 12 August 1940 by torpedo from Italian submarine Alessandro Malaspina
British Fern 1917 5,831 Napier & Miller Ltd, Glasgow Built as Fernleaf. Purchased 1920. Scrapped in 1931.
British Fidelity 1938 8,465 Harland & Wolff Ltd, Glasgow 1957 renamed Gaelic Fidelity. Scrapped in 1958.
British Fortitude 1937 8,482 Cammell Laird & Co Ltd, Birkenhead Damaged 23 February 1943 by torpedo from U-202, but survived. 1957 renamed Anglian Fortitude. Scrapped in 1958.
British Fortune 1930 4,696 Lithgows Ltd, Port Glasgow Sunk 31 October 1941 by German aircraft
British Freedom 1928 6,985 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Sunk 14 January 1945 by torpedo from U-1232
British Fusilier 1923 6,943 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1953.
British General 1893 3.245 Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd, Newcastle ex Georgian Prince acquired 1918. Sold to Spain 1922 and renamed Ebros. Scrapped 1940.[9]
British General 1922 6,985 British General 1922.jpg Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Sunk 7 October 1940 by torpedo from U-37
British Genius 1939 8,553 William Doxford & Sons Ltd, Sunderland Scrapped in 1961.
British Glory 1928 6,993 Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland Damaged 15 October 1940 by torpedo from U-138, but survived. Scrapped in 1954.
British Governor 1926 6,840 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1953.
British Gratitude 1942 8,463 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1959.
British Grenadier 1922 6,888 British Grenadier 1922.jpg Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Sunk 22 May 1941 by torpedo from U-103
British Guardsman 1942 8,128 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Ex Empire Garrick operated for the MoWT. Purchased 1945. Sold 1951 and renamed Alan Evelyn. Resold in 1955 and renamed Westbrook. Scrapped in 1960.
British Gunner 1922 6,894 British Gunner 1922.jpg Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Sunk 24 February 1941 by torpedo from U-97
British Harmony 1941 8,453 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1960.
British Holly 1917 5,162 William Hamilton & Co Ltd, Port Glasgow Scrapped in 1931
British Honour 1928 6,991 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle 1953 sold and renamed Marisin M. 1957 renamed Mario Martini. Scrapped in 1961.
British Hope 1928 6,951 Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Dundee Scrapped in 1957.
British Hussar 1923 6,944 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1953.
British Industry 1927 4,297 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1953.
British Influence 1939 8,431 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Sunk 14 September 1939 by torpedo and gunfire from U-29
British Integrity 1937 8,412 Harland & Wolff Ltd, Glasgow 1957 renamed Gaelic Integrity. Scrapped in 1958.
British Inventor 1926 7,101 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Sunk 13 June 1940 by mine
British Isles 1917 7,108 British Isles 1917.jpg Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1938
British Judge 1921 6,735 British Judge 1921.jpg Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland Scrapped in 1953.
British Justice 1928 6,982 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1954.
British Knight 1908 4,762 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle ex PSSC Danubian acquired 1917.[3] Sold 1929 and renamed Sanvik then sold again 1938 and renamed Arrivabene. Wrecked 1940.[10]
British Lady 1923 6,098 J L Thompson & Sons Ltd, Sunderland Sold to the Admiralty in 1939 and scrapped in 1946[1]
British Lancer 1942 9,891 Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland Ex Empire Wordsworth operated for the MoWT. Purchased 1945. Scrapped 1960.
British Lantern 1918 6,897 Workman, Clark & Co Ltd, Belfast Taken over by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in 1937 as RFA Oligarch. Survived the War but was scuttled in the Red Sea in 1945.[11]
British Liberty 1939 8,435 Furness Shipbuilding Co, Haverton Hill-on-Tees Sunk 6 January 1940 by mine
British Light 1917 6,470 British Light 1917.jpg Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Managed for the Shipping Controller. 1919 transferred to the Admiralty. 1937 removed from management and renamed Olwen. Sold 1949 and renamed Mushtari. Scrapped in 1960.
British Lord 1922 6,098 British Lord 1922.jpg J L Thompson & Sons Ltd, Sunderland Scrapped in 1953.
British Loyalty 1928 6,993 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese midget submarine in Diego Suarez on 30 May 1942. Later refloated and repaired.[12] Sunk 9 March 1944 by torpedo from U-183, but salvaged as a hulk. Scrapped in 1946.
British Major 1913 4,147 Tyne Iron Shipbuilding Co, Newcastle ex Roumanian Prince acquired 1918. Sold to Italy 1929 and renamed Riva Sicular. Scrapped in 1933.[13]
British Maple 1898 8,747 StateLibQld 1 128590 British Maple (ship).jpg CS Swan & Hunter, Wallsend Built as Mount Royal, renamed Mapleleaf in 1916. Acquired 1919 & renamed British Maple in 1920. Hulked in 1933 and scrapped in 1935.
British Mariner 1922 6,996 British Mariner 1922.jpg Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Severely damaged 20 October 1941 by torpedo from U-126, but salvaged and used as a hulk. 1947 sold, repaired and renamed Tex-Africa. Scrapped in 1951.
British Marquis 1908 4,997 Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland ex PSSC Servian acquired 1917.[3] 1930 sold and renamed Conte di Misurata. Sunk by gunfire in 1941.
British Marshall 1912 4,158 Tyne Iron Shipbuilding Co, Newcastle ex Russian Prince acquired 1918. Sold to Italy 1929 and renamed Tritone. Scrapped 1933.[13]
British Merchant 1922 6,994 British Merchant 1922.jpg William Beardmore & Co Ltd, Glasgow Scrapped in 1949.
British Merit 1942 8,093 Harland & Wolff Ltd, Glasgow Damaged 25 July 1942 by torpedo from German submarine U-552, but survived. Scrapped in 1960.
British Might 1945 8,200 Harland & Wolff Ltd, Glasgow Scrapped in 1961.
British Motorist 1924 6,891 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Sunk 19 February 1942 by Japanese aircraft
British Officer 1922 6,990 British Officer 1922.jpg Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Sunk 1 December 1940 by mine.
British Patience 1943 8,097 Harland & Wolff Ltd, Glasgow Scrapped in 1961.
British Peer 1908 4,920 Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd, Newcastle ex PSSC Carpathian acquired 1917.[3] Sold to Italy 1930 and renamed Tampico. Torpedoed 1941 and scuttled 1945.[14]
British Petrol 1925 6,906 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Sunk 14 June 1940 by the German auxiliary cruiser Widder
British Pluck 1928 1,025 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Transferred to Shell-Mex and BP and renamed Shelbrit 1 in 1936. Sank after hiiting a mine 19 Sep 1940
British Power 1936 8,451 Harland & Wolff Ltd, Glasgow Scrapped in 1958.
British Premier 1922 5,872 British Premier 1922.jpg Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Sunk 24 December 1940 by torpedo from U-65
British Prestige 1931 7,106 Lithgows Ltd, Port Glasgow Scrapped in 1956.
British Pride 1931 7,106 Lithgows Ltd, Port Glasgow Scrapped in 1955.
British Princess 1917 7,019 Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd, Newcastle 1946 renamed British Veteran. Scrapped in 1949.
British Progress 1927 4,581 Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped 4 November 1943 after being severely damaged by torpedo from a German E-Boat
British Promise 1942 8,443 Cammell Laird & Co Ltd, Birkenhead Damaged 21 November 1942 by torpedo from U-518, but survived. Scrapped in 1959.
British Prudence 1939 8,620 Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland Sunk 23 March 1942 by torpedo from U-754
British Purpose 1943 5,845 Furness Shipbuilding Co, Haverton Hill-on-Tees Damaged 20 October 1943 by torpedo from U-532, but survived. 1959 sold and renamed Annella. Scrapped in 1961.
British Reliance 1928 7,000 Greenock Dockyard Co Ltd, Greenock Sunk 2 April 1941 by torpedo from U-46
British Renown 1928 6,997 Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland Damaged 21 November 1942 by torpedo from U-518, but survived. Scrapped in 1954.
British Resolution 1937 8,408 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1959.
British Resource 1931 7,209 Greenock Dockyard Co Ltd, Greenock Sunk 15 March 1942 by torpedo from U-124
British Respect 1943 8,479 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1959.
British Restraint 1943 8,448 Cammell Laird & Co Ltd, Birkenhead Scrapped in 1959.
British Rose 1916 6,572 Sir Raylton Dixon & Co Ltd, Middlesbrough Ordered as the Rona but taken over on the stocks and launched as RFA Califol. Transferred to the Shipping Controller and renamed Roseleaf. Purchased 1920. Sold 1930 and renamed Portofino. Bombed and sunk by RAF aircraft in 1942.
British Sailor 1918 5,576 British Sailor 1918.jpg Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Ex War Rajah purchased 1920. 1951 sold and renamed Viva. Scrapped in 1954.
British Science 1931 7,138 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Sunk 18 April 1941 by torpedo from Italian aircraft
British Scout 1922 1,507 British Scout 1922.jpg Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1957.
British Security 1937 8,470 Harland & Wolff Ltd, Glasgow Sunk 23 May 1941 by torpedo from U-566
British Sergeant 1922 5,868 British Sergeant 1922.jpg Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Sunk 9 April 1942 by Japanese aircraft
British Sincerity 1939 8,533 Cammell Laird & Co Ltd, Birkenhead Scrapped in 1958.
British Soldier 1918 5,564 British Soldier 1918.jpg William Gray & Co Ltd, Hartlepool Ex War Sikh, purchased 1919. Sold 1952 and renamed Marina. 1954 resold and renamed Romano. 1959 resold and renamed Menora. Scrapped in 1959.
British Sovereign 1917 3,657 British Sovereign 1917.jpg Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1951.
British Splendour 1931 7,138 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Sunk 7 April 1942 by torpedo from U-552
British Star 1918 6,888 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Managed for the Shipping Controller then transferred to the Admiralty in 1919. Removed from management in 1937 and renamed Olynthus. Sold to Itakl 1949 and renamed Pensilvania. Scrapped in 1959.
British Statesman 1923 6,991 Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland Scrapped in 1963.
British Strength 1931 7,139 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle The last ship built by Palmers.[1] Sunk 15 March 1941 by German battleship Scharnhorst or Gneisenau
British Tenacity 1939 8,439 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1959.
British Thrift 1928 707 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Renamed Thriftie in 1935, then Shelbrit 2 in 1936. 1943 sold to Shell-Mex and BP and renamed Shell Loader. Sold 1961 and renamed Amphitrite. Scrapped 1984.[15]
British Tommy 1921 1,411 Lithgows Ltd, Port Glasgow Scrapped in 1946.
British Trader 1921 4,204 British Trader 1921.jpg William Beardmore & Co Ltd, Glasgow Sold in 1953 and renamed Flisvos. 1954 resold and renamed Manco Capac. Scrapped in 1961.
British Tradition 1942 8,443 Cammell Laird & Co Ltd, Birkenhead Scrapped in 1961.
British Triumph 1936 8,402 Lithgows Ltd, Port Glasgow Sunk 13 February 1940 by mine
British Trust 1939 8,466 Harland & Wolff Ltd, Glasgow Sunk 1 May 1943 by torpedo from German aircraft
British Union 1927 6,987 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Sunk 18 January 1941 by the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran
British Unity 1939 8,407 Lithgows Ltd, Port Glasgow Scrapped in 1961.
British Valour 1927 6,952 Lithgows Ltd, Port Glasgow Scrapped in 1954.
British Venture 1930 4,696 Lithgows Ltd, Port Glasgow Sunk 24 June 1943 by torpedo, from Japanese submarine I-27
British Vigilance 1942 8,093 Harland & Wolff Ltd, Glasgow Sunk 24 January 1943 by torpedo from U-105
British Vigour 1943 5,844 Furness Shipbuilding Co, Haverton Hill-on-Tees The first vessel with a welded hull.[2] Sold in 1959 and renamed Thoronet. Scrapped in 1964.
British Vine 1901 7,474 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Launched as the Patrician. In 1914 acquired by the Admiralty and converted to the dummy battleship HMS Invincible. In 1915 she was fitted with oil tanks and transferred to the RFA as the RFA Tarakol. Transferred to the Shipping Controller in 1917 and renamed Vineleaf. Purchased 1919. Sold in 1923 and renamed Busen. Scrapped in 1935.
British Virtue 1945 8,500 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1962
British Viscount 1880 3,287 Oswald, Mordaunt & Co, Southampton Ex Rock Light acquired 1917. Sunk 23 February 1918 by torpedo from U-91[3]
British Viscount 1921 6,895 British Viscount 1921.jpg Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Sunk 3 April 1941 by torpedo from U-73
British Wisdom 1945 8,130 Blythswood Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Glasgow Scrapped in 1962.
British Workman 1922 6,994 British Workman 1922.jpg Workman, Clark & Co Ltd, Belfast Sunk 3 May 1942 by torpedo from U-455
British Yeoman 1923 6,990 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Sunk 15 July 1942 by torpedo from U-201
British Zeal 1937 8,532 Lithgows Ltd, Port Glasgow Damaged 31 December 1940 by torpedo from U-65, but survived. Sold 1958 and renamed Redwijs I. Scrapped in 1959
Empire Gem 1941 8,139 Harland & Wolff Ltd, Glasgow Operated for the MoWT. Torpedoed and sunk 24 January 1941 by U-66.[16]
Empire Metal 1942 8,201 Harland & Wolff Ltd, Glasgow Operated for the MoWT. Sunk 2 January 1943 by air attack.[17]
Eupion 1914 3575 Mackay Brothers Ltd., Alloa Sunk 3 Oct 1918 by torpedo from UB-90
Ferrara 1880 1,175 Robert Steele & Company, Clydeside Taken over from parent company in 1915. Sold to India 1923 and gutted by fire later the same year.[18]
Josefina Thorden 1932 6,620 Eriksberg Mekaniske Verkstad A/B, Gothenburg Operated for the MoWT 1941. Mined and sunk 6 Apr 1943.[19]
Kura 1889 2,391 Armstrong & Mitchell Co. Ltd, Newcastle Purchased 1918, sold 1924 to Italy and renamed Persiano. Sunk by torpedo from HMS Tetrarch in 1941[20]
Kerman 1907 4,397 Flensburger Schiffsbouw Ges., Flensburg Ex Furth. A second freighter acquired in 1915 after capture by the Royal Navy to carry cased oil. 1920 sold and renamed Sultania. Scrapped in 1933.
Khuzistan 1924 871 Amble Shipbuilding Company Ltd., Amble Freighter adapted to carry cased oil. Sold 1953 and renamed Effigyny. Scrapped in 1959.
Melpomene 1923 7,011 Ateliers & Chantiers De La Gironde, Bordeaux Operated for the MoWT. Sunk 5 March 1942 by torpedo from the Italian submarine Giuseppe Finzi.[21]
Mexican Prince 1893 3028 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Acquired 1918. Sold 1919 and renamed Southern Isles. Resold 1930 and renamed Silva Porto. Scrapped in 1937.[22]
Oltania II 1928 6,394 Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd, Newcastle Operated for the MoWT. Sunk 8 January 1943 by torpedo from U-436.[23]
Rion 1889 2,186 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Purchased 1918, sold 1924 and renamed Italiano. Resold 1925 and renamed Federico Garolla, sank after an explosion at sea in 1930[24]
Saint Patrice Acquired and disposed of in 1922.
Suram 1893 2,186 Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland Purchased 1918, sold and renamed Bithnia 1920, scrapped in 1931.
Scandinavia 1905 456 N. V. Werf V. Rijkee & Company, Rotterdam Schooner, the only sailing vessel in the BTC fleet. Acquired 1917. Scrapped in 1923 after being wrecked at Portland[2]
Taraqqi 1930 388 G. Brown & Company, Greenock Coaster adapted to carry cased oil. Sold in 1955. Resold in 1967 and again in 1973 and renamed Tara Q. Deleted from Lloyd's Register in 1998.
War Nawab 1919 5,586 War Nawab 1919.jpg Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Operated for the Shipping Controller. Transferred to Admiralty in 1921, then to RFA in 1936, scrapped 1958.[25]
War Nizam 1918 5,605 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Operated for the Shipping Controller. Transferred to Admiralty in 1921, then to RFA in 1937, scrapped 1949.[26]
War Sudra 1920 5,599 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle Operated for the Shipping Controller. Transferred to Admiralty in 1921. Sold 1948, renamed Germaine in 1951, scrapped 1954.[27]

Fleet list 1945 to 1956[edit]

Ship Built GRT Photo Built by Notes
Beecher Island 1944 10,668 Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company T2 tanker purchased 1947, scrapped in 1959.
British Admiral 1947 8,378 Furness Shipbuilding Company, Haverton Hill on Tees Scrapped in 1962.
British Adventure 1951 18,573 Vickers Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness The first "Supertanker". Sold 1973 and renamed Vrahos. Scrapped 1975.
British Advocate 1948 8,573 Lithgows Ltd., Port Glasgow Scrapped in 1962.
British Ardour 1949 8,616 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1962.
British Baron 1947 8,556 Cammell Laird & Co., Birkenhead Scrapped in 1962.
British Birch 1951 8,688 Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Scrapped in 1964.
British Builder 1951 8,699 Wm. Doxford & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Scrapped in 1963.
British Bulldog 1951 18,593 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1972.
British Captain 1949 8,700 Harland and Wolff Ltd., Glasgow Scrapped in 1962.
British Caution 1945 8,552 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1961.
British Chancellor 1954 11,356 Blythswood Shipbuilding Company Ltd., Glasgow Transferred to BP Clyde Tanker Co in 1961 and renamed Clyde Chancellor. In 1964 reverted to BP Tanker Company and resumed original name. Scrapped in 1972.
British Chivalry 1949 11,217 Blythswood Shipbuilding Company Ltd., Glasgow Transferred to BP Clyde Tanker Co in 1958 and renamed Clyde Chivalry. In 1963 reverted to BP Tanker Company and resumed original name. Scrapped in 1972.
British Commander 1950 8,655 Harland and Wolff Ltd., Glasgow Scrapped in 1962.
British Commerce 1946 6,092 Wm. Doxford & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Scrapped in 1961.
British Consul 1950 8,655 Harland and Wolff Ltd., Glasgow Scrapped in 1963.
British Corporal 1954 10,071 Harland and Wolff Ltd., Belfast Transferred to BP Clyde Tanker Co in 1957 and renamed Clyde Corporal. In 1964 reverted to BP Tanker Company and resumed original name. Scrapped in 1972.
British Councillor 1948 8,573 Lithgows Ltd., Port Glasgow Scrapped in 1967.
British Craftsman 1951 8,697 Wm. Doxford & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Scrapped in 1964.
British Crown 1952 18,570 Cammell Laird & Co., Birkenhead Scrapped in 1966 after an explosion and fire.
British Crusader 1954 11,346 Cammell Laird & Co., Birkenhead Transferred to BP Clyde Tanker Co in 1957 and renamed Clyde Crusader. In 1964 reverted to BP Tanker Company and resumed original name. Scrapped in 1972.
British Defender 1950 6,138 Wm. Doxford & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Sold 1965 and renamed El Flamingo. 1969 rebuilt as a suction dredger. Scrapped in 1982.
British Diplomat 1950 6,155 Wm. Doxford & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Scrapped in 1961.
British Duke 1948 8,562 Cammell Laird & Co., Birkenhead Scrapped in 1962.
British Earl 1946 8,745 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Hit a mine off Denmark in 1947 which required major repairs.[28] Scrapped in 1961.
British Empress 1947 8,745 Furness Shipbuilding Company, Haverton Hill on Tees Scrapped in 1961.
British Endeavour 1949 8,589 R. & W. Hawthorn, Leslie & Company Ltd., Hebburn Scrapped in 1962.
British Engineer 1954 21,077 Harland and Wolff Ltd., Belfast 1972 sold and renamed Petrola V. Scrapped in 1976.
British Ensign 1947 8,738 Furness Shipbuilding Company, Haverton Hill on Tees Scrapped in 1961.
British Enterprise 1946 6,095 Wm. Doxford & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Scrapped in 1961.
British Envoy 1953 11,349 Wm. Doxford & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Transferred to BP Clyde Tanker Co in 1958 and renamed Clyde Envoy. In 1963 reverted to BP Tanker Company and resumed original name. Scrapped in 1970.
British Escort 1943 8,908 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Laid down as British Virtue but taken over by the MoWT and launched as the merchant aircraft carrier Empire MacCabe. Purchased and renamed in 1946.[2] Scrapped in 1962.
British Explorer 1950 8,644 Harland and Wolff Ltd., Glasgow Transferred to BP Clyde Tanker Co in 1958 and renamed Clyde Explorer. Scrapped in 1964.
British Fame 1949 11,203 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1971.
British Fern 1947 8,582 Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Scrapped in 1961.
British Flag 1953 11,327 R. & W. Hawthorn, Leslie & Company Ltd., Hebburn Scrapped in 1971.
British Fortune 1949 6,108 Wm. Doxford & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Scrapped in 1961.
British Freedom 1950 11,207 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1972.
British General 1950 8,775 Furness Shipbuilding Company, Haverton Hill on Tees Scrapped in 1964.
British Guardian 1953 11,359 Lithgows Ltd., Port Glasgow Transferred to BP Clyde Tanker Co in 1958 and renamed Clyde Guardian. In 1963 reverted to BP Tanker Company and resumed original name. Scrapped in 1972.
British Guide 1951 8,778 Furness Shipbuilding Company, Haverton Hill on Tees Scrapped in 1963 after being in collision with Ocean Enterprise.
British Gunner 1954 10,076 Harland and Wolff Ltd., Glasgow Transferred to BP Clyde Tanker Co in 1961 and renamed Clyde Gunner. In 1964 reverted to BP Tanker Company and resumed original name. Scrapped in 1972.
British Hero 1954 11,358 Lithgows Ltd., Port Glasgow Scrapped in 1972.
British Holly 1946 8,582 Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Scrapped in 1964.
British Isles 1947 8,738 Furness Shipbuilding Company, Haverton Hill on Tees Scrapped in 1962.
British Knight 1946 8,629 Harland and Wolff Ltd., Glasgow Scrapped in 1961.
British Lady 1951 6,140 Smiths Dock Company Ltd., Middlesbrough Scrapped in 1963.
British Liberty 1949 8,589 Wm. Doxford & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Scrapped in 1964.
British Loyalty 1949 8,592 Wm. Doxford & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Scrapped in 1967.
British Major 1946 8,564 Wm. Doxford & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Scrapped in 1962.
British Maple 1951 8,686 Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Scrapped in 1965.
British Mariner 1948 8,576 Harland and Wolff Ltd., Glasgow Scrapped in 1962 after colliding with and sinking the Palmyra off Ushant.[29]
British Marquis 1946 8,563 Wm. Doxford & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Scrapped in 1962.
British Marshall 1946 8,582 Wm. Doxford & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Scrapped in 1961.
British Merchant 1954 21,064 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle 1973 sold and renamed Petrola VII. 1976 resold and renamed Petrola 7. Scrapped in 1978.
British Navigator 1951 6,135 J. L. Thompson & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Scrapped in 1964.
British Oak 1953 11,307 Smiths Dock Company Ltd., Middlesbrough Scrapped in 1972.
British Officer 1954 11,362 William Hamilton and Company, Glasgow Scrapped in 1973.
British Patriot 1950 8,661 Lithgows Ltd., Port Glasgow Scrapped in 1963.
British Patrol 1954 11,380 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle 1973 sold and renamed Maripatrol. 1980 resold and renamed Nona Maro. Suffered a fire and explosion at Flushing in 1980.[30] Scrapped in 1981
British Peer 1950 8,661 Lithgows Ltd., Port Glasgow Scrapped in 1963.
British Pilot 1943 9,133 Mv empire maccoll.jpg Laird, Son & Co., Birkenhead Laid down as British Caution but taken over by the MoWT and launched as the merchant aircraft carrier Empire MacColl. Purchased and renamed in 1946.[2] Scrapped in 1962
British Pioneer 1951 8,651 Blythswood Shipbuilding Company, Glasgow Transferred to BP Clyde Tanker Co in 1958 and renamed Clyde Pioneer. Scrapped in 1965.
British Piper 1945 8,238 Harland and Wolff Ltd., Glasgow Laid down as Empire Grenada but completed for BTC in 1946. Scrapped in 1961.
British Pluck 1945 930 Harland and Wolff Ltd., Glasgow Ex Empire Tesella. Managed for MoWT. Purchased 1951 and scrapped in 1954.
British Premier 1951 8,661 Lithgows Ltd., Port Glasgow Scrapped in 1964.
British Princess 1946 8,582 Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Scrapped in 1962.
British Progress 1948 8,577 Blythswood Shipbuilding Company, Glasgow Scrapped in 1963.
British Prospector 1950 8,655 Harland and Wolff Ltd., Belfast Transferred to BP Clyde Tanker Co in 1958 and renamed Clyde Prospector. Scrapped in 1964.
British Prudence 1949 8,577 Blythswood Shipbuilding Company, Glasgow Scrapped in 1966.
British Ranger 1948 8,575 Harland and Wolff Ltd., Glasgow Transferred to BP Clyde Tanker Co in 1957 and renamed Clyde Ranger. Scrapped in 1963.
British Realm 1952 18,571 Fairfield Company Ltd., Glasgow Scrapped in 1970.
British Reliance 1950 11,201 Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd., Sunderland 1973 sold and renamed Bangor Bay. 1974 resold and renamed Ocean Princess. Scrapped in 1975.
British Resource 1949 11,200 R. & W. Hawthorn, Leslie & Company Ltd., Hebburn Scrapped in 1972.
British Rover 1951 6,137 J. L. Thompson & Sons Ltd., Sunderland 1961 sold and renamed Makeni Palm. 1967 resold and renamed Kerkennah. 1971 renamed Palau. Scrapped in 1976.
British Rose 1946 6,101 J. L. Thompson & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Scrapped in 1961.
British Sailor 1953 20.961 John Brown & Company, Clydebank 1972 sold and renamed Marisira. 1974 resold and renamed Fagr. Scrapped in 1980.
British Scientist 1948 8,545 Cammell Laird & Co., Birkenhead Transferred to BP Clyde Tanker Co in 1957 and renamed Clyde Scientist. Scrapped in 1963.
British Seafarer 1951 11,220 R. & W. Hawthorn, Leslie & Company Ltd., Hebburn Scrapped in 1973.
British Sergeant 1954 10,073 Harland and Wolff Ltd., Glasgow Transferred to BP Clyde Tanker Co in 1960 and renamed Clyde Sergeant. In 1963 reverted to BP Tanker Company and resumed original name. Scrapped in 1972.
British Security 1948 8,583 Harland and Wolff Ltd., Belfast Sold 1966 and renamed Mana. Resold 1967 and renamed Ypatia. Wrecked off Mozambique in 1968 and scrapped in 1969.[31]
British Skill 1952 18,550 Harland and Wolff Ltd., Belfast Scrapped in 1972.
British Soldier 1954 21,082 John Brown & Company, Clydebank 1972 Sold and renamed Maribruna. Scrapped in 1976.
British Sovereign 1954 21,138 Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd., Barrow in Furness 1972 sold and renamed Petrola VI. 1976 renamed Petrola 6. Scrapped in 1977.
British Splendour 1950 11,233 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1972.
British Sportsman 1951 11,231 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1972.
British Strength 1948 8,580 Harland and Wolff Ltd., Belfast Scrapped in 1966.
British Success 1945 8,215 Blythswood Shipbuilding Company Ltd., Glasgow Laid up 1957. Scrapped in 1961.
British Supremacy 1945 8,242 Harland and Wolff Ltd., Belfast The first of the post-war ships. Scrapped 1962.
British Surveyor 1950 8,655 Harland and Wolff Ltd., Belfast Transferred to BP Clyde Tanker Co in 1961 and renamed Clyde Surveyor. Scrapped in 1964.
British Swordfish 1943 8,908 Harland and Wolff Ltd., Glasgow Laid down as British Wisdom but taken over by the MoWT and launched as the merchant aircraft carrier Empire MacKay. Purchased and renamed in 1946.[2] Scrapped in 1959.
British Talent 1952 18,593 R. & W. Hawthorn, Leslie & Company Ltd., Hebburn Scrapped in 1972.
British Triumph 1949 8,640 Cammell Laird & Co., Birkenhead Scrapped in 1956.
British Trust 1950 8,640 Cammell Laird & Co., Birkenhead Transferred to BP Clyde Tanker Co in 1957 and renamed Clyde Inventor. Scrapped in 1963.
British Union 1950 8,663 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1962.
British Venture 1948 6,119 J. L. Thompson & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Scrapped in 1961.
British Victory 1955 21,153 Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd., Barrow in Furness 1973 sold and renamed Marivic. Scrapped in 1977.
British Viscount 1951 8,664 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle Scrapped in 1965.
British Vision 1954 11,349 J. L. Thompson & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Scrapped in 1972.
British Warrior 1951 6,143 J. L. Thompson & Sons Ltd., Sunderland 1961 sold and renamed Anne. 1964 resold and renamed LSCO Pandacan. scrapped in 1977.
British Workman 1949 8,575 Harland and Wolff Ltd., Glasgow In 1960 collided with and sank the Mongabara in fog off the German coast. Scrapped in 1967.[32]
British Yeoman 1949 8,741 Furness Shipbuilding Company, Haverton Hill on Tees Scrapped in 1963.
Chisholm Trail 1944 10,660 Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company T2 tanker purchased 1947, sold 1955 and renamed Montsoreau. Scrapped after collision in 1961.
Cottonwood Creek 1944 10,647 Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company T2 tanker purchased 1947, sold 1955 and renamed Brissac. Sold 1959 and renamed Bulk Mariner but reverted to original name in 1960. Sold 1965, wrecked and abandoned 1970.
El Morro 1944 10,673 Kaiser Company T2 tanker purchased 1947, scrapped in 1959.
Fort Frederika 1944 10,672 Kaiser Company T2 tanker purchased 1947, scrapped in 1959.
Fort Stevens 1944 10,639 Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company T2 tanker purchased 1947, scrapped in 1959.
Iran 1943 798 Grangemouth Dockyard Company Ltd., Grangemouth Ex Empire Settler purchased 1947. Renamed Widad in 1958. Sold in 1962 and renamed Motol VII. Scrapped in 1968.
Mesa Verde 1944 10,660 Kaiser Company T2 tanker purchased 1947, sold 1955 and renamed Villandry. Scrapped in 1961.
Pazan 1942 438 Greifenwerft G.m.b.H., Stettin Ex Luftwaffe August. Acquired by AIOC in 1948, renamed Angliran 20 and transferred to PSSC. Transferred to BTC in 1949. Sold in 1956 and renamed Southern Pioneer. Scrapped after an explosion and fire at Mombasa in 1964.
Red Bank 1944 10,639 Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company T2 tanker purchased 1947, sold 1959 and renamed Bank. Scrapped in 1960.
Rogue River 1944 10,647 Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company T2 tanker purchased 1947, sold 1959 and renamed Hunsfors. Renamed Apache in 1960. Sold 1968 and renamed Pacmerchant. Scrapped in 1977.
Smoky Hill 1944 10,448 Kaiser Company T2 tanker purchased 1947, sold 1957. Scrapped in 1967.

Subsidiary companies[edit]

A number of second hand ships weren't integrated into the main fleet but were operated by subsidiary companies, often a single ship per company. These vessels were not renamed into the British sequence.[3] The principal subsidiary companies were The Petroleum Steam Ship Company, The Lowland Tanker Company and the jointly owned Shell-Mex and BP company.

House flag[edit]

BTC House flag, 1915 to 1926

The first house flag consisted of the black letters BTC set in a white circle on a white horizontal band, the white bordered with black, all set against a red background.

In 1926 the flag was changed to include the Persian colours. This new house flag consisted of the red Cross of Saint George on a white background, with a large green lozenge imposed over the centre of the cross, the lozenge containing a golden lion 'passant guardant'; the lion being a symbol of Persia. This remained until 1954, when a red lion ‘rampant’ replaced the golden lion.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "BP Shipping 100 Pt 1" (PDF). BP.com. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "BP Shipping 100 Pt 6" (PDF). BP.com. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Middlemiss, N L. The BritishTankers. Newcastle upon Tyne: Shield Publications. ISBN 1 871128 03 X. 
  4. ^ a b c d "BP Shipping 100 Pt 2" (PDF). BP.com. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "British Advocate". Wrecksite.EU. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  6. ^ Mullett, Chris. "British Bombardier". GTZX. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  7. ^ Mullett, Chris. "British Drummer". GTZX. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "Terek". Wrecksite.EU. Retrieved 27 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "Prince Line". Red Duster. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "British Knight". Wrecksite.EU. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "Oligarch". Red Sea Wreck Project. DiveMedia. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  12. ^ Wilson, Michael; (2000), A Submariners War; Stroud, Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-3276-1
  13. ^ a b "Prince Line". Red Duster. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "British Peer". Wrecksite.EU. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  15. ^ Harvey & Soller. BP Tankers: A Group Fleet History. 
  16. ^ "Empire Gem". uboat.net. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  17. ^ "Empire Metal". Wrecksite.EU. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "SS Ferrara". clydesite.co.uk. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  19. ^ "Josefina Thorden tanker". Wrecksite.EU. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  20. ^ "Kura Tanker 1924-1941". Wrecksite.EU. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  21. ^ "Melpomene tanker". Wrecksite.EU. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  22. ^ "Prince Line". Red Duster. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  23. ^ "Oltenia II". uboat.net. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  24. ^ "Rion 1889". Tyne Built Ships. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  25. ^ "Forces War Records". Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  26. ^ "Forces War Records". Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  27. ^ "Forces War Records". Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  28. ^ "British Earl". gtzx.org. Retrieved 11 October 2015. 
  29. ^ "British Mariner". gtzx.org. Retrieved 16 October 2015. 
  30. ^ "British Patrol". gtzx.org. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  31. ^ "British Security". gtzx.com. Retrieved 11 October 2015. 
  32. ^ "British Workman". gtzx.org. Retrieved 16 October 2015. 

Sources[edit]

  • National Archives, Kew
  • BP Magazine Issue 2, 2009: page 24
  • Lloyd's shipping registers
  • Harvey, WJ; Solly, Dr RJ (2005). BP Tankers: A Group Fleet History. London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-251-1. 
  • Ferrier, RW (1982). The History of the British Petroleum Company. 1 The Developing Years, 1901–1932. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 292–294. ISBN 978-0-521-24647-7. 

External links[edit]

  • [1] Plimsoll Ship Data website - Lloyd's shipping registers 1930 to 1945
  • [2] Allied ships hit by U-Boats during the Second World War
  • [3] National Archives, Kew - Second World War Merchant shipping movement cards
  • [4] The position of ship wrecks - vessels of the British Tanker Company
  • [5] GTZX - Fleet details