SS Empire Curzon

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Name: Empire Curzon
Owner: Ministry of War Transport
Operator: R Chapman & Son
Port of registry: United Kingdom South Shields
Builder: John Readhead & Son Ltd
Yard number: 538
Launched: 24 December 1943
Completed: February 1944
Maiden voyage: 29 February 1944
Out of service: 2 September 1944
  • United Kingdom Official Number 169055
  • Code Letters GFTP
  • ICS Golf.svgICS Foxtrot.svgICS Tango.svgICS Papa.svg
Fate: Scrapped in 1946
General characteristics
Class and type: Cargo
Length: 431 ft (131 m)
Beam: 56 ft (17 m)
Propulsion: Triple expansion steam engine
Armament: Anti-torpedo nets

Empire Curzon was a 7,067 GRT cargo that was built in 1943 by John Readhead & Sons Ltd, Sunderland, Co Durham for the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). She had a short career, running aground in September 1944 and then being laid up before being sold for scrap in December 1945.


The ship was built in 1943 by John Readhead & Sons Ltd, Sunderland.[1] She was Yard Number 538.[2]

The ship was 431 feet (131 m) long, with a beam of 56 feet (17 m).[3] She was assessed at 7,067 GRT,[1] Her DWT was 10,280.[2]

The ship was propelled by a triple expansion steam engine.[1]


Empire Curzon was launched on 24 December 1943 and completed in February 1944.[1] The United Kingdom Official Number 169055 and Code Letters GFTP were allocated. Her port of registry was South Shields.[4] She was placed under the management of R Chapman & Son Ltd.[2]

Empire Curzon departed from the Tyne on her maiden voyage on 29 February 1944,[5] joining Convoy FN 1281, which had departed from Southend, Essex that day and arrived the following day at Methil, Fife.[6] On 3 March, she joined Convoy EN 353, which arrived at Loch Ewe two days later.[5] Empire Curzon then joined Convoy ON 227, which had departed from Liverpool, Lancashire on 8 March and arrived at New York, United States on 22 March. She was equipped with anti-torpedo nets.[7] She departed from New York on 1 April as a member of Convoy NG 426, which arrived at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on 8 April. Empire Curzon then sailed to Cape Trujillo[where?] and San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic before returning to Guantanamo Bay.[5]

On 28 April, Empire Curzon departed from Guantanamo Bay as a member of Convoy GN 129, which arrived at New York on 5 May.[5] On 10 May, she departed New York as a member of Convoy HX 291, which arrived at Liverpool on 27 May. She was carrying a cargo of sugar.[8]

Empire Curzon departed from Liverpool on 15 July bound for Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, arriving on 17 July. She departed the next day as a member of Convoy EBC 45, arriving at the Seine Bay, France on 20 July. She departed from the Seine Bay on 3 August, joining convoy FTM 56, which arrived at Southend two days later.[5] She then joined Convoy FN 1440, which departed Southend that day and arrived at Methil on 7 August.[9] She left the convoy at Hull, Yorkshire, arriving on 7 August.[5]

Empire Curzon departed from Hull on 17 August, joining Convoy FS 1547 off Spurn Head.[5] The convoy had departed from Methil that day and arrived at Southend on 19 August.[10] She then joined Convoy ETM 67, which arrived at the Seine Bay on 28 August.[5] On 2 September 1944, Empire Curzon ran aground off Normandy in bad weather. She was driven onto the wreck of the SS Iddesleigh.[1] She was refloated and towed to Southampton, arriving on 25 September.[5] It was found that her bottom was extensively damaged.[1] On 27 October, she was towed to Falmouth, Cornwall, where she was laid up. In November 1945, Empire Curzon was sold for scrap.[1] Empire Curzon departed from Falmouth under tow on 14 December 1945. She arrived at Briton Ferry, West Glamorgan on 16 December for scrapping.[1][5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Mitchell, W.H.; Sawyer, L.A. (1995). The Empire Ships. London, New York, Hamburg, Hong Kong: Lloyd's of London Press Ltd. p. not cited. ISBN 1-85044-275-4. 
  2. ^ a b c "John Readhead's Shipyard - 1909 to 1968". John Bage. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "EMPIRE - C". Mariners. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "Signal Letters Database". Convoyweb. Retrieved 14 May 2011.  (Enter GFTP or Empire Curzon in relevant search box)
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "EMPIRE CROWN". Convoyweb. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "Convoy FN.1281 =Convoy FN.81 / Phase 13". Convoyweb. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "Convoy ON.227". Convoyweb. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Convoy HX.291". Convoyweb. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  9. ^ "Convoy FN.1440". Convoyweb. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  10. ^ "Convoy FS.1547 = Convoy FS.47 / Phase 16". Convoyweb. Retrieved 14 May 2011.