|Owner:||Tempus Shipping Co, Ltd|
|Operator:||W.H. Seager & Co Ltd|
|Port of registry:||Cardiff|
|Builder:||Ropner Shipbuilding & Repairing Co Ltd, Stockton-on-Tees|
|Out of service:||18 October 1940|
|Identification:||official number: 148281|
|Fate:||sunk by torpedo, 18 October 1940|
|Class and type:||cargo steamship|
tonnage under deck 4,610
|Length:||390.0 feet (118.9 m) p/p|
|Beam:||55.5 feet (16.9 m)|
|Draught:||24 feet 6 3⁄4 inches (7.49 m)|
|Depth:||26.4 feet (8.0 m)|
|Installed power:||436 NHP|
|Propulsion:||triple-expansion steam engine;
|Speed:||11 knots (20 km/h)|
|wireless direction finding (by 1937)|
Ropner Shipbuilding & Repairing Co Ltd of Stockton-on-Tees, England built Beatus, completing her in February 1925. She had nine corrugated furnaces with a combined grate area of 190 square feet (18 m2) that heated three 180 lbf/in2 single-ended boilers with a combined heating surface of 7,500 square feet (697 m2). The boilers fed a three-cylinder triple expansion steam engine that was rated at 436 NHP and drove a single screw. The engine was built by Blair and Company, also of Stockton.
Second World War career
By early 1940 Beatus was sailing in convoys. In February 1940 she joined Convoy SL-20 from Freetown, Sierra Leone to Liverpool with a cargo of wheat. In May and June 1940 she brought a general cargo across the North Atlantic to the UK via Bermuda, where she joined Convoy BHX-46 and Halifax, Nova Scotia, where BHX-46 joined Convoy HX-46. In late July Beatus was carrying a cargo of steel and pit props when she joined another HX convoy, HX-60, from Halifax, NS to Liverpool. Between ocean voyages, Beatus sailed in a number of North Sea coastal convoys.
Convoy SC-7 and sinking
Early in October Beatus left Trois-Rivières, Quebec, carrying a cargo of 1,626 tons of steel, 5,874 tons of timber and a deck cargo of crated aircraft bound for Middlesbrough via the Tyne. Her Master was Wilfred Leslie Brett. She went via Sydney, Nova Scotia, where she joined Convoy SC-7 bound for Liverpool. SC-7 left Sydney on 5 October. At first the convoy had only one escort ship, the Hastings-class sloop HMS Scarborough. A wolf pack of U-boats found the convoy on 16 October and quickly overwhelmed it, sinking many ships over the next few days.
Between 2058 and 2104 hrs on 18 October SC-7 was about 100 miles west by south of Barra Head in the Outer Hebrides when U-46, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Engelbert Endrass, attacked it. Endrass fired four torpedoes: one hit and sank the Swedish freighter SS Convallaria; another hit Beatus. Frank Holding, Assistant Steward on Beatus, recalled:
"The next thing I heard was this explosion and a sound like breaking glass from down near the engine room. The ship stood still. When I went to the boat deck one of the lifeboats was already in the water, full of water... We knew we were sinking."
- Lloyd's Register, Steamers and Motorships (PDF). London: Lloyd's Register. 1937. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- Allen, Tony (5 November 2010). "SS Beatus (+1940)". The Wreck Site. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- Helgason, Guðmundur (1995–2013). "Beatus". Ships hit by U-boats. Guðmundur Helgason. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
- Lloyd's Register, Steamers and Motorships (PDF). London: Lloyd's Register. 1933. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- Lloyd's Register, Steamers and Motorships (PDF). London: Lloyd's Register. 1934. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- Hague, Arnold. "Convoy SL.20". SL/MKS Convoy Series. Don Kindell, ConvoyWeb. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- Hague, Arnold. "Convoy BHX.46". BHX Convoy Series. Don Kindell, ConvoyWeb. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- Hague, Arnold. "Convoy HX.46". HX Convoy Series. Don Kindell, ConvoyWeb. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- Hague, Arnold. "Convoy HX.60". HX Convoy Series. Don Kindell, ConvoyWeb. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- Hague, Arnold. "Convoy SC.7". SC Convoy Series. Don Kindell, ConvoyWeb. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- Tildesley, Kate. "Voices from the Battle of the Atlantic". Second World War Experience Centre.