Copied HOME      ELLIOTT S. T. Co. Ltd.


Page last updated 13-5-2013


 This company had been founded in 1856 by Captain T. W. Elliott at 9, Belgrave St, Commercial Rd., London E1.  T.W.Elliott established the business in partnership with John Henry Elliott, John Cook, Henry Beer Mumford & Henry Holmes.  Vessels were registered to groups of partners. Matthew Dick and John Page entered the partnership in 1889 and shortly after became the managers for the business. The fleet is still known to this day as the Dick and Page tugs. It became Elliott Steam Tug Co. Ltd. in 1897.  In 1949 the owners were restyled as Elliott Steam Tug Company [1949] Ltd. From the mid 1920's until 1939 one of the companies main operations was the towing of large barges laden with bricks from Boom in Belgium to London. In 1950 the company became part of the Ship Towage [London} Limited combine.
Thomas William Elliott was born in Greenwich about 1823. In 1851 he was living at 8 Bird St, in the parish of St. Georges in the East and by 1861 in the Ratcliff area of Shadwell with wife Martha. By 1871 a move had been made 4, Arbour Cottages, Arbour Square, Poplar. Thomas Elliott died 7th May 1891 and his funeral took place on 12th May 1891 at Deptford Cemetery, Brockley. His obituary in the Times Newspaper noted that he had been a former Master of the Watermen's Company and vice-president of the Watermen's Asylum. Presumably Dick and Page carried on managing the business as in 1901 Martha is noted as being a widow living on her own means in the Twickenham area of London, It is believed they had four daughters.
Thomas W Elliott
Elliott Steam Tug Company.
Matthew Dick & John Page managers.
Elliott Steam Tug Company Ltd (1)
Company Number:  73170
Vessels began to be registered to the company
8th April 1949
Placed in voluntary liquidation by John Page and Alfred John Page.

1st September 1950
Company dissolved
Elliott Steam Tug Company (1949) Ltd
(Company Registered No:    467183)
   restyled as Elliott Steam Tug Company Ltd (2)
 Vessels sold to William Watkins Ltd
25th June 1968
 Placed in voluntary liquidation by Alfred John Page and Terence Norrington Parker.

14th April 1969
 Company dissolved.

 For any tugs not listed see Ship Towage (London) Ltd fleet list.

Built 1856 by R Stobbs, Coble Dene, N. Shields. Wood paddle tug. L81.2'. B16.4'. D8.3'. 66grt. 15nrt. 30nhp 1cyl side lever steam engine by James Conley, North Shields. ON16150.
 7-1856 Delivered to  Richard, Henry, John & Isabella Stobbs, N. Shields. 1857 Sold to John Cook et al, London. 1859 Transferred to T. W. Elliott, John Cook, Henry Mumford & Henry Holmes, London. 15-7-1866 Run into and damaged by SS Ceres whilst anchored off Pelican Stairs. 1872 Scrapped.
Photog unknown. R Stanford colln

 Built 1884 by J Readhead & Co, S Shields. YN209. Iron Tug. L100.0'. B20.0'. D11.4'. 137grt 14nrt. 95nhp C2cyl 22"x42"x 24" stroke engine  by builder. ON 89650.
1884 Delivered to T W Elliott, London . 1888 Sold to T. W. Elliott, John Page & Matthew Dick, London. 1891 Sold to M. Dick & J. Page. 1902 Transferred to the Elliott Steam Tug Company Ltd. (John Page, manager). 15-8-1914 Req by War Office. 3-9-1919 Returned to owner. 1931 Broken up by T W Ward Ltd at Grays.
see Ship Towage fleet  list.
Photo A Turner colln.
Built 1873 by J. Readhead, Shields. YN97. Iron paddle tug. L113.5. B19.2'. D9.6'. 142grt. 98nhp 2cyl 29.5"x54" side lever steam engine by builder. ON68508.
1873 Delivered to T W Elliott, London. 21-2-1875 Two crew drowned when tugs small boat capsized off Dover. 13-5-1876 Refloated barque Mary Spencer aground off Walmer Castle. 9-10-1878 Lost mast and suffered bow damage following collision with Norma off Dungeness. 3-12-1882 Rescued crew of barque Glance from water in Lower Hope after barque sank following a collision. 1882 Sold to  W. Sandford et al, Gravesend. 1-3-1890 Departed Calais towing explosion damaged after part of Steamer Ville de Calais which was fitted with false bulkhead en route to London. 2-3-1890 Ville de Calais sank off North Foreland after tow parted and false fore bulkhead collapsed. Five crew on tow drowned. 4-1893 Sold to John Page, London. 5.1893: Sold to Charles Walton, Thomas D. Marshall and Robert Stewart, S. Shields. 1893 Owner R Stewart, Shields. 11-1906 Sold to G Robinson and Stephen Lister, Middlesborough. 1908 Owner restyled G Robinson and Co. 6-1911 Sold to  Tees Tug Company, Middlesborough. 30-7-1920 Sold to Tees Towing Company Ltd, Middlesborough. 21-4-1925 Sold to James Kell, Sunderland for scrapping.

In French ownership. Photog unknown

Built 1875 by J. Readhead & Co., S, Shields. YN115. Iron Paddle Tug. L107.3'. B19.0'. D9.7'. 131grt. 56nhp 2cyl 29"x50.5" by builder. Official No. 73609. PR 1876 London. 1877 Belgium. 1877 London 1878 France. 1913 Bo'ness. 1915 Sunderland.

Built 1875 for T. W. Elliott and  Henry Mumford, London. 1876 Sold to SA D'Assureurs et d’Armateurs pour le Remorquage et de Sauvetage, Antwerp, Belgium, renamed America. 1877 Sold to J. Watkins, London , renamed Champion. 1878 Sold to SA Remorquage au Port de Calais, France. 1891 Sold to Chambre de Commerce de Calais. 10-1913 Sold to J. S. Wilson, Boness renamed Betefdoe. 5-1915 Sold to Robert Cook Baister, Sunderland, renamed Robert L Cook. 12-1921 Transferred to  Robert Lumley Cook Baister. 2-1924 Transferred to  R. L. Cook Towage Co. Ltd. 1928 Scrapped.
Built 1877 by J Readhead, S Shields. YN129. Iron Paddle Tug. L110.7'. B19.4'. D 9.8'. 140grt 19nrt. 96nhp. SL2cyl 29.5"x51" engine by builder. ON 76964.
1877 Delivered to Thomas W Elliott et al, London. 1879 Sold to SA de Remorquage au Port de Calais, Calais, renamed Hercule. 1891 Sold to Chambre de Commerce de Calais. 10-9-1900 Sold to  Joseph Constant, London . 10-9-1900 Sold to  Charles Chrystal Duncan, Charles William Duncan & George Robinson, Middlesbrough, renamed Champion . 11-1900 Sold to Joseph Crosthwaite et al, N Shields. 1918 Joseph Crosthwaite Jr, N Shields. 1-1924 Owners Nicholas Brown & Joseph Crosthwaite. 1924 Owner restyled as Joseph Crosthwaite (Tugs) Ltd, N Shields. 6-1935 Scrapped by T Young & Sons Ltd , Sunderland.

Photo Gould colln/TT
Built 1892 by A.W. Robertson & Co, Canning Town. YN69. Iron Screw Tug. L89.1'. B19.0'. D11.1'. 116 GRT, 20 NRT. 95nhp 500ihp C2cyl 18"x38" 24" stroke by A.W. Robertson & Co. ON 101948. Call sign MVRD later MQJV.
19-10-1892 Launched. 1892 Delivered to George D. Braine, John Page, Matthew Dick, George Parkinson & others, London. 1896 Owners Matthew Dick, John Page & others. 1900 Owners John Page & others. 1902 Owners Elliott Steam Tug Co Ltd, London. 13-5-1912. Captain Henry William Webster awarded a gold watch by German government for services rendered to S/V Walkure 6-12-1911. 7-8-1914 Req by War Office for service at Calais, renamed Top Dog. 10-1-1919 Returned to owners, renamed Champion. 12-6-1920 Captain Henry William Webster awarded gold watch by US government for assistance rendered 31-1-1919 to US vessel Piave, aground on Goodwin Sands. Mate George Petrie awarded binoculars and tug crew received gold medals. 22-1-1922 Sank off Tilbury locks. [See report below].  21-2-1936 Scrapped by T. W. Ward Ltd., Grays, Essex.
Thanks to Dr Merv Rowlinson for the above report. 
The gold watch below, awarded by the US government to Captain Webster in 1919, was auctioned in London by Bonhams 11-6-2013 and sold for £5000.
Photos courtesy of Bonhams Auctioneers.
Built 1864 by Marshall Bros., South Shields. Iron paddle tug. L122.3'. B20.6'. D10.6'. 173grt. 92nrt. 75hp 2cyl 33"x51" side lever steam engine by builder. ON50156.
1864 Delivered to T. W. Elliott, John Cook, Henry Mumford & Thomas Elliott, London. 1871: Sold to William and Thomas A. Jolliffe, Liverpool, and renamed Iron Duke.  1890 Sold to Sarah A. Howard (née Jolliffe) & John Woodburn, Liverpool.  1896 Transferred to W. T. Jolliffe. 1903 Sold to Robert Smith, Birkenhead.  1904 Sold to Thomas Perry, Robert Briggs & Robert Evans, Liverpool and converted into a dumb barge (201g 198n). 22.6.1906 Sunk in a collision with SS Seaforth (349g/1891) in the River Mersey off Wallasey Landing Stage. 27.6.1906 Raised by Mersey Docks & Harbour Board and beached at Tranmere; later scrapped.


Photog unknown
Built 1897 by Eltringham, South Shields. YN188. Iron Paddle Tug/Excursion steamer . L131'. B21.7'. D10'. 224grt. 650ehp. SL2Cyl 31"x58" by Hepple. Official No 108177. Call sign PNSG. Two Funnels. Used as seasonal excursion steamer.
1897 Delivered to Thos. Sandford et al, Gravesend. 21-8-1898 Awarded £40 for towing GSN's SS Swallow, with broken piston rod, from Tongue LV to Ramsgate. 26-10-1898 Assisted refloat barque Unione from South Goodwin Sands and towed to Downs.1-1-1899 Assisted refloat S/V Glevard from sands off Dungeness. 13-1-1899 towed collision damaged SS Elaine from off Dungeness into Dover. 29-12-1899 Towed collision damaged barque Anny, with part cargo of dynamite, from off Deal to Gravesend powder buoys. 5-10-1900 Towed damaged schooner Alice Louisa from Cork Sand into Harwich. 11-1901 Tug fully disinfected at Gravesend after one of Crew contracted smallpox whilst vessel lying in Newhaven. Around same time over 85000 rats were destroyed in London Docks in one month. 1-1902 Owners  John Page & G & W Sandford, Gravesend. 1903 Sold to Elliott Steam Tug Co, London. 1914 Req by Admiralty for short period. 14-12-1915  Assisted refloating SS Southgarth, aground on Trapegeer sand, off La Panne, whilst under attack from German bombers. later awarded £1150 including £250 for damage sustained. 9-11-1916 Req by Admiralty renamed HMS Query serving at Dunkirk. 18-2-1919 Returned to owners, renamed Conqueror. 8-1919 Sold to Jersey Steam Shipping Co, St. Helier. 1921 Operated on Firth of Forth. 6-1922 Sold to Edward McNab, Kirkcaldy. 1922 Owner  Kirk Deas & Co, Leith. 10-1923 Sold to William Taylor, Dunblane. 5-1924 Sold to  Stanley Butler Steamship Co., Korkcaldy. 1925 Owner John Fenton, Edinburgh. 28-4-1925 Owners Tees Towing Co., Middlesbro., renamed  Hurworth. 30-8-1927 Renamed Hutton Cross. 8-1934 Scrapped by Clayton & Davie Ltd, Dunston.
Built 1860  by Marshall Bros., South Shields. Iron paddle tug. L89'. B17.5'. D8.8'. 87grt. 23nrt. 38hp 2cyl side lever steam engine. ON29027.
1860 Delivered to T W Elliott, John Cook, Henry Mumford, Henry Holmes & John Elliott, London. 1863 Sold foreign, no further information.

Photog unknown

Built 1866 by Readhead & Softley, S. Shields. YN2. Iron Paddle Tug. L88.4'. B17.2'. D8.9'. 87grt. 34nrt. 50nhp. 2cyl 26.5"x48" side lever steam engine by builder . Acquired 1866. Disposed 1883. Scrapped 1930. Official No 54668.
1866 Delivered to Thomas W Elliott, John Cook, Henry Mumford, Henry Holmes & John Elliott, London.  9-11-1871 Skipper John Perry fined one pound plus thirty shillings damages at Gravesend for thrusting police constable Barfield onto a lighted tar barrel. 1875 reengined SL2cy 25"x45"  60nhp by J Readhead, South Shields.  18 8.1882 Sold to George Drover, Cowes.  1883 Sold by mortgage holder to John Irving, London. 1883 Sold to John T. Davison, N. Shields. 1886 Owner William Findley & Thomas Lawson, N. Shields.  1886 Owners Thomas Lawson & Hugh Fenwick, Newcastle.   1886 Sold to John Thompson & Robert Young, S. Shields. 1888 Sold to George Brown, John Readhead & others, S. Shields. 1923 Sold to Brown Tug Company Ltd., S. Shields. 1930 Scrapped on River Tyne.

Photo Gould colln/TT
Built 1883 by E. Wales Ltd, Hull. Iron screw tug. L81'. B16.6'. D9.4'. 82grt. 10nrt. 50hp 2cyl 17"x34"x21"s compound steam engine by builder. ON87173.
1883 Delivered to T W Elliott et al, London.   1888 Owners  T. W. Elliott, George M. Brain, John Page & Matthew Dick & others, London. 5-1891 Sold to G. M. Braine, George D. Braine, J. Page & M. Dick, Gravesend. 4-1898 Sold to African Tug Co Ltd., Swansea. [William Towers, manager]. 1903 Joseph Lawson, S. Shields, managers. 3-1909 Sold to Ocean Towing Co Ltd., Swansea. 3-1910 Sold to Cardiff Steam Towing Co Ltd, Cardiff. 6-1920 Sold to Bristol Channel Towage, Salvage and Lighterage Co Ltd., Cardiff. 1928 Scrapped.
 Photog unknown
Photo K Haydon colln
Photo K Haydon colln
Built 1931 by Alexander Hall Ltd., Aberdeen. YN634.  Steel Screw Tug. L107.6'. B26.1'. D12.6'. 243grt. 147nhp 200psi 3cylTE 16.5"x27"x45" 30" stroke by Builder. Acquired 1931. Disposed 1932. Scrapped 1981. ON162558.
5-2-1931 Launched. 3-1931 Delivered to Elliott Steam Tug Co., London. 10-1932 to Società Rimorchiatori Napoletani, Naples, renamed Vesuvio. 9-1943 Seized by German Navy. 1944 Transferred to Marine Mittelmeerreederei. 17-3-1944 Bombed and sunk at Livorno. 1945 Salved and repaired.  1954 Renamed Vesuvius. 1980 Sold for scrapping to Palermoa Salvatore et Cia., Naples, but resold. 3-1981 Scrapped by Trirena SNC., Naples.
See Ship Towage  Ltd. fleet list

Built 1881 by De Dekker and Co., Antwerp. Steel Screw Tug. L108'. B21.1'. D11.8'. 183grt. 2cyl 24.5"x41"x24"s compound steam engine by J. Deneffe and Co., Liege. Official No 146124.
1881 Delivered to  L'Union des Remorqueurs Belges, Antwerp. 1889 Sold to Remorquage  A' Helice Antwerp named Washington. 1902 Reengined 75nhp 3cylTE 14"x24"x39" 24" stroke by G. T. Grey and Co., S. Shields. 21-12-1914 Req by Admiralty. 31-7-1919 Returned to owner. 9-1921  Acquired by Elliott Steam Tug Co., London renamed Crusade. 10-5-1934 Arrived at   T. W. Ward Ltd., Grays Essex, for scrapping.

Built 1883 by Harvey and Co, Hayle. YN33. Iron screw tug. L100.2'. B17.1'. D10'. 102grt. 13nrt. 80nhp 2cyl 16.75"x31.25"x21"s compound steam engine by builder. ON86128. Callsign HWSV.
8-1883 Launched. 1883 Delivered to J H Deeble, Falmouth. 1896:Transferred to James H. Deeble, Falmouth. 3-1910  Transferred to  Eagle Steam Tug and Trawling Co., Falmouth. 6-1913 Acquired by  Elliott Steam Tug Co., London. 1-8-1914 Req by Admiralty. 6-3-1919 Returned to Owners. 1927 Scrapped.
Built 1855 at N. Shields. Wood paddle tug. L73.6'. B15.7'. D8.2'. 62grt. 22nrt. 25hp 1cyl 25"x48"s side lever steam engine by William Scott, N. Shields. ON2089.
1855 Delivered to Anthony Laws, N. Shields. 1858 Purchased by T. W. Elliott, John Cook, Henry Mumford & Henry Holmes, London. 1874 Sold to George Lamb, N. Shields. 1877 Transferred to George Lamb & George Vardy, N. Shields.  19-2-1885 Sank at moorings in Howdon Dock, River Tyne overnight and sold as a wreck.
Built 1869 by Readhead, Softley Co., S. Shields. YN48. Iron Paddle Tug. L93.3'. B17'. D8.4'. 87grt. 16nrt. 60nhp. 2cyl 25.25"x45" by builder. Official No 63506.
1869 Delivered to T. W. Elliott, Henry Mumford & Henry Holmes, London. 29-3-1871 Arrested by Court of Admiralty at Dunkirk and later released on bail,  after towing vessel Lord Brougham, registered at Hamburg, from the Downs to Dunkirk. Lord Brougham had previously been arrested by a French Naval vessel and escorted to the Downs Anchorage. 1877 Engine rebuilt. 60nhp L.2-cyl 25¼” x 45”.  18-8-1880 Tow Amicitia sunk by SS Westminster following collision in Limehouse Reach. 5-1882 Sold to  J. Tully, Sunderland. 12-1883 Owner Thomas Dry, S. Shields. 7-1889  Owner John Dry, S. Shields. 5-1908 Transferred to John Dry Steam Tugs Ltd., S. Shields. 5-1917 Req by RN. 9-1917 Renamed Gaunt. 9-1919 Returned to owner, renamed Gauntlet. 8-1929 Transferred to R Redhead & Son Ltd.,Newcastle. 6-1935 Scrapped at Sunderland.
Photo C T Philips colln

Built 1891 by J.P. Rennoldson, S. Shields. YN132. L100'. B19.6'. D11.4'. 149grt. 400ihp 3cylTE 13"x22"x36" 27" stroke engine by builder. Acquired 1891. Disposed 1924. Scrapped 1946. ON98386.
7-7-1891 Launched. 9-1891 Delivered to Goole & Hull Steam Towing Co., named Goole No 8. 1-1899 Sold  to John Page, London, renamed Gauntlet. 4-1902 Transferred to Elliott Steam Tug Co. 1908 Salved abandoned sailing vessel Clan Macpherson (US?). Mate, Fireman and two hands commended for their gallantry in boarding the vessel. 11-12-1908 Rescued seven people from French schooner Marionette, driven ashore in gale near Folkestone. 15-8-1914 Req for War Office service. 14-3-1918 Dereq. 15-3-1918 Req by Admiralty. 28-9-1919 Returned to owners. 12-1924 Sold to  Victor Cappon, Dundee. 4-1937 Transferred to V A Cappon Tugs Ltd. 3-1940  Dundee Perth and London Shipping Co.. managers. 8-3-1941 Req by Admiralty. 15-12-1945 Returned to owners. 8-1946 Scrapped by Van Heyghen Freres, Ghent.
Photog unknown
Photog unknown
Built 1905 by M van der Kuyl, Slikkerveer. YN328. Screw Tug. L123.1'. B 21.6'. D12.4'. 243grt. 900ihp 3cyl TE by Alblasserdam Masch. Fab. Alblasserdam. Official No 135304.
5-1905 Delivered to Internationale Sleepdienst Maats. NV, Rotterdam, named Maas. 12-1913 Acquired by Elliott Steam Tug Co., London renamed Revenger. 3-8-1914 Req by RN served Falmouth. 7-1915 Assisted in tow of Monitors HMS Mersey and HMS Severn from Malta to Rufiji River, East Africa prior to the destruction of the German Cruiser Konigsberg.  Her crew were commended for their work by the RN Vice-Admiral in charge of the operation, the commendation appearing in the London Gazette. 19/21-9-1917 Involved in salvage of SS City of Lincoln after she was torpedoed SW of Scilly Isles. 2/10-2-1918 Involved in salvage of SS Orion. 25/26-4-1918 Involved in salvage of SS Quito . 19/21-10-1918 Involved in salvage of SS Elwick. 26-8-1919 Foundered in St. Brides Bay (Preston for Plymouth); master rescued by ss Pyrope (452g/1890) but 10 crew lost.
The weekly newspaper HAVERFORDWEST AND MILFORD HAVEN TELEGRAPH  carried an article on the loss of the tug in their 3-9-1919 edition ;-
"TEN LIVES LOST OFF THE SMALLS.  Whilst off the Smalls and St. Bride's Bay on Tuesday night the tug Revenger was struck by a heavy westerly gale, turned turtle, and sank with eleven hands, only one being saved. The names of the drowned are:— W. Boston, mate, Neath; George Vickers, second mate, Deal; E. Boddily, Essex; J. Garrard; Charles Goldstine, chief engineer; Robert Hart, second engineer; J. Perry, stoker; I. Glenneld, stoker, Gravesend; H, Harris, stoker, Deal; and F. Hardy, cook, East Ham, Interviewed at Fishguard, the master of the tug, Philip Milton, aged 28, stated that they had been to Preston with a destroyer from Gravesend, and were returning light when a strong gale sprung up. All went well until off the Smalls, where the tug was struck broadside by a mountainous sea. She turned turtle and sank immediately. Two hands besides himself were on watch, the rest were below. The boat broke away, and he managed to climb on the keel. Many times he was washed off but regained the boat."

Photog unknown. B Hunt colln

Built 1880 by J. de Dekker, Hoboken. Screw Tug. L32.92m, B6.43m, D3.38m. 187 GRT. 500ihp  2cyl 24"x41"x24"s compound steam engine by J. Deneffe & Co., Liège.  Acquired 1921. Disposed 1934. Scrapped 1934. Official No 146125.
1880 Owners Union des Remorqueurs Belges named John Bull. 1889 Owners SARH - SA de Remorquage à Hélice, Antwerp. 1901 Reengined with 500ihp 3cyl TE 14"x24"x39" 24" by G. T. Grey, S. Shields. 16-12-1914 Req by RN. 5-2-1915 Dereq. 6-2-1915 Req by War Office. 11-12-1919 Returned to Owners. 9-1921 Acquired by Elliott Steam Tug Company, London, Renamed Revenger. 10-5-1934 Arrived at  T. W. Ward Ltd., Grays Essex, for scrapping.
Photog unknown.
Photo C T Philips colln
Photog unknown. PRB Colln

Built 1904 by J P Rennoldson and Sons, South Shields. YN228. Screw Tug. L102'. B23.1'. D12'. 186grt. 7nrt. 700ihp 107nhp 3cyl 16", 26", 43",x 27" stroke TE steam engine by builder. Scotch boiler by J T Eltringham, South Shields. Speed 11 knots. Official No. 118084. Call sign MNTC.
19-1-1904 Launched  as Kingfisher for Liverpool Steam Tug Co. Ltd., Liverpool. 3-1904 Completed. 22-3-1906 Sold to the Admiralty renamed Diligence. 1914 Based Sheerness, Renamed  Security. 2-5-1916  Involved in salvage of SS Fridland. 1/3-1-1917 Involved in salvage of SS Sussex. 17/18-1-1917 Involved in salvage of SS Kintuck. 3/4-3-1918 Involved in salvage of SS Bellview. 8-2-1927 Acquired by Elliott Steam Tug Co. Ltd., London. 24-2-1938 Whilst moored off Gravesend was struck by MV Marali. Stem, Bows, Bulwarks, Starboard Quarter and Starboard anchor damaged. Deck Started. 30-8-1939 Req by RN, Watkins appointed managers. 1939 Escorted many of the first East coast convoys (FN & SN serials) from Southend to Gt. Yarmouth and return.  13-6-1941 Whilst towing damaged Norwegian steamer Ala from Shoreham to Southampton the tow was bombed and sunk in posn 50-42N 0-52W. 15-5-1942 Departed Loch Ewe with convoy WN283. 17-5-1942 Arrived Methil. 5-1943 Renamed Stoke.  6-1944 Took part in D-Day landings, allocated to SNO Selsey to tow Phoenix and Whale units. 7-6-1944 21.00 Departed Solent towing two pontoons for Normandy beachhead. [Convoy ETC22W]. 6-1944 Towed US DBR's Thames to Falmouth. Towed LCT609 Portsmouth to Falmouth. Towed LCT958 Newhaven to Tilbury. 11-8-1944 Returned to Elliotts. 1-1946  Renamed  Security.  8-12-1946 Sank off Anvil Point, Dorset whilst towing Anglo-Saxon tanker Kelletia 7434/29 from Falmouth to the Tyne with Watercock and Contest. Four crew lost including Capt. A Pattison and his son. Five crew rescued from the water by Watercock. The court of enquiry found that the vessel was in a 'ripe' condition, possibly unseaworthy and that the heavy weather encountered also played a part in the sinking. For a report on this incident see bottom of this page.

Photog unknown

Photog unknown

Built 1899 by J.P. Rennoldson & Son Ltd., South Shields. YN199. Iron Screw Tug. L106.8'. B21.1'. D11.2'. 179 GRT 4 NRT. 750ihp 103nhp 3cylTE 15.5"x25"x41" 27" stroke by builder. Official No 129025. Call sign HPWF later MDBT.

12-1899 Delivered to Abeille Towage & Salvage, Le Havre, named Abeille No 10. 7-1909 Acquired by  Elliott Steam Tug Co., London, renamed Vanquisher. 2-12-1913 Towed Leon Blum, laden with nitrates, Falmouth to Liverpool for £65. 30-7-1914 Lying off Ventnor when ordered to proceed to Sheerness to be requisitioned  by RN. Shortly after moved to Harwich. 6-2-1915 Refloated tanker Broadmayne aground off Harwich. 8-3-1915 Renamed Vaunter, serving Harwich. 8-1915 Involved in salvage of mined Bretwalda in Thames Estuary. 11-1917 Renamed Vanquisher II. 11-1919 Returned to owners, Renamed Vanquisher II. 28-11-1923 Together with Warrior towing Vernon II [ex wooden HMS Marlborough 1855] Plymouth to Heybridge Basin. Near Owers LV the tow began to leak badly and eventually capsized and sank with loss of four of the seven runner crew. 2-7-1926 Drydocked at Nelson Dry Dock, Rotherhithe. 1929 Renamed Vanquisher. 10-2-1929 Fouled prop cleared by PLA diver at Gravesend. 13-6-1931 23.15 Collided with and badly damaged PLA launch Sharebourne off South Metropolitan Gas Wharf, Greenwich. 1936-1939 Laid up in Thames. 9-1941 Arrived at  T. W. Ward Ltd, Grays Essex, for scrapping.
See under Ship Towage Ltd fleet list.
Photo STL colln
Photo B Hunt colln
Built 1904 by The Dublin Dockyard Co, Dublin. YN44. Screw Tug. L106.0'. D22.1'. B10.5'. 179grt 0nrt . 75nhp 500ihp 3cylTE 18"x21"x34" 22" stroke by Lee, Anderson & Co, Govan. Bunkers 45 tons. Acquired 1927. Disposed 1945. Scrapped 1945. Official No 117517.

4-5-1904 Launched. 6-1904 Delivered to The Dublin Port & Docks Board, Dublin named Anna Liffey. 5-1927 Acquired by Elliott Steam Tug Co., London Renamed Venturous. 27-4-1930 Damaged stem following collision with tug Sun XV moored off Gravesend. 1936-1939 Laid up in Thames. 11-1945 Arrived at  T. W. Ward Ltd., Grays Essex, for scrapping.
Built 1895 by Croom and Arthur Ltd., Leith. Steel Screw tug. L96.2'. B18.5'. D10'. 133grt. 650ihp 2cyl 19"x26"x24"s compound steam engine by Ross and Duncan Ltd., Glasgow. ON105172.
6-1895 Delivered to W H Tucker and Co., Cardiff, named Lady Windsor. 2-1897 Acquired by John Page & Matthew Dick, London. renamed Victor. 1902 Transferred to Elliott Steam Tug Co Ltd., London. 15-8-1914 Req by War Office.  11-1917 Involved in salvage of Anglo off Lizard. 7-7-1919 Returned to Owners. 1929 Scrapped by T W Ward Ltd., Grays, Essex.
Built 1877 by John Readhead & Co., S. Shields. YN132. Iron paddle tug. L110.7'. B19.4'. D9.8'. 142grt. 36nrt. 96nhp 2cyl 29.5"x51" side lever steam engine by by builder. ON76995.
1977 Delivered to T W Elliott and Henry Mumford, London. 7-1882 Sold to A. Petrie, Middlesborough. 1890 Sold to George Petrie, Middlesbrough. 25-11-1897 One crew member lost when tug foundered in Tees Bay after being struck by Durward (1304g/1895, Middlesbrough for Antwerp).
Built 1863 by Marshall Bros., South Shields. Iron paddle tug. L94.6'. B17.6'. D9.2'. 98grt. 42nrt. 44hp 2cyl 27"x54" side lever steam engine by builder. ON45799.
1863 Delivered to T. W. Elliott, John Cook, Henry Mumford, Henry Holmes & John Elliott, London.1869 Sold to John Cook, London. 1870 Sold to William Greenfield, London.  1882 Sold to John G Griffiths, London.  1883 Sold to Albert Page, Alexandria.  1886 Sold to Greece. 
Photo Shields Libraries Colln.

Built 1871 by Readhead, Softley, South Shields. YN71. Iron Paddle Tug. L100.8'. B18.1'. D9.1'. 112grt. 45nrt. 70nhp 2cyl 26.5"x48"by Builder. Official No. 65636. PoR 1871 London. 1894 N. Shields.

1871 Delivered to T. W. Elliott, Henry Mumford & Henry Holmes, London. 1876 Owners T. W. Elliott & H. Mumford, London. 6-1881 Towed collision damaged barque Stratheden from Dungeness to Dover Roads. 23-12-1886 Towed collision damaged barque Berica from off Deal into Thames. 1889 Owners T. W. Elliott, George M. Brain, John Page & Matthew Dick, London. 5-1891 Sold to G. M. Braine, George D. Braine, J. Page & M. Dick, Gravesend. 11-6-1892 Refloated SS Kent aground at Crayford Ness and towed to Albert Dock jetty. 4-1894 Sold to Joseph Crosthwaite, N. Shields. 1899 Owners Joseph Crosthwaite Sr & Jr. 3-5-1907 Bow damaged after collision with barquentine Lizzie Fox off South Shields Pier. The barquentine sank, crew taken off by tug and landed. 1918 Owners Joseph, Septimus & Selina Crosthwaite. 1.1924 Owners Nicholas Brown & Joseph Crosthwaite. 3-1924 Owner restyled as Joseph Crosthwaite (Tugs) Ltd. 1932 Scrapped Irvines Shipbuilding Co, Hartlepool (£85).


Photo Gould colln/TT

Built 1895 by J P Rennoldson & Son, S Shields. YN163.  Iron Tug. L106'. B21.1'. D11.4'. 190 GRT. 18nrt. 500ihp 98nhp 3cyl 13.5"x22"x36"x24"s TE steam engine by builder. Official No 104845
3-1895 Delivered to John Page and Matthew Dick, London. 12-11-1895 Arrived Swansea storm damaged after towing barque Highland Home from Fleetwood for Bristol Channel. Tow had parted and unable to reconnect in heavy weather. Tow presumed foundered and her crew of 17 lost.12-3-1898 Towed disabled SS Skuld, with broken mainshaft, Eddystone to Plymouth. £150 awarded.  17-1-1899 Assisted salvage of SS Admiral Aube, aground on Sunk Sand. £600 awarded. 27-4-1900 Towed abandoned and damaged barque Superb from Atlantic into Gibraltar. 14-2-1901 Departed Gibraltar towing  barque Superb to Middlesbrough for £700. 31-3-1901 Arrived Middlesbrough after putting into Vigo for seven days for bunkers and repairs to tow. 1902 Owners The Elliott Steam Tug Co Ltd, London. 4-7-1909 Assisted salvage collision damaged SS Whakatane from off Dungeness into Dover. £1400 awarded. 29-10-1911 Whilst towing new dredger from Clyde to Tyne the tow parted in heavy weather off Fraserburgh, the tow then capsizing and runner crew of six drowned. 7-8-1914 Req by RN at £9 15s per day. 1-8- 1915 Rate increased to £10 15s per day until 22-1-1917.  Stationed Queenstown. One of the first vessels to reach torpedoed Lusitania, saving 74 lives.  4-1916 Involved in salvage of torpedoed  Wayfarer off Queenstown. 20/22-2-1917 Involved in salvage of SS Messina. 23-2-1917 Involved in salvage of barque La Epoca. 1/4-5-1917 involved in salvage of schooner Diana. 12/17-7-1918 Involved in salvage of SS Boscombe Chine. 23-3/11-4-1918 Involved in salvage of SS Mahsud. 27-10-1919 Returned to owners, but still based Queenstown. 1922 Hijacked by Sinn Fein and used to intercept vessel carrying arms. Tug  and crew later released unharmed. 28-11-1923 Together with Vanquisher towing Vernon II [ex wooden HMS Marlborough 1855] Portsmouth to Heybridge Basin. Near Owers LV the tow began leaking badly, eventually capsizing and sinking with the loss of four of the seven runner crew. 1930 Scrapped by T W Ward Ltd., Grays, Essex.
For further information on the WW1 career of Warrior and the Sinn Fein incident click HERE
Built 1874 by James Jackson, South Shields. Wood paddle tug. L72.8'. B16.5'. D8.8'. 59grt. 4nrt. 36hp 1cyl 26.5"x48"s side lever steam engine by John Readhead and Co., S. Shields. ON70574.
1874 Delivered to T W Elliott, Henry Mumford & Henry Holmes, London. 1880 Sold to owners at Bordeaux.
Built 1943 by Richard Dunston Ltd, Thorne. YN T386. Steel screw tug Modified Maple class. L94.1'. B21.3'. D9.7'. 138grt. 525ihp  85nhp 3cylTE 12"x20"x32" 22" stroke 200psi coal fired engine by Worsley Mesnes Ironworks Ltd., Wigan. Kort nozzle. Bunkers 34 tons. Prop 8'dia x 8.33' pitch, four bladed. 149rpm. BP8.85 tons. Speed 11 knots.   Official Number 169095. Call sign MMBT later SOCJ.
29-11-1943 Launched for MOWT as Empire Andrew. 11-2-1944 Completed and handed over to managers, France Fenwick Tyne and Wear Ltd., Newcastle. 1945 Managers Elliott Steam Tug Co., London. 1948 Sold to Zegluga Polska SA, Gdynia, renamed Dzik. 1950 Owners Zarzad Portu Gdansk and Gdynia. 1953 Transferred to Polish Government, Gdynia. 1962? Scrapped. 
Built 1896 by by R. Craggs & Sons, Tees Dockyard, Middlesbrough. L74.5'. B17.8'. D9'. 76grt. 3nrt. 320ihp 2cyl 14"x30"x22"s compound steam engine by J Stewart and Sons Ltd., Blackwall. ON108814. 
 1896 Launched named Looker for Joseph Constant, London.  1896 Completed renamed Frank.  1897 Sold to Harry Reep, London.  1900 Sold to Ada Reep & Cecil Cancellor, London.  1903 Sold to John Ash Thompson, Cardiff.  1906 Sold to Charles W. Duncan & Ernest Harrison, Middlesbrough. 1914 Transferred to Charles Duncan & Son Ltd., Middlesbrough.  23-12-1914 Sold to William H. J. Alexander, Wapping.  26-1-1915 Sold back to Charles Duncan & Son Ltd., Middlesbrough.  19-5-1917  Chartered to Elliot Steam Tug Company Ltd., London and requisitioned by Admiralty for service on River Thames, based Sheerness. 3-11-1919 Returned to owners. 1919 Sold to William J. Guy, Cardiff.  1929 Sold to Loucas G. Matsas & Sons, Piraeus, renamed Taxiarchis. [Call Sign: S.Z.M.Q]. 8-1978 Scrapped at Perama.



Transcript of the manuscript report by Captain Arthur Couves of the ST Watercock on the aborted contract to tow the Anglo-Saxon / Shell oil tanker Kelletia (7434 tons 1929) from Falmouth to the Tyne and the sinking of the ST Security on the 8th December 1946. This has been very kindly provided by Kevin Haydon.
Loss of the tug Security 8th December 1946 15 miles SW of the Isle of Wight.

It all began when a contract was signed between Messrs Dick & Page tug owners and the Shell Oil Coy. to tow the tanker "Kelletia" from Falmouth to the River Tyne by three tugs. At that time the Tug owners D & P had only 2 tugs in service & so the tug "Watercock"was taken on to make up the complement mainly because of her 90 ton bunker capacity. We were to sail, together with the tugs "Contest" & "Security", on Monday am on the 3rd October 1946 & accordingly bunkers were topped up and general stores taken on board and the tug made ready for a sea passage. A minor fault showed up on Watercock in consequence, we did not depart until 1400hrs some 2 hours after the other tugs had sailed. On arrival off Southend the  Contest & Security  were found to be at anchor near the South Shoebury Buoy & on enquiry we learned that they were going to get under way the next morning, our E.T.A. Falmouth was Thursday am, so "Watercock" was anchored close to then we could all go in convoy the next morning.
On Tuesday at 5.30 all tugs got going & passed thru' Princes Channel, & on thru  the Downs. During the passage it was seen that the bar. was falling rapidly & by the time we arrived off Dungeness, the light Wly winds had backed to SSW & had fast increased in strength. The Contest being somewhat faster than the Watercock & Security had by now disappeared to the Westward & we unable to make contact with her, neither tug having a transmitter on board, on Watercock there was a Radio receiver for B.B.C. relays plus an Aldis lamp. We closed the Pilot cutter on station in the West bay of the Ness & asked verbally for a weather report, & it was that a SW gale was imminent & a warning had been issued by the Met. Office over the B.B.C. & warning to shipping in the Portland area, & as it was running towards us the master of the Security agreed with me that we should return to Dover for shelter & by the time we passed Folkstone the sea was making up & was quite high for small vessels bound Westly. We entered the E entrance at 1450 & made our way to the Prince of Wales  Pier.
Security was ahead of Watercock & as she approached the pierhead instead of turning to starb. To go alongside P of W pier she went straight on & Capt. Pattison was seen to leave the wheelhouse to attend the steering gear & subsequently was asked what happened.  He said that the steering engine had jammed & the way to get it going again was to give it a kick & sure enough it did. Watercock went to help if needed & Capt. Pattison said it was O.K., so I put the Watercock alongside the Prince of Wales pier, port side to & head towards the sea. Security later came alongside Watercock & made fast. By this time the wind had increased to 6-7 force & the gale cone had been hoisted on the Harbour lookout station on the W pier breakwater, it was overcast with squalls. During the night our deck watch had called out all hands & put extra fend off tyres over side near the quay owing to the way both tugs were surging and bumping together & the weather remained, SW seas quickly following  one after the other & we daily went outside the harbour to dump ashes & other refuse & we were then able to judge the weight of the weather clear of the harbour shelter we then returned to the same berth on the Prince of Wales pier. It was uncomfortable lying there  we were able to get ash clear  & attend to ships business as usual. Unfortunately, some of the rubbing band woodwork on the port section of the Security was broken & parts [ fell?] in the water mainly due to the bumping & boring in the surge & swell, temporary repairs were carried out by her own crew, because of the damage to Security the fact that the weather forecast was bad we asked permission to enter the Granville Dock. which we did on the next rising tide, we had been sheltering in Dover Hrbr for 5 days & there still no sign of a let up in the weather consisting of gale force W to SW winds & squally . However on the 9th day the weather abated enough for us to be away on our passage West & down channel and we made good progress and afternoon [?] when once again I got a signal in morse code from the Security that a SW gale was approaching fast & in consequence we agreed to enter Newhaven, and shelter there. We had to wait wait until the tide rose before we could enter the harbour but we eventually went in and made fast on the quay, again alongside each other starboard side to with Security on the quay berth & head in. At the head of the harbour the S cone was up and the weather really became bad as forecast next morning.
I made a tour of inspection on the Watercock to be sure all was secure & it was during this time I saw water running out the Security 's port quarter rubbing band thru' some missing bolt holes, the Security was listing to port as she was sitting on the mud of the river bed & listing to port & the water running from the holes was boiler water from the stowage tank aft. I pointed it out to Capt. Pattison & he knew that the bolts were missing in fact it was the same in the bows & it was well known that anyone using the toilet which was right forward would get a shower of sea water in a head sea as the sea sprayed in thru rust holes in the hull, in fact the whole matter was generally treated as something funny & quite acceptable. I voiced my disbelief & wondered how the tug ever got an Al at Lloyd's considering her condition, I was however glad I was not on board of her. We could not leave port because the weather remained foul. In fact it was 5 days later that we were able to resume our trip & we agreed to pass S of the Isle of Wight & make board [course?] direct to Falmouth, however it did not turn out like that because soon after passing the Owers L.V. my cook reported to me that there was salt water in our only fresh water tank & on examination I found that there was a fair sized hole in our fresh water tank air-vent gooseneck situated in the port bulwark outside the galley & apparently sea-water was going into the tank as  the sea came aboard & ran down the decks on each side of the deck house & so I decided to go to Spithead & anchor off Cpllick[?] Pt.[ Gilkicker Point?] to empty, repair the broken gooseneck air- vent & again fill our galley tank at Portsmouth.
 At 1200 received another gale warning Swly., approaching Plymouth area. The tug Security was with us & we entered Portsmouth Harbour & made fast on the Vernon buoys & after the galley tank had been repaired freshwater was taken on board. The weather deteriorated to a SW gale by 1600 & so we were obliged to stay in harbour. After 3 1/2 days it got better & we got away at last & made a good run to Falmouth where we arrived [ ?] 19 days after leaving Gravesend. The Contest had arrived the previous day and Capt. C Parker told me that he had sheltered at Cowes I of W & again off Brixham after a very bad passage down channel. We reported to our agents Cox & Coy at Falmouth & then planning our tow to the Tyne .
 A conference was held between the pilots, Superers [ Skippers?] & Captain of the " Kelletia" on board the tanker & a departure time & other details were discussed & agreed. The "Kelletia" was a Shell tanker of some [?] tons, in ballast, she had no main engines, but her boiler had steam for auxiliary purposes & steam on deck for anchor & winches etc.. All tugs stored up & filled up with coal & made ready for the coming voyage to Newcastle. The next day 4th November 1946, assisted by 2 local tugs, we set sail at 10.30hrs, the Contest was centrally ahead with the Security on the port bow & Watercock to starboard, our tow gear was streamed out & when we had taken the strain the 2 local tugs cast off & we passed out of the harbour & round St Anthony's Head. The wind was light SWiy at this time but increasing & it was seen that the cone had been hoisted at the lighthouse look-out on the Head.
 As we were going up Channel we were not unduly worried about the weather, a following wind & sea was just what we [?] wanted to help us along  indeed we made good progress as the SW wind freshened,
Watercock had out 60 fathoms of 12" Manila rope shackled to 4 1/2" wire & we were about 100ft astern & abeam of the Contest the leading tug. The Security was on our port side level with the Watercock. We passed Portland Bill about 15 miles South the next day around llOOhrs & by 1200 the weather had got worse all morning, & after a brief lull the wind backed to SE & blew up to gale 8-9 & it appeared we were in the centre of a violent depression, with a large SW swell running from previous gales & the wave tops were blown back with flying spume with visibility a quarter of a  mile. By now we were being driven backwards & no headway was being made at all in fact it was difficult to hold position; the waves were so high that when we, on the Watercock were at the bottom of the trough I could just see the funnels & the masts of the other tugs on our port beam. I finished my watch at 1300 & went below to rest leaving Mr. Love, mate & 1 deckhand on the bridge.
At about 16.40 our towrope parted & I went on the bridge to take over & I found that the mate had stopped engines because the tow-rope stopper aft had also parted, in fact, the bollards aft had broken in two and the rope had to kept clear of our own propeller. The mate informed me that all was clear aft & I attempted to run round the rope by turning to starboard ; my crew were all on deck & the tow-rope was just beginning to stream out astern  & come up over the stern of the tug to a position from where we could heave it in. At this time I saw the Security beginning to list to starb. & each time she came into view in the high seas at a distance of about a quarter mile on our port quarter it was obvious that she was not coming back up to an even keel and in 5 to lO mins. she lay on her beam ends & finally sank altogether .
I took a bearing of her position when last I saw her & immediately ordered my crew to abandon the attempt to retrieve our towing gear & cut loose. As soon as I was told "all clear" I ran down wind to where I had seen Security last turning in very heavy sea and shipping a lot of water. Arriving near her last position we found an upturned lifeboat with one man sitting on top & waving his hand. I shouted  to him to sit tight and hold on the keel while we searched around for the others. I stationed the mate  Mr. Love back of the funnel after end of the boat deck & passed word to me so so that I could get the tug close enough to haul them inboard over the bulwark rail as they came level with it as we rolled back & forth, in fact after was full up most of the time & lines & lifebuoys were thrown & each one more or less floated inboard. The man on the upturned boat was last to be picked up, Mr Connolly, & in all 5 survivors & although we searched back & forth as best we could regretfully we could not find the other four crew members which included the Master, 1 deckhand 1 fireman and 1 boy cook. We had used our Aldis lamp to search around because it[was] by now dark & could hear nothing & at last forced to abandon the search & give up hope for the 4 men. I signalled to "Kelletia" and was told that the Contest had also broken adrift & she was obliged to drop her anchors & also that I might find shelter under lea of the tanker but I replied in morse code that I would run to Portland harbour & put the survivors ashore & would he, the Captn. of the "Kelletia", radio to the Coastguards & inform them of my intended arrival there & ask for ambulances and first aid to be waiting for us. The ESE gale had by now veered to NNWIy had not diminished but slightly to force 6-7 & the waves were very confused , all the rescued men were in the warmest place they could find i.e. in the engine- room top round the engines . We had been unable to open the after cabin hatch because of the weather conditions & it was kept closed until it was safe enough to open up again.
 We arrived off Portland Harbour 2300 & received a morse message from the RN Piers to say that the ambulance was waiting to take the survivors to hospital. We made fast to the quay & had some hot food & tea on the after cabin fire, all hands were wet through & really exhausted & utterly miserable through the loss of our tugmaster & shipmates but also thankful for our own preservation. I personally had no doubts about the ability & seaworthiness of the "Watercock" & the thought that anything would happen to us never crossed my mind , I am very proud of my crew & the way they acted together to save at least some of the crew of the Security, especially my engineer Vic Betts who kept the Watercock dry and our bilges pumped out.
To read the official enquiry report of this incident click HERE