Constructed: 1910 (Glasgow, Scotland)
Length of ship: 115m (377ft)
Wreck location: Between Gobal & Quisum Islands, Egypt.
Depth range of wreck: 20m to 46m
The 3963 ton, 115 metre long ship began life in the ship yards of BARCLAY and CURLE, at Glasgow as the FRANCIS in 1910. In 1931 she was sold to the Reederei Moller Line of Skandinavia and reregistered in Shanghai under the British flag. For the next few years she operated along the east coast of China between Shanghai and Tsingtao, until in 1938 with war on the horizon she was recalled to Liverpool and under the new command of Captain James Balsom she undertook collier duties, delivering coal to Royal Navy bases.
When war broke out she made several successful trips running the gauntlet to Gibraltar. In 1941, after a much needed overhaul, she left Britain bound for Alexandria, via the Cape of Good Hope, with yet another cargo of coal. With the Gibraltar straits closed due to the Axis forces there was no access via the Mediterranean, so the longer route via the cape had to be undertaken. Stopping at Durban and Aiden on route, she finally entered the Straits of Gobul, in the Egyptian Red Sea, and was ordered to anchorage H to await further instructions.
In the early hours of Oct 8th 1941, two days after the sinking of the Thistlegorm, she was at anchor in the area between Gobal and Quisum Islands (designated anchorage H). It was here that she was attacked by a staffel of HEINKEL 111 bombers.
Two bombs exploded in number 4 hold causing heavy damage in the starboard quarter.
She rapidly filled with water and began to settle. The weight of her cargo plus the water kept her in a level attitude. She sank quickly with the loss of only two lives, the survivors taking to the lifeboats.