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The Fleets

Morrison Steamship Co. Ltd (John Morrison & Son), North Shields 1861-1948

John Morrison of North Shields was an old established firm of sailmakers and progressed from sail to steamship owner. In 1874 John Morrison was joined by his son S.A. Morrison and the company became John Morrison & Son. Most ships were employed in traditional trades. In 1896 the company owned eleven ships, but in 1902 only two tramp ships were left.

At the start of World War I John Morrison & Son owned two ships and one was lost during that conflict. John Morrison & Son gave up ship owning in 1918, returning in 1922 with J.W Morrison, grandson of John Morrison, after the worst of the slump was over, by purchasing an old second hand tramp steamer.
By 1926 the company was reformed as John Morrison & Son, Cliffside Shipping Co. Ltd and Morrison Steam Ship Co. Ltd each with two ships.

In 1934 they controlled ten steamers. By 1939 the companies owned ten ships and this dropped during World War II to two in 1944. Thirteen ships were managed for the Ministry of War Transport during that conflict. Altogether thirteen ships were lost due enemy action and three were lost in nautical hazards. J.W. Morrison died after suffering a fatal heart attack in 1941.

After World War II the companies had no more ships of their own and the last of the managed ships went in 1948 when the companies were wound up.

Many thanks to Henk Jungerius and Ted Finch for his assistance in collecting this data. The following list was extracted from various sources. This is not an all inclusive list but should only be used as a guide. If you would like to know more about a vessel, visit the Ship Descriptions (onsite) or Immigrant Ship web site.

Funnel: & Flag

Fleet:

Funnel Flag
Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Ashlea 1929 built by J. Priestman & Co., Southwick | 07 October 1939 captured and sunk by German cruiser Graf Spee. 4,222
Barbara 1923 built by J. Priestman & Co., Southwick | 1924 renamed Barbara Marie, 1925 sold to the Sea Steamship Co. Ltd renamed Portsea, 1933 sold to Nivose Soc. di Nav., Italy renamed Cipro, 1937 sold to Lauro & Montella, Naples renamed Stella, 14 August 1941 Captured by HMS CIRCASSIA off Cape Verde Islands, 1941 renamed Empire Planet for MOWT managed by Golden Cross Line, Cardiff, 1947 sold to Inch Line (Williamson & Co.), Hong Kong renamed Inchkeith, 02 March 1955 ashore Andaman Islands and declared total loss. 4,290
Barbara Marie (1)   see Barbara.  
Barbara Marie (2) 1928 built by J. Priestman & Co., Southwick | 12 June 1940 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.46 with the loss of 32 lives. 4,223
Ben Clune (1) 1888 built by J. Laing & Sons, Sunderland | 1913 sold to Emil R. Retzlaff, Stettin renamed Heinrich, 1914 went missing at sea. 2,051
Ben Clune (2) 1912 built by R. Duncan & Co., Port Glasgow | ex- Iriston built for W.S. Miller & Co., ex- Oltul 1914, 1924 purchased from Romania Prima renamed Ben Clune, 1925 sold to D. Alexander renamed Maplegrove, 1933 sold to F. Grauds renamed Everhope, 1939 sold to Z. Heinrichsons renamed Dole, 1941 seized by German Government, 11 September 1943 torpedoed and sunk in Malangerfjord 3,782
Ben Corlic (1) 1889 built by J. Laing & Sons, Sunderland | 1902 stranded, refloated and sold to Otto Banck renamed Beta, 1916 sold to C. Christoffersen renamed Sigteso, 1917 sold to Olsen & Ugelstad renamed Luksefjell, 11 October 1918 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine near Cape Breton, Biscay. 2,061
Ben Corlic (2) 1900 built by W. Pickersgill & Sons Ltd., Sunderland | ex- Frank Parish, 1922 purchased from Buenos Aires, Great Southern Railway Co. Ltd (Holland & Co., managers) renamed Ben Corlic, 1928 sold to Slobodna Plovidba Topic dd renamed Olga Topic, 1928 renamed Jela Topic, 1939 sold to Parobrodarsko Drustvo "Marovic" soj renamed Neti, 1946 sold to Jadranska Slobodna Plovidba renamed Sibenik, 1952 scrapped. 2,905
Ben Cruachan (1) 1879 built by J. Laing & Sons, Sunderland | 23 October 1885 sunk in collision near Wolf Rock. 1,366
Ben Cruachan (2) 1902 built by Ropner & Son, Stockton on Tyne | 30 January 1915 captured and sunk by German submarine U.21. 3,092
Ben Ledi (1) 1873 built by J. Laing & Sons, Sunderland | 1879 sold to W. & T.W. Pinkney renamed Runo, 18 December 1901 wrecked off Solvesborg. 1,107
Ben Ledi (2) 1884 built by J. Laing & Sons, Sunderland | 1902 sold to Vagliano Bros, Greece renamed Demetrios, 1914 sold to O. Dalman, Denmark renamed East, 1915 sold to Nordisk Fjerfabrik renamed Osten, 1925 sold to Gylfe renamed Hadsund, 1935 sold to Ove Skou renamed Jytte, 19 December 1939 mined and sunk near Souter Point with the loss of 10 lives. 1,916
Ben Lomond (1) 1871 built by J. Laing & Sons, Sunderland | 1902 sold to Denmark renamed Inger, 1906 wrecked. 1,171
Ben Lomond (2) 1906 built by Wm Gray & Co Ltd, Sunderland | 1918 sold renamed Turnbridge (registered but not yet effected before loss), 08 July 1918 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine near Daunts Rock, with the loss of 23 lives. 2,814
Ben More 1860 built by J. Laing & Sons, Sunderland | ex- Samson, 1874 purchased renamed Ben More, 1898 scrapped. 1,363
Ben Nevis 1872 built by J. Laing & Sons, Sunderland | 1899 sold to G. Elsmie, Aberdeen not renamed, 1901 sold to Hollandsche Stoomboot Maatschappij, Amsterdam renamed Vreede, 20 August 1903 sunk in collision at Newport. 1,003
Ben Venue 1877 built by J. Laing & Sons, Sunderland | 1902 sold to M.H. Tantavizade, Turkey renamed Angora or Ankara, 1909 sold to H.K. Kadir renamed Hilal, 15 May 1915 sunk by gunfire at Eregli. 1,515
Ben Voirlich 1877 built by J. Laing & Sons, Sunderland | 1902 sold to M.H. Tantavizade, Turkey renamed Konia or Konya, 1909 sold to A. Triandaphilide, Greece renamed Tharos, 1914 sold to S. Atychides et al renamed Teheran, 01 January 1916 sunk in collision in Gibraltar Strait. 1,506
Cheldale 1925 built by J. Priestman & Co., Southwick | 17 February 1940 sunk in collision near Durban. 4,218
Eastlea 1924 built by J. Priestman & Co., Southwick | 30 March 1941 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.48 in North Atlantic. 4,267
Farndale 1928 built by J. Priestman & Co., Southwick | 03 March 1940 lost by fire at Takoradi. 4,222
Fernlea 1925 built by J. Priestman & Co., Southwick | 1927 sold to J. Ridley, Son & Tully renamed Newton Pine, 16 October 1942 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.704. 4,212
Gaunless 1925 built by J. Priestman & Co., Southwick | ex- Boreas, 1933 purchased from Torp & Wiese renamed Gaunless, 1937 sold to F. Nichols & Son renamed Ulea, 28 October 1941 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.432. (Rowher), 1947 sold to A.H. Vang renamed Inger, 1955 sold to USSR renamed Kharlov, 1970 deleted from Register. 1,381
Glenlea 1930 built by J. Priestman & Co., Southwick | 07 November 1942 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.566 with the loss of 44 lives. 4,252
Holmelea 1928 built by J. Priestman & Co., Southwick | 28 February 1941 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.47 with the loss of 28 lives. 4,223
John Morrison 1883 built by J. Laing & Sons, Sunderland | 26 January 1904 sunk in collision near Constantinople. 1,920
Nestlea 1921 built by J. Priestman & Co., Southwick | 18 November 1940 bombed and sunk. 4,274
Sportsman 1881 built by Palmers & Co. Ltd., Newcastle on Tyne | ex- Sportsman, 1894 purchased from W.J.Jobling, not renamed, 1900 sold to Robertson, Mackie, Glasgow not renamed, 1903 renamed Netherby, 1907 sold renamed Mikhail, 1908 deleted from Register. 1,897
Stornest 1921 built by J. Priestman & Co., Southwick | ex- Stornes, 1922 purchased from J. Priestman & Co., Southwick renamed Stornest, 12 October 1942 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.706 and lost with whole crew. 4,252
Thornlea 1929 built by J. Priestman & Co., Southwick | 02 September 1940 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.46 with the loss of 3 lives. 4,261
Tweed 1872 built by J. Laing & Sons, Sunderland | ex- Tweed, 1875 purchased from J. Laing & Sons, Sunderland, 1897 sold to Italy renamed Maria Vittoria. 1,304
Waverley 1901 built by Wm Gray & Co Ltd, Sunderland | 1917 sold to Imperial Russian Navy, Russia renamed Tze, 1918 to USSR Government (Baltic SS Co.) renamed Krasnoye Znamya, 1960 deleted from Register. 2,292
Westlea 1924 built by J. Priestman & Co., Southwick | 1927 sold to J. Ridley, Son & Tully renamed Newton Elm, 1937 sold to J. German & Co. renamed Becheville, 09 June 1944 scuttled at Normandy 4,218

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