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The Fleets

J. A. Billmeir / Stanhope Steamship Co.

Jack Billmeir formed the Stanhope SS Co. in London in 1934. The company started with two small second hand coasters and rapidly expanded. In 1936 the company became heavily involved in carrying cargo to Republican ports during the Spanish Civil War and made huge profits from this enterprise. Ships were also involved in carrying refugees from Spain to France and Morocco. (see )
Billmeir was an astute businessman and many of his ships made just the one voyage, generally to Spain and were then sold at a profit. After the end of the war in Spain, Billmeirs' ships were banned from Spanish ports by the Nationalist Government but by the outbreak of WWII, the company owned 16 ships. The smaller ships were engaged in coastal trades and the larger ones mostly to the River Plate. More vessels were acquired during the war, but losses were heavy and 17 ships were sunk. Jack Billmeir died in 1963 and the company was sold.

Many thanks to 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.



Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Dunkeld 1937 1944 purchased from Lomond Shipping Co., Glasgow, 1945 renamed Stankeld, 1951 sold to Westralian Farmers Transport Ltd renamed Swanbrook. 4,956
Elstead 1943 ex- Harperley, 1955 purchased from J & C. Harrison, London renamed Elstead, 1959 scrapped. 7,061
Framlington Court 1924 1944 purchased from Court Line, London, 1945 renamed Stancourt, 1952 sold to Lansdowne & Co., Hong Kong renamed Landscape. 5,026
Jersey Hart 1943 1944 purchased from Morel Ltd, Cardiff, 1945 renamed Stanpark, 1951 sold to T. Dunlop & Sons, Glasgow renamed Queen Eleanor, 1956 sold to Douglas SS Co., Hong Kong renamed Inchdouglas, 1970 scrapped. 7,275
Kenwood 1912 ex- New Londoner, 1936 purchased from Tyne-Tees SS Co. renamed Kenwood, 1936 sold to Sodeco Soc. Anon, Panama renamed Janu. 1,374
Lexamine 1946 cadet training ship, 1954 sold to E. Victory, Gibraltar. 129
Parracombe 1928 1940 purchased from Pyman Bros, West Hartlepool, 6th May 1941 bombed and sunk by Italian aircraft off Malta. 4,698
Queen of the Bay 1919 1938 purchased from Blackpool S.N. Co., 1938 sold to Atlamer SS Line, Paris. 783
Raby Castle 1925 1942 purchased from Lancashire Shipping Co., 1945 renamed Stanhall, 1951 sold to Wallem & Co., Hong Kong renamed Ami, 1956 sold Japan renamed Hisakawa Maru, 1962 scrapped. 4,996
Sheaf Spear 1919 1937 purchased from Sheaf Steam Shipping Co., Newcastle, 1937 sold to Cie France-Navigation, France renamed Bougaron I, 1942 seized by Italy renamed Modena, 1943 bombed and sunk at Palermo. 3,050
Stanbank 1942 5th May 1942 torpedoed and sunk by U.103 while SE of New York ; loss of 9 lives. 5,966
Stanbell 1943 ex- Empire Beresford, 1943 managed for MOWT by J. A.. Billmeir, 1945 purchased from MOWT renamed Stanbell, 1955 rebuilt to 10,341 tons, 1960 sold to Malaya Shipping Co., London renamed Kelantan, 1965 scrapped. 9,804
Stanbridge 1917 ex- Ch. N. Kahan, 1937 purchased from Europaische Tanklager, Germany renamed Stanbridge, 1939 sold to Europaische Tankreederei, Hamburg renamed Eurofeld, 1944 scuttled at St. Nazaire. 5,863
Stanbrook 1909 ex- Lancer, 1937 purchased from Fisher Renwick renamed Stanbrook, 1937 sold to G. M. Mavroleon, Greece renamed Polyfloisvios, 1937 repurchased by Billmeir reverted to Stanbrook, 18th Nov. 1939 mined and sunk in North Sea with loss of all hands ; loss of 21 lives. 1,383
Stanburgh 1912 ex- Dunstanburgh, 1938 purchased from Tyne-Tees Steam Shipping Co. renamed Stanburgh, 4th Nov. 1938 abandoned after explosion while loading petrol at Sete. 1,095
Stanburn (1) 1924 ex- Hebburn, 1938 purchased from W.A. Souter & Co., Newcastle renamed Stanburn, 29th Jan. 1940 bombed and sunk by German aircraft off Flamborough Head ; loss of 25 lives. 2,881
Stanburn (2) 1919 ex- Coity Castle, 1946 purchased from Salvage Association after grounding damage renamed Stanburn, 27th Oct. 1946 sank after striking submerged object in Mediterranean. 2,767
Stanburn (3) 1951 1954 sold to U.S.S.R renamed Zapoljarje, 1979 scrapped. 5,575
Stancleeve 1942 1951 sold to Skibs A/S Preba, Norway renamed Akera, 1961 scrapped. 5,970
Stancliffe (1) 1914 ex- Drakelow, 1937 purchased from Drakelow SS Co. renamed Stancliffe, 1938 sold to P. G. Cottaropoulas, Greece renamed Navarinon. 1,735
Stancliffe (2) 1936 ex- Huncliffe, 1940 purchased from Lambert Bros renamed Stancliffe, 12th Apr. 1940 torpedoed and sunk by U.37 off Scottish coast ; loss of 37 lives. 4,511
Stancliffe (3) 1941 ex- Empire Brook, 1946 purchased from MOWT renamed Stancliffe, 3rd Apr. 1947 abandoned after grounding near Sharpness Dock and sold to Cardiff for repairs, 1948 purchased by Newbigin SS Co. renamed Gripfast. 2,852
Stancloud 1958 1964 company taken over by George Nott, Coventry, sold to Panama renamed Panos, 1972 sold Greece renamed Evgenia K. Chimples, 1976 renamed Aepos, 1977 scrapped. 12,700
Stancor 1904 ex- Alburn, 1936 purchased from V. Zatorskis, Riga renamed Stancor, 5th Jun. 1940 shelled and sunk by U.48 in position 58.48N 08.45W. 790
Stancourt (1) 1907 ex- Douglas, 1937 purchased from London, Midland & Scottish Railway Co. renamed Stancourt, 1937 sold to G. M. Mavroleon, Greece renamed Nepheligeretis, 1938 renamed Hermes, 1938 renamed Suzy, 1938 renamed Ioanna, 1st Jun. 1940 shelled and sunk by U.37 west of Cape Finisterre. 950
Stancourt (2) 1909 ex- Oder, 1938 purchased from Leith, Hull & Hamburg S.P.Co. renamed Stancourt, 1939 sold to Panama renamed Inaki, 1942 bombed and sunk off Oporto. 965
Stancourt (3)   see Framlington Court.  
Stancrest 1920 ex- Sheldrake, 1937 purchased from General Steam Nav. Co., London renamed Stancrest, 27th Feb. 1937 left London for Bridgewater and went missing at sea. 462
Stancroft 1908 ex- Greenbatt, 1937 purchased from Newbigin SS Co., Newcastle renamed Stancroft, 1937 sold to G. M. Mavroleon, Greece renamed Neoptolemos, 1938 repurchased by Billmeir reverted to Stancroft, 27th Dec. 1938 bombed and sunk by Spanish aircraft, 1939 salvaged by Spanish and renamed Castillo Almansa, 1959 renamed Valira, 1967 scrapped. 1,407
Stancrown 1956 25th Dec. 1963 aground on Klaipeda, refloated and abandoned to salvors, 1964 sold to J.M. Ugland, Grimstad renamed Anette C. 8,002
Standale 1908 ex- St. Pierre, 1937 purchased from Soc.Navale de L'Ouest, France renamed Standale, 3rd Apr. 1937 abandoned and sank north of Leixoes, Portugal after grain cargo shifted. 2,456
Stanfield (1) 1892 ex- Trinidadian, 1937 purchased from Gulf Refining Co., USA renamed Stanfield, 1939 scrapped. 2,432
Stanfield (2) 1943 ex- Thamesfield, 1955 purchased from Hunting & Son, Newcastle renamed Stanfield, 1961 sold Hong Kong renamed August Moon, 1966 wrecked in South China Sea. 10,420
Stanfirth 1944 ex- HMS Beauly Firth, 1948 purchased from Royal Navy, converted for commercial use and renamed Stanfirth, 1961 sold to Lebanon renamed Akamas, 1966 sold Cyprus, 1968 renamed Skepsis, 1968 scrapped. 7,285
Stanfleet 1920 ex- Clan Robertson, 1938 purchased from Clan Line renamed Stanfleet, 1939 sold to Blue Star Line, London renamed Pacific Star, 27th Oct. 1942 torpedoed and sunk by U.509 off Canary Islands. 7,951
Stanford 1941 1952 sold to Scindia S.N. Co., Bombay renamed Jalamohan. 5,969
Stanforth 1915 ex- Foreland, 1937 purchased from Shipping & Coal Co., London renamed Stanforth, 17th Aug. 1945 wrecked Grundkallegrund. 1,817
Stangarth 1942 12th Mar.1942 torpedoed and sunk by Italian submarine Morosini in position 22.00N 65.00W with loss of all hands ; loss of 46 lives. 5,966
Stangate 1912 ex- Drakedene, 1937 purchased from Drakelow SS Co. renamed Stangate, 7th Dec. 1942 sank off The Wash after collision with Greek ship Agios Georgious. 1,289
Stanglen 1945 ex- Empire Chancellor, 1946 purchased from MOWT renamed Stanglen, 1952 sold to Tsavliris Shipping Co., London renamed Newminster, 1954 repurchased by Billmeir renamed Stanpark, 1959 resold to Tsavliris renamed Granny Suzanne, 1960 scrapped. 9,917
Stangrant 1912 ex- Clan Grant, 1939 purchased from Clan Line renamed Stangrant, 13th Oct. 1940 torpedoed and sunk by U.37 off St. Kilda ; loss of 8 lives. 5,817
Stangrove 1895 ex- Skinningrove, 1936 purchased from Pease & Partners, Middlesbrough renamed Stangrove, 6th Feb. 1939 captured by Spanish Nationalist Navy. 23rd Feb. 1939 wrecked at Palma, 1941 salvaged by Spain renamed Castilla del Oro, 1944 renamed Condestable, 1954 renamed Sotileza, 1955 renamed Mechelin, 1971 scrapped. 516
Stanhall (1) 1932 ex- Kepwickhall, 1938 purchased from West Hartlepool S.N. Co. renamed Stanhall, 30th May 1940 torpedoed and sunk by U.101 in position 48.59N 05.17W. ; loss of 1 life. 4,831
Stanhall (2)   see Raby Castle.  
Stanhill (1) 1900 ex- Eider, 1936 purchased from Union-Castle Mail SS Co. renamed Stanhill, 1937 sold to Stavron & Co., Greece renamed Eider. 1,236
Stanhill (2) 1942 11th May 1947 wrecked off Ivory Coast. 5,969
Stanholme (1) 1927 ex- Goleta, 1936 purchased from F. C. Strick & Co. renamed Stanholme, 25th Dec. 1939 mined and sunk off Bristol Channel ; loss of 13 lives. 2,473
Stanholme (2) 1945 ex- Sheepshead Bay Victory, 1947 purchased from U.S. Maritime Commission renamed Stanholme, 1947 sold to P & O Line renamed Karmala, 1967 scrapped. 7,674
Stanhope (1) 1920 ex- Sandhill, 1934 purchased from Tyne-Tees SS Co. renamed Stanhope, 1937 sold to Northern Coasters Ltd, Newcastle renamed Northern Firth. 505
Stanhope (2) 1919 ex- Corwen, 1937 purchased from Cory Colliers Ltd renamed Stanhope, 1950 sold to Schulte & Bruns, Germany renamed Elise Schulte, 1957 scrapped. 2,337
Stanhope (3) 1951 1954 sold to U.S.S.R renamed Sovetskaya Arktika, 1985 scrapped. 6,034
Stankeld   see Dunkeld.  
Stanlake 1923 ex- Mortlake, 1938 purchased from Watts, Watts & Co., London renamed Stanlake, 14th Apr. 1943 torpedoed and sunk by German E-Boat off Lizard Head. 1,742
Stanland (1) 1912 ex- Borderland, 1938 purchased from Leith, Hull & Hamburg S.P.Co. renamed Stanland, 1940 sold to the Admiralty for use as an ammunition hulk, 1951 scrapped. 1,753
Stanland (2) 1919 ex- Empire Ortolan, 1946 purchased from MOWT renamed Stanland, 1949 sold Panama renamed Alma, 1953 scrapped. 4,970
Stanland (3) 1942 ex- Beatus, 1955 purchased from W. H. Seager, Cardiff renamed Stanland, 1963 scrapped. 7,162
Stanleigh 1912 ex- Prekla, 1937 purchased from T. N. Epiphaniades renamed Stanleigh, 14th Mar. 1941 bombed and sunk in Irish Sea by German aircraft ; loss of 17 lives. 1,802
Stanloch 1944 ex- Vivien Louise, 1955 purchased from Stevenson Hardy & Co., London renamed Stanloch, 1959 scrapped. 9,912
Stanlodge 1943 1952 sold to Bharat Line, Bombay renamed Bharatvijaya, 1963 scrapped. 5,977
Stanmore (1) 1918 ex- Wooler, 1934 purchased from Tyne-Tees SS Co. renamed Stanmore, 1937 sold to John S. Monks, Liverpool renamed Stanville. 700
Stanmore (2) 1920 ex- Mambika, 1937 purchased from Cie Africaine de Nav., Antwerp renamed Stanmore, 1937 sold to Cie France-Navigation, France renamed Guilvinec. Feb. 1941 torpedoed and sunk by HMS TIGRIS, 60 miles west of Saint Nazaire. 3,222
Stanmore (3) 1919 ex- Morna, 1937 purchased from London & Edinburgh Shipping Co. renamed Stanmore, 1937 sold to G. M. Mavroleon, Greece renamed Naukratouse, 1938 sold Panama renamed Virginia. 1,387
Stanmore (4) 1912 ex- Arracan, 1938 purchased from British & Burmese S.N. Co. renamed Stanmore, 1939 sold to E. Grounds, Riga, 1947 wrecked Bordeaux. 5,525
Stanmore (5) 1940 1st Oct.1943 torpedoed by U.223 in Mediterranean, beached and total loss. 4,970
Stanmore (6) 1945 ex- Mahanoy City Victory, 1947 purchased from U.S. Maritime Commission renamed Stanmore, 1947 sold to P & O Line renamed Khyber, 1964 sold to Liberia renamed Comet Victory, 1968 renamed Ocean Comet, 1969 scrapped. 7,675
Stanmore (7) 1945 ex- Fort Jupiter, 1947 purchased from U.S. Maritime Commission renamed Stanmore, 1960 scrapped. 10,708
Stanmount 1914 ex- Bratton, 1937 purchased from Stevenson, Hardy & Co. renamed Stanmount, 24th Dec. 1941 mined and sunk off Great Yarmouth. 4,468
Stanpark (1) 1937 ex- Haughton Hall, 1940 purchased from Dunn Shipping Co., Liverpool renamed Stanpark, 19th Jan.1941 captured and sunk by German battleship Admiral Scheer. 5,103
Stanpark (2)   see Jersey Hart.  
Stanpark (3)   see Stanglen.  
Stanpool 1954 1954 sold to U.S.S.R renamed Bogdan Khmelnitskiy, 1993 scrapped. 7,347
Stanray 1904 ex- Hansa, 1937 purchased from Union-Castle Mail SS Co. renamed Stanray, 1938 scrapped. 880
Stanrealm 1944 1960 sold to Liberty Shipping Co., Hong Kong renamed Fortune Glory, 1963 scrapped. 7,062
Stanridge 1943 1952 sold to Scindia S.N. Co., Bombay renamed Jalajyoti. 5,975
Stanrock 1910 ex- Castro, 1937 purchased from Ellerman Wilson Line renamed Stanrock, 1937 sold to A. Davaris, Panama renamed Lydia. 1,105
Stanroyal 1929 ex- Isar, 1948 purchased from North German Lloyd, Bremen renamed Stanroyal, 1952 sold to Turkey renamed Haran, 1959 renamed Necip Ipar, 1965 scrapped. 9,136
Stanthorpe (1) 1915 ex- Kambole, 1937 purchased from Barry Shipping Co., Cardiff renamed Stanthorpe, 1938 sold to O. E. Bertin, China renamed Yolande Bertin. 4,524
Stanthorpe (2) 1944 ex- Samskern, 1947 purchased from MOWT renamed Stanthorpe, 1949 sold to Larrinaga SS Co., Liverpool renamed Domingo de Larrinaga. 7,242
Stanthorpe (3) 1944 ex- Navarina, 1955 purchased from Eastern Seas SS Co., London renamed Stanthorpe, 1961 sold to Mullion & Co., Hong Kong renamed Ardbrae, 1966 scrapped. 7,033
Stanvale 1957 1957 sold to Denmark renamed Dorothea Basse, 1962 sold Roumania renamed Pace, 1964 renamed Prahova, 1987 renamed Pace, 1991 scrapped. 12,349
Stanway 1942 ex- Empire Record, 1946-48 managed for MOWT, 1948 purchased from MOWT renamed Stanway, 1951 sold to Comben Longstaff & Co., London renamed Yorkbrook. 2,902
Stanwear 1956 1964 company taken over by George Nott, Coventry, 1966 renamed Lady Era, 1968 sold to Greece, 1977 wrecked off Port Cartier. 8,108
Stanwell (1) 1914 ex- Stockwell, 1938 purchased from T & J. Brocklebank Ltd, Liverpool renamed Stanwell, 1944 to MOWT and sunk as blockship at Normandy beachhead. 5,757
Stanwell (2) 1945 ex- Fort Cheswell, 1947 purchased from U.S. Maritime Commission renamed Stanwell, 1959 sold to T. S. Bendizen, Norway renamed Landbreeze. 10,722
Stanwold 1909 ex- Easingwold, 1937 purchased from Atkinson & Prickett Ltd, Hull renamed Stanwold, 27th Feb. 1941 sank off Brighton with all hands ; loss of 21 lives. 1,019
Stanwood 1915 ex- Hesione, 1937 purchased from Houston Line renamed Stanwood, 10th Dec. 1939 sank in Falmouth Roads after cargo fire. 4,158
Welcombe 1930 1940 purchased from Pyman Bros, West Hartlepool, 4th Apr. 1941 torpedoed and sunk by U.98 in Atlantic. 5,122
Westbay 1936 ex- Nurnberg (North German Lloyd), 1945 seized by Royal Navy as depot ship, 1948 sold to Irish Bay Lines, Belfast renamed Dundalk Bay, 1957 purchased by Billmeir renamed Westbay, 1962 scrapped. 5,579
Westbrook 1942 ex- Alan Evelyn, 1955 purchased from Stevenson Hardy & Co., London renamed Westbrook, 1960 scrapped. 8,137
Westford 1941 ex- Paris City, 1954 purchased from Reardon Smith & Sons, Cardiff renamed Westford, 1957 sold Liberia renamed Severn River. 7,084

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