top of page


Launched Date:




Yard No:



Steel screw passenger/cargo steamer
Fate - SS Britannia 1885 had the dubious distinction of sinking twice, the first time she sunk after a collision with SS Bear in 1891 off St Abbs Head, she was salvaged and ironically she was repaired and returned to working service by the shipyard of R&F which was based right next door to S&H Morton shipyards.

Her second sinking is here re-told by the diving club that has dived on her wreck many times - On a foggy morning in the Farne Islands, September 1915 the SS Britannia ran aground. She was on a trip from Newcastle to Leith and hit ‘the Callers’ early morning on the 25th of September.
Word was sent to Seahouses of the wreck and the lifeboat dispatched. It was hoped that the Britannia might re-float on the next tide; however, it soon became apparent that this would not be the case owing to the amount of water in her holds. The lifeboat took off Captain Halerow, 19 crew, and 2 passengers and she was abandoned.
It is not clear exactly what her cargo was at the time of the sinking, whatever it was she was quickly relieved of it by local fishermen who report they had found nothing but boots, all of which were ‘left’.

You can read a lot more about all the early Leith Built Ships in my book Leith-Built Ships Vol. I, They Once Were Shipbuilders

bottom of page