SS Empire Clough

Empire Clough was a 6,147 GRT cargo ship which was built in 1942 by John Readhead & Sons Ltd, South Shields for the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). She was torpedoed and sunk on her maiden voyage.

Launch of the cargo ship Empire Clough at the shipyard of John Readhead & Sons Ltd, South Shields, 2 April 1942
Name: Empire Clough
Owner: Ministry of War Transport
Operator: Larringa Steamship Co Ltd
Port of registry: South Shields
Builder: John Readhead & Sons Ltd[1]
Yard number: 527
Launched: 2 April 1942
Completed: June 1942
Out of service: 10 June 1942
  • Code Letters BDVX
  • United Kingdom Official Number 168655
Fate: Torpedoed and sunk
General characteristics
Class and type: Cargo ship
Length: 405 ft 8 in (123.65 m)
Beam: 53 ft 5 in (16.28 m)
Depth: 32 ft 8 in (9.96 m)
Installed power: Triple expansion steam engine
Propulsion: Screw propellor
Crew: 43, plus 6 DEMS gunners
Location of the sinking of Empire Clough.


The ship was built by John Readhead & Sons Ltd, South Shields as yard number 527.[2] She was launched on 2 April 1942 and completed in June 1942.[3]

The ship was 405 feet 8 inches (123.65 m) long, with a beam of 53 feet 6 inches (16.31 m) and a depth of 32 feet 8 inches (9.96 m). She had a GRT of 6,147 and a NRT of 4,251.[4]

The ship was propelled by a triple expansion steam engine, which had cylinders of 23 12 inches (60 cm), 37 12 inches (95 cm) and 68 inches (170 cm) diameter by 48 inches (120 cm) stroke. The engine was built by Foster, Yates & Thompson Ltd, Blackburn.[4]


Empire Clough was built for the Ministry of War Transport and placed under the management of the Larringa Steamship Co Ltd. Her port of registry was South Shields and she was allocated the Code Letters BDVX and United Kingdom Official Number 168655.[4]

On her maiden voyage, Empire Clough was a member of Convoy ON 100, which departed from Loch Ewe on 2 June 1942 bound for Boston and New York. At 03:40 on 10 June 1942, Empire Clough was torpedoed by U-94 with the loss of five crew. The ship was abandoned, with the 44 survivors being rescued by HMS Dianthus and the Portuguese trawler Argus. They were landed at St John's, Newfoundland and in Greenland respectively.[5] Empire Clough sank at 51°50′N 35°00′W.[3] Those lost on Empire Clough are commemorated at the Tower Hill Memorial, London.[6]


  1. "SS Empire Clough (1942)". Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  2. "John Readhead's Shipyard - 1909 to 1968". John Bage. Archived from the original on 4 August 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2010.
  3. Mitchell, W H, and Sawyer, L A (1995). The Empire Ships. London, New York, Hamburg, Hong Kong: Lloyd's of London Press Ltd. ISBN 1-85044-275-4.
  4. "LLOYD'S REGISTER, STEAMERS & MOTORSHIPS" (PDF). Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 24 April 2010.
  5. "Empire Clough". U-boat. Retrieved 24 April 2010.
  6. "Ship Index A-F". Brian Watson. Retrieved 20 May 2011.

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