What ship lost carrying 100 kW Transmitter to Singapore

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Fatboy Coxy
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What ship lost carrying 100 kW Transmitter to Singapore

Post by Fatboy Coxy »

Hi all, I'm trying to identify the name of the ship which was lost carrying a 100 kW short wave transmitter from the UK to Singapore. The Transmitter was made by the Marconi Company in Chelmsford, and the ship was lost in 'late 1940'.

To help identify what the ship was, can anyone name what convoy she might have sailed in, and where it might have dispersed. I know some only went as far as Freetown, but most probably arriving in South Africa, she would have left a convoy at Durban or Capetown. But I'm not sure how far they were convoying in the autumn of 1940. The other possibility is she was a fast ship sailing independently from the UK.
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RF
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Re: What ship lost carrying 100 kW Transmitter to Singapore

Post by RF »

Where is the information about this transmitter being transported coming from?

The Alfred Holt ship Automedon was captured by KMS Atlantis in the Indian Ocean on 11 November 1940 along with its secret mails addressed to the C in C Singapore, however no mention made of a radio transmitter, if this is the ship you are referring to.
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Fatboy Coxy
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Re: What ship lost carrying 100 kW Transmitter to Singapore

Post by Fatboy Coxy »

Hi RF, well the Automedon might have carried the transmitter, but I think that would have been mentioned, so I think it unlikely.

The info is taken from http://www.radioheritage.net/column8.asp, under the chapter title, Jurong Transmitting Station. To quote " A new 100 kW shortwave transmitter was shipped out from Chelmsford in England, but it was lost at sea when the supply ship was torpedoed and sunk".

The only factory capable of manufacturing a transmitter of that size in Chelmsford, is the Marconi Company at its New Street Works.

Rechecking my notes, I'm unable to find the note that said the ship was lost in "late 1940", but it would have to be between September 1940 to about the summer of 1941.
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RF
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Re: What ship lost carrying 100 kW Transmitter to Singapore

Post by RF »

Fatboy Coxy wrote: Wed Mar 01, 2023 8:40 pm ..... but it was lost at sea when the supply ship was torpedoed and sunk".
Sounds to me as being sunk by a U-boat in the Atlantic.

Automedon was sunk by scuttling charges not torpedo after being thoroughly looted by the Atlantis, any capture of a radio would have been documented.
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Fatboy Coxy
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Re: What ship lost carrying 100 kW Transmitter to Singapore

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RF wrote: Thu Mar 02, 2023 8:34 am
Fatboy Coxy wrote: Wed Mar 01, 2023 8:40 pm ..... but it was lost at sea when the supply ship was torpedoed and sunk".
Sounds to me as being sunk by a U-boat in the Atlantic.

Automedon was sunk by scuttling charges not torpedo after being thoroughly looted by the Atlantis, any capture of a radio would have been documented.
Hi RF, agree. Identifying the ship is a major challenge, unless someone, somewhere, knows more.
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Re: What ship lost carrying 100 kW Transmitter to Singapore

Post by RF »

Best shot would be to go to the Marconi museum archives and try to find out what records are there regarding transhipment of the radio, once the contracted ship name is identified it can be looked up in the Lloyds shipping registry (assuming the ship was British).
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Re: What ship lost carrying 100 kW Transmitter to Singapore

Post by Fatboy Coxy »

RF wrote: Thu Mar 02, 2023 7:36 pm Best shot would be to go to the Marconi museum archives and try to find out what records are there regarding transhipment of the radio, once the contracted ship name is identified it can be looked up in the Lloyds shipping registry (assuming the ship was British).
Hi RF, thank you for this, I've not found a direct Marconi museum, but I have emailed a couple that have collections, whether they would have details of the New Works factory is another matter I'm afraid.
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Re: What ship lost carrying 100 kW Transmitter to Singapore

Post by RF »

Fatboy Coxy wrote: Fri Mar 03, 2023 3:30 pm
RF wrote: Thu Mar 02, 2023 7:36 pm Best shot would be to go to the Marconi museum archives and try to find out what records are there regarding transhipment of the radio, once the contracted ship name is identified it can be looked up in the Lloyds shipping registry (assuming the ship was British).
Hi RF, thank you for this, I've not found a direct Marconi museum, but I have emailed a couple that have collections, whether they would have details of the New Works factory is another matter I'm afraid.
There is a UK Marconi museum, though I don't have any details beyond the references in the articles you have linked.

Another thought has occured to me - did Marconi or the ship owner make a War Loss insurance claim for the transmitter, if there was a claim it would go through Lloyds of London insurance underwriters. There might be details in the Marconi archives, the claim particulars would identify the ship.
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