Every week we shine a light on a different object from our collections that you may not have seen before. This week we have a nameplate from the lifeboat of the S.S. Baron Nairn from which survivors were rescued by the S.S.Moyalla. The S.S. Baron Nairn was a steam merchant ship which was built in 1925 in Glasgow by Lithgow’s.
Photos Left: Nameplate from the lifeboat of the S.S. Baron Nairn kindly donated to GCM collection by Kenneth G. Kelly. Right: The S.S. Baron Nairn courtesy of the National Museum Wales.
The S.S. Baron Nairn sank after getting hit by a torpedo from a German U-boat (U-1908) off Cape Race, Newfoundland on June 8 1941. One of the forty crew on board died. The ship had been on voyage from Scotland to Nuevitas, Cuba at the time. Eighteen of the crew members were picked up by a Canadian boat named HMCS Chambly which landed at St. Johns in Newfoundland. However, the master and another twenty crew spent nineteen long days at sea in the lifeboat this sign originated from before they were rescued by the S.S. Moyalla and brought to Galway on 27 June 1941. The master John Kerr was awarded the Lloyd’s War Medal for bravery at sea after the ordeal.
The S.S. Moyalla was a Irish steam cargo ship built in 1927. It ran aground and was wrecked in February 1946 in dense fog at Black Rock , Galway Bay while on passage from Liverpool to Glasgow. Its cargo included Jamaican rum, barrels of tar and the first import of linoleum since WW2 ended. In a strange twist of fate the crew had to row into Galway city aboard their own lifeboats and all survived.
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