8th November 1950

SS Seniority sinks after running aground

The steam ship Seniority was launched in 1942 by the Ministry of War Transport department, initially as the Empire Boswell. She was renamed Aviswell after the war, under which name she operated until her second name change – this time to Seniority – in 1949. The following year, she ran aground off Barra Island, in the Outer Hebrides, on 7 November and, the next day, she sank.

Grounded in a gale

Seniority was a 2900-ton cargo ship, being operated by a crew of 30 when she ran aground during a gale. En route for Norway, she struck a rock at around 10pm, but the crew wasn’t taken off until lunchtime on the 8th. Although she was refloated, her reprise was only temporary, and she was lost later that night.

SS Seniority still lies in her final resting position, at a depth of 16 metres, and the wreck is now an attraction for divers.

Wartime service

The ship had been built by William Gray and Company in West Hartlepool and, upon completion, was just over 96 metres long. She took part in convoy work during the Second World War, running the gauntlet of German submarines to keep Britain supplied with food, which it brought across the north Atlantic from Canada and the United States.

When the Ministry of War had no further need of her, she was sold to the Aviation and Shipping Company, but changed hands again – to FT Everard and Company – prior to her sinking.



Other events that occured in November

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