Frank Berry Williams (#412), Engineer on The Eastway.
Frank Berry Williams served
as an engineer in the Merchant Navy during the First World War. He was
on the steamer SS Bellbank when it was sunk by the German submarine UC-67
on 7th September 1918, as detailed below. Thanks to the www.mared.com
web site for this information.
steamer BELLBANK ex
ex Kirby Bank ex
Lustleigh, torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean 25 miles S.S.W. from
Planier Island, Gulf of Lions in position 42.48N 05.08E by the German
submarine UC-67 whilst on a voyage from Algiers to Spezia with general
cargo. 1 lost. (
& Co., Hull, Bell Lines, Ltd., 3.250 grt/1901).
He also served on the
For his service on the merchant vessels during the First World War,
Frank was listed on
Roll of the
and awarded the
as shown below.
Frank drowned at sea on 22nd October 1926 while serving as an engineer on the The Eastway.
The following notes on The Eastway are as supplied from members of the Maritime History List.
The Eastway was a steel screw steamer, laid down as Pentland Grange for
Furness Withy & Co Ltd.
She was launched as Krasnoiarsk for the Russian Volunteer Fleet
Association, Archangel, on September 1915 at Yard No.224 by
Northumberland S.B. Co., Ltd., Newcastle.
5812ft girth, 400ft length, 52ft beam. Triple expansion engine.
1918. The Shipping Controller (Royal Mail Steam Packet Co., London) Off
1923. Eastway. St Mary Steamship Co., Ltd. (Williams Bro's (Cardiff)
22nd October 1926. Foundered in a hurricane in Lat. 31.25N, Long.
64.15W, on passage from Hampton Roads to Pernambuco with a cargo of
The Eastway left Norfolk Virginia for Pernambuco on 18th October 1926,
with 7500 tons of cargo coal & 1761 tons of bunker coal, being
overloaded by an estimated 141 tons.
She was commanded by Captain J.H. Vanstone and carried a crew of 35
On 21st the ship received a wireless message that a hurricane was
approaching, but it was assumed by the ships officers they would only
pass through the fringes.
This proved to be wrong and by the 22nd she was hit by the hurricane,
had her hatch covers ripped off and developed a list. The master while
supervising the fitting of fresh hatch covers was swept overboard.
At 5.38 p.m. on the 22nd - the vessel having a 15degree list - an SOS
was sent giving the vessels position as 31.25N, 64.15W.
At 7.00 p.m. the EASTWAY turned on her beam end and sank with 22
members of her crew.
The third mate Mr Davey, the only surviving officer, and eleven men
were picked up by the steamer Luciline at noon the following day.
The above from:
"Dictionary of Disasters at Sea" by C. Hocking.
World Ship Society,
The sinking of The Eastway and the resulting charge against the owner were
covered by The Times newspaper and transcripts
of these articles are available in pdf format. The Board of Trade
enquiry is held by The National Archives.