British Steam merchant
|Completed||1914 - Workman, Clark & Co Ltd, Belfast|
|Owner||Alfred Holt & Co, Liverpool|
|Date of attack||17 Feb 1940||Nationality: British|
|Fate||Sunk by U-37 (Werner Hartmann)|
|Position||44° 02'N, 10° 18'W - Grid BF 7542|
|Complement||86 (8 dead and 78 survivors).|
|Route||Glasgow - Liverpool (12 Feb) - Gibraltar - Manila|
|Cargo||4000 tons of general cargo, including whisky, golf clubs and embroidery|
|History||Completed in November 1914 |
|Notes on event|
At 15.53 hours on 17 Feb 1940 the Pyrrhus (Master William Thomas Spencer), a straggler from station #51 in convoy OG-18, was hit on the starboard side at #5 hatch by one torpedo from U-37 about 84 miles north-northwest of Cape Finisterre. She was the ship of the vice-commodore Vice-Admiral Alfred E. Evans, CB, OBE, RN and was about to rejoin convoy after having spent all day rounding up ships from convoy that had lost touch during a gale the previous night. The explosion broke the ship in two, causing the after part of about 160 feet to sink immediately. Eight Chinese crew members were lost. The master, 72 crew members (the ship was armed with one 4in and one 12pdr gun), the vice-commodore and his staff of four naval ratings abandoned ship in three boats in heavy sea and swell about 20 minutes after the hit. Three stragglers were following the ship and two of them, the British steam merchants Uskside and Sinnington Court stopped despite the danger of being torpedoed themselves, picked up the survivors and landed them at Gibraltar. The wreck of Pyrrhus was left adrift and eventually foundered two days later.
|On board||We have details of 13 people who were on board.|
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