And how the owners must have struggled to do what they did - working every daylight hour, at work both hard and physical, with a doubtful return when the vessel was sold, as hopefully it was. The webmaster has read an anecdotal reference to the Laing brothers, Philip and John, which illustrates the point. 24, 1923, the vessel was sold to 'Chai Lai Fong', of Shanghai, China, & that it was broken up at Shanghai. Per 1 [Bullard King, Umtata (2)], 2 (related ephemera), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 102.3 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, 335.5 ft. (owned by the 'Europaische Petroleum Union', German owned), which company was acquired (maybe first seized by the British Government re WW1) by the British Tanker Company, formed in 1915 [much later British Tanker Co. He tried to sink another Hospital Ship, the Guildford Castle, but because of a dud torpedo and a misfire he failed in this endeavor.It is recorded here not in any way to disparage the Laings or to diminish in any way their amazing achievements. 100.6 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, speed of 13 knots. He was charged with war crimes, but fled Germany and never faced trial.
The increasing number of listings re Laing built vessels has already required a 2nd page - available here. After the U-55 went under he also headed for the only place he could, the Belgian Prince. Armed British four masted steamer, 4,800 tons, leaking out of ballast tanks. 1: Dampfer mit Sprengpatrone versenkt; vor Foxglove bis 9 h vm getaucht.(Steamer sunk with scuttling charges, dove at 9 a.m.
It would seem that the Laing shipbuilding story in Sunderland commences with two brothers. Philip (image at left) is of particular interest, (wife Sophia Lundy Laing). He got within a mile when he saw the Belgian Prince explode and sink. in front of Foxglove) Werner makes no mention of the name of the ship, or the fate of the crew.
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John Laing (c.1754-1829) and Philip Laing (c.1772-1854), quite a separation in birth dates! He is variously described as a yeoman farmer and ship-owner. The vessel was possibly picking up fuel from the French in Algeria. Silessi stated the U-boat fired two shots from her deck gun and the Belgian Prince sank stern first at about on Aug. Thirty-nine crewmen died in the North Atlantic, courtesy of Wilhelm Werner and the crew of the U-55, but what happened to the ship's master? Englischer bewaffneter Viermastendampfer, 4800ts, in Ballast auslaufend. He also makes no mention of taking the captain prisoner, a clearly evasive entry in the log of the boat to keep this crime a secret.
He was, I read, in fact trained as a medical doctor & went to sea as a surgeon. Do note that the reference to Sunderland above is quite important - because the family was also extensively involved with shipbuilding in South Shields, a matter beyond the purposes or objectives of these 'Sunderland' pages. However it would seem that in 1920, the vessel was rather sold to 'Cia Sud-Americana de Vapores', of Valparaiso, Chile, for a Valparaiso to New York service, & renamed Renaico. There seems to be very little WWW data about the vessel. It is unclear if Harry Hassan was brought back on deck or kept as a POW, but I have been told by a family member that he "was never seen or heard from again by his family". The KTB (Kriegstagebuch, in English War Diary) of the U-55 mentions little of the event;"July 31: Unterwasserangriff. In Germany the public was told that what the British press had reported was "A low calumny" and that "Nevertheless, it can be confidently asserted that the story of the German sailors taking the crew of the sunk ship on deck and then submerging and washing them into the sea can only be a low lie and calumny.
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Leon Kass, respected author, professor and bio-ethicist, puts words to our worst fears in this second excerpt from a three-part series. Reading romantic subtext into completely normal communication?