Previously mis-identified as the wreck being Rydal Hall, SS War Monarch was a 7,887 ton armed merchantship built in 1917 by the Union Iron Works, San Francisco and owned at the time of loss by the The Shipping Controller (managed by Cunard SS Company Ltd of London).

Union Iron Works Potrero Point, San Francisco California, Potrero Point Bethlehem Shipbilding Corporation
Union Iron Works Potrero Point, San Francisco California, Potrero Point Bethlehem Shipbilding Corporation dated 1918.

On this same day 14th February 1918 and alongside SS Carlisle Castle, being some 11 miles east from the Royal Sovereign lighthouse, The SS War Monarch was on a voyage from Hull to Italy with a cargo of coal, when she torpedoed without warning and sunk by submarine UB-57 under the command of Johannes Lohs with three losses of:

  • Davies, Kenneth (Fireman) aged 22
  • Mitchell, Edward Charles (Second Engineer) aged 32
  • Shaw, Frederick Charles (Greaser) aged 44
War Monarch Losses

Previously known as Rydal Hall, she was positively identified by David Ronnan and his partner from the dive boat dive125 as the War Monarch on August 21st 2011, with 100% certainty

Today the wreck is sitting in 35m. She is broken into three sections, the small bow area is very tight to penetrate and has given up its small and unnamed bell. However the letters WAR MON are still visible on the bow before the break.

"Dived the wreck at this position on 25/8/2011 that we have always known as the Rydal Hall Myself and my partner Sylvia both saw the partial name on the port side of the bow just behind the anchor as WAR MON the bow then brakes away and the rest of the name has gone. This leads us to believe the wreck is actually the WAR MONARCH which sank 14/02/1918 an armed 7887 ton vessel carrying coal. The prop has been salvaged as presumably the steam turbine engine."

Data

  • Nationality: British
  • Cause Lost: Torpedo
  • Date Lost: 14/02/1918
  • Casualties: 3
  • Route: Hull – Italy
  • Cargo: Coal

Dive It

  • Minium Depth: 32m
  • Maximum Depth: 40m
  • Latitude: 50°44.926’N
  • Longitude: 00°44.667’E
  • Get There: Dive 125