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Description

The AGUILA was a steamship (or liner) built by Caledon Ship Building and Engineering Co, Dundee, in 1909. The image above is the shipbuilders 'General Arrangement Plan' showing the various compartments for passengers, cargo and machinery in side view. The plan at the bottom of the image shows the various features of the main deck with its cabins.

The AGUILA was one of several vessels built for the Yeoward Line Ltd for their fruit importation and passener service between Liverpool, Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands. At time of loss, the AGUILA was on passage from Liverpool to Lisbon and Los Palmas under the command of Captain Bannerman.

At 6pm on 27 March 1915, the AGUILA began to be chased by the German submarine U28 (Baron von Forstner) off Pembrokeshire. The AGUILA at once increased her engine revolutions to full speed, but was soon overtaken. U-28 fired a single shot across the bow of the AGUILA forcing the steamship to stop. AGUILA then lowered her lifeboats. The first of these to touch the water capsized, drowning one female passenger and a stewardess. The enemy continued to shell the vessel, the Chief Engineer and two men being killed by shrapnel. In all, 20 shells hit the ship before the enemy fired a single torpedo which caused the vessel to break in two and sink.

Eight lives were lost. The survivors were picked up by the steamship ST STEPHEN and the trawler OTTILIE to be landed at Fishguard and Milford Haven

The crewmen commemorated on the Lutyens-designed memorial for Merchant Navy seaman and fishermen at Tower Hill, London, are as follows:

R A Chantler, Boatswain;
Ernest Chard, Second Mate;
William George Edwards, Chief Engineer;
Martha Emily Jenkins, Stewardess;
Mathew Kirkman, Donkeyman;
J Peterson, Able Seaman.

https://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/archive/

Cut and past this link into your www browser to discover how the loss was reported in Welsh local papers:

http://welshnewspapers.llgc.org.uk/en/page/view/4121224/ART78

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