If you have found the information on these pages useful, you might like to contribute to the costs involved (this money comes directly to me)
Or you may wish to give to one of these charities that are close to my heart - please tell them how you found them, if donating this way

SS City of Nagur Ship1

?, #18335, b. 30 May 1922, d. 29 April 1941
Last Edited: 17 Jun 2022
  • (Child) Birth*: SS City of Nagur Ship was born on 30 May 1922 at Belfast, N Ireland, ; Name     City of Nagpur
    Operator     Ellerman Lines Ltd, London
    Port of registry     Glasgow
    Builder     Workman, Clark and Company, Belfast
    Launched     30 May 1922
    Completed     September 1922

    UK official number 146310
    code letters KMRV (until 1933)
    ICS Kilo.svgICS Mike.svgICS Romeo.svgICS Victor.svg
    Call sign GJLP (1934 onwards)
    ICS Golf.svgICS Juliet.svgICS Lima.svgICS Papa.svg.2
  • (Deceased) Death*: SS City of Nagur Ship died on 29 April 1941 at West of Valentia Island, Ireland, , at age 18 Sinking

    Her final voyage was intended to take her from Glasgow to Karachi, via Freetown, Natal and Bombay. Passengers included families of RAF personnel stationed in the then Southern Rhodesia under the Empire Air Training Scheme. She was armed with a 4-inch gun, a 12-pounder, one Bofors, two Hotchkiss, two Savage Lewis machine guns and two PAC rockets. Her Master was David Llewellyn Lloyd and she was carrying 468 people and 2,184 tons of general cargo. She was travelling unescorted.

    On 28 April she and the RFA Brown Ranger were sighted sailing west of Valentia Island, Ireland by the German submarine U-75 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Helmuth Ringelmann. U-75 attacked City of Nagpur at 0608 hours, and the Brown Ranger at 1314 hours but missed on both occasions. At 0100 hours in the morning of 29 April the U-boat fired another torpedo at City of Nagpur, which hit her in the engine room on her starboard side. Her location was 52°30'N, 26° W. Both wireless sets were damaged beyond use. Lloyd gave immediate orders to abandon ship and by 0120 hours all passengers were away; the crew then also followed in the remaining lifeboats, nine in all. U-75 surfaced during these manoeuvres and opened machine-gun fire. Last to leave were the gunners, who had returned fire continuously from the forward Bofors guns. The 4-in gun aft and the nearby 12-pounder could not bear down at such close range (400 to 500 feet (120 to 150 m)) and the machine guns did not fire for fear of hitting the lifeboats. Shortly after 0130, as Lloyd was last to abandon ship, U-75, having circled the vessel, fired a second torpedo, which struck No 2 hold, nearer the bow and on the port side.

    When the lifeboats were well away, U-75 stood off about a quarter-mile and fired 12 to 15 rounds at the superstructure. At about 03.30 there was a big explosion, presumed to be a third torpedo. City of Nagpur settled rapidly and then sank. The nine boats that got away, carrying 452 survivors, roped themselves in line. The wireless transmitter in the lifeboat proved to have a flat battery, though fully charged on leaving Greenock; but at dawn the survivors spotted a Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat and signalled for help. The pilot noted their position and at 2110 hrs on the 29th, although they had drifted 50 nautical miles (93 km), they were picked up by the destroyer HMS Hurricane and landed at Greenock on 1 May.2

Military Service

  • (Seaman Ship) Seaman Service*: SS City of Nagur Ship Robert Carmichael Nicolson engineer, merchant navy on 15 October 1940 First name(s)     Robert Carmichael
    Last name     Nicolson
    Birth year     1916
    Birth date     25 Jul 1916
    Birth place     Dundee
    Birth county/country     Forfarshire (Angus)
    Event year     1921
    Discharge number     R 198354
    Card type     CR2
    Archive     The National Archives
    Series     BT348
    Piece number     1
    Date range     1921-1941
    Record set     Britain, Merchant Seamen, 1918-1941
    Category     Education & work
    Subcategory     Merchant Navy & Maritime
    Collections from     Great Britain, UK None.1


  • Note for Web*: SS City of Nagur Ship Name     City of Nagpur
    Type:     Steam passenger ship
    Tonnage     10,146 tons
    Completed     1922 - Workman, Clark & Co Ltd, Belfast
    Owner     Ellerman Lines Ltd, London
    Homeport     Glasgow
    Date of attack     29 Apr 1941     Nationality: British

    Fate     Sunk by U-75 (Helmuth Ringelmann)
    Position     52° 30'N, 26° 00'W - Grid AL 7421
    Complement     468 (17 dead and 451 survivors).
    Route     Glasgow - Freetown - Natal - Bombay - Karachi
    Cargo     2184 tons of general cargo
    History      Completed in September 1922
    Notes on event      

    At 02.29 hours on 29 April 1941 the unescorted City of Nagpur (Master David Llewellyn Lloyd) was hit on the starboard side by one G7e torpedo from U-75 about 600 miles west of Valentia Island, Ireland. The U-boat had spotted this ship and another merchant one day earlier, but then missed her with a first G7e torpedo at 06.08 hours and the other ship with a G7e torpedo at 13.14 hours. The City of Nagpur sent radio messages after being hit, but stopped when the Germans fired at her with machine guns. At 02.52 hours, the U-boat fired a stern torpedo, which was a dud. An attempt to set the ship on fire by gunfire was not successful, so a coup de grâce was fired at 03.33 hours, which hit on the port side and caused a list. The City of Nagpur sank by the stern one minute after being hit aft by a second coup de grâce at 06.00 hours.

    15 crew members and one passenger were lost. The master, 170 crew members, eight gunners and 273 passengers were picked up by HMS Hurricane (H 06) (LtCdr H.C. Simms, RN) and landed at Greenock, where one crew member died of wounds in a hospital. on 29 April 1941.3


  1. [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Robert Carmichael Nicolson in 1921
    Britain, Merchant Seamen, 1918-1941
    Great Britain [Jun 2022].
  2. [S29] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_City_of_Nagpur [Jun 2022].
  3. [S49] Website Web Site online (www.) https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/892.html [Jun 2022].