Daily Event for January 26, 2014

The passenger/cargo ship Ava was built by William Denny and Brothers in Dumbarton, Scotland in 1906. She was launched on Aug. 8 and completed in September of the same year. She was 410' long and 52' wide and registered at 5,076 gross tons. Miss Smart, the niece of a company officer christened her. Designed for the British & Burmese Navigation Company (P. Henderson & Company) of Glasgow for the Rangoon route, she was built with the heat of Asia in mind and therefore had a superior ventilation system installed.

On January 26, 1917 she left Liverpool for Rangoon via Dakar her and the twenty-nine men in her would never be heard from again. Since this was the height of the Great War it is easy to assume she ran afoul of a U-boat or a mine, but this has never been officially confirmed. Researchers have found no entry in a surviving KTB (war diary) of a U-boat which makes a claim of sinking a ship that matches her description. She could have been lost on a mine, but again there is no known evidence of that. Apparently to distress signal was sent, or at least none was received. It is possible that no signal could be sent because she sank so quickly, or that the wireless was disabled for some unknown reason.

After the war was over the official British assessment was that she was lost for unknown causes, but they suspected that she was a war loss. While that would be an understandable conclusion a ship could still sink due to weather or other causes. To this day what happened to the steamer Ava and when it happened is unknown, to the best of my knowledge her wreck has not been found.
© 2014 Michael W. Pocock

Roll of Honour
In memory of those who lost their lives in
SS Ava
"As long as we embrace them in our memory, their spirit will always be with us"

Arrindell, Henry
Assistant Steward
Cameron, John D.
5th Engineer Officer
Chalmers, David B.
Assistant Steward
Crosby, Henry
Age 17
Duncanson, David Y.
2nd Steward
Ferguson, Thomas A.
3rd Engineer
Forson, William
Fowler, William
2nd Engineer
Granger, Robert F.
Green, Frederick C.
Royal Marine Artillery
Hamilton, George S.
4th Engineer Officer
Hird, Agnes
Kinniburgh, John
Lawson, Henry
2nd Mate
Markey, J. A.
Chief Steward
McCallum, William R.
McDonald, John
McLean, John M.
McLeod, Thomas
Moore, Joseph R.
Royal Marine Artillery
Priestman, John
Age 17
Ross, John D.
Age 16
Sinclair, Murdoch
Smith, Murdo
Smith, William
1st Mate
Stevenson, Hugh
1st Engineer
Usher, William J. E.
Wireless Operator
Wanlass, Alexander McB.
Pantry Steward
Willoughby, Hamilton
3rd Mate
Note that British sources state that 92 men were onboard at the time of her loss, but I have been only to
verify that 29 were in the ship.

To submit a photo, biographical information or correction please email the webmaster.

2005 Daily Event
2007 Daily Event
2011 Daily Event
2013 Daily Event