The steam yacht Rosabelle

H.M.Y. Rosabelle

John Collins (Nottage Maritime Institute)

The crew of H.M.Y. Rosabelle during World War One.
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A pre-war pierhead painting of the third steam yacht Rosabelle in the Bay of Naples.
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The third steam yacht Rosabelle before the First World War. The white ensign does not show that she is a Royal Navy ship, but that her owner is a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron (an exclusive yacht club at Cowes).
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Mr Theodore Pim’s steam yacht Rosabelle was taken up for use as an auxiliary patrol yacht on 28th February 1915.   She served in that capacity until 17th March 1919.  Like many other requisitioned vessels many of her peacetime crew stayed with her, and that of course included a number of Colnesiders.  During her war service she was armed with one 12 pounder and two 6 pounder guns.

In World War 2 she became an armed yacht again, but was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U374 in the Straits of Gibraltar.

The 614 ton Rosabelle was built in 1902 at Leith, and was well known in Wivenhoe because, besides the fact that it was home to many of her crew, her regular Winter laying up berth was on the Wall downstream of the Quay.

Theodore Pim successively owned three yachts named Rosabelle and this was the third and biggest of them.  Rosabelle Avenue is named after them all.


This page was added on 30/03/2015.

Comments about this page

  • The Commander of the Rosabelle, centre front in the photograph of the crew, was my grandfather, Ernest George Henry Brady, RNR. He commanded the Patrol of the South West Approaches, and was for a time based in Penzance.

    By Patrick Brady (02/06/2018)

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