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The Claymore Line


Charles Leigh Clay, son of a banker and brewer, came to South Wales in the 1850s and set up a coal exporting business in Cardiff. In 1919 this company bought four ships (Daybreak, Daybeam, Clayton & Claymont) which they ran until 1928 when they sold them and bought two fairly newly built ones (a new Daybreak and the Dayrose). The economic problems of the late 1920s and 30s caused the sale of the Daybreak in 1934, but in 1936 the company took over the Fairwater Shipping Co. with one ship of that name. During the Second World War both the company's ships were lost

4th July 1940 Steamship 4.108 tons Aircraft Bombed & Gunfire

Steam merchant  4,113 tons 
Owner Claymore Shipping Co Ltd, Cardiff 
Date of attack  15 Jan 1942  Sunk by U-552 (Erich Topp)
Position  46° 32'N, 53° 00'W - Grid BB 6673
Complement  42 (38 dead and 4 survivors).  
Convoy Route  St. Johns, Newfoundland - Halifax - Portland, Maine 
Cargo - Ballast 

At 01.38 hours on 15 Jan 1942 the unescorted Dayrose (Master Arthur Frederick Newman) was torpedoed and sunk by U-552 southwest of Cape Race. Altogether, the U-boat fired five torpedoes of which two struck the vessel and broke her in two. The master, 31 crew members and six gunners were lost. Four crew members (two by each destroyer) were picked up by USS Ericsson (DD 440) and USS Stack (DD 406) and landed at Argentia, Newfoundland.

. . . but in 1947 a "Liberty" ship was purchased and renamed Daybeam and the Empire Nerissa was also purchased and named Daydawn. The Dayrose followed shortly afterwards. The company continued operating its ships until the 1950s and evetually closed in 1963.

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