The SS Glocliffe is a cracking wreck dive in Lyme Bay in 43m of water intact laying on her port side the Glocliffe is a popular local wreck dive!

Dive Site Name: Glocliffe          Dive Type: Wreck Dive       

Max Depth Seabed: 43m             Depth to top of Wreck: 36m  

Approximate Position: 50 27.08N; 03 17.28W

Tonnage: 2211tonnes    Length: 87.5m     Beam: 13.4m     Cargo: Coal

Date Lost: 19/08/1917      How Lost: Torpedoed UB 40

Minimum Qualification: Deep Diver / Technical Diver  (Or Equivilent)


The SS Glocliffe was built in 1915 by Craig, Taylor and Co in Stocton-on-Teesyard number 167, launched 2/3/1915. She was a dfensively armed British Merchantship of 2211tonnes.

The Glocliffe had her first taste of action when she hit a mine in the North Sea on 2/1/1916 less than a year old! She beached and was repaired and carried on her duties.

In August of 1917 her Master, Captain Robert T Evans had a passage from Barry in Wales to Southampton with a cargo of 33281 tons of Welsh steamer coal. The crew of 20 were complimented with 2 Royal Navy Gunners who were put aboard to man the defensive 12 pounder mounted on her stern.

The Glocliffe passed Falmouth and made a steady speed of 9 knots and began the prescribed Zig-Zag course for steaming up the English Channel. When the Glocliffe reached start point the weather conditions had deteriorated and visibility was very poor so Capt Evans made a decision to stop the Zig-Zag course and head further offshore away from land and offshore of Berry Head, Brixham.

On August 19th 1917 Ub-40, commanded by Oberleutnant Hans Howaldt, spotted the Glocliffe. Howaldt was near the end of his mission and low on ammunition, Torpedoes, but the site of the Glocliffe was too good an opportunity for him to pass up, in fact she was the last ship he sank on this visit to our waters!

Now the Glocliffe was no longer Zig-Zagging Howladt task was even easier. He fired on the Glocliffe, a lookout spotted the torpedoes wake but by this time the torpedo was only 45m away and although the helm was put hard over to try to avoid the torpedo, it struck the Glocliffe midships in the boiler room, killing 2 crew in the 17:25 on the 19th August 1917 the Glociffe sank 9 miles ENE of Berry Head.

The remaining crew and the Naval gunners took to the lifeboats and were picked up and landed in Brixham, the Gunners not having fired a round!

The Glocliffe now lies on her port side in 43m of water. She is reasonably intact, the Glocliffe is a classic Merchantman and is a great wreck dive for deep divers.

We have no photos of this wreck so any images would be appreciated.

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