Diary: David John Davies, engineer of H. M. S. Tara

Scope and Content

DIARY: David John Davies engineer of H. M. S. entitled "Life in the Libyan Desert, Tripoli"

Tara formerly the Hibernia which was torpedoed in the Mediterranean on Nov. 5th 1915.

It describes the lives of the surviving crew members (mostly men from Holyhead) after they were handed over to enemy Senoussi soldiers in N. Africa.

They were rescued in March 1916.

Administrative / Biographical History

The S.S. Hibernia was built by Denny Brothers of Dumbarton on behalf of the London & North Western Railway Company. Launched on the 22nd of December 1899, she was put into service on the 12th January 1900 as an express passenger steamer on the Irish Sea passage between Holyhead and North Wall Dublin. She grossed 1862 tons, was made of steel, and had twin screw propellers. When the Holyhead to Kingstown (later Dun Laoghaire) service was restored due to increasing dock dues at North Wall, the Hibernia sailed on that route with the other three express steamers - Cambria, Scotia, and the ill-fated Anglia. Following the outbreak of World War One (WWI 1914-1918) she was commandeered by the Admiralty, refitted for patrol service, and renamed HMS Tara. Her first years war service as an auxiliary patrol boat saw her patrolling the shores of Ireland and Scotland, and she was then moved on to patrol duties in the Mediterranean, patrolling the seas around the Egyptian coast.

On the 5th November 1915, with a crew of 104, HMS Tara was heading for the port of Sollum, an Egyptian port on the border of Egypt and Tripoli. Look-outs screamed the report of an inbound torpedo, but HMS Tara was travelling too slowly to respond in time. The guns of HMS Tara opened fire, but the sub was too far away. She was struck by a torpedo on the starboard side of the engine at 10 minutes after 10 in the morning, and within minutes she was sinking. In the 7 or 8 minutes it would take her to sink, her mostly Anglesey crew had taken to the remaining 3 lifeboats - a fourth having been blown away in the explosion. They pulled men from the water, and eventually 93 survivors filled the 3 lifeboats.

Access Information

Dim cyfyngiadau/ No Restrictions

Acquisition Information

Adnau preifat / Private deposit.


Os gwelwch yn dda archebwch y dogfenau gan ddefnyddio y rhif cyfeirnod amgen (lle ddarperidd) / Please order documents using the alternative reference number (where provided)

Other Finding Aids

Mae copiau clawr caled o`r catalogau ar gael yn Archifau Ynys Môn ac yn y Gofrestr Cenedlaethol Archifau. Polisi Archifau Ynys Môn yw catalogio yn iaith y ddogfen./Hard copies of the catalogue are available at Archifau Ynys Môn / Anglesey Archives and the National Register of Archives. It is the policy of Archifau Ynys Môn / Anglesey Archives to catalogue in the language of the document.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Cyflwr da /Good condition

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Hayden Burns for Archifau Ynys Môn / Anglesey Archives.


Appraisal Information

Mae'r holl gofnodiadau sy'n cydymffurfio â pholisi casglu Swyddfa Gofnodi Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn wedi eu cadw /All records which meet the collection policy of the Anglesey Archives have been retained.


Ni ddisgwylir croniadau/Accruals are not expected