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SS 'Mercian'

© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Museum of Lincolnshire Life

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This painting depicts the shelling of troopship SS Mercian by German U-boat SM -U38 on 3rd November, 1915. The 6,000 ton steamer SS Mercian was requisitioned as a troopship and on 17th October 1915 she sailed from Southampton with 400 soldiers of the Lincolnshire Yeomanry on board, bound for Salonika. She was attacked by the German submarine SM U-38 first with a torpedo and then shells as the ship was unescorted and unarmed, for an hour, before the attack was broken off. The badly damaged ship managed to reach the North African port of Oran, and the Yeomanry’s total casualties on the Mercian were 23 dead and 55 wounded.

Museum of Lincolnshire Life



SS 'Mercian'


oil on canvas


H 110 x W 186.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from the Officers of the Lincolnshire Yeomanry, 1974

Work type



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Normally on display at

Museum of Lincolnshire Life

Burton Road, Lincoln, Lincolnshire LN1 3LY England

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