|Name:||PS Waverley (1899–1940)|
|Ordered:||20 October 1898|
|Builder:||A. & J. Inglis, Glasgow|
|Launched:||30 May 1899|
|In service:||10 July 1899|
|Fate:||Bombed and sunk, 29 May 1940|
|Class and type:||Paddle steamer|
|Propulsion:||Diagonal double expansion steam engine built by A. & J. Inglis, Glasgow|
PS Waverley was a Clyde-built paddle steamer that carried passengers on the Clyde between 1899 and 1939. She was requisitioned by the Admiralty to serve as a minesweeper during World War I and again in World War II, and was sunk while participating in the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940. The current PS Waverley, launched in 1946, was built as a replacement for this vessel.
Waverley was built by A. & J. Inglis for the North British Steam Packet Co. at their Pointhouse shipyard on the Clyde in Glasgow, Scotland. The ship was designed to be the flagship of the North British Steam Packet Co. fleet with the intention that it could be used for regular Clyde services but also to help the company expand their initial foray into excursions in areas around Bute, Arran, Kintyre and Loch Fyne. She was launched on 30 May 1899 and entered service on 10 July 1899. In 1902, North British Steam Packet Co was dissolved and Waverley was transferred to the ownership of its parent company North British Railway operating a smaller range of routes that didn't include Kintyre, Loch Fyne and the west of Arran.
World War I
Like many Clyde steamers, Waverley was requisitioned in 1915 by the Admiralty for service during World War I, being modified to increase her decked area and adding bow plating. For four years she served on the British and Belgian coasts, and was discharged from service in April 1919.
Return to service
She spent over a year being renovated for her return to service, with the most obvious change being the repositioning of her bridge from its original location between her paddle boxes to a new location in front of her funnel. She was returned to her owners on 9 July 1920.
As the Railways Act 1921 took effect in 1923, Waverley was transferred again as North British Railway was merged into London and North Eastern Railway. In 1931 the Waverley was superseded as the fleet's flagship by the newly launched PS Jeanie Deans, but was renovated in 1923 with the addition of shelters on the promenade deck and remodelled interior passengers spaces to bring her up to the same standard as more modern steamers like the Jeanie Deans. By the late 1930s decreasing passenger numbers on the Clyde estuary resulted in other steamers being moved to service routes elsewhere, and the Waverley was removed from service in 1939.
World War II
With the outbreak of World War II she was brought briefly back into service to evacuate children from Glasgow to areas on the Clyde coast, and was then requisitioned by the Royal Navy to serve as the lead ship of the 12th Minesweeping Flotilla. The flotilla consisted of five paddle steamers, was based at Harwich on the east coast of England, and tasked with sweeping the shipping lanes. On 28 May 1940, this flotilla was given orders to stock up and sail south to take part in Operation Dynamo, the effort to evacuate Allied soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk. The next day the ship was intercepted by 12 German Heinkels while returning to England with 600 troops on board. After avoiding their bombs for about 30 minutes, one struck the port side of the ship and opened a 6-foot hole in the bottom of the ship. The ship sank near Kwint Bank Buoy with the loss of some crew and about 400 troops. 158 survivors were pulled from the water by the Cyclone, 285 by the PS Golden Eagle. A Dutch tugboat Java and two drifters picked up a few more.
- Paterson, Alan J. S. (1982). Classic Scottish Paddle Steamers. David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-8335-3.
- "Ship Name: Waverley Former Ship Name: Waverley Gross Tonnage: 537". Merchant shipping movement cards 1939–1945. The National Archives.
- Alistair Deayton. Directory of Clyde Paddle Steamers. Amberley. ISBN 978-1-4456-1487-8.
- "Waverley marks maiden voyage anniversary". BBC News. 16 June 2017. Retrieved 2017-08-13.
- "Clyde-built heroines of Dunkirk". The Herald. 26 May 1990. Retrieved 2017-08-13.
- Alan Newman (10 July 2005). "Dunkirk rescue: My Grandfather's True Survival Story". BBC. Retrieved 2017-08-13.
- Gordon Smith. "Royal Navy casualties, killed and died, May 1940, including Norway". Retrieved 2017-08-13.
- Bertke, Donald A. (2011). World War II Sea War: France Falls, Britain Stands Alone: Day-to-Day Naval Actions from April 1940 through September 1940. Lulu. ISBN 1937470008.
- Gardner, W.J.R. (29 June 2000). The Evacuation from Dunkirk: 'Operation Dynamo', 26 May–June 1940. ISBN 0714681504.