The History of Leith

August 1, 2007

The Leith Ship that went to War

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At the rear of South Leith Church flies the Red Ensign of a couragous little ship that took part in the Battle of the Atlantic during the Second World War. Remarkable not for the great battles that it took part in but for saving mens life’s at Sea. That Ship was called the SS Gothland.

The Gothland was built for the Currie Line before the Second World War and was 1286 tons gross and traded up to the start of war with Hamburg. On the outbreak of war it was held at Dundee for three days and then went to Plymouth to be fitted as a heavily armed rescue Ship. Then after the refit joining the atlantic convoys and normally placed at the back and the middle if the convey. So when a message came through she was in a position to undertake rapid rescue operations.

The number of men rescued from the cruel sea and under constant threat of submarine attack is not known. But what is known is the large number of men alive today would not have survived if it wasn’t for the Gothland

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