The Anglo Dane was ordered by the Anglo Danish and Baltic Steam Navigation Company Ltd. In 1865 and launched one year later from the yard of Andrew Leslie and Co Ltd., Hebburn. However, due to financial problems the company never took delivery of the vessel and she was purchased by Det Forende Dampskibs Selskab (DFDS), Copenhagen on 1st January 1867 for £16,000. She commenced service for this company sailing various North Sea and Baltic routes. She then underwent a major upgrade and was effectively rebuilt at Burmeister Wain in 1874 adding and extra 15 feet to her overall length and more than 100 tons to her gross capacity. She now measured 203.4′ x 26.7′ x 14.4′ and was 708 gross tons, 509 net tons. Her 4 cylinder 1C tandem, steam engine built by A/S Burmeister andWain, Copenhagen delivered 340 ihp. She re-entered service soon after and sailed on routes between Denmark, Britain and France successfully for nearly forty more years.
In 1914 the First World War broke out and her North Sea voyages became more dangerous, but she continued to sail on routes between Scandinavia and British ports despite the dangers of patrolling German U-boats. In fact, early in the war, on 22nd November 1914 she was involved in a collision with a German Torpedo boat S-124 off Falsterbo in which two German sailors lost their lives.
Her final voyage began at South Shields when she left this port in convoy heading for Elsinore with a cargo of more than 600 tons of coal in October 1917. The ship reached Shetland but before she could begin her voyage across the North Sea, on the 21st of the month, she struck a mine laid by UC-40 (Herman Menzel) off Bressay about half a mile from Kirkabister lighthouse. One crewman was killed in the explosion, but the remainder were safely picked up by the British torpedo boat Arab before the ship sank.
The Wreck Today
The wreck of the Anglo Dane lies in position 60°06.502’N, 01°07.566’W (WGS84) in 63 metres of water. The wreck lies oriented 020°/200° with her bows facing north. The wreck is still substantial rising some 6 or 7 metres from the seabed but most of deck structures are missing. It is reported that the propeller is still in place. Forward of midships, where the boiler and engines are visible, the wreck is very broken and lies scattered across the seabed.