Built at Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron and Co. Ltd., Barrow and launched on 1st May 1924 the vessel that was to become Creemuir measured 360.2′ x 51.0′ x 24.7′ and weighed 3997 gross tons, 2466 net tons. She was powered by a 352 net horse power triple expansion engine manufactured by Palmers. Launched under the name of Medomsley for the Medomsley Shipping Company of Newcastle her name was changed to Langleemere in 1929 and she continued service for these same owners under this name till she was sold to the Muir Steamship Company of Newcastle in 1938 who re-named her Creemuir.
At the start of World War Two she was immediately pressed into war service and armed with one four inch deck gun, a Holman Projector ( a type of pneumatic mortar), a Hotchkiss machine gun on the boat deck and two Lewis machine guns on the wings of the bridge. During the first twelve months of hostilities she was in continuous service travelling to multiple destinations in Africa, South America and Canada often unescorted as she was a fast ship able to outrun German submarines if attacked.
On her final voyage she left Hull on 6th November, 1940 November and joined the small coastal convoy FN328 which had departed from Southend the previous day and was heading for Methil in the Forth estuary. The Creemuir was on the first leg of a journey across the Atlantic to Sydney, Nova Scotia. The Creemuir was not carrying any cargo but sailing, in ballast, to pick up a cargo of timber pit props in Canada for her return trip to Britain. She had a crew of 41 aboard under the command of Captain Mankin. The convoy arrived safely at Methil on the 8th where the Creemuir joined a larger convoy EN23 which was heading for Oban, one of the most important convoy mustering stations on the west coast, where she was planned to join a larger convoy heading west across the Atlantic.
Convoy EN23, which consisted of around 30 ships, departed from Methil at 5:00am on 11th November and steaming out of the Forth before turning north along the east coast of Scotland intending to pass through the Pentland Firth and then south through The Minch to Oban.
By 3:00pm that day the convoy was off Montrose steaming in the swept channel some ten miles off shore in a moderate swell when a lone aircraft was spotted ahead of the convoy. The gunners on the Creemuir, and indeed on the other ships in the convoy, thought the plane was British and did not open fire immediately until the plane dropped a stick of bombs towards the rear of the convoy. Only two ships in the convoy managed to fire on the German bomber and, although it was immediately attacked by an Avro Anson of Coastal Command, it disappeared unharmed towards the south. On this first attack the bombs failed to make a direct hit on any of the ships but the steamship Harlaw was damaged by a bomb which exploded in the water causing buckling of her hull plating serious enough to force her to head for shore and safety. Two hours later, with the convoy just north of Stonehaven, another German plane, this time a seaplane surprisingly again mistakenly identified as friendly, made a second attack firing a torpedo from a mere 150 yards which struck the Creemuir close to the engine room. The huge explosion rocked the ship causing fatal damage and she sank by the stern within three minutes. Only thirteen of her crew survived. In the same attack the steamship Trebartha was also badly damaged but, with the majority of the crew safely in the ship’s boats, she drifted ashore stranding in Cove Bay. Four crewmen from the Trebartha were lost in the attack.
The wreck of the Creemuir lies in position 57°00.808’N, 001°52.158’W (WGS84) sitting upright in 63 metres oriented 175°/355°. The hull and superstructure is fairly in tact although there is a lot of damage in engine room area due to the impact of the torpedo.