The steam-driven schooner AMAZON may have been one of many thousands of yachts requisitioned for war service by the Admiralty. She may have lost her deckhouse and had others added, simply bolted to the deck.
While we know AMAZON had two different owners during the war (Edward Robert Tymms of Chelmsford, Essex and Vincent Stephens Emanuel Grech of London), her exact involvement is uncertain. Twenty-nine years old when the war broke out, AMAZON’s compound steam engine had been long overtaken by more efficient machinery but it is possible that her relatively small coal bunkers presented too much of a logistical challenge for naval service. It is possible that she was released from service after just three months. However, it is also possible that she could have been exactly the sort of vessel the Admiralty were happy to use in 1914-15 and into 1916 and she may have been operational on the East Coast, possibly based in Harwich.
After 1916 the Admiralty could afford to let older yachts retire, particularly those running on steam. At this time the American firm ‘Electric Launch Company’ (subsequently Elco Motor Yachts) was successfully building vessels for the British, including 500 motor launches. Perhaps this explains why AMAZON is absent from the 1916 Navy List.
Where is she now?
AMAZON is based in Alderney and sails regularly.
- Vessel’s current owners
- Commander Alastair Wilson (naval historian)