London Merchant was a steamer laid down at Furness Shipbuilding Company Ltd in September 1920, and she was launched in November 1921. She was delivered to the company Furness Wilthy in May 1923,  and entered service as a general freighter between England and America. In 1935 she was sold to Charente Steamship Company and renamed Politician. Until the outbreak of world war two she sailed on the route between Britain and South Africa.  After the outbreak of the war, she was requisitioned by the British Admiralty, and participated in several Atlantic convoys.
Under a journey from Liverpool to New Orleans with trade goods, she sailed north towards Scotland and the Hebrides to assemble with a convoy. She ran aground 5.February 1941 outside the island of Eriskay. It soon became known to the local population that she carried a quite popular cargo, approx 22000-28000 cases of Scotch whisky. Different sources state different amount of whisky cases.. She was also loaded with some vehicles and other trade goods. The following six months most of the cargo and vehicles on board was salvaged. This was also the case of the whisky in hold # 5, which was "rescued" by the local population. 32 men were later sentenced for theft from the wreck. In the 1980s several expeditions were launch to recover more of the bottles. The stern and other remains of the Politician, rest today northeast of the small island of Calvay on a depth of approx 5 to 20 meters.

Former names:

450,6 x 58,7 f
Tons: Built: Home Port:
7899 grt
Stockton ( UK ) 1921
( UK )

57 06 07N, 007 16 28W
( Source: Canmore.org )

Picture: Politician
Courtesy of Wikipedia, Public domain

Last updated: March 2020