Surprisingly she was indeed the same ship.
The ZAMBESI of 1901 was British-built for Turner, Brightman & Co, London - still owners in 1914
At the outbreak of war ZAMBESI was trading under charter to the British-owned Pacific Phosphate Company between the German colony of Nauru and Australia. On 6 August 1914, on arrival at Nauru the ship was sub-chartered by the German administration for a voyage to Rabaul (then in the German posession of New Pomerania), with a local German resident carrying telegrams and mail as passenger - the Governor was aware that war between Britain and Germany had been declared, but the local representative of the PPC and the master of ZAMBESI did not know (it was announced publicly in Nauru the day after the ship sailed).
ZAMBESI was captured as Prize by HMAS ENCOUNTER on 12 Aug 1914 and taken to Sydney NSW, where condemnation was sought in the Prize Court. ZAMBESI was condemned on the basis that, the was, in fact, actively in the service of the enemy, and the lack of knowledge of the outbreak of war by the charterers and master did not change that; indeed, if they had known, charges of high treason might well have been brought.
The ship was subsequently transferred to ownership of The Admiralty.
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/04/2018 06:16PM by david asprey.