One hundred years ago, on July 17 1920, the War Illiad was launched into the River Wye from the shipyards at Chepstow.

She was the second of the ‘N’ type prefabricated ships begun by National Shipyard No 1 during the First World War, and finally completed by the Monmouth Shipbuilding Company.

At 125m long, 17m wide, these cargo ships had been designed with features and a profile to outwit German U boats.

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All of the ‘N’ types built at National Shipyard no 1 were given heroic names, prefixed by War, this and the next were named for Homer’s tales of the Trojan War and its aftermath.

The War Illiad was renamed Sile by her Italian owners.

From 1926 she had German owners and, as the cargo ship Jantje Fritzen, was seized as a prize by the Allies in 1945.

She was one of thirty three captured German ships loaded with Nazi chemical weapons sunk by the British in the straits between Denmark and Norway.