|1||Clipper "Cutty Sark"|
On the afternoon of Monday 22 November 1869, a beautiful little clipper ship of 963 tons gross was launched at Dumbarton on the River Leven. On that day, she was given a name that was to become renowned throughout the seafaring world.
Strictly speaking, the Cutty Sark was a working cargo ship, certainly not an immigrant passenger ship. She endured high seas and heavy weather, from 1869 until 1922. She has travelled across the world, sailing under both the Red Ensign and the Portuguese flag, visiting every major port in the world through the course of her working life. In admiration of her beauty and in recognition of her fame, she was preserved for the nation by Captain Wilfred Dowman in 1922. Since then, the old clipper has been berthed in Falmouth and Greenhithe, finally arriving at her current resting place in Greenwich in 1954.
Now preserved as a major London tourist attraction, her full story can be enjoyed at the Royal Museums of Greenwich Cutty Sark Exhibit, or by following this link.
|2||Clipper "Parramatta" (1879)|
Parramatta was built in 1866 by James Laing in Sutherland, England for Devitt and Moore's passenger trade run to Sydney, Australia. The ship measured 231 feet in length and 1,521 tons. The ship was one of the wool fleet from 1875-1876, going from Sydney to London in 79 days. Captain J. Swanson commanded the ship until 1874, when Captain Goddard took over until the ship’s sale in 1888 to J. Simonsen of Norway. In January 1898, Parramatta sailed from Galveston, TX headed for King's Lynn, Norfolk, England and disappeared along the way.
Parramatta was a Blackwall frigate. Blackwall frigates were three-masted merchant ships originally built to replace British East Indiamen in the trade between England and India. However, many Blackwell frigates, including Paramatta, became active in the trade between England and Australia. It was the second fastest of the Blackwall frigates after the Tweed. The picture shows Parramatta off Sydney Heads, Australia with a view of the coastline in the background. A small flight of steps and some women can be seen on deck. The presence of women is indicative of the Parramatta as a passenger ship, as a group of women would likely not have been on a trading voyage.
Other details about the ship include the use of davits to hold up the lifeboats, where earlier they would have been merely tied to ropes and lowered over the side. Leather strips called "brails" used to shorten the sails can be seen running across the sails, and the flags on the lifeboat match the house flag located on the mainmast.
This picture (painted in 1879) is a clip of an original painting by the Artist Frederick Tudgay (1841-1921) who was the youngest in a family of marine artists.
(Acknowledgements: The National Museum of American History)
|3||HMHS Dover Castle 1904-1917|
SS Dover Castle was built by Barclay Curle & Company Glasgow, Yard No 443, in 1904 and launched 4th february 1904. Her propulsion was steam, quadruple expansion engines, 969 nhp, 14.5 knots. She was built as a Passenger/Cargo Vessel for Union-Castle Mail Steamship Co Ltd, London with tonnage of 8,271. She was converted to a hospital ship in World War 1 becoming HMHS Dover Castle. She was sunk by UC.67 on 26th May 1917, when 50 miles north of Bone on passage Malta for Gibraltar. The first torpedo struck her, killing seven stokers. HMS CAMELON took off the wounded and crew. Dover Castle's captain and a volunteer crew remained on board hoping they could save the ship but an hour later the sub struck again and she sank in three minutes. Save for the stokers killed, everyone else was saved.
Photograph takne after conversion to a hospital ship.
Launched by Harland & Wolff, Belfast on 7 May 1898 and named STATENDAM for Holland America Line, Rotterdam. In 1911, she was sold to Allan Line and her name was changed SCOTIAN. She was one of a number of ships requisitioned during 1914 for WW1 support and she became H.M.T. Scotian. This photo shows her departing for Bombay from Southamton, England. Sold for scrap in 1926, she made for Genoa, Italy in 1927, where she was scrapped.
The Apapa entered service in March 1948 and mostly serviced the Liverpool to Lagos routes. She was shorter than her sister-ship "Accra" but in all other respects, identical. ACCRA(III) and APAPA (III) were brand new passenger (428)/cargo ships (7,110dwt) ships for the then three weekly mailboat schedule between Liverpool and Lagos, and a third, AUREOL, was being built on the Clyde.
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RMS Aquitania was a Cunard Line ocean liner that was built by the John Brown and Company shipyard near Clydebank, Scotland. She was launched on 21 April 1913 and sailed on her maiden voyage to New York on 30 May 1914.
Aquitania was the third in Cunard Line’s “grand trio” of express liners, preceded by the RMS Mauretania and RMS Lusitania. Widely considered one of the most attractive ships of her time, Aquitania earned the nickname “Ship Beautiful”. This despite criticism of her looks; having too many cowl ventilators and the forward funnel being as close to her bridge as it was.
In her 36 years of service, Aquitania survived military duty in both world wars and was returned to passenger service after each war. Aquitania’s record for the longest service career of any 20th century express liner stood until 2004, when the Queen Elizabeth 2 (ultimate career service of 40 years) became the longest-serving liner.
View this short film of RMS Acquitania
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|11||RMS Carmania 1905-1932|
RMS Carmania was a British ocean liner designed by Leonard Peskett and built by John Brown & Company for the Cunard Line. In World War I, the Carmania was converted to an armed merchant cruiser.
When launched, the Carmania and her running mate, the Caronia, were the largest ships in the Cunard fleet. The Carmania had steam turbines and the Caronia had quadruple-expansion engines.
The Carmania traveled the New York-Liverpool route from 1905 to 1910. In the spring of 1906, it carried H.G. Wells to America for the first time. The Carmania suffered one major fire in June 1910. In October 1913, while eastward bound, she responded to a distress call from the Volturno to pick up survivors in a storm, resulting in many awards for gallantry being presented to various members of her crew and Captain James Clayton Barr.
Following the outbreak of World War I, the Carmania was converted into an armed merchant cruiser, equipped with eight 4.7 inch guns, and put under the command of Captain Noel Grant. She sailed from Liverpool to Shell Bay in Bermuda. She subsequently engaged and sank the German merchant cruiser SMS Cap Trafalgar, during the Battle of Trindade. At the time Cap Trafalgar's appearance had been altered to resemble Carmania. The ship suffered extensive damage herself and several casualties to her crew. After repairs in Gibraltar, she patrolled the coast of Portugal and the Atlantic islands for the next two years. In 1916, she was summoned to assist in the Gallipoli campaign. From May 1916, she was used as a troop ship. After the war, she transported Canadian troops back from Europe.
By 1919, she returned to passenger liner service, being refitted in 1923. In 1932, she was sold to Hughes Bolckow & Co., and scrapped at Blyth.
Cedric, second of the "Big Four," was built by Harland and Wolff, Belfast and launched in 1902. Her maiden voyage, 11 February 1903, was from Liverpool to New York. This was the only route on which she was ever used, though Cedric was sometimes used for winter cruises to the Mediterranean.
From November 1914 to December 1916, Cedric served as an armed merchant cruiser. During the winter of 1916-17, she was used as a troopship; then, for the balance of World War I, she operated as a passenger liner under the British Liner Requisition Scheme. During this service, Cedric rammed and sank Canadian Pacific's Montreal near Liverpool in January 1918.
Cedric returned to White Star in December 1918, and in 1919 she was refitted. She was again refitted and converted to a cabin class configuration in 1928.
By 1931, Cedric was no longer needed by White Star. After her final Liverpool-New York round-trip in September of that year, she was sold to the ship-breakers.
|13||RMS Durham Castle 1903-1940|
Built by Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Govan, Durham Castle was launched on 17 December 1903, as the sister ship of RMS Dover Castle. She served the Cape of Good Hope to Mombasa service from 1910, and continued in commercial service during the First World War, with occasional troopship duties.
Durham Castle sailed on the East African route from 1931, travelling via the Suez Canal, and was withdrawn from service in 1939 after being replaced by RMS Pretoria Castle. The Admiralty acquired her after the outbreak of the Second World War for use as a storeship. She was taken in tow, bound for Scapa Flow as a base accommodation ship, but on 26 January 1940 she struck a mine off Cromarty and sank. The mine was probably one that had been laid by U-57.
|14||RMS Franconia 1910-1916|
The RMS Franconia was an ocean liner operated by the Cunard Line. She was launched on 23 July 1910 at the Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson shipyard in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Her maiden voyage in February 1911, was between Liverpool and Boston,USA. She was nicknamed the "Bathroom" ship as she had more bathrooms and showers on board than the 'Mauretania'. She was unusual, as she did not have staterooms on the upper deck, instead she had a library, gymnasium, and a lounge and smoking room.
After several years service primarily in the North Atlantic, she was taken into service as a troop transport in early 1915. On 4 October 1916, while heading for Salonika, she was torpedoed and sunk by the German U-boat UB-47 195 miles east of Malta. She was not carrying any troops but out of her 314 crew members, 12 died. The others were saved by the Hospital Ship Dover Castle.
|15||RMS Lancastria (1920-1940)|
The RMS Lancastria was a British Cunard liner sunk on 17 June 1940 during World War II with the loss of an estimated 4,000 plus lives. It is the worst single loss of life in British maritime history and the bloodiest single engagement for UK forces (in terms of lives lost), in the whole conflict. The sinking claimed more lives than the combined losses of Titanic and Lusitania.
Launched on the Clyde in Scotland, in 1920 the Tyrrhenia, the 16,243 ton, 578-foot (176 m) long liner could carry 2,200 passengers in three classes. She made her maiden voyage, Glasgow-Québec-Montreal, on 19 June, 1922.
She was refitted for just two classes and renamed Lancastria in 1924, after passengers complained that they could not properly pronounce Tyrrhenia. She sailed scheduled routes from Liverpool to New York until 1932, and was then used as a cruise ship in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. On 10 October 1932, Lancastria rescued the crew of the Belgian cargo ship Scheldestad which had been abandoned in a sinking condition in the Bay of Biscay. In 1934, the Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland chartered the Lancastria for a pilgrimage to Rome. With the outbreak of the Second World War, she carried cargo before being requisitioned in April 1940 as a troopship, becoming the HMT Lancastria. She was first used to assist in the evacuation of troops from Norway.
She was sunk off the French port of St. Nazaire while taking part in Operation Ariel, the evacuation of British nationals and troops from France, two weeks after the Dunkirk evacuation.
|16||RMS Llanstephan Castle 1914-1952|
Llanstephan was completed in February 1914. She like her sister had four holds and accommodated 213 First Class, 116 Second Class, and 100 Third Class passengers.
As soon as she was delivered, RMS Llanstephan Castle departed London on her maiden voyage to East and South Africa. However, during her second voyage on the homeward sailing, a report came to the captain that the German cruiser “Konigsberg” was in the vicinity, thus, the ship was turned around, destination Durban. Upon arrival Union-Castle Mail Steamship Company transferred her to the London, South African West coast service. In 1917 she was requisitioned for the war effort and placed on the North Atlantic transporting troops.
Upon the completion of the war, she returned to the company and was made ready to return on the London, Cape Town service. In 1920 she was placed on the East African service. Another change took place in 1922 when she was transferred to the “Round Africa” service, visiting the following ports; Naples or Genoa, Suez, Aden, Mombasa, Tanga, Dar-es-Salaam, Beira, Lourenco Marques, Durban and East London, Cape Town returning via West Africa.
In 1938 she received a refit and at the same time she was converted from coal to oil fuel, saving a considerable amount for the company. She returned to her duties until the beginning of WWII.
During the war she first operated as a military troop transport ship for the Ministry of War. However, in August 1940 she transported 300 evacuees from Liverpool to Cape Town, almost all being children. One year later, in 1941 she departed Liverpool being in charge of a RuRMSian convoy and transported some 200 Polish airmen released from prison. She continued to operate in the Far East, but was later transferred to the Royal Indian Navy.
After World War II she was returned to Union Castle Line who had her refitted turning her into a two class ship accommodating 231 First Class and 198 Tourist Class passengers. Upon completion she returned to her pre war round Africa service.
In March 1952 the aging Llanstephan Castle was withdrawn from service and sold to the British Iron & Steel Corporation who delivered her to J. Cashmore shipyards at Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales where she was broken up.
The RMS Lusitania was a british ocean liner that entered passenger service with the Cunard Line on 1907 and continued on the line's heavily traveled passenger service between Liverpool, England and New York. During the First World War, as Germany waged submarine warfare against Britain, the ship was identified and torpedoed by a german U-boat on 7 May 1915, being sank in 18 minutes. The vessel went down 11 miles (18 km) off the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland, killing 1198 of the 1959 people aboard, leaving 761 survivors. The sinking turned public opinion in many countries against Germany, contributed to the United States entry into World War I and became an iconic symbol in military recruiting campaigns of why the war was being fought.
The RMS Lusitania was constructed as part of the competition between the Cunard Line and other shipping lines, principally from Germany, for the transatlantic passenger trade. Whichever company had the fastest and most luxurious ships had a commercial advantage. The Lusitania and her sister Mauretania together provided a regular express service between Britain and the United States, until the intervention of the First World War. Both ships held the Blue Riband speed record for a transatlantic crossing, at different times in their careers. Mauretania was generally the slightly faster of the two, and continued to hold the record until 1929. The use of a propulsion based on Parsons turbines accounted for their 22 years retention of the speed record.
The RMS Lusitania had a total length of 240 meters, a beam of 26.5 meters and a draft of 10.2 meters, reaching the displacement around 44000 tonnes. The number of decks was nine and there was capacity for 2198 passengers, a crew of 850 and 7000 tonnes of coal. The propulsion system included 25 boilers, four direct-acting steam turbines and four propellers. Maximum power was around 76000 hp and top speed reached 26.7 knots.
|18||RMS Orcades (Auckland, 1952)|
Photo sourced from Reuben Goossens excellent website, SSMaritime, remembering the classic liners of yesteryear.
The RMS Orcades (later SS Orcades) was built by Vickers Armstrong Ltd in Barrow-in-Furness as Yard Number 950. She was launched on the 14th October 1947 and completed on the 14th November 1948. Orcades replaced her predecessor, Orcades II, which had sunk during the war when she was only five years old.
Orcades, the first ship built for Orient Lines after the war, shared her hull design with P&O Line’s Himalaya, but her superstructure was different with her having a new look with her bridge located amidships crowned with a tripod mast and a upright funnel sitting high directly aft of the mast. She was a contemporary of P&O’s Himalaya. As a two class ship, she provided accommodation for 773 First Class and 772 Tourist Class. Later, in 1964, she became a one class ship accommodating 1635 passengers. Her specifications are as follows. 28,164 GRT (tons), length 706ft (216m), width 60ft (27.6m), Draft 30ft 5in. With twin screws and steam geared turbines Orcades achieved 24.7 knots during her sea trials in November.
When her immigration travels came to an end, the Orcades left Sydney for the last time on 3 June 1972, bound for Britain. For a while, she made a number of short cruises out of Southampton, but departed on 28 December 1972 for the shipbreakers in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
For a more detailed look at Orcades, see Museum Victoria
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Built by Barrow Shipbuilding Co. at Barrow ; designed for the Australian service she was launched on 31st August 1886 ; She was refitted in 1905 and in February 1906 was sold to Royal Mail Line for the Orient - Royal Mail ; renamed Oro for her final voyage she was broken up in Italy during 1909
|21||RMS Orsova (1909-1936)|
The liner RMS Orsova, built for the Orient Steam Navigation Co at John Brown & Co's Clydebank Shipyard, during sea trials in the Firth of Clyde in 1909.
In addition to accommodation for 1076 passengers, the 12,000-ton liner had 100,000 cubic feet of refrigerated cargo space. Coming at a time of depression in the shipbuilding industry, the order for the Orsova was most welcome at the Clydebank yard, as it was the largest of only three ships laid down during 1908.
Orsova made the first of what would be seventy voyages to Australia in 1909. During the First World War she was used as a troopship, carrying Australian soldiers to various theatres of war. She survived being torpedoed in the English Channel in 1917, and resumed commercial service to Australia for the Orient Line in 1919. In 1933, Orsova was converted to a tourist class ship and finally served briefly as a cruise ship before being scrapped in 1936.
Pretorian was launched on 22 December 1900 for the Allan Line and her maiden voyage was between Liverpool - Quebec - Montreal on 8 August 1901. She was re-built in 1908 to accommodate 288-2nd class and 900-3rd class passengers. In 1917, she was taken over by the Canadian Pacific Line and in 1919 was used to repatriate Belgian refugees. In 1921, she was converted to cabin class only but in March 1922 she was laid up in Gareloch, Scotland. She was scrapped in 1926 at Garston, Liverpool.
|23||RMS Royal George|
Originally launched as "Heliopolis" in 28 May 1907 and renamed as "Royal George" in 1910 when acquired by the Canadian Northern Steamships company. She had a triple-screw propulsion system that provided a cruising speed of 19 knots. She was taken over by the Canadian military at the start of WW1 and mainly used as a UK troop ship until 1919 when she was returned to Cunard Line, which in 1916 had bought the entire fleet of Canadian Northern Steamships.
Royal George resumed passenger service on 10 February 1919, first between Liverpool, Halifax, Nova Scotia and New York, and later between Southampton, Halifax and New York. After nine voyages with the Cunard Line, she was retired in 1920 and used as a depot ship at Cherbourg Harbour in France to process emigrants, before finally being scrapped in 1922 at Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
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Built by Workman Clark and Company, Belfast and launched in 1908 for Shaw Savill Line. Fitted with twin screw triple expansion engines, she was utilised mostly on UK to New Zealand service. On 21 Feb 1943 she torpedoed in the North Atlantic, abandoned and believed sank on 22nd.
(Tainui is a Maori tribal name, and also the name of one of the canoes of the Great Migration of 1350, which was the first recorded vessel to enter the Waitemata Harbour.)
The Aberdeen was designed as the first steamship in the fleet of the Aberdeen Line, intended for high speed service between the United Kingdom and Australia and the Far East. She was constructed at Govan in the shipyard of Robert Napier & Sons on Clydeside, Scotland. The senior partner at Napier's was "Doctor" Alexander Carnegie Kirk, a talented engineer who had experimentally fitted the world's first "triple expansion" compound steam engine to a ship called Propontis in 1874. In the Aberdeen, Kirk installed a refined version of his engine, resulting in a ship that has been described as "one of the masterpieces of British shipbuilding". This ship proved the advantages of the new type of engine, which would continue to power major vessels throughout the world for the next seventy years.
Aberdeen had clipper bows and three barque-rigged masts. There was accommodation for 45 first and 650 third class passengers.
|28||SS Antonia (1921-1948)|
Built for the Cunard Line in 1921, the "Antonia" weighed 13,867 tons and carried 500 Cabin and 1200 third class passengers. She served Atlantic routes between Canada, Ireland and England until the start of WW2 when she was armed as a Merchant Cruiser. She was sold to the British Royal Navy in March 1942 and later converted to a repair ship and renamed "Wayland". She was scrapped in Scotland in 1948.
William Albert Dodimead was a passenger on board this ship when she sailed from Montreal, Canada to Plymouth, England in November 1926.
|29||SS Athenic (1901-1962)|
Three large liners, known as the "Athenics" because the SS Athenic was the first of the class to be built, were especially designed to operate on the profitable London to New Zealand service for at least 30 years.
Although these ships are generally known to be Shaw Savill liners, they were actually built for and by, the White Star Lines house builders, the famed Harland & Wolff Shipyards in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The Athenic was the first of the trio to be launched on August 17, 1901, and was delivered to her owners on January 23 1902 following her sea trials. She departed on her maiden voyage from London to New Zealand on the February 13, 1902, sailing via the Canary Islands, Cape Town, Hobart - Australia to Wellington. She returned to England sailing around Cape Horn, Rio de Janeiro, Las Palmas, Plymouth and back to the Thames to London.
In addition to transporting passengers, these three sisters had considerable cargo spaces, including massive insulated cargo holds that were capable of carrying up to 98,800 carcases of frozen lamb. In addition their general cargo holds provided an additional 8,375 tons for dry cargoes, although around 2,340 tons of space was reserved as a coal bunker. The ships daily consumption was around eighty tons of Welsh or ninety-two tons of Westport coal. Thus for their outbound voyages these ships carried general cargoes in all holds, then for the return voyage from New Zealand her insulated holds were converted and refrigerated for the frozen meat bound for England.
She was requisitioned for use during WW1 and was utilised to carry men, horses and equipment to Alexandria, Egypt. At that time, she was the largest troop ship ever sent from New Zealand to the Middle East.
After the war, Athenic was returned to her normal commercial service and in 1926, the now prefixed 'RMS Athenic' became a two class ship offering Second and Third Classes only. She continued her voyages, however she was sold in May 1928 to the Norwegian Company Brunn & von der Lippe of Tronsberg who extensively rebuilt her Tyne side and renamed her 'Pelagos', a whaling factory ship. Her conversion proved so successful that a number of other half sisters were purchased such as the Runic, Medic and Suevic and in due course they all joined her in the whaling industry.
Twelve and a half years later on January 15, 1941, she was captured by the German Raider SS Pinguin along with one other factory ship, one depot ship and eleven whale catchers. SS Pelagos was converted to become an oil tanker to refuel German U Boats and she was attached to the 24th submarine flotilla based in Norway. On October 24 1944, U Boat U-69 torpedoed her, which was an act of spite by the Germans, and she sank to the bottom of the harbour at Kirkenes. After a year on the bottom, the Norwegians raised her and she was completely refitted and placed back into service for another good eighteen years. Eventually the SS Palagos, ex Athenic, now aged 61 years, was sold to be broken up in Germany by Eckardt & Company of Hamburg in 1962. There is no doubt that this was a well built ship having lasted this long and having survived the bottom of the harbour for some twelve months!
Early in this (20th) century the P&O line was very interested in obtaining a share of the England-Australia traffic via the Cape of Good Hope. Several vessels had been diverted from the traditional Suez routes but the efforts were erratic, piecemeal and were doomed to failure. In 1910 an opportunity was presented to enter this trade with more prospects of success. One of the established traders, the Lund Blue Anchor Line suffered a tragedy. The Waratah, their newest and largest steamer disappeared without trace on the outbound voyage from Australia. The Lund family lost interest in ship owning and began looking for a buyer. The operation ideally suited P&O's needs. The remaining Blue Anchor fleet was purchased and re-named the P&O Branch Service.
The fleet inherited by P&O was old and run-down and could not effectively compete with White Star and the Aberdeen Line services. P&O decided to construct five new ships, the first, Ballarat (2) was delivered in 1911, all by 1914. The ships offered a one class service and quickly became highly competitive.
In 1914 the British government did not consider the service via the Cape of Good Hope to be essential, thus the Branch Service ships could be requisitioned for war service. The class saw extensive service in WWI. Ballarat was torpedoed and sunk in 1917.
Ballarat was built by Harland & Wolff, Greenock, Scotland. Power was by Triple expansion steam with twin screws. Her maximum speed was 13.5 knots and she carried 490 third class passengers (alternately 700 in steerage but not done in practice). Third class, also called "cabin" class, was a reasonable level of comfort, not the palatial levels seen on the crack mail liners, but acceptable. This type of vessel was termed "Intermediate" or "mixed" with equal space devoted to passengers and to cargo.
Beltana was launched in 1921 at a cost of £179,000. She was a passenger liner built specifically for the UK-Australia emigrant service via the Cape of Good Hope. In October 1917, she was requisitioned for Transatlantic service where she carried munitions and supplies, returning to emigrant service in 1919.
On 31 March 1930 she was sold for £27,000 to Toyo Hogei Kabushiki Kaisha, Japan for conversion for the whaling trade. She was not renamed, being laid up in Japan. She never traded under the Japanese flag. In 1933 she was sold to Gentaro Kasegawa, Kobe for demolition.
11,118 gross tons, length 500ft x beam 62.8ft, one funnel, two masts, twin screw, speed 15 knots. Accomodation for 1,100-3rd class passengers. Built by Caird & Co, Greenock, she was launched for the P.& O. Line on 27th Oct.1912 and made her maiden voyage from London to Colombo, Melbourne and Sydney in Mar.1913. In 1914 she became an Australian Expeditionary Force troopship and in 1917 was placed on the North Atlantic service under the liner requisition scheme. Returned to P & O. service in May 1921 and collided with the PATELLA and had to be beached at Pevensey. In 1927 she transported the first load of steel to Australia for the Sydney Harbour Bridge and in 1931 was scrapped in Japan.
|33||SS Canada (1896-1926)|
Built by Harland & Wolff, Ltd., Belfast, Ireland. Tonnage: 9,415. Dimensions: 500' x 58' (514' o.l.). Twin-screw, 15 knots. Two masts and one funnel.
First twin-screw steamship built for the Canadian service. Maiden voyage: Liverpool-Quebec-Montreal, November 1, 1896. Tonnage was originally listed as 8,806. Made a number of sailings to Boston. Scrapped in Italy, 1926.
"Carare" was completed at the Birkenhead yard of Cammell Lairds in 1927 for Elders & Fyffes. This photo is of her being assisted by a tug at Avonmouth Docks, near Bristol, England, sometime in the 1930s. This Company ran merchant ships to the West Indies for the banana trade and also accomodated a few passengers. The ships were well turned out and a very familiar sight in the docks.
Her end came having left Avonmouth for Jamaica on the evening tide of May 28th 1940 with a complement of 60 passengers and crew. Some hours later, off Countisbury Head near Lynmouth, she was holed in no. 1 hold by a mine. She took 20 minutes to sink, giving time for the rescue of all but 7 including the ship's doctor.
Launched: Thursday, 06 June 1872
Ship Type: Passenger Cargo Vessel
Tonnage: 3211 grt
Length: 375.5 feet
Breadth: 40.3 feet
J & A Allan & Co Glasgow
Status: Scrapped - 1896
Remarks: 24 April 1873: maiden voyage Liverpool - Quebec~Montreal. In 1875 she was rebuilt, lengthened to 415.5ft, 3,724 gross, compounded engines by Laird Bros, Birkenhead, 500 HP, 14 knots.
|36||SS Duchess of Richmond|
The third of Canadian Pacific's "Duchess" ships, Duchess of Richmond was built by John Brown & Co. of Glasgow. Launched in June 1928, she began her career on 26 January 1929, with a cruise from Liverpool to the Canary Islands. She then entered the line's transatlantic service with a 15 March 1929 sailing from Liverpool to St. John, New Brunswick. She remained on the Liverpool to St. John (winter) or Montréal (summer) service for her entire career with Canadian Pacific.
At the beginning of World War II, Duchess of Richmond was taken over as a troop carrier, and began her service in that role with a 7 January 1940 trip from Liverpool to Suez. When the war was over, she was sent to Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering at Glasgow and was refitted in a first-class/tourist-class configuration. When she re-entered Canadian Pacific service on 16 July 1947, she had a new name -- Empress of Canada -- to go with her new fittings.
After 186 roundtrips, the career of Empress of Canada came to a sudden end when she caught fire, heeled over and sank at Liverpool's Gladstone Dock on 25 January 1953. After extensive work, she was refloated in March 1954, and left Liverpool in tow on 1 September, headed for the shipbreakers at Spezia.
|37||SS Empress of Ireland (1906-1914)|
Built by Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co., Glasgow, Scotland. Tonnage: 14,191. Dimensions: 548' x 65' (570' o.l.). Twin-screw, 19 knots. Quadruple expansion engines. Two masts and two funnels.
Passengers: 310 first, 350 second, 800 third. Maiden voyage: Liverpool Quebec, June 23, 1906. Sunk in collision with the Storstad during a thick fog that prevailed on the St. Lawrence River, May 29, 1914. She went down within 15 minutes, with the loss of 1,024 lives. Rated as one of the worst disasters on the Atlantic. Sister ship: Empress of Britain.
|38||SS Himalaya in Singapore|
By the time the Second World War ended in August 1945, the P&O Company had suffered terrible losses, the shipping group itself having lost 182 vessels totalling nearly 1,250,000 tons.
The rebuilding of the passenger fleet started in 1946, when P&O ordered their 28,047 gross ton liner "Himalaya" from Vickers Armstrong at Barrow-in-Furness. She cost £3.4 million.
In service, Himalaya only made 2 round trips to Australia before being programmed for cruises from Southampton, the first P&O cruises since 1939.
|39||SS Letitia (1924-1960)|
Completed in 1924, the primary role of the Letitia was as a trans-Atlantic liner for the Glasgow - Montreal route.
24 April 1924: Maiden voyage from Glasgow to Montreal.
1939: Requisitioned by the Admiralty and commisioned as an Armed Merchant Cruiser. She later became a troopship.
1943: Extensively damaged and temporarily repaired in the USA.
1944: Taken over by the Canadian Government and converted into a hospital ship.
1946: Sold to the Ministry of Transport and renamed EMPIRE BRENT.
1947: While on route to Halifax, she collided with and sank the STORMONT in the River Mersey.
1947: She returned to her home river in December, was overhauled and refitted as a troopship for voyages to India and the Far East.
1949: She began an emigration service to Australia until later in 1950: Laid up for about six months then returned to perform the same role, this time to New Zealand with the new name CAPTAIN COOK. Ownership eventually passed to the New Zealand government.
5 December 1952: Commenced sailings from Glasgow via Panama to Wellington, New Zealand.
1960: She arrived at Glasgow in February on her last voyage. Sailed to Falmouth (Cornwall) where she was laid up and sold to the British Iron and Steel Corporation after which she was taken to Inverkeithing for breaking by T W Ward Ltd.
|40||SS Letitia (1924-1960)|
(Details of the ship and another photo can be found here.)
Built by A. Stephen & Son, Glasgow in 1908. At 137 metres in length and with a twin-screw steam engine, she was capable of a speed of 16 knots and could carry 402 passengers. The Makura remained in service for 28 years on the trans-Pacific run, steaming over 2.3 million nautical miles. She was sold to Chinese ship-breakers in 1936.
|42||SS Mataura (seen here in dry dock in Auckland in the 1880s)|
Built under the name of Dunfillan, the Mataura was launched in 1868, from the yards of Aitken, Glasgow, and purchased by the New Zealand Shipping Company in 1874. She was a full-rigged ship of 853 tons.
The passage to Nelson, which arrived 10 November 1875, brought out 216 immigrants, 75 of whom were for Nelson, 40 were for New Plymouth, the remainder for Marlborough and Westland. Click here for an abbreviated transcript of one passenger's diary.
|43||SS Miltiades / Orcana|
MILTIADES / ORCANA 1903:
The MILTIADES was a 6,793 gross ton ship, length 455ft x beam 55.1ft, Clipper bows, one funnel, two masts, twin screw, speed 15 knots, accommodation, considered luxurious for 89-1st and 158-3rd class passengers. Completed in Oct.1903 by Alex Stephen & Sons, Glasgow for the Aberdeen Line, she started her maiden voyage from London for Cape Town - Melbourne and Sydney on 3rd Nov.1903.
In 1912 she was rebuilt to 7,817 tons and lengthened to 504ft and a second funnel added. Accommodation was increased to 150-1st and 170-3rd class. Taken up for trooping duties in 1915, she resumed commercial service on 4th June 1920 but started her last Australia voyage on 20th November 1920.
Purchased by the Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. and renamed ORCANA, she was transferred to Pacific Steam Navigation Co in 1922 for their 'round South America' service. However, she proved too expensive to operate and the second voyage was cancelled.
In 1923 she was laid up at Liverpool and later at Dartmouth and in 1924 she was towed to Holland and scrapped.
This photograph shows the ship before it was refitted in 1912 and with only a single funnel.
The MONTCALM was the third ship with that name and was owned by Canadian Pacific Steamships Ltd. She was built in 1920 by John Brown & Co, Glasgow and was a 16,418 gross ton ship, length 549.5ft x beam 70.2ft, two funnels, two masts, twin screw and a speed of 16 knots. There was accommodation for 542-cabin class and 1,268-3rd class passengers. Launched on 3/7/1920, she sailed from Liverpool on her maiden voyage to St John NB on 17/1/1922 and rescued the crew of the Norwegian steamer MOD during this crossing. On 21/4/1922 she commenced her first Liverpool - Quebec - Montreal voyage and in 1927 was converted to cabin, tourist and 3rd class. On 3/7/1927 she collided with an iceberg in the Belle Isle Straits but received only superficial damage. She commenced her first Southampton - Cherbourg - St John NB voyage on 16/3/1929 and her first Antwerp - Southampton - Cherbourg - St John NB voyage on 12/4/1929. On 14/5/1929 she started her first Hamburg - Southampton - Cherbourg - Quebec - Montreal crossing and commenced the last voyage on this service on 28/4/1932 (15 round voyages). On 31/1/1930 she resumed Liverpool - Canada voyages (10 round voyages) and between 1932 - 1939 made 48 pleasure cruises as well as North Atlantic crossings from Antwerp, Southampton or Liverpool. On 12/3/1932 she rescued 27 men and the captain's dog from the rescue tug REINDEER in heavy seas off Halifax. In April 1939 she was converted to cabin and 3rd class only and commenced her last voyage from Southampton to Cherbourg and St John NB on 8/4/1939 (163 N.Atlantic crossings) On 17/10/1939 she was requisitioned and converted to an Armed Merchant Cruiser, renamed HMS WOLFE and one one occasion received two direct hits during a bombing raid. One bomb hit a ventilator and rebounded into the sea and the second one failed to explode and was hove over the side. In January 1942 she sailed to Canada and then Baltimore for conversion to a submarine depot ship, but on 22/5/1942 she was sold to the British Admiralty and in January 1943 converted to a destroyer depot ship. Laid up in 1950, she was towed to the Clyde in 1952 and scrapped at Faslane.
The MONTCLARE was built by John Brown & Co.Ltd, Glasgow in 1922 for Canadian Pacific Steamships Ltd. She was a 16,314 gross ton vessel, length 549.5ft x beam 70.2ft, two funnels, two masts, twin screw and a speed of 16 knots. There was accommodation for 542-cabin class and 1,268-3rd class passengers. She was laid down as the METAPEDIA but launched on 18th Dec.1921 as the MONTCLARE. On 18th Aug.1922 she left Liverpool on her maiden voyage to Quebec and Montreal. In 1928, her accommodation was altered to cabin, tourist and 3rd class and her engines rebuilt in 1929. On 22nd Mar.1929 she commenced an Antwerp - Southampton - St.John NB. Service and on 17th Apr.1929 an Antwerp - Southampton - Quebec - Montreal service. On 20th Mar.1930 she made her first voyage Hamburg - Southampton - Cherbourg - St John NB. and commenced her last voyage Hamburg - Southampton - Cherbourg - Quebec - Montreal on 9th Nov.1933. Between 1932 - 1939 she carried out 48 pleasure cruises, but some N.Atlantic voyages from Hamburg, Antwerp, Southampton or Liverpool. In Jan.1939 she was rebuilt to carry cabin and 3rd class only and commenced her last N.Atlantic voyage on 21st Jul.1939 fom Liverpool to Greenock, Belfast, Quebec, Montreal and Liverpool. On 28th Aug.1939 she was converted to an Armed Merchant Cruiser and named HMS MONTCLARE and on 2nd Jun.1942 was sold to the British Admiralty. In 1946 she was used as a submarine depot ship, and in 1954 was towed to Gareloch. In 1955 she was towed to Portsmouth and in Jan.1958 was sold and scrapped at Inverkeithing.
Launched in 1899 by the Aberdeen White Star Line, she was a 4,573 gross ton ship, length 118.96m x beam 14.32m, clipper bows, one funnel, three masts (rigged for sail), single screw and a speed of 13 knots. There was accommodation for 50-1st and 650-3rd class passengers. Built by Robert Napier & Sons, Glasgow, she was delivered to the Aberdeen Line in January 1899. Her accommodation was said not to be luxurious, but homely and comfortable and she was one of the last passenger steamers to be square rigged. Her maiden voyage from London to Australia started on 14 February 1899 and her final voyage for the company started on 7 October 1913. She was sold to the Bombay & Persia SN Co in February 1914 and renamed "Akbar", at which time her main mast was removed and wireless was fitted. She was scrapped at Genoa in 1923.
|47||SS Orcoma 1908-1933|
Maiden voyage 27th August 1908. The first vessel to exceed 10,000 grt in the company and the largest vessel on South American service at the time. Saw action as an AMC between March 1915 and November 1919. Modernised and converted to oil burner. Scrapped at Blyth when replaced by the REINA DEL PACIFICO built at H&W Belfast.
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|51||SS Otway (1909-1917)|
The following report appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald on 8 July 1909.
|52||SS Parisian (1880-1914)|
The Parisian was the first large steamer of the Allan Line. She was the first to have bilge keels to dampen the rolling, thus reducing seasickness. Used on the Liverpool to Canada and the USA service. She was built for the Allan Line by R Napier and Sons, of Glasgow, the first North Atlantic mail steamer built of steel; 5,359 tons; 134,34 x 14,08 meters (440.8 x 46.2 feet; length x beam); straight bow; 2 funnels; 4 masts; screw propulsion; service speed 14 knots;
Launched on 4 November 1880, The Parisian was one of the largest liners of the day and was the biggest yet built for the North Atlantic Mail run. In 1902, she was equipped with the first Marconi wireless telegraphy.
Titanic Disaster, 1912: It was first hoped that the Parisian had picked up some survivors when searching in the vicinity of the disaster, but she arrived at Halifax April 17th with the disappointing news that she had not.
Home Children: She also carried probably thousands of "Home Children" to Canada for a new life. Amongst them was Ada Florence Bradshaw.
|53||SS Pericles (1908-1910)|
The following report appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on 24 December 1907:
Sadly, SS Pericles didn't last long. The largest passenger liner to ever sink off the coast of Australia went down near Augusta.
On 31 March 1910 the Pericles was on it's 4th voyage, passing Cape Leeuwin, when it hit an uncharted rock. This tore a gash in the hull and the liner began to sink bow first into the water, completely sinking within two and a half hours. Thankfully, all passengers and crew were able to get into the dozen lifeboats, and as conditions were fair at the time, they were able to all make it to shore, guided by a signal fire that had been lit by the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse keeper.
Although there was no trace of the ship after it sank, over the following days tons of goods from the ship washed up on shore. From as far away as Wonnerup, south west families came down in droves, bringing horses and carts to gather up what they could find. The exact location of the wreck was left unknown for almost half a century until it was located and partially salvaged in the 1950’s.
|54||SS Persic (1899-1927)|
The third of the five Jubilee Class ships for the Australian service, Persic was launched at Harland & Wolf, Belfast, in 1899.
Her 7 December 1899 maiden voyage from Liverpool to Sydney was notable for two reasons.
The first is that the entire voyage was greatly influenced by the Boer War. She carried 500 British troops to Cape Town from Liverpool; wounded and ill Australian soldiers from Cape Town to Sydney; and horses from Australia to South Africa on the return voyage.
Second, her rudder stock broke at Cape Town and Persic had to wait there for a replacement to arrive from Belfast.
Persic remained in service under the liner Requisition Scheme during World War I. In September 1918, while in convoy carrying 1,999 American troops from New York, she was torpedoed off the coast of England. There were no fatalities and the ship was beached and subsequently repaired. She was refitted after the war and returned to White Star's Australian service.
The Final Years:
She was again refitted in 1926, but during that refitting it was determined that she suffered from significant engine wear. Because of her age, the necessary engine repairs were economically infeasible, so she made her last voyage to Australia in September of that year. Upon her return she was laid up and, in July 1927, towed to the Netherlands for scrapping.
|55||SS Pittsburgh (1913-1941)|
The Pittsburgh was originally built solely for the American Line of Liverpool by Harland and Wolff, Belfast, in 1913. Construction was stopped at the outbreak of WWI and it wasn't until 1922 that she was ready for service. At this time, the American Line had been purchased by the Red Star Line which in turn was now a part of the International Mercantile. (IMM) With IMM owning the Red Star Line as well as the White Star Line, it was decided to transfer Pittsburgh to White Star at the time of her launching.
She made her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Boston on June 6, 1922. Pittsburgh's regular route was Boston from Hamburg and Bremen. In November 1922, she rescued the crew of the sinking Italian cargo vessel Monte Grappa. In January 1925, the Pittsburgh was transferred to the Red Star Line and ran the Antwerp-Southampton-New York route. In February 1926, she was renamed Pennland. In 1935, Pennland was sold to Arnold Bernstein of Hamburg. In 1940, Pennland was refitted as a troop transport and in 1941, she was bombed and sunk during a German air raid in the Saronic Gulf near Athens.
|56||SS Rakaia (1895-1934)|
Built by R & W Hawthorn, Leslie & Co Ltd in their Hebburn Yard, Rakaia was launched on 25 April 1895 for the New Zealand Shipping Co Ltd, Plymouth.
1915: Sold to Brodmead SS Co Ltd (Blue Star Line); renamed SS Brodmead.
1920: Sold to Union Cold Stroage Co Ltd (Blue Star Line (1920) Ltd; Renamed SS Romanstar.
1929: Blue Star Line Ltd, London; Renamed SS Roman Star.
1934: Sold for scrap and broken up in Savona, Italy from 29 September 1934.
(Photo: 19 April 1909. The SS Rakaia is being turned by a tug on the first ever visit by an Ocean Liner to Nelson, New Zealand)
|57||SS Regina (1917-1947)|
Construction on Regina began in 1917 by Harland and Wolff, Belfast, originally built for the Dominion Line. With WWI escalating, it was decided to launch Regina before her original commercial design completion (with only one funnel) to be utilized as a troop transport. In 1919, with the war having ended, she was returned to Harland and Wolff for completion, including the addition of her second funnel.
Regina's maiden commercial voyage, was in March of 1922 from Liverpool to Halifax to Portland, serving in the White Star/Dominion joint service.
She was finally scrapped in 1947.
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|61||SS Wakool (1898-1925)|
Launched for Wilhelm Lund, London on 26 October 1898. She was named, like other Lund vessels, after an Australian settlement, in her case a town in south-west New South Wales near the border with Victoria.
In 1905, her ownership was transferred to Blue Anchor Lines and then on 26 January 1910 she was sold to P&O for £30,441 for whom she commenced work following a refit. In 1913 P&O sold her for £23,267 to Goshi Kaisha Kishimoto Shokwa, Japan, and she was renamed to "Kwanto Maru".
Four years later, in 1917, she was again sold. This time to the French Government who renamed her "Le Myre de Villiers". Sold again in 1919, she remained in service with Brabant et Pruvost, France until 1923 when she was sold for scrap to S Bertorello of Italy. Scrapping was completed on 23 April 1925.
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|64||The 'Shackamaxon' near Liverpool c.1851|
|65||The ship "Java" (1811-1839)|
The ship "Java" at anchor in Gibraltar prior to her scrapping in 1939. For more information, see this folio article.