Gallery No 39 - Troopships

Images of 112,000 ships - there are 143 Images of Troopships relating to 1925/1965 shown in the first section listed below, with another 51 Empire troopships which can be accessed in the EMPIRE section.

For the full gallery ships of all categories go to "Photoship Pictures Website"

Aba - Asturia 1 & 2 - Almanzora, - Andes - Aragon - Aquitania - Atlantis - Britannic - SS Canberra -TSS. - Cameronia - Cheshire - Dilwara - Dominion Monarch - Dunera - Dunottar Castle- Derwent - Devonshire, - Dorsetshire -Empire Medway - Empire Dynasty - Empire Trooper - Empire Halladale, Empire Helford - Empire Ken, - Empire Test, - Empire Parkeston, - Empire Bure, - Empire Star - Empire Wansbeck, - Empire Fowey, - Empire Pride, - Empress of Australia, - Empress of Britain, - Empire Clyde - Empire Orwell - Franconia - Georgic - Highland Monarch, - Highland Princess, - Highland Chieftain - Imperator - Ile De France - Laconia - Lancastria - Lancashire - Laurentic - Leonardo De Vinc (Empire Clyde 1) -Llangibby Castle - - Nevasa 1 & 2 - Monterosa, - New Australia - Neuralia - Ormode - Orbita - Orontes, - Oxfordshire - Otranto - Orduna - Oransay - Orion - Osmaneih - - QE2 - Queen of Bermuda - RMS Queen Elizabeth - RMS Queen Mary - Rajula, - Rewa - Rhona,- Saga- Somersetshire - Tairea - Talamba - Taliwa - Talma - SS. TRANSYLVANIA - Vienna - Windrush - Zaria

If you are an ex-serviceman and also an oldie you will probably have travelled overseas in a troopship. So scroll down these images and find your "cruise ship". These images have been made available to this website by Bryan Tab Hunter, Roy Nixon, Hector, Mike Smith, Harry Furr, Karlz Glover, Jim MacDonald, Leslie Youdell, Phil Booth, David Armstrong and Ian Girvan for which I extend grateful thanks. Extra information from Derek Lovemore, Ron Flood, Chris Madden, Graham Hibbert, Roy Haskett, Terry Fitzpatrick, Stanley Embling, Ernie Huntley, James Ignis, B J Jayne, Ian White, Peter Smith, Ex L/cpl K.Phillips Royal Signals, John Parsons (RN retired) and Sib Browne.

The Army Children Archive (TACA) - This Link will interest former and current army children who will have travelled the world, who, on the one hand, may find that it ignites some sparks of recognition that in turn trigger a string of memories or, on the other, may enjoy the sense of having a rich history all of their own.

The Empire Ships section is courtesy of "Photoship Pictures Website"

The World War II 'Empire' ships covers a wide range of vessels, ranging from tugs, coasters, tankers and cargo ships to passenger liners, both wartime built and requisitioned, and post war reparations ships. Also included are a few ships which were renamed 'Empire' at the time of the Suez crisis.
This directory lists each ship, together with previous and subsequent names and owners and is purely a guide to subsequent research. Managers while under Ministry of War Transport ownership are also given, where known.
Any information on errors or additional information on ultimate dispositions of ships, or on managers while under MOWT ownership, where this is not given, will be gratefully received and should be sent to -
mariners-L@efinch90.fsnet.co.uk

In the days before air travel, the British Armed Forces travelled by sea to all corners of the Empire. The Ministry of Transport gave contracts with civilian shipping lines to build and manage troopships and often made financial contributions to their construction.

After the World War Two, many German and Italian commercial vessels were seized and distributed to British companies as war prizes. EMPIRE section.

Troopship BLOG - Memories - Derek Lovemore Pages

(Be patient with loading)

 
 
 
ABA / GLENAPP / MATRONA 1918
The ABA was a 7,937 gross ton passenger ship, 450ft x 55.8ft, twin screw motor ship, speed 14 knots, accommodation for 225-1st, 70-2nd and 70-3rd class passengers. Laid down in 1916 by Barclay, Curle & Co., Glasgow for the Imperial Russian Government, work was suspended when the October Revolution occurred and she was taken over by the Shipping Controller. Completed Sep.1918 as a funnelless, four masted cargo ship and named GLENAPP for the Glen Line (McGregor, Gow & Holland). 1920 purchased by the British & African Steam Nav. Co. (Elder Dempster & Co.), she was rebuilt with one funnel, fitted with passenger accommodation and renamed ABA. In Nov.1921 she commenced Liverpool - West Africa sailings. Dec.1929 damaged in heavy weather off Kinsale and towed to Queenstown after her steering gear failed. Jun.1931 grounded at Lagos but refloated and Nov.1931 laid up at Dartmouth. Apr.1933 back in service for Elder Lines Ltd and in Sep.1939 was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to a Naval Hospital Ship. Mar.1940 transferred to the Army and took part in the evacuation from Norway and was then transferred to Alexandria. May 1941 bombed and damaged off Crete and then used variously on Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East - South Africa services. Mar.1944 clearly marked as a hospital ship, she was again bombed at Naples. After repair, she was used on the North Atlantic and after D-Day was used on the Southampton - Cherbourg service. Decommissioned in Jan.1947 and returned to Elder Dempster & Co., she was too old to be worth reconditioning and was sold to Bawtry SS Co., Liverpool and renamed MATRONA for conversion to an emigrant carrier. However, when her ballast was removed, she fell onto her side in Bidston Dock Eventually righted in Jun.1948 by seven locomotives on specially built tracks, she was towed to Barrow-In-Furness where she was scrapped. [Merchant Fleets, vol.20 by Duncan Haws]
 
 
 
 
MV ASTURIAS (1)
IN HER ROLE AS A HOSPITAL SHIP - Prior to being sold to Japan after WW1
 
 
 
 

HMT. Asturias (2)

Built: 1926 by Harland & Wolff, Belfast - When she was launched she was the largest motor ship in the world and also the first Royal Mail passenger ship which had a cruiser stern, her forward funnel was a dummy. She made her maiden voyage on the South American service with Commodore E.W.E. Morrison in command, at the time it was reported that not only was the ship slow but that she suffered from severe vibration as well. Due to the aforementioned irresolvable problems she was re-engined with two Parsons Single Reduction Geared Turbines, her bow was reshaped and she was fitted with new propellers. This increased her horsepower to 20, 000 SHP and for aesthetic purposes as well as soot the height of her funnels was increased. She was Royal Mail's representative at the Silver Jubilee Spithead Review in 1935 for George V and Queen Mary.
At the outbreak of hostilities she was converted to an Armed Merchant Cruiser for use on the South Atlantic patrols, her fore funnel and mainmast were removed to improve the capabilities of her anti-aircraft guns. In July of 1943 she was torpedoed in the South Atlantic but was successfully towed to Freetown some five hundred miles by Zwarte Zee. With her Engine Room flooded she lay there for two years and was finally abandoned by Royal Mail. In 1945 she went undertow again by Zwarte Zee with an escort of seven Corvettes she made her way to Gibraltar for temporary repairs before being towed to Belfast for an extensive refit. She became a Government Emigrant ship and in 1953 repatriated British troops from Korea. She underwent further refurbishment in 1954 and emerged in full trooping colours. In 1957 she was sold for breaking but before she sailed on her final voyage played the part of Titanic in the film 'A Night to Remember' at Faslane.
 
 

SS. Almanzora

Built 1915 - 1915-1919 Armed Merchant Cruiser, 1939-1945 troopship, 1945-1947 Government emigration ship, 1948 scrapped. 16,034

Memory of - Ernest Graham Rutherford

National Service number 1908762 Ernest Graham Rutherford DOB 6th April 1923 (now living at 13 Walton place, Chesterton, Newcastle, Staffs, ST5 4QY) - Was transferred from KOYLI in 1947 to DLI
1947 Set sail from Southampton in the June on SS Almanzora , an old troupe ship had hammocks in), destination to Port Said Egypt to Suez Canal (10day) in transit camp then moved to bottom of Suez Canal. Then on train to top of Suez awaiting for ship to Thessaloniki Greece, stayed there till 1948 transferred back on SS Sithier(??spelling) arrived back Liverpool and de-mobbed at York. April/May 1948.

Submitted by: Mrs K Chatterton (daughter of Mr Rutherford)

 
 
 
 

RMV. Andes 2

Operating life: 1939 - 1971 - Tonnage: 25,689 - Passengers: 607
Constructed: Harland & Wolff, BelfastAndes was launced 6 months before the outbreak of World War Two. She was immediately requisitioned as a troop carrier and spent the war on active duty. In 1947 she was released back to the Royal Mail Line and, after a major refit in Belfast, she commenced her commercial service on routes to South America. In 1959 she was refitted for cruising. In 1971 she made her last voyage to the breakers in Belgium.
 
 

Andes (1)

1913 1915-1919 Armed Merchant Cruiser, 1929 renamed Atlantis cruise ship, 1939-1946 Hospital Ship, 1948-1952 Australia / NZ emigrant ship, 1952 scrapped. 15,620 tons
 
 

 

SS. Aragon

Leaving Durban Harbour 1917 Aragon (1) 1905 1917 torpedoed and sunk off Alexandria while trooping; loss of 610 lives. 9,588tons

RMS Aquitania in The Mersey at Liverpool

RMS Aquitania in The Mersey at Liverpool
Owner: Cunard Line - Liverpool, England - Builder: John Brown & Co. Ltd. Clydebank, Scotland

Year Built: 1914 - Scrapped at Faslane, Scotland 1950. Dimensions and machinery
Length: 901ft Engines: 4 Parsons direct drive steam turbines by John Brown Beam: 97'
Tons: 45,647 tons
Lusitania and Mauretania are sometimes viewed as sister ships but these were much
smaller in size and tonnage. Aquitania was designed by Leonard Peskett, the designer of the Mauretania, and was based on the Mauretania design.

Over 100,000 people attended the launch ceremony. During World War 1 Aquitania transported over 25,000 wounded.
In World War 2 Aquitania sailed over 500,000 miles transporting over 400,000 people. The only liner to serve in both world wars. Sailed a total of over 3,000,000 miles during her career carrying over 1.2 million
passengers.
Made 443 transatlantic voyages.
The last liner with four funnels in service.
(The Arundel Castle was the last of the four funnel liners in service but, two funnels had been removed in 1937.)

RMSP Atlantis - Andes (1) (1913-1929 - 15,620gt)
Atlantis (1929-1952)

RMSP Atlantis, built by Harland & Wolff for the Royal Mail Line in 1913 and served as an hospital ship in WWII
Converted to a hospital ship in 1939, she was initially based at Alexandria, used in the Norwegian evacuation in 1940 and then sent to the Indian Ocean for the next two years. She took part in the Madagascar campaign in 1942 and in 1943 repatriated Italian prisoners of war to Lisbon and Germans to Gothenburg. She continued hospital and repatriation duties until 1946, was reconditioned to carry 900-3rd class passengers and used to carry emigrants from the UK to Australia and New Zealand. Laid up in 1952, she was scrapped the same year. [Merchant Fleets by Duncan Haws, vol.5, Royal Mail Line]

MV. Britannic ( Leslie W. Youdell)

The Britannic (3) - 1930 to 1960 Specifications:

Length: 712 feet (217.5 m)
Beam: 82 feet (25 m)
Tonnage: 26,943 gross tons
Engines: Burmeister & Wein diesels powering two propellers.
Service speed: 18 knots
Passengers: 1,553 people

For a lot more information on this ship: Click here

First page of Passenger List (Karlz Glover)

A lovely colour aerial photograph of the third Britannic. (Picture courtesy of Kevin R. Tam)

SS Canberra

SS Canberra was an ocean liner, which later operated on cruises, in the P&O fleet from 1961 to 1997. She was built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland and was launched on March 16, 1960. The ship was named after the federal capital of Australia, Canberra, and entered service in May 1961.
Tonnage: 1961: 45,270 gross tons
1962: 45,733
1968: 44,807
1994: 49,073
Length: 249.9 m (818 ft)
Beam: 31.2 m (102 ft)
Draft: 9.97 m (32.7 ft)
Height: 55.9 m (183.5 ft) keel to funnel
Power: 85,000 horsepower
Propulsion: Two British Thompson Houston (AEI) synchronous three-phase, 6,000 volt air-cooled electric motors; power supplied by two 32,200 kW steam turbine driven alternators; twin screw
Auxiliary Power: Four auxiliary steam turbines, each driving a 1,500 kW, 440 V, 3 Phase, 60 Hz alternator and a tandem driven 300 kW exciter for the propulsion alternators
Speed: Trials: 29.27 knots (54.3 km/h)
1961-1973: 27.5 knots (51 km/h)
1973-1997: 23.50 knots (43.5 km/h)
Complement: 1961-1973: 548 First class, 1,690 Tourist class, 960 officers and crew
1973-1997: 1,737 passengers, 795 officers and crew
Cost: UK £15 million
After the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982, which initiated the Falklands War, the Ministry of Defence requisitioned the Canberra as use as a troopship. Nicknamed the Great White Whale, the Canberra proved vital in transporting the Parachute Regiment and Royal Marines to the islands more than 9,000 miles (14,000 km) from the UK. Whilst Queen Elizabeth 2 was held to be too vulnerable to enter the war zone, Canberra was sent to the heart of the conflict.
Canberra anchored in San Carlos Water on [[May 21]] as part of the landings by British forces to retake the islands. Although her size and white colour made her an unmissable target for the Argentine Air Force, the Canberra, if sunk, would not have been completely submerged in the shallow waters at San Carlos. However, the liner was not badly hit during the landings as the Argentine pilots tended to attack the Royal Navy frigates and destroyers instead of the supply and troop ships. After the war, Argentine pilots claimed they were told not to hit the Canberra.
When the war ended, Canberra was used to repatriate the Argentine Army, before returning to Southampton to a rapturous welcome. After a lengthy refit, Canberra returned to civilian service as a cruise ship. Her role in the Falklands War made her very popular with the British public, and ticket sales after her return were elevated for many years as a result. Age and high running costs eventually caught up with her though, as she had much higher fuel consumption than most modern cruise ships. She was withdrawn from service in September 1997 and sold for scrapping, leaving for Gadani Beach, Pakistan the next month. She did not give up without a fight however; her deep draft meant that she could not be beached as far as most ships, and due to her solid construction the scrapping process took nearly a year instead of the estimated three months.

S. S. CAMERONIA 1919

The "Cameronia" was built in 1919 by Wm Beardmore & Co Ltd, Glasgow for the Anchor Line of Glasgow. She was a 16,365 gross ton ship, length 552.4ft x beam 70.4ft, one funnel, two masts, twin screw and a speed of 16 knots. There was accommodation for 265 - 1st, 370 - 2nd and 1,100 - 3rd class passengers. Launched on 23/12/1919, the installation of the final parts of her passenger accommodation were delayed due to a strike and she had to be towed to Cherbourg for completion.
She commenced her maiden voyage from Glasgow to Liverpool and New York on 11/5/1921 and between 1921 - 1924 she made several similar Cunard - Anchor Line voyages. In October 1925 she rescued the crew of the burning U.S. Coastguard cutter ''CG - 128'' off New York and in November of the same year collided with the Norwegian steamer ''Hauk'' in the Clyde. In January 1926, one voyage had to be abandoned off Ireland due to steering gear failure and she was forced to put back to Glasgow for repair. In August of that year she missed collision with the Cunard liner ''Samaria'' by only six feet in dense fog.
She was refurbished in 1929 to carry 290 - cabin, 431 - tourist, and 698 - 3rd class passengers. In December 1932 the ship suffered an influenza epidemic and 400 passengers were confined to their beds. It is reported that the ship's doctor made 500 visits a day to his patients. Between December 1934 and October 1935 the ship was laid up at Glasgow, and from then until April 1936 was used as a troop ship to the Far East carrying a total of over 16,000 personnel. In 1936 she was refitted again and on 10/7/1936 resumed the Glasgow - New York service. In 1937 she attended the Spithead Naval Review for the coronation of King George VI and on September 5th, 1939 left Glasgow and became the first British ship to enter New York after the outbreak of war. She made 11 unescorted transatlantic voyages until she was requisitioned as a troopship in December 1940. In January 1941 she trooped 3,000 men to Suez via the Cape and then shuttled between Alexandria and Greece, mainly with New Zealanders. In 1942 she took part in the training and run up to the North African landings (Operation Torch) and in November, took part in the landings. She was hit by an aerial torpedo in December 1942 with the loss of 17 lives, but reached Bone, Algeria. She returned to Gibralter for repair and thence to the Clyde. In June 1943 she resumed service and participated in carrying the Canadian Tank Division from Malta to Sicily and in June 1944 was the largest troopship to take part in the Normandy landings. In August 1945 she was derequisitioned after carrying a total of 163,789 troops over a total distance of 321,323 miles. Laid up as 'worn out' at 25 years of age, she was brought out of retirement in July 1948 and refitted by Barclay Curle at Elderslie for use as an Australian emigration ship, with capacity for 1,266 passengers. On 1/11/1948 she commenced the first of 11 UK - Australia voyages. On 21/1/1953 she was sold to the Ministry of Transport and renamed ''Empire Clyde'' and in March 1958 was scrapped at Newport, Mon. [North Atlantic Seaway by N. R. P. Bonsor, vol.1, p.468] [Merchant Fleets by Duncan Haws, vol.9, Anchor Line]
SS Cameronia (1920–41)
HMT Cameronia (1941–45)
SS Cameronia (1945–53)
SS Empire Clyde (1953–57)
Memory:
I was in a Royal Signals draft to the Middle East in August 1947. We went to Greenock and boarded the Camoronia,with some ceremony, a band playing amongst other numbers,Goodbye Dolly Grey. We were due to sail at 1200 hours but made no move.Sailing was now 1800hours .No move, sailing now 0600on the following day. Still no sailing.This continued until an hour or so after 1200 when the ship moved about 100yards from the dock.I think the the crew decided it was enough as we returned to the dock and after two more days aboard we returned to our depots.In late August I eventually sailed for the ME on troopship Cheshire from Liverpool.Both of these troopers were old style ships with hammocks slung over mess tables.There were about 650 troops on each troopdeck.
Ex L/cpl K.Phillips Royal Signals.
 

Cheshire (F 18) - Type: Armed merchant cruiser - Tonnage: 10.552 tons

Completed: 1927 - Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Glasgow
Owner: The Admiralty , Homeport: Liverpool , Date of attack: 18 Aug, 1942 Nationality: British

History: On 29 Aug, 1939, the motor passenger ship Cheshire from Bibby Brothers & Co, Liverpool was requisitioned by the Royal Navy as armed merchant cruiser and became HMS Cheshire (F 18)
At 21.28 hours on 14 Oct, 1940, the HMS Cheshire (F 18) was struck by one torpedo from U-137 (Wohlfarth) northwest of Ireland (Grid AM 4561). She reached Liverpool but had to be laid up for repairs for six months.
On 9 Jun, 1943 the ship was returned to the owner and then used by the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT) as troop transport. Used as repatriation ship in 1945 and on 5 Oct, 1948 finally returned to the owner.


 

SS. Dilwara - Launched 1935:


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
built by Barclay Curle & Company Glasgow,
Yard No 654
Engines by Barclay Curle & Co Glasgow/ Doxford
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Last Name: KUALA LUMPUR Port of Registry: Hong Kong Propulsion: 2 x Diesel
Launched: Thursday, 17 October 1935
Built: 1936 Ship Type: TroopShip
Tonnage: 12598 grt | 7512 nrt | 3435 dwt Length: 517 feet Breadth: 65 feet Draught: 25 feet
Owner History: British India Steam Nav Co - China Nav Co Hong Kong
Status: Arrived for Scrapping - 01/12/1971
 
 
 
 

SS. Dominion Monarch in 1939

One of Shaw Savill Line's principal ships for many years was Dominion Monarch, which lived up to her regal status by having only first- class accommodation for 523 passengers.Built by Swan Hunters in the late 1930s, the 26,500-ton liner was designed for a new service from Southampton to South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.Dominion Monarch had the distinction of being the last really big British motor liner. A quadruple-screw vessel 650ft long, with an 85ft beam, she set a new fashion by having a single mast set well forward, while her two funnels were aft of midships.The ship had only just begun her career when the Second World War broke out and she was taken over for troopship duties. When peace returned Dominion Monarch was welcomed back to Southampton when she brought in valuable food from New Zealand.By the 1960s Shaw Savill, worried about rising fuel costs, decided to have her broken up.The last commercial voyage started from Southampton on December 30, 1961, returning the following April when all the ships in port saluted her on their whistles.
 
 
 
 

Dunera in 1937

The 12,615-ton Dunera made her maiden voyage from Southampton to China in September 1937.She was closely associated with the port, first as a troopship for 24 years and then as a pioneering educational cruise liner for seven years.
The ship was ordered by the British India Steam Navigation Company from the Barclay Curle shipyard in Glasgow and when completed was chartered by the government to carry troops.She and her sister ship, Dilwara, represented considerable advance on the older troopships. During the Second World War the ships took part in the evacuation from Singapore and landings at Madagascar, Sicily and southern France.
Modernisation and refit work in 1950 at Glasgow cost nearly £1m and Dunera continued in service until trooping by sea finished. She still had plenty of life left in her and British India embarked on a bold experiment.The company decided she should continue in service as Britain's first permanent schools cruise liner. During the first year in her new role, she carried more than 10,000 youngsters.
Her achievements paved the way for the introduction of other retired troopships into cruising operations.Sadly, Dunera was finally broken up for scrap in Spain in 1967.
MEMORIES "SNIPPETS" OF A RAMC MEDICAL ORDERLY, HMT DUNERA 1958
The send off from Southampton was always a nostalgic occasion with military bands, flag waiving with lots of tears from wive's and girl friends. Sailing down Southampton Water for the first time I wondered if I would ever see England again. little did I know than in 39 years I would be doing this again on the liner Oriana.
Very few of the young men on board had been abroad before, like me, for most overseas was crossing the Menia bridge to Anglesey or the ferry to the Isle Of White. The bay of Biscay was always rough; we gave out sick pills but I don't think they were any good.
When ever we past another troop ship (it would be announced on the ships tannoy) there was always lots of waving and if the other ship was homeward bound shouting of "You lucky Bas-----ds", (not that they could hear.")
Everyone knew about the sinking of the Windrush so life boat drill was actually taken seriously, Gibraltar was always the first port of call (or the last), outward bound no shore leave was permitted to prevent troops going AWOL and disappearing across the border into Spain.
The weekly FFI (free from infection) inspections were an undignified procedure with personnel lined up in four rows in PT shorts, the shorts would be dropped while we inspected hair and pubic hair, the penis and other areas. If anything abnormal was found or suspected the poor initial would be refered to the MO, officers were examined by the MO and women QA.'s.
The MOD issue French letters (now called condoms) were the thickness of bicycle innertubes and inverably thrown away"
 
 
 
 

Dunnottar Castle

- 15,000tons - Princesa Victoria was built in 1936 by Harland & Wolff, Belfast, for Union-Castle Line as the Dunnottar Castle. She was used on the London (Tilbury) - round Africa service until the outbreak of WW2, when she was converted to an armed merchant cruiser, and then later used a troop transport. In 1949 she resumed her London - round Africa service.

In 1958, Dunnottar Castle was sold to Incres SS Co, who renamed her as Victoria and substantially rebuilt her in Rotterdam. Victoria entered service in 1960 on New York-West Indies cruises. In 1964, Victoria was sold to Victoria SS Co, a subsidiary of the Swedish company Clipper A/B, but retained her name, service and Incres Line as her agents.

Victoria was bought by Chandris in 1975, resuming sailings as The Victoria in June 1976. She cruised in Europe and the Caribbean until 1993, when she was sold to Louis Cruise Lines who used her on cruises from Cyprus as Princesa Victoria. She was then the oldest large cruise ship (over 10000grt) then still in passenger service. She was sold for breaking up in 2004.
Another view, it is from a postcard mailed in March 1958 at which time it had reverted to commercial service to East Africa. (Supplied by Ian White.)

 
 

SS Derwent (3) 1949

Ex- Persic, 1969 transferred from Shaw Savill & Albion Line renamed Derwent, scrapped 1971. 13,594tons
 
 

MV. Devonshire

Operating life: 1939 - 1967 - Tonnage: 11,275 - Passengers: 1,344
Constructed: Fairfield, Glasgow

Devonshire was delivered to the Bibby Line just before the outbreak of World War Two. After her war service she continued trooping until her sale in 1962 to the British India Line. She was then refitted as an educational cruise ship and renamed the Devonia. She was scrapped in 1967.
In August 1961 MV Devonshire left Plymouth carrying The Somerset & Cornwall Light Infantry for Gibraltar - http://www.britisharmedforces.org/scli_%20pages/pages/gibraltar.htm
 
 
MV. Devonshire leaving Singapore for Hong Kong 1954.
 
 

TSMV Dorsetshire

Built Belfast Harland and Wolff 1920 450 feet long, 57.0 feet wide, 34.4 draft, 2-6 cyl 4SC SA
Burmeinster and Wain diesel engine, 7,450 tons, but 9,345 tons as trooper. Cargo liner from 1920 -1927, Trooper from 1927. Hospital ship WWII Trooper post war,. Migrant service. 1952 hostel, Little Aden Oil refinery. BROKEN UP 1954
-------------------------------------------
I have just seen your web site and saw a picture of the old HMT Dorsetshire, in which I sailed to Egypt in in April 1938. I have a postcard of her with some specifics about her which might be of interest to you.

Printed below the photo (picture) are the following ponts: 9,647 tons Length 466ft. Breadth 57ft Speed 12 knots

I recall vividly my surprise to find the `Bay' very smooth, however a few hours after dropping a few members at Gibraltar, we ran into a very bad storm and we seemed to have lost the use of a `Screw' so had to return to Gib. in order to correct the situation. That storm resulted in more than 95% being Seasick. A far from pleasant experience, especially on a Troopship. However I also recall acting as a steward in our (RCofS) Sgt's. Mess and having to collect and hang the Hammocks for them before collecting my own. But what a wonderful experience awaited me when actually sleeping in a Hammock.
Strange how memories are recalled after so long and now at the age of 88 I am completing my memoires as far as possible and at the end I have a picture gallery including the picture of the old Dorsetshire..

Now a Canadian Citizen and belonging to several `Old Comrades Groups' I still wear uniform at special functions. - Ernie Huntley

 

Eastern Prince later to be Empire Medway

Passenger ship.
1929 EASTERN PRINCE, Furness Withy & Co.
1940 Troopship.
1946 MOWT managed by Furness Withy & Co..
1950 EMPIRE MEDWAY (2), MOWT managed by Furness Withy & Co.
1953 Scrapped Faslane.
Empire Dynasty - Eastern - Dori.
EmpireDynasty 9905gross tons, 475length, 64beam, 24draft, built1944 MOWT managed by Lamport & Holt Line.
1946 EASTERN, Eastern & Australian SS Co, London.
1964 DORI, Eddie SS Co, Taiwan.
1969 Scrapped Taiwan.
 

HMT. Empire Trooper

The EMPIRE TROOPER, ex CAPE NORTE ex SIERRA SALVADORE, was an ex German 13,942 gross ton passenger steamer built in 1922, by Stettiner Maschinbau AG Vulcan of Hamburg. When built there was capacity for 2,886 passengers. On the 3rd of September 1939, while attempting to return to Germany, and in a position just off Peenambuco, Iceland, the vessel was captured by H.M.S Belfast. During the capture the German crew managed to sabotage the ships engines. Scrapped in 1955
 
 
 

HMT. Empire Halladale - Operating life: 1922 - 1956


Tonnage: 13,589 - Passengers: 1,886 - Constructed: Vulcan, HamburgThe Empire Halladale was formerly known as the Antonio Delfino. She was built for the Hamburg South American Line and sailed on the Hamburg to River Plate route until 1932. During the war she performed various duties and was captured together with Pretoria in Copenhagen in May 1945. She trooped under the management of the Anchor Line until her break-up in 1956.
 
 
 
In 1946 to 1950 this was Empire Helford
Built 1915 - 6598tons 440length 53beam 1Passenger Ship.
1915 CZARITZA, Russian American Line.
1917 The Shipping controller managed by Ellerman's Wilson Line.
1917 The Shipping controller managed by Cunard SS Co.
1920 LITUANIA, Baltic American Line.
1930 KOSCIUSZKO, Gdynia America Line, Poland.
1939 GDYNIA, Polish Navy.
1945 KOSCIUSZKO, Polish Navy.
1946 EMPIRE HELFORD, MOWT managed by Lamport & Holt Line, Liverpool.
1950 Scrapped Blyth
 
 
 
This photo was supplied by Phil Booth, the caption reads:
The Ship that took my Grandad Randolph Shelby to Rhodesia Africa

HMT. Empire Ken

9523tons, built 1928 Passenger ship.
1928 UBENA, German East Africa Line.
1939 German Navy, U-Boat depot ship.
1945 German hopital ship.
1945 Seized by Allies at Travemunde.
1945 EMPIRE KEN, MOWT troopship.
1957 Scrapped Dalmuir
 
 
 
Jim MacDonald has submitted this image: His Bedding Card for the trip from Malta to Southampton aboard Empire Ken in 1953.
 
 
 
 

HMT. Empire Ken

9523tons, built 1928 Passenger ship.
1928 UBENA, German East Africa Line.
1939 German Navy, U-Boat depot ship.
1945 German hospital ship.
1945 Seized by Allies at Travemunde.
1945 EMPIRE KEN, MOWT troopship.
1957 Scrapped Dalmuir
 
 
 
 

1922 S/S THYSVILLE

Belge-Maritime du Congo, Antwerp. 8176 tons.
1947 EMPIRE TEST, MOWT managed by Lamport & Holt Line - troopship.
Scrapped Faslane in 1953
 
 
 
 
EMPIRE TEST / THYSVILLE 1922 - picture supplied by Ron Flood - The Empire Test at Trieste Docks Italy, in 1952 with The South Lancashire Regiment aboard who were heading for the Middle East.
8,300 gross tons, length 459ft x beam 57ft, one funnel, two masts, twin screw, speed 14 knots. Accommodation for 178-1st and 136-2nd class passengers. Built by John Cockerill, Hoboken for Cie Belge Maritime du Congo, she was launched as the THYSVILLE and commenced her maiden voyage from Antwerp to the Belgian Congo on 2nd Oct.1922. In 1930 the company was merged into Cie Maritime Belge (Lloyd Royal) and in 1940 on the invasion of Belgium by the Germans, she was operated by the Belgian Government on charter to the Allies. Acquired by the Ministry of Defence in 1947 for relief trooping, she was renamed EMPIRE TEST, and was painted white with a blue band round her hull, yellow funnel and cream masts. There was capacity for 800 passengers/troops. Her final trooping voyage was in Oct.1952 and arrived at Faslane on 19th June 1953 for scrapping.
~~~
I sailed on this troopship from Trieste to Port Sudan in October 1951 with the 1st Bn The South Lancashire Regiment.The photograph showing it in Trieste was taken in 1951 not 1952. It was, of course coal burning and I remember that once it arrived in Port Sudan a lighter came alongside laden with coal. It was then unloaded into the bunkers by hand with native labour (Fuzzy-Wuzzys) running up a series of planks carrying baskets of coal. This process went on for nearly three days until the lighter was empty.

Cheers
Gordon Clark
 
 
 
 
Another view of Empire Test - courtesy of www.photoship.co.uk
 
 

 

HMT. Empire Parkeston in 1930

Ex- Prince Henry, 1946 purchased from Canadian Government and renamed Empire Parkeston, 1962 scrapped. 6,893 tons

MEMORIES "SNIPPETS" OF A RAMC MEDICAL ORDERLY - Graham Hibbert

There are two troop ships that you hear very little about, thy Empire Parkston and the Wansbeck, these were known as ST's (sick tubs).
They operated a a night crossing several times a week from Harwich to the Hook of Holland (for onward rail transport to Germany) and return.
Medical staff consisted of two RAMC lance-corporals only, provided by Netley on secondment to movement control Parkston Quay Harwich, I spent several winter months on these ships; we had a small medical room and were always busy. For serious incidents we were totally reliant on any doctors and QA's in transit and radio advice.
Unfortunately I do not have any photos, at the time these ships did not have the since of adventure and excitement as deep sea trooping. - Graham Hibbert.

Charlton Star - This ship was later to become the Empire Bure.

Stanley Embling writes: I sailed on the troopship Empire Bure to Jamaica in late February 1949 from Liverpool.... I returned from Jamaica on the Empire Test I do believe in the early part of 1953

Lineage of the ship see below.

 

Elizabethville/HMT. Empire Bure/Charlton Star ( Details supplied by James Ignis)

History SS Charlton Star, Built by John Cockerill Shipyards,Hoeboken,Belgium
8178 Gross Tons, 439 Feet long
57 Feet wide Steam quadrepal expansion engines,twin screw
Service Speed 14 Knots
700 one class passengers
1921 Elizabethville, Cie Belge-Maritime Du Congo,Antwerp
1930 Cie. Maritime Belge,Antwerp
1940 MOWT Troopship, Managed by Lamport & Holt, Liverpool
1946 Cie Maritime Belge
1947 Empire Bure MOWT managed by Lamport & Holt Line, Liverpool
1950 SS Charlton Star,Charlton SS Co London (CHANDRIS)
1958 Maristrella AJ & DJ Chandris, Liberia
1960 Scrapped at Osaka
 
 
 
 
 
SS Empire Star.
Built: Harland-Wolffs, Belfast - Dimensions: 524.2 x 70.4 x 32.3 feet
Tonnage: Gross: 11093 Net: 6810
Propulsion: Two 6-Cyl. 2 S.C.D.A. Burmeister & Wain oil engines by shipbuilder driving twin screws
Type: Refrigerated Cargo Liner
Launched: 26/9/1935 ( Yard No.957) as Empire Star for Frederick Leyland & Co. Ltd. (Blue Star Line managers) - Completed: 12/1935
Bombed: 12/02/1942 and damaged by Japanese aircraft in the Durian Strait, during the evacuation of Singapore. She received three direct hits and repairs were later carried out at Fremantle and Sydney, Australia. Fourteen military personnel and two civilian refugees were killed
Torpedoed: 23/10/1942 and sunk by the German Submarine U-615, north of the Azores in position 48.14N 26.22W [20]. She was on a voyage from Liverpool to East London, South Africa with 10,555 tons of general cargo and Government stores. Twenty crew , six gunners and six passengers were lost.

Sister Ships: Imperial Star (1) , New Zealand Star (1) , Sydney Star (1) , Australia Star (1) , Melbourne Star (1) , Brisbane Star (1), Wellington Star (1), Auckland Star (1), Adelaide Star (1) , Empire Star (3) , Imperial Star (2) & Melbourne Star (2)
 
 
 
 

SS. Empire Wansbeck

Built 1943 ex- Linz, (North German Lloyd), war prize, 1946 renamed Empire Wansbeck, Harwich-Hook of Holland, 1961 sold to Greece, renamed Esperos. 3,508tons
MEMORIES "SNIPPETS" OF A RAMC MEDICAL ORDERLY - Graham Hibbert.
There are two troop ships that you hear very little about, they were Empire Parkston and the Wansbeck, these were known as ST's (sick tubs).
They operated a a night crossing several times a week from Harwich to the Hook of Holland (for onward rail transport to Germany) and return.
Medical staff consisted of two RAMC lance-corporals only, provided by Netley on secondment to movement control Parkston Quay Harwich, I spent several winter months on these ships; we had a small medical room and were always busy. For serious incidents we were totally reliant on any doctors and QA's in transit and radio advice.
Unfortunately I do not have any photos, at the time these ships did not have the since of adventure and excitement as deep sea trooping. - Graham Hibbert.
 
 

HMT. Empire Fowey (Picture supplied by Mike Smith)

 
 

Empire Fowey

Copy of a card sent by my father to his mother. It is not dated, but the back states “It is a lovely ship and is on the maiden voyage after being refitted at some tremendous cost” I think it must have been sailing to Kenya during the Mau Mau troubles when my father was serving with the Buffs.

Christopher Excell.
Operating life: 1935 - 1976
Tonnage: 17,528 - Passengers: 286 - Constructed: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Empire Fowey was originally called the Potsdam and was seized by the Allies in Flensburg in 1945. She sailed for one year as the Empire Jewel before taking the name of Empire Fowey in 1946 under the management of P&O. In 1960 she was sold to Pakistan and became the Safina-e-Hujjaj. She was scrapped in Karachi in 1976.
 
 

 
 
EMPIRE BRENT/CAPTAIN COOK
In the early twenties, Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Co Ltd of Glasgow built two very similar sister ships for the Donaldson Line. One was called ATHENIA, and was to achieve a certain kind of fame by being torpedoed and sunk by U30 on September 3rd 1939, the first passenger liner to be sunk in the war. She second ship was to have a varied and much longer career and was named LETITIA.
She was launched on October 14th 1924 and completed in April 1925. She grossed 13,475 tons, was 538' long overall, and had a beam of 66.3'. Geared turbines drove the ship through twin screws at a speed between 14 and 16 knots and she was built to burn either coal or oil. Her crew numbered 300 and she could carry 516 Cabin Class passengers with 1,023 in Third Class. She began her maiden voyage on April 25th 1925 and thus introduced herself to the Glasgow-Montreal service on which she was to run until 1939. In 1933 she was given a refit in which her passenger accommodation was modified to take 298 in Cabin Class, 310 in Tourist, and 964 in Third.
At the start of World War Two, LETITIA was converted first to an AMC and later to a troopship. Her role changed again in 1944 when she was taken over by the Canadian Government for conversion to a hospital ship. She survived in this role until the end of the war when she was bought by the British Ministry of Transport. She remained under Donaldson management but was renamed EMPIRE BRENT. On November 20th 1946 she was involved in a collision with the British steamer STORMONT which sank.
A refit on the Clyde between December 1947 and mid-1948 prepared EMPIRE BRENT for her post-war employment and she began her first trooping voyage to the Far East in July 1948. By 1950 she was being run outward bound to Australia with emigrants and being used as a troopship on homeward journeys as required. During this period of her life the ship might best have been described as an "associated unit" of the peacetime trooping fleet. In June 1951 she began yet another refit, which was to last until January 1952, to convert her fully to an emigrant carrier. Her gross tonnage was increased to 13,876 tons and she was able now to carry 1,088 passengers in one class. She left Glasgow for New Zealand for the first voyage after this refit on February 5th 1952.
The latest refit had been brought about by the ship having been chartered to the New Zealand Government in 1951. She was kept under Donaldson management but renamed CAPTAIN COOK and ran from Glasgow to New Zealand via Panama. Still she made the occasional voyage home from the Far East with British military personnel. Between April and October 1955 her itinerary was varied somewhat when she ran seven voyages from Glasgow to Liverpool and Montreal for Donaldson, the route of her maiden voyage thirty years earlier.
CAPTAIN COOK'S New Zealand charter expired in the summer of 1959 and was not renewed. The vessel was old, and as no further employment could be found for her, she was sent for breaking by TW Ward at Inverkeithing where she arrived on April 29th 1960.

 

 
 
 

HMT. Empire Pride

9248tons, built 1941 Troop Transport.
MOWT managed by Bibby Bros & Co.
1954 CHARLTON PRIDE, Chandris Ltd, London, converted to cargo liner.
1956 CALGARIA, Donaldson Line, Glasgow.
1963 EMBASSY, Cia Nav.Fortaleza, Panama.
1963 Scrapped Hong Kong
 
 
 

Empress of Australia

Built as TIRPITZ for Hamburg-Amerika Line by Vulcanwerke, A.G at Stettin, Germany
21,861 GRT - 615 x 75 feet - Twin screw, turbines - 17 knots
370 First class, 190 Second Class, 415 Third Class, 1,000 Steerage
In 1938 she went to Harland & Wolff at Southampton for an overhaul returning for the 1939 season, but after only three cruisesshe was selected to act as the Royal Yacht to take King George VI and the Queen to Canada. She sailed from Portsmouth May 6, 1939and arrived two days late in Quebec due to dense fog. She continued on the Quebec run until the outbreak of War whereupon she became a troopship.It was in this role that she would remain for the next 13 years. EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA worked world wide in trooping in every theatre of war. In 1946 while anchoring off Liverpool her anchor tangled with that of a cargo liner DEBRETT, the two ships collided and seven tugs were needed to separate them. In December of 1946 she was altered for peace-time trooping, offering better accommodations, however she was never repainted from the wartime grey. She continiued to carry troops up to another overhaul in Liverpool in 1951. The following year after her 70th trooping voyage she was sold. Bought for scrap, she sailed from the Mersey to Inverkeithing, May 8, 1952.
 
 
 

Empress of Britain

On the 25th Sept 1939, she was officially requisitioned to be used as a troop transport. Once she had been converted into such, she made two trooping crossings from Halifax to Clyde, each time escorted by destroyers.
In March 1940, the Empress was sent to Australia and New Zealand to transport troops to Europe. On May 12th she left Freemantle in a troop convoy
The Empress of Britain burning after having been attacked by German aircraft.
together with the Empress of Canada, Queen Mary, Aquitania, Mauretania and Royal Mail’s Andes.
In the autumn of 1940, the Empress of Britain was on trooping mission between England and Suez via the Cape. On her way back, she called at Cape Town. Leaving with 643 people on board, no one knew that this was to be her last voyage. On October 26th, when the Empress of Britain was off the West Coast of Ireland, she was suddenly attacked by a German long-range Focke-Wulf Condor aircraft. The ship was set on fire in the attack, and it did not take long before the crew had lost control of the raging blaze. The Captain ordered abandon ship, but a skeleton crew remained in an effort to save the ship.
The Polish destroyer Burza and the two tugs Marauder and Thames managed to take the burning vessel in tow, and headed for safe waters. But the German aircraft had reported the ship’s position via radio, and soon the German U-boat U-32 was on the Empress’ tails. The U-boat stalked its prey for almost 24 hours before, on October 28th, she was able to fire three torpedoes against the Empress of Britain. One of the torpedoes detonated prematurely, but the other two found its target, and mortally wounded her. The Empress of Britain went down, the casualties being counted to 49, most of whom had been killed in the air attack. Two days later, the U-32 was sunk by the destroyer Harvester.
Five years later, when the bloody conflict of World War II came to an end, no larger liner than the Empress of Britain had been sunk. She was the greatest loss for the Allied forces during the entire war.
 
 

HMT. Empire Clyde (Harry Furr)

TSS. Cameronia - later renamed SS. Empire Clyde - 7515tons built 1925 Passenger ship.
The first large British passenger liner laid down after the 1914-18 war was Anchor Line's CAMERONIA. She was one of a large group of very similar looking vessels laid down at about the same time which included, fir instance, Donaldson's LETITIA and Cunard's TYRRHENIA. Beardmore and Company of Glasgow launched her on December 23rd, 1919 after a construction period of only nine and a half months and she was completed in March 1921.
As built, the ship grossed 16,280 tons, was 678' long overall, and had a beam of 70.2'. Steam turbines and twin screws gave her a service speed of 17 knots and her initial capacity was for 265 passengers in first class, 370 in second, and 1150 in third with a crew of 320. She began her maiden voyage on May 11th, 1921 and continued in the Liverpool to New York service until she was laid up in the Clyde in December 1934 as a result of the Depression. The only events of great note in her career to this date were her collision with the small Norwegian steamer HANK in the Clyde in 1925 and her Beardmore refit of 1928-29. Some rebuilding forward was part of this refit and was designed to counteract the ship's inclination to pitch heavily. By May 1929vthe work was completed and her passenger capacity had been altered to 290 Cabin Class, 431 Tourist Class, and 698 Third.
In 1935 CAMEROMIA was taken over by the British government for a few trooping voyages to the Middle and Far East after which she was refitted and placed in the Glasgow-New York service starting on July 10th 1936. The Coronation Fleet Review of 1937 provided another short spell of government employment when CAMERONIA was hired by the Admiralty as a VIP grandstand.
The ship continued in unescorted commercial service to New York for a short while after the start of World War Two. She was, in fact, the first British vessel to enter New York after the war had been declared. She left New York on what was to be the last Anchor Line Atlantic passenger voyage on November 4th, 1940 and was taken over for conversion to a troopship on arrival at Glasgow. Her conversion was rapid and she was ready for trooping service in January 1941. During her war service CAMERONIA was damaged by air attack in the Mediterranean. She had to return to the Clyde for repairs after having been disabled by aerial torpedo off Bongie on December 22nd, 1942. She was the largest troopship to take part in the allied landings in Normandy and was on the scene the day after the initial assaults. In August 1944 she was present also at the landings in Southern France.
At the end of the war CAMERONIA was laid up until she was needed again by the government in the spring of 1947. This time she was needed for trooping to Palestine which occupied her until she was taken in hand by Barclay Curle and Company for conversion into an emigrant ship in the Australian trade. Her gross tonnage was increased to 16,584 tons and she was given accommodation for 1,266 passengers in one class. She made her first voyage as an emigrant carrier between Glasgow and Sydney, leaving the UK on November 1st, 1948. She continued in this trade until being bought by the Ministry of Transport in 1953 for conversion to a permanent troopship, possibly as a result of increased trooping demand in connection with the Korean War. Renamed EMPIRE CLYDE, she became a regular on the Far Eastern trooping run. Her career as a peacetime trooper, however, was not long, for as the need for such vessels declined she was sold eventually for scrap, arriving at Newport, Monmouthshire in early October 1957 for breaking by John Cashmore Ltd.
Memory by Derek Lovemore
My own experience was on the Empire Clyde in February 1954 outbound from Liverpool to Bermuda carrying the 1st Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. The Irish Sea was at its most turbulent for many years and the decks were literally awash with vomit for many days, until the ship sailed well out into the North Atlantic. How sweet the smell and scents of Bermuda after 8 days.
 
 
HMT. Empire Orwell - Operating life: 1936 - 1987 - Tonnage: 16,662 - Passengers: 490
Constructed: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg

Empire Orwell started her life as the Pretoria. During the war she became a hospital ship and was used for the evacuation of the Eastern territories in early 1945. Taken as a war prize in Copenhagen in May 1945 she served as the Empire Doon under Orient Line management until 1950 when she underwent a major refit and became the Empire Orwell. She was sold to the Blue Funnel Line in 1958 and became the Gunung Djati pilgrim ship sailing between Indonesia and DJeddah. In 1979 she was sold again to the Indonesian navy and spent her last years trooping as the Tanjung Pandan. She was scrapped in Taiwan in 1987.

SS Franconia.

Built 1923 by John Brown Clydebank, - Yard No 492 - Engines by Shipbuilder

Port of Registry: Liverpool - Propulsion: Steam turbine, twin screws, 13500shp
Launched: Saturday, 21/10/1922 - Ship Type: Passenger Vessel
Ship's Role: N.Atlantic and cruising
Tonnage: 20155 grt - Length: 624 feet - Breadth: 73 feet
Owner History:
Cunard Steam-Ship Company, Liverpool
1934 Cunard-White Star Ltd., Liverpool
1950 Cunard Steam-Ship Co., Liverpool
Status: Arrived for Scrapping - 18/12/1956
 
 
 

Georgic (II) 1932 - 1956

Length: 712 feet (217.5 m) Beam: 82.5 feet (25.2 m) Tonnage: 27,759 gross tons
The Second World War began in 1939, and the Georgic was requisitioned for British trooping duties. Earlier the same year the Georgic had been transferred back to the Liverpool-New York service and made five voyages back and forth. The actual converting into a trooping-vessel did not occur until April 1940, on the Clyde. The Georgic was now able to carry 3,000 soldiers. The first use that was made of the Georgic was to have British troops evacuated from Andesfjord and Narvik in Norway and landing them at the Clyde. The next assignment was to evacuate British soldiers from Brest and S:t Nazarie. She also carried Canadian troops across the Atlantic to the Middle East via the way around Africa.
In 1941, the Georgic was sailing in a convoy that had left the Clyde on May 22. This convoy was the very convoy, which hunted and sank the famous German battleship Bismarck. After having been left almost unprotected by the attacking British war-ships, the Georgic anyway managed to reach her destination: Port Tewfik in the Gulf of Suez on July 7. When she was at anchor here, German aircraft spotted the British trooper and bombed her. The Georgic was hit twice, and the stern of the ship was set afire by the bombs. The fire reached the ship’s fuel, and the ammunition carried on board exploded, thus wrecking the entire stern area. The ship was beached by her captain, and when evacuated the half-submerged Georgic was left to be burned out.
Even though the vessel was almost totally destroyed, it was decided that she should be salvaged on September 14. In October the Georgic was raised, and two months later the plugging of the hull was completed. She was towed, stern first, to Port Sudan where she was made seaworthy. A year later she had arrived at Bombay and finished hull cleaning and further reparations. In January 1943, she left Bombay at 16 knots for Liverpool where she arrived on March 1. Her next port of call was Belfast. There she would undergo a complete refit, which took 17 months. When completed in December 1944, her exterior was much different from what she had once looked like. The main changes was that her fore funnel and aft mast had been removed and the forward mast been shortened. Now every possible difficulty in separating Georgic from her sister Britannic had been reduced. On December 16, she was returned to her managers. During the last year of the war, the Georgic made some trooping to Italy, the Middle East and India. The last war duties continued until 1948.
The Georgic was offered for sale in 1955, and in May she was chartered by the Australian Government. The last voyage ever completed in service for the Georgic was on November 19, when she carried 800 troops between Hong Kong and Liverpool. In December she was laid up at Kames Bay at Isle of Bute, and in January 1956 she was sold to the Shipbreaking Industries Ltd. at Faslane where she arrived one month later. The last of the ships built for the White Star Line had finally come to rest.

 

 
 
 
 

Highland Monarch - 14,139tons - Built at Harland & Wolff, Belfast - 1932-1960 - Steel Screw motorship

Highland Monarch was built for Nelson Line in 1928. She passed to Royal Mail in 1932, with the take over of Nelson Line. Highland Monarch was scrapped in 1960.
 
 
 

Highland Princess 14,100 Harland & Wolff, Belfast 1932-1959 Steel Screw motorship

Highland Princess was built for Nelson Line in 1929. She passed to Royal Mail in 1932, with the take over of Nelson Line. In 1959 Highland Princess was sold to John Latsis, Piraeus, and renamed Marianna

Highland Chieftain
(Royal Mail: 1932-1958 - 14,131gt)

Highland Chieftain was built by Harland and Wolf of Belfast for Nelson Line in 1928, the first of the five "Highland" Class. Sister ships were Highland Brigade, Highland Monarch and Highland Princess. Her maiden voyage on the London to River Plate service, on the 21st of February and later transferred to Royal Mail in 1932. She commenced wartime trooping duties in 1939, but was damaged on the 11th of October, 1940, during a bombing raid on Liverpool.She ran aground in 1946. In 1959 Highland Chieftain was sold to Calpe Shipping Co, Gibraltar, and renamed Calpean Star.
The Fate of this Ship.
As you come up the River Plate to Montevideo you can see the mast of the Highland Chieftain sticking out of the water from miles away. The un-initiated on the ship thought that this was the remains of the Graff Spee. No such luck as she lies broken up underwater some 3 miles away. After the war she did not resume her commercial operations until 1948 on the River Plate service, and was sold out of the fleet in January of 1959 to the Calpe Shipping Company of Gibraltar and converted for use in the whaling industry,and renamed Calpean Star.
In March of 1960 she suffered rudder damage when off Montevideo, and after leaving under tow she suffered a boiler room explosion which resulted in her being abandoned.The wreck wasn't cut up for scrap until 1965.
She took webmasters brother Charles Petvin (RAF) to North Africa in 1943
With thanks to Andrew Faulkner

SS. Imperator - Launched 05-23-1912, Vulcan Shipyards, Hamburg

Gross Tonnage - 52,226, Dimensions - 269.09 x 29.96m ,Number of funnels - 3Number of masts - 2, Builder - A.G.Vulcan, Hamburg, Commisioned 05-24-1913Size: 52.117 gross tons (European); 15,000 tons., Length over all: 277.06 m (269.07 registered), Width: 29.87 m, Depth: 19.20 m, Machines: 4 turbines AEG-Vulcan, Speed: 23 knots normal, 24 knots maximum, Capacity: 714+194 first class, 401+205 second class, 962+1772 third class passengers, 1180 crew. 1938 sold for scrap
As the cost of renovation would be so high it was decided to withdraw the Berengaria from service altogether, on 23 March 1938. For the next few months she lay idle in Southampton dock until 19 October when it was decided to dispose of her. Sir John Jarvis MP bought the ship for demolition on the Tyne at Jarrow for £108,000. The ship sailed from Southampton on December. The furniture and fittings were auctioned in January 1939 and over 200 Jarrow men were employed in breaking up the old ship. The outbreak of war, however, meant that the men were required elsewhere so it was not until 1946 that the remains of the hull were towed to Rosyth for the final process of dismantling. By this time few people were interested in the remains of an old liner that had been built in the Imperial Germany of 1913.

Ile De France

The ship was involved in extensive trooping during World War II. Returned to the French Line in 1947, she underwent a massive two-year reconstruction which modified her profile with the removal of one funnel, giving her a more modern appearance. She was also given some of the furnishings of the Normandie, which had been destroyed by fire in 1942.

RMS Laconia

Owner: Cunard Line - Port of registry: Great Britain
Route: Liverpool-Boston-New York route
Builder: Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Wallsend-on-Tyne
Launched: 9 April 1921 - Maiden voyage: 25 May 1922
Fate: Torpedoed and sunk on 12 September 1942
General characteristics
Class and type: Ocean liner - Tonnage: 19,860 gross tons
Length: 183 m (600 feet) - Beam: 22.5 m (74 ft)
Installed power: Steam turbines - Propulsion: Twin propellers
Speed: 16 knots
Capacity: Passenger accommodations: 350 1st class - 350 2nd class - 1,500 3rd class

 
 
 

HMT. Lancashire (2)

Built 1914 for Bibby Line, in 1930 converted to permanent troopship, scrapped at Barrow in 1956. Length 502 ft. Breadth 57 ft. Depth 35 ft. 10 ins. Tonnage 9,543 tons, H.P. 6,000.
Lancashire took my father to Malta in April 1934. They appeared to have arrived at Malta on 22/04/1934. He was posted to RAF Flying Boat base at Calafrna, attached to 202(FB) Squadron. Lancashire seems to have taken service personnel as far as India and was out in the far east at the fall of Singapore. I also have heard it was still in far east service (pos.
Hong Kong) as late as 1956. (Roy Haskett)

 
 
 
 

Another view of HMT. Lancashire - supplied by B J Jayne.

I sailed on the last voyage of the Lancashire, Embarking with the HQ Ist guards Brigade at Port Said at the end of March 1956 arriving in Liverpool approx 14 days later, she suffered a minor engine problem resulting in a short stay in Grand harbour Malta, She left Liverpool to go to the Breakers Yard.

Regards B J Jayne Welsh Guards (ret)
 
 
 
 

SS Laurentic was a British ocean liner of the White Star Line.

Career - Name: SS Laurentic
Owner: White Star Line Ordered: 1907
Builder: Harland and Wolff - Yard number: 394
Launched: 1908 - Maiden voyage: 29 April 1909
Fate: Struck two mines and sank, 25 January 1917
General characteristics - Tonnage: 14,892 Gross Register Tonnage
Length: 565 ft (172 m) Beam: 67 ft 3 in (20.5 m)
Decks: 3
Installed power: Triple-expansion steam engines driving outboard propellers, with low-pressure turbine driving the centre propeller. Total 11,000 indicated horsepower.
Propulsion: Triple screws - Speed: 16 kn (30 km/h; 18 mph)
Capacity: 1st Class: 230; 2nd Class: 430; 3rd Class; 1,000
Laurentic was launched in 1908 and entered service between Liverpool and Montréal on 29 April 1909. She only ever served on the Liverpool-Canada route, and gained notoriety in the capture of murderer Hawley Harvey Crippen, in which Chief Inspector Walter Dew of the Metropolitan Police used the Laurentic's speed to arrive in Canada before the fleeing suspect on the SS Montrose.
Being in Montréal when the Great War began, Laurentic was immediately commissioned as a troop transport for the Canadian Expeditionary Force. After conversion to armed merchant cruiser service in 1915, she struck two mines off Lough Swilly in the north of Ireland on 25 January 1917 and sank within an hour. Only 121 of the 475 aboard survived.
In addition to her passengers and crew, the ship was carrying about 35 tons of gold ingots stowed in its second class baggage room. At the time the gold was valued at £5 million, approximately £250 million in 2007. Royal Navy divers made over 5,000 dives to the wreck between 1917 and 1924 and recovered all but about 1% of the ingots. Still to this day 22 bars of gold remain on the sea bed, perhaps under parts of the hull, the last of the gold recovered by the Royal Navy was some 10 metres (33.8 feet) under the sea bed, thus the remaining gold would be difficult to reach.

 
LEONARDO DA VINCI (Empire Clyde 1)
1925 LEONARDO DA VINCI, Transatlantica Italiana Soc.di Nav, Genoa.
1937 Lloyd Triestino, Trieste.
14.2.41 Captured by R.N at Kismayu, Italian Somaliland.
1941 MOWT managed by Ellerman Lines.
1943 EMPIRE CLYDE (1), managed by Ellerman City Line - Hospital Ship.
1948 MAINE, The Admiralty. Hospital Ship.
1954 Scrapped Hong Kong.

Llangibby Castle

Name Llangibby Castle
Type: Troop transport
Tonnage 11.951 tons
Completed 1929 - Harland & Wolff Ltd, Govan, Glasgow
Owner Union-Castle Mail SS Co Ltd, London
Homeport London

Llangibby Castle (12053 tons) was torpedoed by U-402 (Lt at 46.04N, 19.06W - Grid BE 5716) while part of convoy WS15.
At 11.15 hours on 16 Jan, 1942, the Llangibby Castle (Master Bayer) was torpedoed by U-402 north of the Azores. One torpedo hit the stern and blew away the after gun and the rudder, but the propellers remained intact. The ship limped to Horta in the Azores at 9 knots, fighting off attacks by German Fw200 aircraft on the way. The neutral Portugal allowed only 14 days for repairs and on 2 February, the ship had to leave with the troops still on board and set course to Gibraltar, assisted by an Admiralty tug and escorted by three British destroyers.
On 3 February, the small convoy was followed by several U-boats, but none managed to hit the ship, while the HMS Westcott (D 47) sank U-581 (Pfeifer). On 8 February, the troopship arrived at Gibraltar in tow of the tug and disembarked the troops.
On 6 April, the Llangibby Castle left Gibraltar under escort after temporary repairs, but still without rudder, for the UK, arriving on 13 April. Altogether she sailed 3400 miles without a rudder and with a badly damaged stern, only using her engines for steering, a feat for which her master was awarded the OBE.

I was searching through the list of troopships (WW) looking for for a ship which I think was called Llangliby Castle. I sailed aboard her, with other Royal Navy personnel, from Greenock Sept.13th 1943. She was designated MHT G3. Finshed the journey Durban. Is there any info. about this transport available?
Sid Browne. 113 Thirteenth Street, MILDURA. Vic. Australia.3500.

Her Service Career

Three years later the last of the “LLANS ” appeared, the LLANGIBBY CASTLE of 12 000 tons. She was really just an enlarged sister to the original pair but was a motorship, the first to appear in the intermediate fleet of the Union-Castle Line, and the first in the “Round Africa” service. Built by Harland and Wolff of Belfast, but in their shipyard at Govan, Glasgow, she was, as Marischal Murray points out in his book “Ships and South Africa”, built for an English firm by an Irish Company in Scotland and with a Welsh name! She was the finest of the “LLANS”, perhaps not in looks but certainly in the luxury of her cabins, wide deck space and speed. In appearance she resembled the mailship CARNARVON CASTLE of 1921 except that her boats were slung above deck-level as in the mailships WINCHESTER CASTLE and WARWICK CASTLE, which appeared a few months after she did. She became exceedingly popular in the Round Africa service and also in the West Coast intermediate service. She carried 450 passengers in two classes.
She had an eventful life during the war (1939 – 1945), taking part in many dangerous convoy trips. In January 1942 she was a unit in a convoy rushing troops to Singapore. She had 1500 of them on board. In the morning of January 16, four days after leaving Britain, she was hit on her stern by a torpedo, which destroyed her rudder , blew her stern gun overboard and killed 26 men. The weather was bad, a strong wind blowing and the waves were high. Captain R.F. Bayer was instructed to make for the Azores independently, in itself a very dangerous move. Fortunately neither of the propellers had been destroyed so the ship could be steered, although with great difficulty, by “jockeying” the screws. Three hours later the LLANGIBBY CASTLE was again attacked, this time by a long-range plane which dropped bombs, which fortunately missed, and by machine-gun fire which wounded the ship’s bosun. The vessel’s A.A. guns hit back and the attacker was hit and made off with black smoke streaming from it.
It took the LLANGIBBY CASTLE three days to cover the 700 miles to the Azores, but on January 19 she reached Horta Bay, where the Portuguese authorities gave the ship 14 days in which to make repairs. There were no proper repairing facilities at Horta, nor were any of the troops nor the ship’s company allowed ashore (except for the captain, on business!), but all hands enjoyed seeing the lights and having the ports of their cabins open, after the normal “black-out” conditions in Britain and at sea.
Meanwhile the R.N. was making arrangements to succour the ship. On February 1 three destroyers and an Admiralty tug arrived, to escort the LLANGIBBY CASTLE on the next stage of veritable battle occurred, with U-boats that had been waiting for the liner and escorting destroyers fighting it out with guns, starshells, depth-charges and torpedoes. Meanwhile the LLANGIBBY CASTLE had been having trouble in steering, , so she was taken in tow by the tug. After daylight she cast off the tug and again proceeded under her own steam, steering a rather “wobbly” course which, however, served as the necessary zig-zags which were compulsory for ships in submarine-infested waters! The destroyers managed to keep the U-Boats at bay until four days later, when land was sighted and the tug again took the liner in tow. On 8 February she anchored safely at Gibraltar, where her passengers were disembarked to wait for another vessel. Then followed a long period of just over 8 weeks at Gibraltar while decisions were being made in high quarters about the vessel’s future. It was found impossible to replace the ship’s rudder, so apart from some strengthening of her stern she was in much the same state as before. Finally she was ordered to return to Britain. This last haul of nearly 1500 miles was done safely in six days, the ship steaming by herself except for a few hours in the Straits of Gibraltar when she was towed by the tug. In all she had steamed about 3400 miles without stern or rudder and got through it all safely, which must be a record!
After full repairs she resumed service as a troopship and was one of the great armada that brought Allied soldiers to French North Africa in November 1942. In the early hours of 8 November she was hit by an 8? shell fired from a shore battery which destroyed the Engineers quarters, killing one Electrician and wounding two Engineers. She replied with her stern 6? gun and after some 16 shells had been fired at only 4 500 yards range the battery ceased fire. When her troops were disembarked she, with the WARWICK CASTLE, WINCHESTER CASTLE and DURBAN CASTLE and several other troopships made an unescorted dash for Gibraltar. Most of the ships got through safely, but a major casualty was the beautiful P. & O. Liner VICEROY OF INDIA (1929; 19648 gr. tons), one of the pioneers of turbo electric propulsion for liners, which was torpedoed on 11 November 1942. Next day the homeward convoy sailed from Gibraltar, for England, which was reached in safety several days later.
When in July 1943 the “soft underbelly of Europe” was attacked in accordance with Churchill’s plans the LLANGIBBY CASTLE was there again. She brought a contingent of Canadian commando troops to Sicily and, in spite of bad wind and weather, saw them safely onto the shore.
In March 1944 the LLANGIBBY CASTLE was sent unexpectedly to the Clyde where she was fitted out as a Landing-Ship, Infantry (Large). Her boats had already been replaced by assault landing-craft, now she was painted in a new style of dark and light blue camouflage, and the Royal Marine Flotilla 557 embarked. The ship then sailed, via Milford Haven, for the Solent. There she and a huge number of other ships were exercised with as much secrecy as possible in night manoeuvring, anchoring in formation, shipping landing craft and, of course, signalling. She then received the troops she would carry for her greatest operations so far, the attack on Hitler’s “Festung Europa” and with them made an “invasion” of the English coast at Bracklesham. Her troops were again Canadians, the Regina Rifles, the Winnipeg Regiment and some unattached personnel. The 120 men of the Marine Flotilla party were also on board. For a week before “D-day”, the ships and their crews and passengers were isolated from shore for security reasons.
There was one more delay when bad weather on Sunday, 4 June, 1944, caused the Supreme Commander of the great invasion force, General Dwight Eisenhower, to postpone the sailing of the invasion of the fleet for one day. But on the next day the armada set forth, with the greatest number of ships under cover of the greatest number of aircraft ever used for one undertaking. The LLANGIBBY CASTLE was taking her precious cargo of about 2 500 fighting-men to “Juno” beach on the coast of Normandy. As each ship of the Southampton fleet passed the huge Nab Tower in the Solent its personnel gave a great cheer, as there was a gigantic “V” in electric lights shining towards the oncoming ships: Churchill’s “V” for Victory sign, to encourage the troops!
Following the huge flotilla of 250 minesweepers which was making certain that no hidden perils in the sea would sink any of the ships, the LLANGIBBY CASTLE and her consorts steamed in safety towards the enemy-held coast, while friendly aeroplanes prevented any possible attack by the Luftwaffe. Soon those in the ships could see the vivid flashes of gunfire and exploding bombs and shells on the coast to which they were sailing. As 05h30 next morning, as planned, the LLANGIBBY CASTLE anchored off Coursailles on the Normandy coast. At last the “Second Front”, so long discussed and longed for, was a reality.
By this time all the troops on board had already taken their places in the 18 L.C.A.’s (Landing Craft Assault) which the ship carried in lieu of her boats, and within 3,5 minutes all the landing craft were on their way to the shore. As not all o return to the ship to pick up the rest. these had to slide down canvas “Shutes” or climb down nets suspended overside, but at last all were landed. The cost: ten landing-craft eventually destroyed with the loss of 12 officers and men of the liner.
She had carried the biggest contingent to that particular part of the beach, so it was not until 14h15 that all were ashore. By 15h00 she and the rest of her division could weigh anchor and return to Southampton, where her crew could listen to the radio reports about the men she had carried.
Then came the great build-up of troops in Normandy, all of whom had to be carried over by ships. Thus the LLANGIBBY CASTLE crossed the channel more than sixty times, carrying more than 100 000 troops, a wonderful record. Incidentally, in all these operations she frequently met her former colleague in the “Round Africa” service, the LLANDOVERY CASTLE, which had been taken over for use as a hospital-ship, just as her predecessor of 1914 had been.
When peace had finally been restored the LLANGIBBY CASTLE was one of the many British liners which, after much hazardous and valuable war service, had to be refitted for her proper role. In 1946 she rejoined the Union-Castle Fleet and again sailed in the “Round-Africa” service. But newer and larger ships were built for this purpose and so in 1954 this grand vessel, once the pride of her owners, was sold to British ship breakers to produce scrap-metal for British industries.

With thanks to Bruce Dennis.

Thanks to the Stamps of Helena

 

HMT. Nevasa

Built to celebrate the company's centenary in 1956, SS Nevasa spent her first few years trooping. However, as National Service came to an end and air transport became more efficient, the ship was made redundant and laid up in the River Fal in 1962 for two years. SS Nevasa was converted to B.I.'s third and largest educational cruise ship at Falmouth in 1964/5. Her powerful machinery gave her a greater range than the other educational cruise ships and her anti-roll stabilisers provided greater comfort. She ran alongside the SS Uganda between 1968 and 1974. However the SS Nevasa was suddenly withdrawn in January 1975 and sent to breakers in Taiwan, a victim of the 1970's oil crisis.
 
 
 
 

HMT Nevasa

The earlier Nevasa which operated in WW2, see picture below
Nevasa (2) 1913, scrapped at Barrow in Furness in 1948. 9,071tons, length 480 ft, breadth 48.1ft
 
 
 
 
I had found a tiny (6x4cm) photo in my father’s effects, with the wording on the reverse - Ron Flood
“Convoy through porthole HMT Nevasa, Red Sea 1940”
 

Monterosa, later to become HMT Windrush.

New Australia

Leaving Singapore for the UK 1954. The SS New Australia rose from the charred remains of a burnt out wreck which had been written off and destined for scrap. She became a migrant ship, transporting thousands of British settlers and their families to a new life in Australia and also, as a troopship, played an important role in Australian military action in the Korean and Malayan conflicts.
S.S./H.M.T. Neuralia
Built in 1912 in Glasgow as a passenger liner for the British India Line. At the outbreak of World War I she was quickly converted for service as a troopship, as the prefix H.M.T. suggests. She undertook passenger duties and educational cruises between the wars but returned to troopship duties in World War II. She survived several U-boat attacks, but was finally sunk by an Italian mine on May 1st, 1945 with the loss of 4 lives.
Taking 27,000 troops to the beaches
From the Bolton Evening News, first published Friday 4th Jun 2004. - ALLAN WOODHEAD was a Sergeant pharmacist of No 3 Coy, Royal Army Medical Corp, the sea-going company, which provided medical staff for hospital and troop ships. On June 2, 1944, Mr Woodhead, from Quarlton Drive, Hawkshaw, joined HMT Neuralia in King George V Dock in London
Neuralia embarked 1,800 troops and sailed on June 6. In line ahead, the convoy rounded North Foreland into the Dover Straits, with all troops below deck, and the ship at "Action Stations". We had to pass the German guns on the French coast in Pas de Calais. As it turned out they were strangely silent. This was fortunate, as at 12 knots we would have been in range for an hour or so. Later we found that the guns had set on fire and sunk SS Sambut which had sailed earlier.
Neuralia was delayed in the Solent and travelled overnight to disembark troops off Gold Beach by scrambling nets over the side into landing craff. The ship then returned to the Solent to embark for the next trip. This went on all summer, mostly taking American troops to Omaha beach -- 27,000 troops in all.
Archive Home
From the Bolton Evening News
http://www.boltoneveningnews.co.uk
© Newsquest Media Group 2004
HMT Neuralia seen on Whangpoo River off Shanghai November 8th 1929 — Shanghai is not on the River Yangtsze as is generally thought, but on its tributary, the Whangpoo
.1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment (1922 to 1938)
Bombay to Shanghai and home again (1929 to 1931)
The 1st Battalion embarked in H.M.T. Neuralia at Bombay on the 22nd of October, 1929, and all enjoyed the 17 days voyage to Shanghai. There were few troops on board besides the Battalion, and they had plenty of accomodatjon and deck room.

SS.Ormonde

Orient Steam Navigation Company - 1917 14,982 tons - "Ormonde" was built by Orient Lines in 1917 as a troopship. She served the UK - Suez - Australia route between the wars. Converted to one-class in 1933. Troop carrier in WWII. Returned to commercial service in 1947, again on the Europe - Australia route. She was scrapped in Dalmuir in 1952.

SS. Orbita

Built by Harland and Wolff at Belfast, launched Jul 7th 1914, 15495tons, sister ship to Orduna. Troopship from 1941 to being broken up in 1950 by Thos. W. Ward at Newport, Monmouthshire.
Chris Madden writes: As a small boy, my family travelled to join my Army Father, from Liverpool to Singapore on HMT ORBITA leaving UK in December 1949, and arriving in Singapore in Jan 1950. The voyage took 6 weeks, with one of the four engines u/s throughout, and one other working intermittently. The ship was certaily on its last legs and I think was scrapped soon afterward. It was not painted in normal HMT colours, but retained the black hull, white superstructure, and yellow funnel.
To confirm Chris Madden's observation - the RMS Orbita sailed from Liverpool on 4th July 1950 conveying Royal Signals and Guards service personnel to Singapore where the vessel arrived on 8th September having stopped on the way at Port Said, Aden and Colombo . Its final voyage was that of returning to the UK in September 1950 - Geoffrey Garner [Ex Royal Signals} .

SS. Orontes (Orient Line)

Usually on Capetown run. approx 20,000tons - Operating life: 1929 -1962
Tonnage: 19,970 - Passengers: 1,612 - Constructed: Vickers, Barrow

The last of the five 20,000 tonne sisters, Orontes was distiguished by her curved and more modern bow. She too served during the war as a troop ship and was refitted by Thorneycroft in 1947 prior to resuming her commercial service.
 

HMT. Oxfordshire

Leaving Gibraltar - built by Fairfield Govan,
Yard No 775
Engines by Fairfield SB&E Co Ltd Glasgow
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Last Name: RIPA, Previous Names: FAIRSTAR
Port of Registry: Liverpool
Propulsion: 4 Steam turbines geared to 2 sc shafts 18000shp 20 knots
Launched: Thursday, 15 December 1955, Built: 1957
Ship Type: Troopship, Ship's Role: Cruising latterly
Tonnage: 23180 grt, Length: 609 feet 5, Breadth: 78 feet 3, Draught: 267 feet 7t
Owner History:
Bibby Line Liverpool.latterly SITMAR
Status: Scrapped - 10/04/1997 Alang India
 
 
 
 

HMT Oxfordshire

Operating life: 1957 - 1997 - Tonnage: 20,586 - Passengers: 500
Constructed: Fairfield, Glasgow

The Oxfordshire was built by the Bibby Line and the Ministry of Transport as a troop carrier. In 1962 she was released to the Bibby Line who sold her on to the Sitmar corporation in 1964. Renamed the Fairstar, she commenced sailing between the UK and Australia carrying 1,870 passengers in one class. In 1973, she was stationed in Sydney and commenced a new life cruising between the Antipodes, South Pacific and South-East Asia. Nicknamed the "FunShip", she provided many with memorable holidays in the tropical sun. She was refitted and repainted following P&O's takeover of Sitmar cruises and sailed for another eight years before escalating maintenance costs took their toll and she was depatched to the breakers in India.
 
 

SS. Otranto

Tonnage: 20,032tons - Length: 200,6 m - Beam: 22,9 m - Speed: 20 kn - Operating life: 1929 - 1957 Orient Line. - Built: 1929 Vickers-Armstrongs, Barrow-in-Furness, England - Passengers: 1,686 - She was built for London - Brisbane line.
In 1939 she became a troopship for the Ministry of War Transport, London.
In 1949 she resumed passenger service on the route London - Sydney. In 1957 she was scrapped at Faslane, Scotland.
Otranto was one of five liners of 20,000 tonnes built to replace tonnage lost during the first world war. She survived the second conflict serving as a troop ship, although three of her sister ships, Orama, Orford and Oronsay were lost.
 
 

SS. Otranto

 

RMS. Orduna - (Leslie Youdell)

Built : 1914 :Harland & Wolff, Belfast
Tonnage : 15,507g, 1941 : Taken over as troopship 1946 : Government trooping service. Boat deck derrick posts removed prior to this. 1950 : Nov : Decommissioned and laid up
1951 : Broken up at Dalmuir after 37 years exemplary service
 
 
 

Another view of RMS Orduna - (Peter Smith)

Peter Smith writes: In 1949 my mother and I sailed to Sri Lanka (Ceylon) to join my father who was in the RAF. I notice that the photo in your gallery is not of a too high standard and I attach one that may be of interest. The picture was taken by my father, flying a Douglas DC3, of the RMS Orduna when she was 150 miles out from Colombo. We returned to the UK as a family arriving December 24th 1951 on the Empire Trooper.
 
 

SS. Oronsay

20,000tons Torpedoed 9th October 1942 - This ship picked up many survivors from Lancastria sinking and returned to England.
 

SS. Orion at Gibraltar - RMS ORION

Tonnage: 23,371 GRT (gross registered tonnes) - Length: 665ft (202.7m) - Beam: 82ft (25.6m) -Draught: 30ft (9.1m) - Engines: Six Parsons SRG Steam Turbines (24,100 SHP) - Screws: Two - Service speed: 21 knots. - Passenger Decks: Seven - Passengers: 708 Cabin Class, 700 Tourist Class. Later 1,691 One Class (Tourist) - Crew: 466, later 565
OSMANIEH - 123890
Owner -Khedivial Mail S.S. & Graving Dock Company - 1906.
Date launched - Wednesday - 09th May, 1906.
Builder - Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Yard 761., 4,041 tons, 360-2x45-2x24-3. 650n.h.p, 17 knots. Quadruple-Expansion Engines. The liner Osmanieh, Lieutenant Commander D. R. Mason, was taken over for service as a fleet auxiliary during the First World War. On Monday - 31st December, 1917, she was carrying troops and medical staff to Alexandria when she struck a mine laid by UC 34 under the command of Oberleutnant zue See Horst Obermuller at the entrance to the harbour. She sank very quickly taking with her: Lieutenant Commander D.R. Mason. (Commemorated - Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery) Two other officers. 21 of its crew. One military officer. 166 other ranks.Eight nurses.

RMS Queen Elizabeth 2

Gross Tonnage: 70,327 (originally 69,053) - Net Tonnage: 37,182 (originally 36,038)
Deadweight Tonnage: 11,649
Dimensions - Length: 963 ft (293.52m) - Breadth: 105 ft (32.07m)
Draft: 32 ft
Machinery
9 MAN B&W Diesel Engines - 10,625 kW at 400 rpm
2 propellers - 22 ft diameter, 42 tons - 2 bow thrusters - 1,000 hp, variable pitch
4 Brown Brothers stabilizers - 12 ft length, 70 sq ft area each
Rudder - 75 tons
Capacity - Passengers: 1,900 - Crew: 1,015 - Total: 2,915
QE2 requisitioned for Falklands War as a troop tansport. On 12 May 1982 she set sail for St Georgia with 3000 troops aboard. QE2 arrived safely back in Southampton on 11 June 1982.

QTEV. Queen of Bermuda - (Leslie W. Youdell)

Queen of Bermuda, completed in 1933, was slightly larger at 22,575 gross tons and a foot longer at 580 feet than her sister ship Monarch of Bermuda. Service speed for both ships was 19 knots. She had capacity of 731 first and 31 second class passengers.

RMS Queen Elizabeth

Gross Tonnage - 83,673 tons - Dimensions - 300.94 x 36.14m (987.4 x 118.6ft)
Number of funnels - 2 - Number of masts - 2 - Construction - Steel
Propulsion - Quadruple screw - Engines - Single reduction steam turbines
Service speed - 29 knots - Builder - John Brown & Co Ltd, Glasgow
Launch date - 27 September 1938
Passenger accommodation - 823 1st class, 662 cabin class, 798 tourist class
In 1942 the Admiralty drew up plans to convert the two Queens into aircraft carriers but these were later abandoned as it was considered that their troop carrying role was too important. In April 1942 the Queen Elizabeth relocated from Sydney to New York. Here the troop accommodation was altered to make its capacity 10,000. In June 1942 it began to make voyages from New York to Gourock and then to Suez, via Cape Town. In August it began a shuttle service between New York and Gourock. Despite the ever present threat of U-boats the ship continued its service unscathed, although the German press stated that a U-boat had hit the vessel with a torpedo on 11 November.
By the end of the war in Europe the Queens had brought over a million troops to the war zone. The ship's next duty was to repatriate these troops and redeploy troops for the war against Japan. The repatriation of American troops continued until October 1945 when the Queen Elizabeth was released from US service and allocated to the repatriation of Canadian troops. On 6 March 1946 it arrived back in Southampton and was released from Government service as the need for troop movements had diminished. During the war it had carried over 750,000 troops and travelled 500,000 miles.

RMS Queen Mary

Cunard Line (then Cunard White Star Line) ocean liner that sailed the North Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967. Built by John Brown and Company, Clydebank, Scotland, she was designed to be the first of Cunard's planned two-ship weekly express service from Southampton to New York, in answer to the mainland European superliners of the late twenties and early thirties. Queen Mary and her slightly larger and younger running mate RMS Queen Elizabeth commenced this two-ship service after their release from World War II troop transport duties and continued it for two decades until Queen Mary's retirement in 1967.
Tonnage: 81,237 gross tons
Displacement: 81,961 tonnes
Length: 1,019.4 ft (311 m) oa; 965 ft B.P.
Beam: 118.5ft (36.1 m)
Draft: 39 ft (12,00 m)
Height: 181 ft (55.17 m)
Main Engines: 160,000 shaft hp (119 MW) Parsons double reduction steam turbines; max. 200,000 shaft hp (149 MW) steam turbines, 4 shafts
Speed: approximately 30 knots (56 km/h) - 29.5 knots (55 km/h) cruising in service; maximum sustained speed was 32.6 knots (60 km/h)
Passenger Capacity: 2139: 776 first (cabin) class, 784 tourist class, 579 third class)
Crew: 1101
RMS Queen Mary together the Queen Elizabeth, were the largest and fastest troopships involved in the war, often carrying as many as 15,000 men in a single voyage, and often travelling out of convoy and without escort. During this period, because of their wartime grey camouflage livery and elusiveness, both Queens received the nickname "The Grey Ghost". Because of their size and prestige their sinking was such a high priority for Germany that Adolf Hitler offered the equivalent of $250,000.00 and the Iron Cross to the U-boat commander who could sink them. However, their high speed meant that it was virtually impossible for U-Boats to catch them. Once, Germany was nearly successful; whilst The Queen Mary was in South American waters, a radio signal was intercepted which indicated that spies had reported her last refuelling stop and a U-Boat was waiting on her line of voyage. After being alerted, The Queen Mary changed course and escaped.
On 2 October 1942 Queen Mary accidentally sank one of her escorts, slicing through the light cruiser HMS Curacoa (D41), with the loss of 338 lives.
In December 1942, the Queen Mary was carrying nearly 15,000 American troops from New York to Great Britain. While 700 miles from Scotland during a gale, she was suddenly hit broadside by a rogue wave that may have reached a height of 28 meters (92 feet).
 

HMT. Rajula

Built 1926 - 1973 sold to Shipping Corporation of India, renamed Rangat. 8,478tons
 
 
 
 

HMT. Rewa

Built 1905 - 1918 torpedoed and sunk in Bristol Channel while serving as hospital ship; loss of 3 lives.
 

RMS. Rohna

8400tons, clearing Madras Harbour in the cyclone of November 1927

 

Another view (Dennis Martin) - My father sailed on her from Southampton to China with 1 DLI in 1937.
 

RMS Rhona - The Sinking - 26th Nov. 1943

The ship was part of convoy KMF-26 (Annex) travelling east from Oran to the Far East via the Suez Canal.
Of the 1,138 men lost, 1,015 were American. The attack still constitutes the largest loss of U.S. troops at sea in a single incident. A further 35 American troops of the 2,000 originally on board later died of wounds. As well as the troops, five ship officers and 117 ratings (out of 200) died, along with 11 of the 12 gunners on board and one hospital orderly.
The heavy loss was in part due to a flotilla of seven empty large landing craft (LCI(L)) failing to stop to pick up survivors, for which the commanding officer was relieved of his command.[citation needed] However, 606 survivors were rescued by the minesweeper USS Pioneer.
The details of the loss were revealed slowly over time and were only released in full in 1967 following the introduction of the Freedom of Information Act. However, already by February 1944 the US government had acknowledged that over 1000 soldiers had been lost in the sinking of an unnamed troopship in European waters, though it hinted at the time that a submarine was responsible. By June 1945, the government had provided accurate casualty figures, the ship had been identified by name as Rohna, and the cause of the sinking had been identified as German bombers. This account did not mention the fact that a guided missile was responsible.
The sinking was done with a Henschel Hs 293 radio-controlled glide bomb, launched and controlled by a Heinkel 177 bomber piloted by Hans Dochtermann. HMT Rohna was not the first casualty of a guided missile, however, as the British HMS Egret was sunk on the Bay of Biscay with the loss of 198 men on 27 August the same year by a Henschel Hs 293. Additional ships sunk by Hs 293 missiles prior to Rohna include HMHS Newfoundland, HMS LST-79, SS James W. Marshall, HMS Rockwood, HMS BYMS-72, HMS Dulverton and MV Marsa.
A memorial to the sinking was unveiled at the Fort Mitchell National Cemetery in Seale, Alabama in 1996.
 
 

SS. Saga

Built 1946 Gothenburg-London, 1956 sold to French Line, renamed Ville de Bordeaux. 6,458tons
 
 
 
 

HMT SOMERSETSHIRE

Before and during the 1939-45 War the movement of troops between England and overseas garrisons was by sea. In 1962 it was decided that overseas trooping would be carried out by air, and the day of the troopship came to an end. Before the War the best known troopships in regular service were the British India Steam Navigations Company’s Dilwara, Dunera, Neuralia and Nevasa and the Bibby Line’s Devonshire, Dorsetshire, Lancashire and Somersetshire. They were all ships of rather more than 9,000 tons gross with a service speed of 15 knots, designed to carry a complete battalion and a number of drafts and individuals. In the main the military staff on board were RAF.
 
 

SS. Tairea

Built 1924 - in 1952 scrapped UK. 7,934tons
 
 

SS. Talamba

Shown here as a Hospital Ship - bombed and sunk off Sicily while operating as hospital ship; loss of 5 lives. 8,018 tons
Built: 1924 by R&W Hawthorn, Leslie & Co., Ltd. Hebburn.
Tonnage: 8,018 g, 3,844 nt, 8,100 dwt.
Engines: Twin screw, 2 x Triple expansion four cylinder,, 8,000 IHP, 16.5 knots by Builder.
Passengers: 56 1st Class, 72 2nd Class, 2,777 Deck and Crew of 175.
Launched 16th July 1924, completed 2nd October 1924, Yard No. 533.
Talamba is a town near Multan in the Punjab, now Pakistan.
 
 

SS. Taliwa

Built 1924 - in 1945 stranded and burnt out Nicobar Islands. 7,936 tons
 
 

SS. Talma

Built 1923 - in 1949 scrapped in UK. 10,000 tons
 
SS. TRANSYLVANIA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
built by Scotts Greenock,
Yard No 451 - Port of Registry: Glasgow
Propulsion: steam, turbines, 17.5 knots
Launched: Saturday, 23 May 1914
Built: 1914
Ship Type: Passenger Vessel
Tonnage: 14348 grt
Length: 548.3 feet
Breadth: 66.6 feet
Draught: 42 feet
Owner History:
Anchor Line
Status: Torpedoed & Sunk - 04/05/1917 - Remarks: Commissioned as a troopship in May 1915 with accommodation for 200 officers and 2860 men. On 04/05/1917 torpedoed off Cape Noli (40 miles from Genoa) sank with heavy loss of life.
Photo supplied by The Book of the Anchor Line 1931
 

SS. Vienna

Built 1929 in 1941 purchased from London & North Eastern Railway, troop and hospital ship, 1945 Harwich-Hook of Holland, 1960 scrapped. 4,227tons
 
 

HMT. Empire Windrush

14651tons, 1930 Passenger Ship.
1930 MONTE ROSA, Hamburg South America Line.
1940 German Navy barracks and troopship.
1945 Seized by Allies at Kiel.
1946 EMPIRE WINDRUSH, MOT managed by New Zealand Shipping Co.
30.3.54 Sank off Algeria in tow after engine room explosion.
 
 
 
 

Another view of MV Windrush in Hong Kong harbour ( David Armstrong ex - Royal Signals Ist Commonwealth Div Korea)

 
 

HMT Empire Windrush - on fire off the coast of Algeria, March 1954.

 
 
 
 

SS ZARIA

When the British garrison was withdrawn from Bermuda, the 4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment was commanded by Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Edwards.
On the 13th November 1905 they were transported by the steam ship s.s. Zaria and carried back across the Atlantic and down the Straits to Malta arriving there on the 2nd December 1905.
 

Empire Ships

The images available in this section has been supplied by "Photoship Pictures Website"

To view an image of any of the following ships go to Old ship picture gallery, click on the image to enlarge and open in new window.

To view detailed information on each ship in this section go to THE 'EMPIRE' SHIPS - Compiled by Ted Finch.

Empire Ace - Empire Admiral - Empire Aid - Empire Baltic - Empire Battleaxe -Empire Cavalier - Empire Cedric - Empire Celtic (2) - Empire Celtic - Empire Chub - Empire Clyde (2).

Empire Clyde - Empire Curlew - Empire Deben - Empire Doric - Empire Fitzroy - Empire Fowey (2) - - Empire Fowey (3) - Empire Fowey - Empire Fred - Empire Fulmar - Empire Gaelic L3507 - Empire Gaelic - Empire Grebe - Empire Guillemot (2) - Empire Guillemot - Empire Gull L3513
Empire Gull - Empire Halladale - Empire Ken (2) - Empire Ken - Empire Kittewake -

Empire Netta - Empire Nordic - Empire Orwell (2) Empire Orwell - Empire Parkeston (2) - Empire Parkeston - Empire Petrel - Empire Plane - Empire Pride (2) - Empire Pride -

Empire Roach - Empire Rosa - Empire Shearwater - Empire Star - Empire Taw - Empire Teak
Empire Tern - Empire Test

To view an image of any of the above ships go to Old ship picture gallery, click on the image to enlarge and open in new window.

Empire Ship Name Changes (Martin Young)

Name changes of the "Empire" troopships might be of interest. The "Empire" name is in capitals, with earlier names in lower case in front of that name, and subsequent names in lower case after that name.

Letitia BRENT Captain Cook
Elizabethville BURE Charlton Star
Cameronia CLYDE
York Castle COMFORT

Thuringia General San Martin DEBEN
Potsdam Empire Jewel FOWEY Safina-E-Hujjaj
Antonoi Delfino Sierra Nevada HALLADALE
Ubena KEN
Maiden Castle LIFEGUARD
Dimboola Hong Siang LONGFORD
Eastern Prince MEDWAY
Pretoria Empire Doon ORWELL Gunung Djati Tanjung Panda
Prince Henry North Star PARKESTON
nPRIDE Charlton Pride Embassy
Scarborough Castle PEACEMAKER
Rayleigh Castle REST
Barnard Castle SHELTER
Thysville TEST
Cap Norte Sierra Salvada TROOPER
Linz WANSBECK Esperos
Milwaukee WAVENEY
Patria WELLAND Rossia
Monte Rosa WINDRUSH
Princesa Victoria, DUNNOTTAR CASTLE, Victoria - The Victoria

 

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