suez canal part view

Troopships that took British Forces out to the Suez Canal Zone in the early 1950s.
And brought them back home again after their tour of duty.

Page One.  The 'Empire' named ships.
Empire Clyde

Empire Clyde

Built by: Beardmore and Company of Glasgow.
Launched: 1919. Construction completed in 1921.
Original name: Cameronia.
Gross tonnage: 16,280
Engines: Steam turbines.
Capable speed: 17 knots.
Passengers: 265 first class. 370 second class.  1,150 third class.
In 1935 CAMEROMIA was taken over by the British government for a few trooping voyages to the Middle East after which she had a refit in 1936.
In 1940 and was taken over for full conversion to a troopship and was the largest troopship to take part in the allied landings at Normandy.
The Cameronia had an illustrious war record, participating in the North African, Sicily and Normandy landings.  Between September 1939 and August 1945 she steamed 321,323 miles and carried 163,789 men. 
1953 renamed the Empire Clyde.
She was sold for scrap in 1957 and was broken up.
Empire Fowey
empire fowey

Built by: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Launched: 1935.
Original name: Potsdam.
Gross tonnage: 17,528.
Capable speed:
Passengers: 286.
Became a British war prize in 1945.
She sailed for one year as the Empire Jewel.
1946. Refitted by Harland and Wolff as a Troopship and renamed the Empire Fowey operating 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 Halladale
empire halladale

Built by: Vulcan Works, Hamburg.
Launched: 1921.
Original owner: Hamburg – South America Line.
Original name: Antonio Delfino. (Sister ship of the Cap Norte. Above.)
Gross tonnage: 13.589.
Engines: Low pressure turbines.
Capable speed: 15 knots.
Passengers: 184 first class. 344 second class. 1,368 steerage class.
1940 German Navy barracks ship.
1945 Seized by Allies at Copenhagen and taken in hand to be converted into a Troopship.
Refit and conversion 1946.
Gross tonnage increased to 14,056. Accommodation altered to 200 cabin passengers and 843 troops. Name changed to the
‘Empire Halladale’.
Taken out of service 1955 and broken up in 1956.
Empire Ken
empire ken

Built by Blohm and Voss, Hamburg. 1928.
Original owner: German East Africa Line.
Original name: Ubena
Gross tonnage: 9,000.
Engines: Steam Turbine
Capable speed: 16 knots.
Passengers: 300.
Rebuilt: 1934.
Lengthened by 34’ and gross measurement increased to 9,523 tons.
1939 German Navy, U-Boat depot ship and later a Hospital ship.
1945 Seized by Allies at Travemunde and became a war prize. 
Taken over by British Ministry of Transport.
Converted into a Troopship and renamed the ‘Empire Ken’.
Taken out of service and broken up in 1957.
Empire Medway
empire medway

Built by: Napier Miller & Co, Glasgow.
Launched: 1929.
Original owner: Furness Withy & Co Ltd.
Original name: Eastern Prince.
Gross tonnage: 10,926.
Capable speed: 16.5 knots.
1940. Requisitioned and converted into a Troopship.
1943. Had a refit which gave her a capacity for 2,150 troops.
1945. Used as an accommodation ship at the Yalta Conference.
1946. Purchased by the Ministry of Transport.
1950. Renamed as the 'Empire Medway'.
1953. Scrapped at Faslane.
Empire Orwell
empire orwell

Built by: Blohm and Voss, Hamburg.
Launched: 1936.
Original owner: German East Africa Line,
Original name: Pretoria.
Gross tonnage: 16,662
Engines: Geared turbines.  Capable speed: 18 knots.
Passengers: 500.
Became a British war prize in 1945.
Taken over by the Ministry of Transport and converted into a Troopship.
Renamed the ‘Empire Orwell’.
She developed engine troubles on her first trooping voyage and had to be towed back from Port Said.   Major refit 1947-1949.
Boilers were replaced, two out of eight turbines removed, and her gross tonnage increased to 18,036 tons. Her accommodation now provided for 171 passengers in first class, 84 in second, 98 in third, 4 RAMC staff in cabins, 30 boys in a dormitory and 1,008 troops.
Taken out of service in 1958 and sold.
After various owners the ship had an overall in 1973 and had MAN diesel engines fitted.  Not bad for a 40 years old ship!
Empire Pride
empire pride

Built by:  Barclay Curle and Company of Glasgow.
Originally laid down as a cargo ship but converted to a Troopship on government instructions.
Launched:  1941
Placed under the management of the Bibby Line.
Gross tonnage: 9,248.
Capable speed:
The EMPIRE PRIDE was in regular trooping until 1954 when the government ended her management contract with Bibby and offered her for sale.  She had worked throughout the world although her duties in peacetime confined her mostly to trooping routes between the United Kingdom and the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern areas.  She was sold to the Charlton Steamship Co and eventually scrapped in 1963.
Empire Test
empire test
Built by:  John Cockerill, Hoboken.
Launched:  1922.
Original name:  Thysville.
Original owner: Belge Maritime du Congo who later merged with
Lloyd Royal.
Gross tonnage:  8,300.
Capable speed:  14 knots.
Acquired by the Ministry of Defence in 1947 for trooping and renamed Empire Test.
Her final trooping voyage was in Oct.1952 and was scrapped in 1953.

Empire Trooper
empire trooper
Built by: Vulcan Works, Hamburg.
Launched in Hamburg 1922.
Original owner: Hamburg – South America Line.
Original name: Cap Norte.
Gross Tonnage: 13,615.
Engines: Low pressure turbines.  Capable speed: 15 knots.
Passengers: 184 first class. 334 second class. 1,368 steerage class.
Captured off Faroes by HMS 'Belfast' and became a war prize.
Converted into a Troopship 1940 and renamed the ‘Empire Trooper’.
Placed under the management of the British India Company.
Had a refit just after the war.  Gross tonnage increased to 14.106.
Accommodation increased to 356 cabin passengers and 924 troops.
Taken out of service: April 1955.
Caught fire the following month whilst anchored at Inverkeithing and sank. Was raised and scrapped.

Empire Wansbeck
empite wansbeck
Launched:  1943.
Original name: Linz.
Original owner:  North German Lloyd.
Gross tonnage.  3,374.
Capable speed:  15 Knots.
Became a British war prize in 1945, taken over by the government, converted into a troopship and renamed 'Empire Wansbeck'.
Used as a troopship until 1961 and then sold.  It was eventually scrapped in 1980.

The 'Wansbeck' didn't do the full run to Egypt but will be remembered by many Suez Vets who went to the Zone via the Medloc Route.  It transported troops between Harwich and the Hook of Holland at the start of their journey.
Empire Windrush
empire windrush
Built By: Blohm & Voss in Hamburg
Launched: 1930.
Original name: Monte Rosa.
Original owner: Hamburg - South American Line.
Gross tonnage: 13,882.
Engines: Diesel.
Capable speed: 14.5 knots.
Passengers: 1,372 Tourist class, 1,036 Steerage class.
1944. The German Navy. Used as a repair and accomodation ship for the damaged battleship Tirpitz.
1945. Captured at Keil and became a British war prize.
1946. Taken over by the Ministry of Transport, repaired, refitted and converted into a Troopship.
Renamed the Empire Windrush in 1947.
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