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 Two. 

The Atlantis
troopship atlantis

Built by: Harland and Wolff, Belfast.
Original owner: Royal Mail Lines.
Original name:  'Andes'.
Engines: L.P. Turbine.
Capable speed: 16 knots
Commissioned as Armed Merchant Cruiser 1915. Participated in sinking
of German raider 'Greif' off the Shetland Islands.
Refitted in 1929 and given the new name 'Atlanis'.
Acquired by Ministry of War Transport in 1939.
Scrapped on the Clyde in 1952.
The Captain Hobson
troopship captain hobson

Built by: Denny & Brothers, Dumbarton.
Launched: 1920.
Original name: Amarapoora.
Original owner: British & Burmese SN Co.
Gross tonnage: 8,173.
Engines: Steam triple expansion.
Capable speed:
1947 Used by the Ministry of Transport as a 
Troop Ship / Hospital Ship.
Scrapped in 1959.
The Charlton Star
troopship charlton star

Built by:  J Cockerill SA, Hoboken Belgium  
Launched: 1921.
Original owner:  
Compagnie Belge Maritime du Congo.
Original name:  Elisabethville 

Gross tonnage: 8,851.
Expansion steam
Capable speed: 14 knots.
Requisitioned by the Ministry of War Transport for use as a troopship in 1940.
Sold in 1950 to Charlton Steamship Co and renamed 'Charlton Star'.
In 1952, during the Suez Crisis, she was used as an accommodation ship at Tobruk
Served as a troopship until 1957. Sold again in 1958 and scrapped in 1960.

The Cheshire
troopship cheshire

Built by: Fairfield, Govan.
Launched: 1927.
Original owner: Bibby Steamship Co.
Gross tonnage: 10,550.
Capable speed: 15.5 knots.
Requisitioned by the Admiralty. 1939.
Torpedoed. (No more details.) 1940.
Restored to owners as a passnger ship. 1948.
Converted again for trooping. 1953.
Scrapped at Newport, Monmouthshire. 1957.
The Devonshire
troopship devonshire

Built by:  Fairfield Ltd, Govan, Glasgow.
Launched:  1938.
Original owner: Bibby Line Ltd.
Gross tonnage: 11,275.
Capable speed: 16 knots.
1942: Equiped with landing craft as a Landing Ship- Infantry. Carried assault craft to the Salerno and D-Day landings.
1953: Refitted by the builders. Permanent berths and cafeteria catering introduced. Now carried 320 passengers and 825 troops. Tonnage increased to 12,773.
1961: Ministry of Transport charter ended.
1962: Bought by the British India Steam Navigation Co. for 175,000.
Scraped in 1967.
The Dilwara
troopship dilwara

Built by: Barclay Curle & Company Glasgow.
Launched: 1935.
Original name: Kuala Lumpur.
Original owner: British India Steam Nav Co
Gross tonnage: 11,050
Engines: Five cylinder Doxford~type opposed piston oil.
Capable speed: -
Sold in 1960 and eventualy scrapped 1972 in Kaohsiung.

The Dunera
troopship dunera

Built by: Barclay Curle & Company, Glasgow.
Launched: 1937.
Original name: -
Original owner: -
Gross tonnage: 11,161
Five cylinder Doxford~type opposed piston oil.
Capable speed: 16 knots.
In July 1943 the 'Dunera' took part in the Sicily landings  and in September 1944, she carried the headquarters staff for the US 7th Army for the invasion of southern France.
Trooping charter ended in 1960.
In 1967 she was sold and scrapped at Bilbao.
The Empress of Australia
troopship empress of australia

Built by: A G Vulcan, Hamburg.
Launched: 1913.
Original name: Admiral Von Tirpitz.
Original owner: Hamburg -America Line.
Gross tonnage: 21,833.
Capable speed: 19 knots.
Passengers:400 first class, 144 tourist class and 632 third class.
Work on her stopped at the outbreak of war in 1914. Apportioned to Britain by the War Reparations Committee, she was completed in 1920 and was used for trooping duties.
1922. Renamed the Empress of Australia.
1939. Was used to transport the King and Queen on the Royal Tour of Canada. She was then employed as a troopship until 1952 when she was sold for scrap.
The Georgic
troopship georgic

Built by:  ?
Launched:  1931.
Original owner:  White Star Line.
Gross tonnage:  27,759.
Engines:  Diesel electric.
Capable speed:  19 knots.
Requisitioned by the Admiralty for troopship duties during WW2.
In 1941 the Georgic was docked at Port Tewfik and was bombed by German aircraft. The stern was badly damaged and it settled at the bottom of the shallow water.
Refloated and refurbished 1942-1944 and resumed service as a troopship in 1945.  After returning to civilian duties it was scrapped in 1956.   
The Lancashire
troopship lancashire

Built by: Harland & Wolff, Belfast
Launched: 1917.
Original name:
Original owner: The Bibby Line but taken over under the Liner Requisition Scheme
Gross Tonnage: 9,542
Capable speed: 15 knots
1930. Converted to permanent troopship.
1944. Commodore ship for the Juno Beach D-Day landings.
1946. Reconditioned into a peacetime troopship and mainmast removed.
Scrapped at Barrow in 1956.
The Orduna
troopship orduna

Built by:  Harland and Wolff, Belfast.
Launched:  1913.
Original owner:  Pacific Steam Navigation.
Gross tonnage:  15,507.
Capable speed:  14 knots.
Became a troopship in 1941.
In August 1945 she was the Commodore Ship of the invasion force which was to re-occupy Malaya, and after the surrender of Japan she carried 1,700 prisoners of war from Rangoon to Liverpool in September.
She completed her last trooping voyage in November 1950.
In 1951 she was sold for scrap and broken up at Dalmuir.
The Somersetshire
troopship somersetshire

Built by: Harland & Wolff, Belfast
Launched: 1921.
Original owner: Chartered to The Royal Mail Steam Packet Co.
Gross tonnage: 7,450
1927. Convered to a troopship with accomodation for 1,300 men.
1939. She was requisitioned and converted into HM Hospital Ship.
In 1942 she was torpedoed in the Mediterranean but managed to limp to Alexandria.
1948. She was decommissioned.
1953. She briefly returned to trooping but was broken up in 1954.

The 'Somersetshire' mainly trooped to the Far East and East Africa but was used on a few occasions for Egypt and the Middle East.
She has been included here because most of us will have sung that song where she is mentioned.  The one that starts:
"We're leaving Khartoum by the light of the moon".   I bet you have all sung it in the NAAFI.
The Strathnavar
troopship strathnavar

Built by:  Vickers Armstrong Ltd, Barrow in Furness   
Launched:  1931.
Original owner:  P and O.
Gross tonnage: 22,547
Engines:  Steam turbines.
Capable speed:
The first and third funnels were dummies.
The Strathnaver was requisitioned by the Government for service as a troopship in 1940.  During and after the war she carried troops to the Middle East.
Her last trooping run was in November 1947 when she dropped off troops at Port Said before going on to Singapore.
She was eventually sold for scrap in 1962.
The Westralia
troopship westralia

Built by: Harland and Wolff, Belfast
Launched: 1929
Original owner: Huddart Parker Ltd (Australia)
Gross tonnage: 8,108
Engines: 2 Harland and Wolff oil
Capable speed: 14 knots
Following the declaration of war she was requisitioned for war service
as an Armed Merchant Cruiser on 2 November 1939 and commissioned as HMAS WESTRALIA at Sydney on 17 January 1940.
In service for the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces until 1949
when was chartered to the British Ministry of Transport for use as a Troopship. After service in the Mediterranean she returned to Sydney in March 1950.  Sold in 1959 and eventually scrapped in 1961.
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