RMS Ausonia

  (Redirected from HMS Ausonia)

RMS Ausonia, launched in 1921, was one of Cunard's six post-World War I "A-class" ocean liners for the Canadian service.

HMS Ausonia FL1241.jpg
Ausonia anchored at Liverpool, November 1947
British Merchant Navy EnsignUnited Kingdom
Name: RMS Ausonia
Owner: Cunard Line
Builder: Armstrong Whitworth, Newcastle upon Tyne
Yard number: 970
Launched: 22 March 1921
Maiden voyage: 31 August 1922
Fate: Scrapped, 1965
General characteristics
Tonnage: 13,912 gross register tons (GRT)
Length: 538 ft (164 m)
Beam: 65 ft 4 in (19.91 m)
Propulsion: Geared turbines, 8,500 shp (6,338 kW), twin screws
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Capacity: 510 cabin class, 1,178 third class
Crew: 270


Ausonia was built in Newcastle by Armstrong, Whitworth & Co., launched on 22 March 1921, and completed in June. She made her maiden voyage on 31 August 1921 from Liverpool to Montreal, and the following season went into service on the London-Canada route.

In December 1938, the Ausonia carried about 50 American veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade returning from the Spanish Civil War from Le Havre, France, by way of England and Halifax, Nova Scotia, arriving in New York City on 20 December 1938.

On 29 April 1939, English composer Benjamin Britten and tenor Peter Pears sailed from Southampton for Canada on Ausonia to begin what became a three-year sojourn in North America. Britten described the voyage as at first "bloody boring", though there was later a "terrific gale" and even "ice bumping against the ship". Towards the end of the voyage, they gave a recital for voice and piano.[1]

On 2 September 1939 she was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted into an armed merchant cruiser. On 3 June 1942 the Ausonia was converted to a repair ship. She was laid up during 1945. In 1958 she went to Malta as repair ship for the Mediterranean Fleet. In September 1964 she was laid up at Portsmouth, and in August 1965 she was sold to be broken up at Castellón de la Plana, Spain.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Carpenter 1992, pp. 128–129


  • Carpenter, Humphrey (1992). Benjamin Britten: A Biography. Faber and Faber. pp. 128–129. ISBN 0-571-14324-5.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Osborne, Richard; Spong, Harry & Grover, Tom (2007). Armed Merchant Cruisers 1878–1945. Windsor, UK: World Warship Society. ISBN 978-0-9543310-8-5.

External linksEdit