SS Themistocles was a UK steam ocean liner and refrigerated cargo ship. She was launched in 1910 in Ireland and scrapped in 1947 in Scotland. She was built for Aberdeen Line, White Star Line managed her for a few years, and she spent the latter part of her career with Shaw, Savill & Albion Line.
|Port of registry|
|Route||London – Cape Town – Sydney|
|Builder||Harland and Wolff, Belfast|
|Launched||22 September 1910|
|Completed||12 January 1911|
|Maiden voyage||16 February 1911|
|Tonnage||11,231 GRT, 7,020 NRT|
|Length||500.6 ft (152.6 m)|
|Beam||62.3 ft (19.0 m)|
|Draught||31 ft 6 in (9.60 m)|
|Depth||39.4 ft (12.0 m)|
|Installed power||1,075 NHP|
|Speed||15 knots (28 km/h)|
|Sensors and |
|Notes||sister ships: Pericles, Demosthenes|
Harland and Wolff built Themistocles on its slipway number seven in Belfast, launching her on 22 September 1910 and completing her on 12 January 1911. She was a sister ship of Pericles, which was launched in 1907, and Demosthenes, which was launched in 1911.
Themistocles had berths for 103 first class, 400 second class and 500 emigrant class passengers. Her holds were refrigerated and had capacity for 211,979 cubic feet (6,003 m3) of cargo. Her tonnages were 11,231 GRT and 7,020 NRT.
She carried elements of the First Australian Imperial Force for service overseas in sailings from Melbourne on 22 December 1914, Sydney on 12 May 1915, Fremantle on 23 July 1915, Sydney and Fremantle on 8 and 13 October 1915, Melbourne on 28 January and 28 July 1916, Fremantle on 13 October 1916, Sydney on 29 December 1916 and Melbourne on 4 August 1917.
On 20 July 1920 Themistocles resumed civilian sailings between London and Australia.
Shaw, Savill & Albion Line and White Star Line jointly owned Aberdeen Line. In 1928 White Star took over Commonwealth Line and merged it with Aberdeen Line, and White Star took over management of Themistocles.
On 20 July 1931 the Royal Mail Case opened at the Old Bailey, which led to the collapse of White Star Line's parent company. In 1932 ownership of Themistocles passed to Shaw, Savill & Albion. She continued to sail between England and Australia, but serving Liverpool instead of London.
In 1934 the new call sign GMLN superseded Themistocles' code letters HSCD and original call sign. By 1937 Themistocles was equipped with an echo sounding device. In 1937 Shaw, Savill & Albion transferred Themistocles' ownership to the Norfolk and North American Steamship Co Ltd, but retained direct management of the ship.
Second World WarEdit
In the Second World War Themistocles continued to sail between Liverpool and Australia. Between Liverpool and Freetown in Sierra Leone she sailed in convoys, but for the remainder of her route she sailed unescorted.
Themistocles maintained her usual route via Cape Town until 4 June 1941, when she left Sydney for Liverpool via Wellington, New Zealand, the Panama Canal and Halifax, Nova Scotia instead. At Halifax she joined Convoy HX 140, which got her to Liverpool on 6 August.
Themistocles then resumed her route via Cape Town until 21 February 1943, when she again left Sydney for Liverpool via New Zealand, the Panama Canal and Halifax. This time her New Zealand call was in Lyttelton, South Island, from 27 February to 2 March. She also called at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba on 8–9 April to join Convoy GN 52, which took her as far as New York. She reached Liverpool on 9 May.
Themistocles returned to Australia via Cape Town, but in December 1943 she again left Australia for the UK via New Zealand, the Panama Canal and Halifax. She sailed from Melbourne on 2 December, called at Wellington on 8–11 December, and at Guantánamo Bay on 15 January 1944 where she joined Convoy GK 782 which took her as far as Key West, Florida. She reached Belfast Lough between 11 and 13 February.
On 23 March 1944 Themistocles left Liverpool with Convoy OS 72 KM. She called at Cape Town, Durban and Fremantle, continued to New Zealand, and reached Auckland on 30 May. She returned via Australia and South Africa and reached Liverpool on 26 September.
On her next outward voyage Themistocles called at Saint Helena on 22–23 November 1944, then continued via South Africa and Australia to Auckland, where she arrived on 27 January 1945. She returned via the Panama Canal, Guantánamo Bay and New York and reached Liverpool on 7 April 1945.
Themistocles left Liverpool on 22 May and joined Convoy ON 304, which took her across the North Atlantic. She called at Hampton Roads on 5 June, passed through the Panama Canal, and reached Auckland on 9 July. She began her return voyage from Auckland on 8 August and was crossing the South Pacific when Japan surrendered on 15 August. She passed through the Panama Canal, called at Kingston on 2 September and reached Liverpool on 21 September.
In 1946 Themistocles' ownership reverted to Shaw, Savill & Albion.
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- Media related to Themistocles (ship, 1911) at Wikimedia Commons