TSS Canterbury (1929)
As HMS Canterbury in wartime service
|Owner:||1929–1942: Southern Railway|
|Builder:||William Denny and Brothers, Dumbarton|
|Launched:||13 December 1928|
|Fate:||Broken up 1 August 1965|
|Type:||Turbine Steel Steamship|
|Length:||329.6 ft (100.5 m)|
|Beam:||47.1 ft (14.4 m)|
|Draught:||12.0 ft (3.7 m)|
|Depth:||16.9 ft (5.2 m)|
|Speed:||22 kn (41 km/h; 25 mph)|
The ship entered service simultaneously with the Golden Arrow rail service. At this time she was first class only, and while having a capacity of 1700, her projected loadings were expected to be less than 400.
The ship was modified to accommodate two classes of passengers from May 1931, at the same time third class carriages were introduced to the Golden Arrow train.
Following the Golden Arrow's last trip after the declaration of the Second World War Canterbury was converted to a troop ship. On 29 May 1940 after departing the east pier at Dunkirk at 16:50 with 1960 troops Canterbury was badly damaged by a bomb near miss but was able to reach Dover. Following repairs she continued with the evacuation on 3 June 1940 completing five trips for the evacuation. She then performed some sailings from Southampton evacuations to Normandy and Brittany until the middle of June before resting on the River Dart and serving as a target practice ship of the Fleet Air Arm and a period on the Stranraer–Larne route.
Postwar she initially returned to the Golden Arrow service but was replaced in October 1946 by the Southern Railways flagship SS Invicta following that ship's refurbishment. Canterbury served on the Folkstone–Calais run, and in 1948 moved to the Calais–Boulogne route until retirement in 1964. Canterbury was the first English Channel ferry to be equipped with radar in 1948.
The ship was broken up in 1965.
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