P and O Straths Page 5

"Strathallan"

 

Strathallan

Colour postcard of Strathallan
(Michael Byard Collection)

"Strathallan" was the last of the five sisters with the same tonnage as Stratheden and only enjoyed a short life in peacetime and was destined to become the unluckiest of the class. She was launched 23rd September 1937, and started her maiden voyage to Brisbane on18th March 1938. In July 1939 she had sailed from Sydney calling at Brisbane on her first cruise of the year, bound for Fiji before returning to Sydney. A few weeks later she was on her way back to England requisitioned for Naval service.
Strathallan Fitting Out 1937
This photograph of "Strathallan" fitting out at Barrow in Furness came into my possession in August 2004. She is shown dwarfed in height by a Hammerhead crane, whilst over her bow can be seen staging just below her starboard bower anchor.
(Michael Byard Collection)
Strathallan in Australian Waters
(Michael Byard Collection)
This nice photograph of "Strathallan" was sent to me by Rob Henderson, ex- P and O Sydney, and is used with grateful thanks, it is almost certainly from the same negative of a copy I received in mid-March 2004, from Stephen Rabson, the Official
P and O Historian and Archivist at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Rob thinks his copy might have been taken on one of only three cruises that she did, as the endorsement "Strathallan - Aust Cruise" appears on the reverse of the photograph. She looks very much the same as her sister ship "Stratheden"

Strathallan

Strathallan Advert
(Michael Byard Collection)

This rather poor copy of a " Strathallan" Cruise advertisement came from a printers type block that I was given, whilst at P and O as it was, obviously out of date and was taking up space.

Unfortunately the block was very slightly warped which made it very difficult to print from. I had my own large platen printing press, which I used as a hobby, and try as I might I could not get the entire area to print really clearly. It does, however, give a brief flavour of an advert of the 1930s.

Regrettably the block became even more damaged and I had to throw it away.

"Strathallan" as she appeared in wartime grey paint. This photograph appears in William H. Miller Jnr's "The Great Luxury Liners 1927 - 1954, a Photographic Record ", a new work first published by Dover Publications Inc., New York 1981, page 125.

Strathallan in Table Bay Harbour, Capetown April 1941

"Strathallan", with the Royal Mail's "Andes" in the background, in Table Bay Harbour in April 1941 as part of the largest troop convoy then seen in the Southern Hemisphere. From "Business in Great Waters" the War History of the P and O 1939 to 1945, by George F. Kerr, Faber and Faber Ltd. London 1951, facing page 192.

Strathallan on Fire December 1943
"Strathallan" on fire 21st December 1943, from "Business in Great Waters" the War History of the P and O 1939 to 1945, by George F. Kerr, Faber and Faber Ltd. London 1951, facing page 49.

 

"Strathallan" was requisitioned for war service and took part in 'Operation Torch landings' but on 21st December 1942 she was hit by a torpedo fired from a German submarine and badly damaged. Fortunately only four people were killed, two engineer officers and two engine room crewmen.

Although taken in tow by the "Laforey" heading for Oran, she caught fire and eventually turned over and sank, some 12 miles from Oran, on 22nd December 1943.

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