Shaw Savill and Albion Line
Q.S.S.S."New Australia"

The Flag That Cirlces The World

In 1952 my Parents decided to emigrate to Australia to join friends there, and after going through the whole process we were given our sailing date just after Christmas 1952. The ship we were to travel on was the S.S."New Australia", running under the flag of Shaw Savill & Albion Line. Originally she was launched as Furness Withy's "Monarch of Bermuda", and operated, pre-war, with her sister ship "Queen of Bermuda". After the Second World War had ended, "Monarch of Bermuda" was being refurbished in Liverpool when a fire broke out and burnt her to the water-line. She was partly rebuilt and then sailed under her own power to Southampton where she underwent a complete
re-build for the Board of Trade, as it was known then (now the DTI), and renamed "New Australia". and was to operate under the management of Shaw Savill & Albion Line as a Migrant carrier and Troopship. At this time the Korean War was being fought and the "New Australia" would carry migrants to Australia, then embark Commonwealth troops (Australian and New Zealanders) as part of the United Nations Forces, and carry them to South Korea before continuing back to England for the next load of migrants.

It was on one of these outward sailings that we were given and on the 27th May 1953, on a grey and rainy English day, we boarded and sailed for Sydney. We passed the Island of Malta on the 2nd of June at the time that the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth the Second was taking place, an event that was re-layed over the ship's public address system. That evening we sat down to the Coronation Dinner.

Only those migrants who travelled on board her and who were unfortunate enough to be berthed in cabins on 'D' Deck knew what a 'hell hole' this paricular deck was when travelling through the tropics. Although she was comfortable enough and her public rooms were good, she had no air-conditioning only having the punka-louvre forced draught air circulation system. 'D' Deck was hellishly hot, and I and my parents were among those whose cabins were on this deck. As one descended the companionways from the upper decks the heat and, in many cases where people were, or had been, sea-sick, the smell was very noticeable and it got stronger and more pungent the lower below one got. Human nature being what it is, it was amazing how relatively soon one got used to it. Many passengers, though, could not face it and ended up sleeping on deck during the hottest part of the voyage from Suez to Colombo.

Another point was that being a three persons family we were split up, my Mother sharing a cabin with other ladies, and my Father and I sharing a four berth cabin with two other men.

With the exception of those at the top, and the bottom one showing the arrival at Sydney, all photographs were taken by my late Father during the course of the voyage.
Alas this Company is now no more.

Shaw Savill and Albion Line
The flag that circles the world, this is an adaptation of the first Maori national flag. (Shipping Wonders of the World, Vol 1, page 405 1936, Fleetway House, London)
New Australia nearing completion C1948
Postcard of the "New Australia" being re-fitted at Southampton C 1948.
(Michael Byard collection)
New Australia being rebuilt at Southampton C 1948
Postcard of the "New Australia" nearing completion at Southampton
C 1948.
(Michael Byard collection)
Suez Canal Office at Port Said
The Suez Canal Offices at Port Said,
Egypt, from S.S."New Australia",
June 1953
(Michael Byard collection)

Entrance to the Suez Canal at Port Said
Canvas awnings on S.S."New Australia" approaching the entrance to the
Suez Canal, June 1953

Arab Dhow and British Cablelayer at Aden Port
An Arab Dhow at Aden, with a
British Cable-laying
ship in the right
background. June 1953

New Australia at Colombo
S.S."New Australia" at Colombo, June 1953,photographed by Edward (Jack) Byard.
New Australia Main Funnel
New Australia's Bi-pod Funnel
New Australia Deckhouse and Bi-pod Funnel
Main and Bi-pod Funnels of S.S."New Australia",
photographed by Edward (Jack) Byard, May 1953 in the Indian Ocean
en-route to Sydney Australia.
(Michael Byard Collection)

S.S."New Australia" at Colombo, June 1953, photographed from a launch by Edward (Jack) Byard.

New Australia Lifeboats
Lifeboats, S.S."New Australia,
Indian Ocean, May 1953.
(Michael Byard Collection)

New Australia alongside at Fremantle 1953
S.S."New Australia, alongside at Fremantle, West Australia, June 1953.
(Michael Byard Collection)
New Australia Boat Deck, Tasman Sea June 1953
Boat Deck of S.S."New Australia", between Melbourne and Sydney, June 1953, photographed by Edward (Jack) Byard. (Michael Byard Collection)

Photo of Bob Ross, Michael Byard and Munro Kerr
Nearing journey's end, Bob Ross (left) myself and Munro Kerr (right)
Photographed by Mrs Kerr (Munro's Mother), June 1953.
(Michael Byard Collection)

Two 'Scotties' Bob Ross and Munro Kerr
Bob Ross (left) and Munro Kerr (right)
Photographed by Mrs Kerr (Munro's Mother), June 1953.
(Michael Byard Collection)

My Mother with a Cabin Mate

My Mother (right) with one of her cabin mates ( families were often separated into berths in 4 berth cabins, as we were) in the Indian Ocean, S.S. "New Australia" 28th June 1953.
1953, photographed by Edward (Jack) Byard. (Michael Byard Collection)

New Australia arriving Sydney June 1953
S.S."New Australia",
formerly Furness Withy’s "Monarch of Bermuda",
arriving with the Byard family on board
in Sydney on 28th June 1953

Shaw Savill and Albion Line
Page 2
Shaw Savill and Albion Line Page 3
Return to Gallery