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SS King Edward was built by William Denny & Brothers Ltd, Dumbarton 1901. Her propulsion was direct drive triple screw steam turbines (by Parsons Marine Steam Turbine Co Ltd, Wallsend). She was owned by The Turbine Steamers Syndicate compeising Turbine Steamers Ltd, Williamson Buchanan Steamers Ltd and Caledonian Steam Packet Co Ltd. She was in service between 1901 and 1951. Her tonnage was net 222, gross 551.

She was an elegant and historic ship, being the world's first commercial turbine drive ship. She was built originally with five propellors, but two were later removed. She had a speed of over 20 knots and her smooth running machinery made her a favourite for over 50 years. Requisitioned in 1915 she sailed in the English Channel and also as a hospital ship to Russia. Her return trip was subject to extreme weather and she docked many days late when she arrived back at Aberdeen. In 1927 she joined Williamson Buchanan Steamers Ltd, in whose service she is probably best remembered. She was in collisions twice, first with Duchess of Argyll in July 1925 and later, in the Second World War, when she had a massive hole ripped into her bow. In the late 1940's she was damaged again, although not seriously, when a steel towing hawser between a tug and cargo boat split her mast after sweeping across her foredeck. She was withdrawn after completing her Jubilee year in 1951 and was sold for breaking up at Troon the following year.


Last updated 19 March, 2009

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