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Researched & Copyright © Martin Edwards 2008

mv Dilwara was built by Barclay Curle & Company, Glasgow. She was launched 17th October 1935 and was finished being built in 1936. He was 11,050 gross tonnes and was to be used as a troopship. She was owned by the British India Steam Navigation Company from 1936-1960. She was Launched by Lady Currie, wife of Sir William Currie, Managing Director of BI (and of P&O). She was delivered to the British India Steam Navigation Company Ltd, London, on 15th January 1936. She was the first purpose built British troopship since 1867, and was chartered to the Government together with her three nearsisters, DEVONSHIRE (Bibby Line, Fairfield, 1939), DUNERA (BI, Barclay Curle, 1937) and ETTRICK (P&O, Barclay Curle, 1939). As built she could accommodate 104 First Class passengers, 100 Second Class, 164 troops' families and 1,154 troops. She cost £403,700 and spent part of her first summer operating school cruises. In 1939, when war broke out, she was in the Indian Ocean homeward bound. On 16th September 1939 she collided with the Blue Funnel Line STENTOR and untertook repairs at Gibraltar until 20th November 1939. During 1940-194141 she was used as a troopship from South Africa to Egypt and took part in the evacuation of Greece. Then in 1942 she and DUNERA were present at the Madagascar landings. In 1943 she took part in the Sicilian campaign. In 1945 she was involved in the liberation of Burma but on the 8th June 1945 she was mined off Rangoon but reached port with only minor damages. She was the HQ ship during surrender operations at Singapore. in 1949 she was refitted by her builders with a lower troop capacity and with bunks instead of hammocks and re-emetered service in October 1950. Most of her employment was now between the UK and the Far East, including service in the Korean War. Capacity now 125 First Class, 96 Second Class, 104 Third Class and 790 troops. in 1953 she was at the Coronation Review at Spithead and in November 1956 she was employed during Suez Campaign. Her trooping contract terminated in 1960 and on 11th November 1960 she was sthe old to China Navigation Co Ltd (John Swire & Co), renamed KUALA LUMPUR, and put into service as a pilgrim carrier (243 First Class passengers and 1669 pilgrims). in 1962 she began off-season cruising from Australia and New Zealand taking school parties in former pilgrim/troop quarters until November 1971 when she was sold to be broken up by Tung Cheng Steel Co Ltd, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Photograph courtesy of Andy Smith - "was looking at photos from my grandad who stationed in Egypt as a morse code operator and I found your excellent information on the HM troopship Dilwara, and thought you might like a copy of the photo from my grandad of the ship."

Photograph courtesy of Brian Sylvester - no copyright - Underneath the photographin the album it says "Thursday Feb.24th 1938. Eric sailed for China to join HMS MEDWAY for two and a half years. Went on HM Troopship DILWARA from Southampton."

Photograph courtesy of David Jones- his father took some photographs when stationed in the Caribbean during his national service and sent this postcard home with a photograph of the ship that took him from the Valleys in Wales across to Jamaica in 1957

Last updated 8 April, 2024

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