19th November 2005, 21:20
I served on the Taranaki from August 1956 to February 1957.Does anyone know her fate or have a photograph of her.

John B.
20th November 2005, 01:13
Hello, I do not have a photo, but remember TARANAKI as a sister to ZEALANDIC (lost in WW2),built 1928 , was present at Napier during 1931 earthquake. Had a reputation in SSA as unlucky with a number of collisions, after 72 voyages to NZ was scrapped in Japan in 1963. Her ships bell is in a primary school in the city New Plymouth ,Taranaki province in NZ.
Rgds/John B.

20th November 2005, 21:13
Thanks for the info John B. I believe she was a passenger ship at one time for the crew were accomodated in the old passenger accomodation, two to a cabin, unheard of in 1928.
regards, albertwebster.

Kenneth Morley
20th November 2005, 21:47
Hi there , I served on the Taranaki 1948 joined her in Brisbane as greaser, after serving on the Australian coast. Paid off in the UK. I went to Google "Taranaki" and found a good photo of her. Hope you have luck in finding what you are looking for. Kenneth

Bruce Carson
20th November 2005, 21:48
Hi Albert:
There's a picture of the 'Taranaki' at the following site:


Bruce C.

20th November 2005, 22:28
Thanks Guys, clicked on to the site and there she was. Happy memories. Loving this site, Thanks again.

R.Philip Griffin
3rd November 2006, 23:44
This mighty counter sterned vessel, was the first ship I ever sailed on as an Apprentice in May '52. The Master was Captain Mark Bennett, RNR; C/O was Joe Wliiams; 2/O Dereck Aberdeen; 3/O John Bakewell; 4/O can see his Kiwi face but no name; Senior Apprentice Olaf Olesen[OW]; Appr. GG Saunders[OW]; Me and joined in NZ Apprentice James [Jimmy] Gillies?[spelling]. Our Captain had been the Captain of a destroyer flotilla during the Big Hate, and apparantly that was a big deal for a Merchant Shipp Master. Our Chief Engineer was Bill Fowler of whom our GG asked if he had been at sea in sail,[anyone over 40 was positively ancient to 17 y.o.s]. Bill, I'm glad to say snarled then laughed, great days, great men. Definite roll models and, I'm sure we tried to emulate them. I hope so anyway. I spent two years on this vessel and did several unusual trip for SS&A. NZ to San Franscisco, with frozen beef,then UK. Australia to Odessa, Venice, Rotterdam with wool,then UK with the freezer cargo. Happy days. Grifmar

john shaw
4th November 2006, 00:42
not sure from where but i have this pic-- shows something of the ship

R.Philip Griffin
8th December 2006, 10:31
John Shaw, Pretty sure that is Taranaki going into the Splot in Cardiff for a two month layup in 1953/4? Not bad atall. Grifmar

9th December 2006, 15:05
Hi Alan

Please find attached a pic of the bow of the Taranaki following a collision, in May 1950, with the Union SS Co's Waipiata off Wellington Heads. She rammed the Waipiata in the starboard side forward of the bridge and penetrated some 10 feet. Oxy-acetylene cutting equipment was required to seperate them. Repairs took four months.

Source:Shaw Savill & Albion - The Post-war fortunes of a shipping empire
Author: Richard P de Kerbrech
ISBN. 0 85177 3931



Stephen J. Card
9th December 2006, 23:29
John Shaw, Pretty sure that is Taranaki going into the Splot in Cardiff for a two month layup in 1953/4? Not bad atall. Grifmar

I don't think it is Cardiff. The tug made fast forward is the ATLANTIC COCK, built 1932 by A. Hall, Aberdeen for Gamecock Tugs, London. She and her sisters, CRESTED COCK and OCEAN COCK were all Thames River tugs. Broken up at Antwerp in 1970.

I would say this photo shows TARANAKI outbound from Royal Albert Dock. Of couse she could well be bound for Cardill for layup as you say.


Eddie Wallace
2nd July 2008, 18:52
I sailed on the SS Taranaki 1955 joined her in Avonmouth paid of 1956 in London Victoria Dock .We did the NZ run round both Islands

Jan Hendrik
4th July 2008, 14:45
Hello Albert
Here is a nice picture for you.

7th July 2008, 09:24
It is a good view. Is it pre-war ? I only sailed on Coptic 1959 and 1961 so Taranaki may not be identical but was not the CEO cabin up a deck overlooking the after decks. also I think that the crew's accomadation was moved but I see no portholes in this view. I will try to post a view which I found recently on ebay

7th July 2008, 11:07
Hello Albert, I sailed on Taranaki for two voyages as 2nd Elect during 1951/52, she had a plaque in the officers' smoke room, from the people of the province of Taranaki, with thanks for the work done by the crew, following the earthquake.

Shad Sulzer blast injection engines and was built in 1927, scrapped in 1963, in Aioi in Japan. Terence Williams.

8th July 2008, 23:29
the plaque would have related to Napier , she was one of the two merchant ships in port when the great quake hit in the 1930s. In 1960 we called into Napier on Illyric and our captain was still treated as hero as he had been on Taranki. It was said that for days the only electricity was provided by cable from the ships. There is a memorial to the work of the war ship which was in port , don't recall her name

Brent Chambers
9th July 2008, 00:34
John, the warship you mention was the sloop HMS Veronica, who's crew did sterling work after the earthquake. She was berthed at the inner harbour, known as the Iron Pot, and because the seabed rose by 6feet, only just got out.The ships bell was/is found in the collonade on the Marine Parade in Napier. My father was 10 years old then, and remembered having to live outside for a few days because of aftershocks/falling chimneys.
Brent(ex Napier)

14th September 2008, 11:10
Reference my previous email, The Captain was still Mark Bennett, and the Chief Engineer was still Bill Fowler, two very great seafaring gentlemen.Terence Williams.R538301.

R.Philip Griffin
7th October 2008, 13:10
Reference my previous email, The Captain was still Mark Bennett, and the Chief Engineer was still Bill Fowler, two very great seafaring gentlemen.Terence Williams.R538301.

Ahoy Terry, and RPGriffin was still an Apprentice Trust all is going well with you.

31st October 2008, 10:53
Hi all,

read with interest your posts. I came across my fathers 'Certificates of Discharge' and saw that he served with Shaw Savill from Jul 51 until May 56. 4 trips with the Taranaki Jul 53, Feb 54 (2) & Aug 54. He was 10th, 8th and 6th engineer. It looks like Bennett was master for the first 3 and G. C. Gullin (?) for the last. Also on the Delphic, Cymric & Wairangi. Hoping someone may have served with him or have photos. I also believe his brother Thomas Gallacher was an engineer with Shaw Savill. I always remember my father had a cream circular ashtray with a metal Shaw Savill crest in the middle. Any help or advice would be greatfully received.

Bryan Gallacher

31st October 2008, 20:34
As stated, built 1928 scrapped 1963.Sisters were ZEALANDIC, COPTIC and KARAMEA. Picture with Cock tug is in K.G.V lock, London.
Cheers John.