TS Empress in French service post WW1 - Ships Nostalgia
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TS Empress in French service post WW1

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  #1  
Old 11th July 2020, 22:55
IAn Burns IAn Burns is offline  
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TS Empress in French service post WW1

Empress was part of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway fleet pre-WW1. Served as a seaplane carrier HMS Empress through the war, the returned to the SECR.
In 1923 Empress was sold to Société Anoynyme de Gérance et d'Armament, retaining her name (?).

Any details of French service and (in a perfect world) a photo would be much appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 12th July 2020, 19:42
eddyw eddyw is offline  
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"Empress" (1907) and her sister ship "Invicta" (1905) were sold to SAGA in 1923 to replace their paddle steamers "Le Nord" (1898) and "Pas de Calais" (1898) on the Calais-Dover route. They were refitted, received French registration and white funnels with black tops retaining their names, and continued in service till 1933 when sold for scrap. There are photos of "Empress" flying the tricolour but I've not been able to find one on line.
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Old 12th July 2020, 20:33
IAn Burns IAn Burns is offline  
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French Empress

Thanks eddyw.

You mention a photo of Empress with white funnels. I have a pre-war post card of Empress with white funnels with black tops. There are other images of SECR ships with white funnels. So, perhaps the French flag was a courtesy?
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Old 13th July 2020, 00:59
eddyw eddyw is offline  
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SECR ships had white funnels with black tops until absorbed into the fleet of the Southern Railway upon railway amalgamation in 1923 whereupon they were repainted in the standard Southern Railway colour scheme of buff funnels with black tops. SAGA colours were the same as that of SECR and so when sold to SAGA "Empress" and "Invicta" continued to sport white funnels. Both ships disappear from the British register after 1923. They were re-registered in France using their original names with the home port of Calais and flew the French flag.
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  #5  
Old 13th July 2020, 18:05
IAn Burns IAn Burns is offline  
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Thanks again Eddyw.

Ships are not my 'main thing' so it is so good to have the answers and details provided by others.
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