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Contents
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Basic Data
  • 3 Career Highlights
  • 4 Service Pre-War
  • 5 War Service
  • 6 Service Post-War
  • 7 External resources
  • 8 Photographs
Introduction[edit]

RMS Macedonia was the fourth of the P&O "M" Series passenger liners.

RMS Macedonia cost P&O £344,296 and, unlike some of her sister ships, survived WW1 and was ultimately sold to Amakasu Gomie Kaisha in Japan for £25,000 and scrapped .

Photograph 1: Macedonia-2.jpg

Basic Data[edit]
  • Type: Passenger liner
  • P&O Group service: N/K
  • P&O Group status: Owned by parent company
  • Registered owners,managers and operators: The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company
  • Builders: Harland and Wolff Ltd.
  • Yard: Belfast
  • Country: UK
  • Yard number: 355
  • Registry: Belfast
  • Official number: 116012
  • Signal letters: N/K
  • Call sign: N/K
  • Classification society: N/K
  • Gross tonnage: 10,512 grt
  • Net tonnage: 5,244 grt
  • Deadweight: N/K
  • Length: 530.4 ft
  • Breadth: 60.4 ft
  • Depth: 25.5 Ft
  • Draught: N/K
  • Engines: Two quadruple-expansion four cylinder steam engines
  • Engine builders: Harland and Wolff Ltd.
  • Works: Belfast
  • Country: UK
  • Power: 13,000 ihp
  • Propulsion: 2 screws
  • Speed: 18 knots
  • Boilers: Coal-fired, five double-ended and two single-ended boilers, 215 psi
  • Passenger capacity: 377 first class, 187 second class
  • Cargo capacity:196,580 Cu Ft in 6 holds served by 10 hydraulic cranes
  • Crew: 370
  • Employment: Built for either the UK-Australia or UK-India mail service
Career Highlights[edit]
  • 9.7.1903: Launched by Harland and Wolff Ltd., Belfast (Yard No. 355), for the company.
  • 20 Jan 1904: Registered.
  • 8 Aug 1914: Hired by the Admiralty for service as an armed merchant cruiser and converted at Tilbury.
  • Early 1914: Plating to the bridge was raised as she was a very wet ship forward.
  • Nov 1916: Compulsorily purchased by the Admiralty, but the company contested their right to do so
  • Feb 1917 sold back to P&O
  • 20 Oct 1921: Sailed on her first post-war commercial voyage, from Tilbury for Bombay.
  • Nov 1931: Sold for £25,000 to Amakasu Gomei Kaisha, Japan, for demolition at Yokohama.
Service Pre-War[edit]

RMS Macedonia's maiden voyage commenced on 13 Feb 1904 with a trip to Bombay via Marseilles. On April 29 1904 she commenced service delivering mail to Australia making a round trip in about 16 weeks. On the return leg of her maiden voyage she brought home the survivors of Australia which had been wrecked in June of that year.

Photograph 2: Macedonia_1.jpg

On arrival at Gravesend on 24 December 1904 she collided with Christian IX a cargo ship whilst in dense fog but was not damaged and was able to sail again after three weeks. She made a trip to the Far East in 1907 and set the record for the run between Freemantle and Colombo at 7 days 20 hours.

During May 1910 RMS Macedonia was fitted out with radio equipment and received news of the death of King Edward VII.

In 1913 she made her first voyage to Auckland in New Zealand.

Photograph 3: Macedonia-3.jpg
War Service[edit]

RMS Macedonia was requisitioned by the government for use as an Armed Merchant Cruiser (AMC) at the beginning of WW1. She was commissioned on August 8 1914 and by August 10 had been fitted with eight 4.7 inch guns - the conversion was done at Tilbury in record time.

Her first task during the war was to set sail for the West Indies and later patrol the coast of South America. On 17 September she met with another AMC, HMS Carmania (formerly the Cunard liner SS Carmania) that had suffered damage in action. Both ships made is safely to Freetown in Sierra Leone.

In October HMS Macedonia joined a search for the German light cruiser Karlsfuhe alongside HMS Bristol.

On 3 December 1914, she was ordered to join cruisers Caernarvon and Kent and travel to the Falkland Islands. On 6 December they sighted battlecruisers HMS Invincible and HMS Inflexible and reached Port Stanley the following day. HMS Canopus had meanwhile mined the entrance to Port William. Meanshile Admiral Von Spee's squadron was approaching the Falkland Islands intending to raid the radio station and purloin coal stocks.

The British ships were taken by surprise whilst coaling but the Germans fled South. Thereafter ensued the Battle of the Falklands Islands during which four German cruisers were sunk. The main British fleet then departed leaving HMS Macedonia and HMS Bristol behind. Two German vessels were then sighted - that turned out to be the Baden and the Santa Isobel - both colliers. Both ships were ordered to stop, the crew taken off and the colliers sunk - both took shots at Baden but HMS Macedonia polished off Santa Isobel on her own.

For the rest of the war HMS Macedonia patrolled South America and undertook convoy protection duties. Her last wartime voyage was a departure from Dakar to Newport leaving on 31 October 1918.

Three years after the end of the war was spent as a troop transport ship and she was reconditioned at the Navel Dockyard in Portsmouth.

Service Post-War[edit]

RMS Macedonia returned to the mail service with her first trip from Tilbury to Bombay on 15 September 1921. She spent the last 10 years of her service on the India and Far East runs.

Photograph 4: Macedonia-4.jpg

She made her last passenger voyage from Tilbury on 18 September 1931. Her final trip was from Shanghai to a scrapyard in Japan leaving 27 October 1931.

External resources[edit]
  1. P&O - A Fleet History: Stephen Rabson and kevin O'Donahue; World Ship Society, Kendal, ISBN 0 905617 45 2
  2. 20th Century Passenger ships of the P&O: Neil McCart, Pub. Patrick Stephens, Wellingborough - ISBN 0-85059-716-1

Photographs[edit]
  1. From a print owned by SN member Benjidog - original photographer not known
  2. Stock P&O postcard from the collection of SN member Benjidog
  3. From a print owned by SN member Benjidog - original photographer not known
  4. From postcard from the collection of SN member Benjidog showing RMS Macedonia and Persia at Port Said

 
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