HMT Dorsetshire

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HMT Dorsetshire
HMT Dorsetshire.jpg
Peacetime livery
HMT Dorsetshire 1.jpg
In war time troopship livery
Name HMT Dorsetshire
Owner Bibby Line
Builder Harland & Wolff, Belfast
Launched 22 Apr 1920
Completed 1920
Fate Scrapped
General characteristics
Type Troopship / passenger liner
Tonnage 9,345 tons
Length 450.33 feet (137.26m)
Beam 57.33 feet (17.47m)
Depth 34.4 feet (10.49m)
Propulsion Twin diesel engines
Speed 12 knots
Capacity 1112 1st class, 58 2nd class, 108 families in 3rd class, or 1,450 troops


Original design included higher tan normal distance between decks to allow later conversion for troop carrying. When converted to carry troops in 1927, her tonnage increased to 9,345. She carried lifeboats to carry 1,934 people. Contracted on 5 year terms as a stand by troopship, during this period she retained her company livery. In September 1939 she was converted into HM Hospital Ship No. 23 with beds for 493 patients and accommodation for 59 medical staff. On 31st January 1941, during a voyage to Tobruk to evacuate troops, she was, despite her markings, attacked outside Sollum in Libya. She was attacked again on 1st February. On 12th July 1943 she was bombed and received superficial damage when 13 miles from Cape Passero while supporting the Allied invasion of Sicily.

Decommissioned on 8th March 1948 the Dorsetshire was rebuilt by Harland & Wolff to accommodate tourists, and was returned to the Bibby Line in November 1949. On 11th December 1949 she sailed from Liverpool bound for Australia with 550 passengers. She was then used to repatriate Dutch civilians from Indonesia, and in 1952 as a hostel ship for workmen building the Little Aden oil refinery.

The Dorsetshire returned to her troopship role in May 1953 when she sailed from Liverpool, with British troops for Korea. Laid up in August 1954 and broken up.

Soldiers carried

Egypt to Adelaide 18 Mar - 19 Apr 1942