SS Somali

From Our Contribution

SS Somali
SS Somali 2.jpg
Postcard image from the period
SS Somali 1.jpg
Somali as a Hospital ship
Name SS Somali
Owner Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company, Greenock
Builder Caird & Company, Greenock
Yard number 298
Launched 17 May 1901
Completed 17 Jun 1901
In service 16 Aug 1901
Out of service 1923
Fate scrapped 1924
General characteristics
Type Passenger / Cargo
Tonnage 8,530 tons
Length 450.3 ft (137.20m)
Beam 52.4 ft (15.97m)
Depth 30.5 ft (9.29m)
Propulsion twin screw
Speed 14 knots (25.93 km/h)
Capacity 78 x 1st; 66 x 2nd class with crew of 162


Owner was the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company. Used on the Far East route via the Suez Canal. On 26 Jul 1906 she collided with the SS Delta in Colombo with considerable damage to both ships. Later that year collided with the SS City of Edinburgh and the SS Clan Colquhoun in Suez. Four years later in 1910 she ran aground in the River Min (Central Sichuan Province, China). During the period 1911 - 1913 she was used for Colonial trooping by the British government, and in August 1914 she carried regular troops back to the UK from India and in February 1915 ferrying troops to Port Said. It then was used as a hospital ship during the Dardanelles Campaign.

Following a brief return to commercial service in 1916 she was requisitioned for transatlantic trooping. During one of those voyages two incendiary time bombs were discovered on board. During early 1918 she was found to be infested with rats though to be carrying the plague, with some men from the ship removed to hospital for treatment.

Post hostilities she made at lest two trips to Australia with returning troops before in 1920 being involved in a collision with Kwanto Maru at Moji in Japan. She returned to trooping to India and the Far East in 1922 before being laid up in the River Fal on 13 Oct 1923. On 8 Dec 1923 she sailed for Copenhagen in tow, and following her arrival two days later she was sold for demolition.

Soldiers carried

Malta to England 20 - 27 August 1915

England to Fremantle 26 December 1918 - 21 January 1919

Southampton to Fremantle 1 June - 8 July 1919

Boarded 1 June, sailed 5 June 1919


Sources: P&O Heritage Fact Sheet & Scottish Built Ships