Cunard Ship Photos

Painting by Gordon Bauwens - see
Courtesy Claude Meldrum Collection
Aquitania alongside in Southampton in war livery

RMS Aquitania

The Aquitania was built by John Brown & Co, Glasgow in 1913 for the Cunard Steamship Co. She was a 45,647 gross ton ship, overall length 901.5ft x beam 97ft (274,77m x 29,56m), four funnels, two masts, four screws and a speed of 23 knots. She carried 597-1st, 614-2nd and 2,052-3rd class passengers.

Launched on 21st April 1913, she started her maiden voyage between Liverpool and New York on 30th May 1914. Her third and last voyage before the Great War, started on 11th July 1914 and she was then fitted out as an Armed Merchant Cruiser. In August 1914, she was slightly damaged in collision near the Irish coast, returned to Liverpool and was laid up until 1915. At various times between 1915 and 1919 she was used as a troopship, hospital ship and laid up. Her first voyage after the Armistice started 19th February 1919 when she was used to repatriate troops from Liverpool and Brest to New York and she made three voyages on this service.
She resumed commercial voyages on 14th June 1919 when she left Southampton for Halifax and New York. Between December 1919 and July 1920 she was converted from coal to oil burning and resumed the Liverpool - New York route on 17th July 1920. On 14th August 1920 she transferred to the Southampton - Cherbourg - New York service and in 1927 was refitted to carry 1st, 2nd, tourist and 3rd class passengers. In October 1931 she became a 1st, tourist and 3rd class ship. In October 1931 she made the first ever North Atlantic turnround in two weeks when she left Southampton for New York on the 7th October and again on 21st October.
In February 1936 she became cabin, tourist and 3rd class and started her last peacetime voyage between Southampton and New York on 23rd August 1939. Between 1939 and 1948 she served as a troopship and on 25th May 1948 started her first Southampton - Halifax voyage with war brides, later with emigrants, making 25 round voyages on this service. Her last sailing started 14th November 1949, when she left Southampton for Halifax. She made a total of 443 round voyages on the North Atlantic. She was scrapped at Faslane, Scotland in 1950.

[North Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P.Bonsor, vol.1,p.159]