Friday, 2 July 2010

Cunard Liners

Cunard have operated passenger ships on the the north Atlantic for over a century and here is one of them.  The RMS Andania arriving in Quebec as the sun sets, or rises.  I like to think it is rising, the slight yellow tinge in the sky, and it is always lovely to arrive in port early in the morning to a still city. The artist is Odin Rosenvinge, a painter of many Cunard ships and posters.   

Andania was a passenger ship launched in 1921 by Hawthorn Leslie, her maiden voyage in June 1922 was to Montreal then she was transferred to the Hamburg to New York route from 1924 to 1926 returning to Liverpool in 1927 to ply the Atlantic to Montreal route. This was the same route as her predecessor of the same name who sailed Liverpool via Southampton to Quebec and Montreal.  Both these ships had the same fate, both torpedoed by German Submarines. One in the first world war and one in the second.

In 1939 the RMS Andania was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an armed merchant cruiser, HMS Andania. She was hit by 1 of 2 torpedoes 230 miles NW of the Faroe Islands, the ship sank slowly so all the crew (347) were saved, taken off by the Icelandic trawler Skallagimur.

The German submarine U-A has spotted them earlier in the day but in heavy rain and bad weather had lost them because of her zigzagging patrol course. Three torpedoes were fired, missed and not noticed until the U-A caught up again and fired two torpedoes, in response HMS Andania opened fire but could not locate the attacker in the dark.
The reverse of the card is the stamp of the Cunard Line Agency run by James Robinson in Barrow in Furness.
The same town that built the Cunard Liner Scythia.  Here is a card by the postcard company Sankey who by coincidence also resided in the same street at the Cunard Line Agency.  The Scythia was launched at the Vickers Shipyard March 23rd 1920. The tug will be escorting her to the docks for outfitting and completion.  She has not yet got her funnel or upper decking.

Following heavy losses of ships in the first world war Cunard began an ambitious building programme and this was the first of these, a luxury liner journeying from Liverpool to New York and Boston.  She was requisitioned at the end of 1939 to the end of the war when she took many of the American and Canadian troops back home, some with war brides.  But the Scythia also took many refugees from Europe and people emigrating to Canada.  Here is one family's story of the ship docking at the famous Pier 21 Halifax.

In 1950 she became a passenger ship again but this came to an end in 1958 when delivered to the ship-breakers in Scotland.


Our hostess for Postcard Friendship Friday is Beth at The Best Hearts are Crunchy

9 comments:

Snap said...

I learned something today! Great cards. Happy PFF!

Christine H. said...

That card is a beauty. Makes me want to go on a trip. The Andania seems to have had the same fate as the SS Transylvania. Again, two ships same name, the first torpedoed in WWI and the second in WWII.

Sheila said...

There is something so very compelling about the stories of these liners, not only the passenger transport but also their war service.

Mary said...

I just came across a bunch of ocean liner cards I didn't know I had. Gives me inspiration to look up the history of some of them!

viridian said...

A long history to these ships, but a sad end too - torpedoed or sent to the ship wreckers. happy PFF.

Greyscale Territory said...

Fascinating information on these Cunard ships! Love the romance of the first postcard and the second one is quite incredible - a postcard capturing the partial completion of a ship! I think this is a first for me!

Postcardy said...

What a sad end for the Andania.

Bob of Holland said...

Beautiful postcards - especiaaly the one of the Andania. The history of a ship can be quite a story. Great that all the people on the Andania were saved after it was torpedoed. Happy PFF.

www.dakotaboo.com said...

Lovely postcards - thanks for sharing.