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Alcantara Ship Royal Mail Lines Ltd1

?, #15203, b. 1913, d. 29 February 1916
Last Edited: 26 Nov 2020
  • (Child) Birth*: Alcantara Ship Royal Mail Lines Ltd was born in 1913 at Govan, Scotland, ; Ship Name Alcantara
    Years in service     1913-
    Funnels     1
    Masts     2
    Shipping Line     Royal Mail
    Line     1
    Ship description     
    Built by Harland & Wolff, Ltd., Govan, Scotland. Tonnage: 15,831. Dimensions: 570' x 67' (589' o.l.) Triple-screw, 16 knots. Two masts and one funnel.2
  • (Deceased) Death*: Alcantara Ship Royal Mail Lines Ltd died on 29 February 1916 History     
    As an armed British merchant cruiser, was in naval action with the German raider Grief, February 29, 1916, and as a result of shell fire sank with the loss of 69 lives. Sister ships: Almanzora, Andes and Arlanza.2
  • (Child) Birth: Alcantara Ship Royal Mail Lines Ltd was born in 1926 at Belfast, Ireland, ; Ship Name     Alcantara
    Years in service     1926-1958
    Funnels     2
    Masts     2
    Shipping Line     Royal Mail (British)
    Line     2
    Ship description     
    Built by Harland & Wolff, Ltd., Belfast, Ireland. Tonnage: 22,181. Dimensions: 630' x 78' (655' o.l.) Twin-screw, 18 knots. Motorship. Two masts and two funnels. Later had only a single funnel. Diesel engines were replaced with steam turbines in 1934.2
  • (Deceased) Death: Alcantara Ship Royal Mail Lines Ltd died in 1958 at Japan, , History     
    Scrapped in Japan, 1958. Sister ship: Asturias.2
  • Photograph*: Alcantara Ship Royal Mail Lines Ltd is in this photograph taken.2
  • (Ship) Passenger List: Alcantara Ship Royal Mail Lines Ltd passenger list included Andrew Adamson railway engine driver and Jemima Fenwick Brown when she sailed on 30 July 1934 at Buenos Aires, Argentina, . Of 13 Albert Street Forfar, Scotland
    First name(s)
    Last name ADAMSON
    Gender Male
    Age 60
    Birth year 1874
    Marital status M
    Departure year 1934
    Departure day 30
    Departure month 7
    Departure port SOUTHAMPTON
    Destination port BUENOS AIRES
    Destination BUENOS AIRES
    Country ARGENTINA
    Destination country ARGENTINA
    Ship name ALCANTARA
    Ship official number 148151
    Ship master's first name E
    Ship master's last name CLARKE
    Shipping line ROYAL MAIL LINES LTD
    Ship destination port BUENOS AIRES
    Ship destination country ARGENTINA
    Ship registered tonnage 13225.85
    Number of passengers 334
    Record set Passenger Lists leaving UK 1890-1960
    Category Travel & migration
    Subcategory Passenger lists
    Collections from Australasia, Great Britain, Ireland, United States
    Transcriptions © brightsolid online publishing ltd
    People with same last name on this voyage
    State; First name(s); Last name; Title
    - JEMIMA ADAMSON also aged 60.1


  • Note for Web: Alcantara Ship Royal Mail Lines Ltd ALCANTARA 1913
    This was probably the short lived ALCANTARA. 16,034 gross tons, length 590ft x beam 65.4ft, one funnel, two masts, triple screw, speed 17 knots, accommodation for 400-1st, 230-2nd and 760-3rd class passengers. Fitted with refrigerated cargo space for the Argentine meat trade. Built by Harland & Wolff, Glasgow, she was launched on 30th Oct.1913 for the Royal Mail Steam Packet Co and started her maiden voyage from Southampton to Buenos Aires on 19th June 1914. Converted to an Armed Merchant Cruiser in 1915 with 8 x 6in guns and 2 x 6 pounders. On 29th Feb.1916 in the Skaggerak, she, together with her sister ship ANDES, intercepted a merchant ship disguised as the Norwegian RENA. The ship disclosed herself as the German raider GREIF and opened fire, causing great damage to ALCANTARA which developed a heavy list. GREIF was also on fire and ALCANTARA was abandoned and later sank. British warships arrived on the scene and, together with the ANDES sank the GREIF and picked up survivors. ALCANTARA lost 72 men and GREIF lost 280.[South Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P.Bonsor] in 1913.3
  • Note for Web*: Alcantara Ship Royal Mail Lines Ltd ALCANTARA / KAISHO MARU 1926
    22,181 gross tons, length 630.5ft x beam 78.5ft, two funnels, two masts, twin screw and a speed of 16 knots. Accommodation for 432-1st, 200-2nd and 674-3rd class passengers. Built by Harland & Wolff, Belfast, she was launched for Royal Mail Lines on 23rd Sep.1926. Her maiden voyage started on 4th Mar.1927 when she left Southampton for Cherbourg, Lisbon, Las Palmas, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. She continued this service, with the occasional cruise until 1934 when she was rebuilt to 22,209 gross tons, with accommodation for 330-1st, 220-2nd and 768-3rd class passengers. She was also lengthened to 666ft, her two funnels heightened and she was fitted with new diesel engines to give her a speed of 18 knots. She resumed the same service on 4th May 1935 and continued until 1939 when she was rebuilt as an Armed Merchant Cruiser. Her forward (dummy) funnel and mainmast were removed at this time. Sent to Malta for further conversion, she was involved in a serious collision with the Cunard ship FRANCONIA en route, but remained afloat and managed to reach Alexandria for major hull repairs. In December 1939 she commenced South Atlantic patrol work. In July 1940 she was engaged in a battle with the German surface raider THOR and scored a number of hits, but was damaged on the waterline by an unexploded shell and had to reduce speed. The THOR withdrew under cover of a smokescreen and the ALCANTARA put into Rio for temporary repairs. In Nov.1940 she returned to Liverpool where she was fitted with better armament and then returned to South Atlantic patrol work. Converted to a troopship in 1943, she made trooping voyages to the Mediterranean, Singapore, East Indies, Halifax, India and Ceylon. Refitted after the war to carry 220-1st, 185-cabin and 462-tourist class passengers, she resumed the Southampton - Buenos Aires service on 8th Oct.1948. On 17th Apr.1958 she left Southampton on her last voyage to Buenos Aires having made 172 round voyages to South America. Sold to Japanese shipbreakers, she was renamed KAISHO MARU for her passage to Japan for scrapping and arrived at Osaka on 30th Sep.1958. in 1926.3


  1. [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Passenger Lists leaving UK 1890-1960 Transcription, URL of this page: http://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=tna%2fbt27%2f1407000004%2f00258 [Jul 2016].
  2. [S9] Website Ancestry.co.uk (www.ancestry.co.uk) Ships collection [Apr 2018].
  3. [S49] Website Web Site online (www.) http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/descriptions/ShipsA.shtml [May 2019].