28 December 1893: Gothic sails on maiden voyage

gothic-1893_01Built by Harland and Wolff at Belfast and launched on 28th June 1893, Gothic was jointly operated by White Star and Shaw Savill on the New Zealand service. She could carry 104 passengers in First Class and 114 in Steerage, and was intended to also carry a large cargo of refrigerated mutton and other goods to the UK. Her maiden voyage left London on 28th December 1893, under Captain Jennings.

gothland-ashoreOn 3rd June 1903 fire broke out in the cargo, and eventually she had to be beached off Plymouth and then scuttled, to extinguish the fire. She was later raised and given a thorough refit before returning to service. In 1907 she was transferred to Red Star Line and renamed Gothland. She later reverted to White Star and her old name, then in 1913 was back with Red Star as Gothland. In June 1914 she was stranded on the Scillies but was salvaged and repaired, and gave useful service in the Great War. Finally sold for scrap in 1925, she was broken up at Bo’ness in early 1926.

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28 December 1914 White Star in Australian convoy

ceramic-as-hmt-a40On 28th December 1914 the convoy for the Second Detachment of Australian and New Zealand Imperial Expeditionary Forces assembled at King George’s Sound at Albany. The majority of the fleet sailed on 31st December, and included Suevic (A29), Persic (A34) and Ceramic (A40), carrying troops and horses to Egypt.

suevic-as-trooper1Persic had embarked the 5th Light Horse Regiment at Sydney on 21st December. Suevic had embarked the 6th Australian Light Horse Regiment. Leaving Fremantle for Colombo on 2nd January 1915, the three White Star ships were diverted to Aden for additional coal. The convoy reassembled at Aden on 24th January and reached Suez on 24th January. The troops were disembarked at Alexandria on 1st February.