TS Pieter De Coninck
Steel triple screw turbine steamer, built by Cockerill’s of Hoboken (Yard No. 494) for the Belgian State Railway’s Ostend service in 1909.
- Length: 108.81 m (overall) m (between perpendiculars)
Breadth: 12.19 m
Depth: 7.07 m
Draught: 2.90 m
Tonnage: 1767 gross/1254 net/827 deadweight
Engines: 1 HP and 2 LP direct driver Parsons steam turbines
Power: 7500 kW/HP
Speed: 24.8 knots (Trials in the Scheldt)
Capacity: 1,100 passengers
Call Sign: GQDK
ID Number: 5608064
Lloyds Register Number (1930 – 31): 81376
Port of Registry: Ostend/Belgium
Sister-Ship: Jan Breydel
March 7th 1910: Launched.
Along with her sister she was one of the first of the fleet to have a Flemish name.
“New” Courtesy of John Hendy
July 1910: Made her maiden voyage. The sisters were distinguished by vertical markers on the forward mast (starboard side ); PIETER DE CONINCK 2 and JAN BREYDEL 3.
1914: After the outbreak of war,and together with JAN BREYDEL and PRINCESS ELISABETH, laid up in Antwerp.
The wartime history of both her and her sister was similar, mostly that of transporting wounded soldiers.
August 1st – August 20th 1914: Services to Dover, then Folkestone.
October 6th 1914: Brought Belgian officials Dover.
© IWM (Q 18819)
October 10th – 12th 1914: Evacuees to Dover.
October 13th 1914: Took Belgian Ministers to Le Havre.
December 18th 1915 – February 1917: Operated from Calais as a Hospital Ship.
Courtesy of Arne Pyson
February 1917: Operated as a Hospital Ship in Dover, for the British.
March 1917 – December 31st 1918: Operated under the British flag. She transported 89284 wounded and 37626 soldiers to France and England, in 292 trips.
January 1st – March 28th 1919: Helped with the repatriation of British troops.
March 29th 1919: After the war she was handed back to the Belgian authorities.
June 19th 1919: Placed back into service between Ostend and Dover. During their ten years in post-war service both ships had their forward ends of their promenade decks plated-in.
January 11th 1920: Close to the Dyck Lightship (near Dunkerque) and during a Channel gale three passengers were washed overboard. . The vessel was making its last trip before overhaul.
Courtesy of Robert Fournier (© Desreumaux)
February 13th 1924: During a severe storm, left Ostend carrying 90 passengers (including 43 British soldiers from Cologne) and attempted to dock at the Admiralty Pier, Dover. She was unable to berth and moved to the Admiralty Harbour. She then left and spent the night at sea off Sandgate Hole (to the west of Dover). The following day being much calmer she berthed at the Prince of Wales Pier. All passengers were discharged having spent 25 hours at sea!
1930 (after): Funnel tops painted black.
November 1931: Withdrawn and laid up.
1932: Broken up at Simon’s Scheepslopperiji, Pernis, Holland.
All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Robert Fournier, Arne Pyson and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.
Thanks to John Hendy
Articles: The British Newspaper Archives
Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)