British Transport Commission (BTC)FerriesPast and PresentSouthern Railway

TS Brighton (V) – Past and Present

TS Brighton (V)

ex Hospital Carrier No 31, Brighton

Dover Ferry Photos Library

Dover Ferry Photos Library

Steel twin screw turbine vessel built in 1928 at Denny’s of Dumbarton, (Yard No 1203) for Southern Railway as a passenger/mail vessel

Technical Data

  • Length: 306 ft (93.27m)(overall) 298.1 ft (90.86m)(between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 38.6 ft (11.79m)(extreme)
  • Depth: 15.9 ft (4.84m)
  • Draught: 10.7 ft (3.27m)(maximum)
  • Tonnage: 2,391 gross/1,914 net/971 deadweight
  • Engines: Two sets of Parsons single reduction geared steam turbines.
  • Boilers: Four Yarrow oil-fired w/t 252lb/sq in closed stokehold
  • Power: 14,500/16,400ihp
  • Speed: 24 knots.
  • Capacity: 1040 passengers
  • Call Sign: GQFK
  • ID Number: 160139
  • Registry: Newhaven/UK
  • Sister Ship: Worthing


“BRIGHTON (V) could be distinguished from WORTHING by bulwarks on her foredeck (longer) and an extended bridge house, while the six rear lifeboats were mounted (higher) on gravity davits. Window arrangements (forward amidships) on her passenger deck were also smaller”

January 1932: Ordered from Denny’s.

November 29th 1932: Launch was supposed to take place, but was delayed after her christening, owing to bad weather.

November 30th 1932: Launched.

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Dover Ferry Photos Library (Trials)

April 7th 1933: Made a successful trial trip to Dieppe and back, during which averaged 24.69 knots.

March 22nd 1933: Handed over to Southern Railway and then introduced between Newhaven and Dieppe.

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Dover Ferry Photos Library (Bottom Right: WORTHING in the background)

September 9th 1939: Requisitioned for troopship service and set out from Southampton on the first of five return crossings to Cherbourg.

September 30th 1939: Having been transferred to Plymouth, single trip to Brest before returning to “trooping” at Southampton.

November 24th 1939: Berthed at Southampton and was withdrawn for conversion to military HOSPITAL CARRIER No 31.

Dover Ferry Photos Library

Dover Ferry Photos Library (Astern of PARIS)

January 14th 1940: Having been fully fitted out she left Southampton for Newhaven.

January 16th 1940: Reached Dieppe to await casualties. She made only occasional crossings.

May 3rd 1940: Routed from Le Havre to Southampton.

May 17th – 18th 1940: Crossed from Dieppe to Newhaven.

May 19th 1940: Arrived back in Dieppe. Berthed with MAID OF KENT in one of the inner basins of the harbour. As the danger of air attack heightened, the Captains of both ships requested permission to move their vessels to the tidal Maritime Station quay, for ease of departure in emergency.

May 21st 1940: Permission to move vessels finally granted and she moved towards the lock gates but the swing footbridge jammed, trapping both vessels until the night tide at the earliest. Late that afternoon the port was heavily bombed; MAID OF KENT was destroyed and BRIGHTON abandoned. She was, however, undamaged in that air attack, so it was decided to muster a crew to sail her but the only engineers to be found were survivors from MAID OF KENT, who were unable to handle BRIGHTON’s boilers.

May 22nd 1940: Reported as still being undamaged but as having been sunk by air attack by May 26th. Her owners record the date of her loss as May 24th, as do other official documents (Admiralty and Lloyds reports).
A published account from a British army officer , who was in Dieppe at this time, states that the ship was sunk during the evening of May 22nd whilst alongside a Greek ship GALAXIAS and there is no reason to believe that the date stated is not equally correct.

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Dover Ferry Photos Library

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for errors and omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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