British Railways Board (BRB)British Transport Commission (BTC)Eastern regionFerriesLondon & North Eastern RegionPast and Present

TS Bruges – Past and Present

TS Bruges


Steel twin screw turbine vessel, built in 1920 by John Brown & Co, Ltd., Clydebank (Yard No. 494), for Great Eastern Railway.

Technical Data

  • Length: 98.43 m (overall) m (between perpendiculars)
    Breadth: 13.14 m
    Depth: 7.83  m
    Draught: 4.07 m
    Tonnage: 2949 gross/1268 net/2373t deadweight
    Engines: 4  Brown/Curtis single reduction geared turbines
    Power: kW/1476 bHP
    Speed: 21  knots
    Capacity: 1,500 passengers
    Call Sign: 
    ID Number (Lloyds Reg 1930 – 31): 66378
  • Official Number: 131908
    Port of Registry: Harwich/UK
    Sister Ships: Antwerp, Malines


March 20th 1920: Launched.

July 1920: Delivered.

September 20th 1920: Arrived at Parkeston Quay for the first time. Mainly used on the Harwich – Antwerp route, but occasionally deputized on the Harwich – Hook of Holland service.

July 5th 1921: In service on the “summer only” Harwich – Zeebrugge route.


January 1st 1923: Registered to London & North Eastern Region.

June 28th 1928: Fitted with gramophones!


September 1939: Requisitioned by the Royal Navy and used as a trooper between Southampton – Le Havre/Cherbourg. Painted grey.

September 8th 1939: Arrived at Southampton.

September 10th 1939: First sailing in the service of the British Expeditionary Forces.

September 19th 1939: At the end of a subsequent outward crossing she berthed at Cherbourg then returned to Southampton, where her shell plating and scuttles were damaged against the dock wall.

September 20th 1939: Not delayed by the damage she sailed on her next departure. Laden with troops she sailed own Southampton Water, anchored off Ryde then sailed to Cherbourg. She continued to this port for most of her initial departures although on January 12th 1940 she disembarked her troops at Brest. She continued crossings from Southampton when most other troopships were being dispatched up Channel to Dunkirk.

June 8th 1940: Sailed fro Cherbourg to Southampton and was ordered to join the fleet being assembled to move British forces from Le Havre to Cherbourg and Southampton.

June 9th 1940: Left Southampton.

June 11th 1940: As one of 15 ships at anchor off Le Havre which came under attack from German aircraft. During the second wave she received a direct hit. The ship was beached and her crew escaped.

June 26th 1940: Declared total loss.

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.

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


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