FerriesPast and PresentSouth Eastern and Chatham Railway (SE&CR)Southern Railway

TS Engadine – Past and Present

TS Engadine

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Triple screw turbine steamer, built by Denny’s of Dumbarton (Yard number 955) for the South Eastern and Chatham Railway in 1911 for the Channel service

Technical Data

  • Length on deck: 98.45m (overall)(323.0 ft), 96.32m (316 ft)(registered)
  • Breadth of hull: 12.5m (41.1 ft)
  • Depth: 5.03m (16.5 ft)
  • Draught: 4.34m (14.23 ft)
  • Tonnage: 1,676 gross/648 net
  • Engines: 3 compound direct drive steam turbines, one of high pressure driving the centre screw (ahead only), and two of low pressure, driving the side screws, (the latter fitted also for astern sailing). All supplied by Parson’s patent Marine Turbine Company Ltd., of Wallsend-on-Tyne.
  • Boilers: Six Babcock & Wilcox w/t 172lb/sq in
  • Power: 13,800 shp/10,300kW
  • Speed: 20.5 knots (22.164 knots trial)
  • Capacity:
  • Berths: 105 1st, 45 2nd
  • Crew: 56/197 + 53 aviation crew (1918)
  • Sister ship: Riviera


September 23rd 1911: Launched. Trials.

December 23rd 1911: Delivered to South Eastern and Chatham Railway. Cost £82,516.

December 24th 1911: Maiden voyage, Dover – Calais.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

August 11th 1914: Requisitioned by the Admiralty.

September 1st 1914: Commissioned after she was modified at Chatham Dockyard, three canvas hangars were installed, one forward and two aft, and there was no flight deck, the aircraft being lowered onto the sea for take off and recovered again from the sea after landing by newly installed derricks.

Nigel Thornton Collection  Bernt Anderson Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection (left) Bernt Anderson Collection (right)

“Assigned to the Harwich Force along with the seaplane tenders EMPRESS and RIVIERA.”.

December 25th 1914: “Nine aircraft from all three ships took part in the Cuxhaven Raid on hangars housing Zeppelin airships. Seven of the nine seaplanes successfully took off for the attack, but they inflicted little damage. Only three of the aircraft returned to be recovered, but the crews of the other three ditched safely and were recovered by a British submarine and the Dutch trawler Marta van Hattem….”

February 1915: Purchased by the Admiralty.

February 10th 1915 – March 23rd 1915: Modified by Cunard at Liverpool with a permanent, four-aircraft, hangar in the rear superstructure and a pair of cranes were mounted at the rear of the hangar to hoist the seaplanes in and out of the water.

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection (Imperial War Museum)(left) Photoship (right)

July 3rd 1915: Upon completion of the conversion, she rejoined the Harwich Force, generally served as a base ship for the fleet’s seaplanes.

May 30th 1916: Attached to the 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron, commanded by Rear Admiral Trevelyan Napier, and carried two Short Type 184 and two Sopwith Baby floatplanes aboard.

December 25th 1914: Her first action was the Cuxhaven air raid to bomb (ineffectually) U-boats. This was the first ever air attack over enemy territory. Six were converted and three of these were from South Eastern and Chatham Railway. The others were all ex-railway Isle of Man ships.

1915: Attached to the battle cruiser fleet at Scapa Flow.

May 31st 1915: First British ship to sight the German Fleet at Jutland and as a member of that force, sending up a seaplane in order to try and pin-point the position of the enemy fleet.

June 1st 1915: Took in tow the cruiser HMS WARRIOR until she sank and also rescued 675 of her crew.

 Photoship   Photoship


Based out of Malta, conducting anti-submarine patrols, for the remainder of the war.

December 1919: She was sold back to her original owners, the South Eastern and Chatham Railway, and resumed her former role as a cross-Channel ferry.

1920: Refitted at Chatham Dockyard.

April 1920: Returned to cross-Channel service with her sister-ship RIVIERA on the Folkestone – Boulogne route.

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

January 1st 1923: Transferred to Southern Railway.

April 1924: En-route to Boulogne a steam pipe burst. 1 dead.

1928/1929 (winter): Extensively refitted; main deck house plated in and given windows.

June 1st 1932: Chartered, for three months, to Instone Lines for Thames excursions between London’s Tower Pier and the Nore lightship. Yellow-buff funnels.

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

September 23rd 1932: She was returned to her owners and was again laid-up.

December 1933: Sold to the Compania Maritima , a Philippines concern, who ran her under the name of CORREGIDOR. Nanila-Cebu-Iliolo-Corregidor service.

Courtesy of John Hendy

Courtesy of John Hendy

December 1941: She was sunk after striking a mine laid in Manila Bay by Japanese air attack.

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 John Hendy for his assistance in producing this feature.

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

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