British Railways Board (BRB)FerriesPast and PresentSouthern Railway

TS Haslemere – Past and Present

Official Number: 148636

TS Haslemere

ex HMS Haslemere, Haslemere

Roy Thornton Collection

TS Haslemere – Roy Thornton Collection

Steel twin screw steamer, built and engined by D. & W. Henderson, Glasgow, in 1925 (Yard No 719) for the Southern Railway

Technical Data


From 1924 to 1928 nine new twin-screw cargo steamers were put into commission on the Dover, Folkestone and Southampton services by the new Company (Southern Railway) ; the above seven were allocated to Dover and Folkestone, the remainder being based at Southampton, though a certain amount of interchanging has occurred from time to time. These ships were all alike though their gross tonnage varied between 680 and 750; they came from Meadowside Yard of Messrs. D & W Henderson, Glasgow, the firm so closely identified with the old Anchor Line. They were handsome ships of their class, each with a single funnel, two masts and cruiser stern. They appear to be credited with a maximum speed of 15 knots.

May 22nd 1925: Launched being the first of the new SR cargo vessels to be built for Southampton.

July 5th 1925: Delivered at a cost of £42,250.

Roy Thornton Collection

TS Haslemere – Roy Thornton Collection

November 1925: In a gale, damaged her bow entering Le Havre.

September 1927: Collided with the yacht of a Maharajah in Southampton Water.

December 1929: Leaving Honfleur she hit an incoming tug.

1931(summer): Carried cars Southampton – St Malo. Their occupants went on the parallel overnight service.

November 1931: Damaged her rudder and starboard propeller at St Malo.

September 13th 1939: Requisitioned for a special sailing from Southampton before returning to normal duties.

June 20th 1940: Carrying evacuees from Guernsey to Weymouth, then normal duties.

June 28th 1940: Arrived in Southampton and laid up.

October 26th 1940: Requisitioned for fitting out at Southampton as a Balloon Barrage vessel.

November 8th 1940: Commissioned as HMS HASLEMERE.

November 9th 1940: Sailed as part of the Channel Mobile Balloon Barrage fleet.

Roy Thornton Collection

HMS Haslemere – Roy Thornton Collection

November 25th 1940: Thames Estuary – Solent shell burst close under her port bow, killing one of her officers and wounding another. The vessel’s side above the water-line was pierced by splinters as were her funnel, superstructure, upper deck cabins and ventilators.

May 1943: Ceased convoy duties and based at Sheerness when she resumed coastal duties as Commodore’s Ship until being required for Operation Neptune.

June 7th 1944: Gold beach-head to serve as a Control and Receiving Ship for ‘Bombardon’ floating breakwaters and also as a headquarters ship for planters and sappers.

October 1944: Put into reserve.

March 27th 1945: Paid off at Meadowside, Clyde. She was then refitted.

June 5th 1945: Arrived at Southampton.

Roy Thornton Collection

TS Haslemere – Roy Thornton Collection

June 22nd/23rd 1945: The ship was the first Southern Railway vessel to arrive in Jersey after the Second World War.

Roy Thornton Collection

TS Haslemere – Roy Thornton Collection

November 23rd 1945: Shortly after leaving St Peter Port the ship struck rocks and was off service for repairs until April the following year.

December 2nd 1955: In collision with another ship of the fleet, the WINCHESTER, in the Solent and her steering was damaged. She had to be assisted into port.

July 7th 1959: Made her last call at Jersey.

August 29th 1959: After being sold for breaking up, she arrived at Rotterdam.

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

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

One Comment

  1. Dear sir
    My father served on board HMS HMS Haslemere
    [756T/1925] Southern Railway Vessel HM Mulberry Control & Receiving Ship Arrived Gold 7 June in Follow Up Convoy L5/ETM1.. Receiving ship at Mulberry B for Bombardons, Phoenix and Whales. Also Plankers and Sappers HQ.

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