British Railways Board (BRB)FerriesPast and PresentSouthern Railway

TS Isle of Jersey – Past and Present

TS Libda

ex Isle of Jersey, Hospital Carrier No 3, Isle of Jersey

Steel twin screw turbine vessel, built in 1930 by Wm Denny & Bros, Dumbarton, (Yard No 1233), for Southern Railways as a passenger and cargo vessel

Technical Data

  • Length: 93.27¬†m (overall) m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 12.83¬†m
  • Depth: 4.24¬†m
  • Draught:¬†3.84 m
  • Tonnage:¬†2,143 gross (1930),2,144 (1948),2,180 (1956)/864 -830 – 842 net/ 464 deadweight
  • Engines:¬†2 x Parsons geared turbines
  • Power: kW/5400 iHP
  • Speed:¬† 19.0 knots (max)
  • Capacity:¬†1,400 passengers
  • Call Sign:¬†LHMW
  • Official Number: 161678
  • Port of Registry:¬†Southampton
  • Sister-Ship: Isle of Guernsey, Isle of Sark


January 31st 1929: Ordered.

April 20th 1929: Keel struck.

October 22nd 1929: Launched.

January 7th 1930: Sea trials, reaching a speed of 19.67 knots.

January 16th 1930: Left Dumbarton for Southampton.



January 19th 1930: Delivered to Southern Railways.

March 13th 1930: Maiden voyage between Southampton – Channel Islands.

May 20th 1937: Took part in a review at Spithead, under the eyes of King George V.

August 24th 1939: Made her last departure from the islands until after the war.

August 25th 1939: Requisitioned by the Royal Navy and converted into a hospital ship being officially named HOSPITAL CARRIER NO. 3.

© Imperial War Museum


September 3rd 1939: Arrived at Scapa Flow. She remained at the base until the Normandy landings.

June 8th 1944 – July 16th 1944: Made eleven voyages to the beaches. She then returned again to Scapa Flow where she remained for the rest of he war.

1945: Re-conditioned at Green & Silley, Weir.

October 2nd 1945: Arrived at Southampton and handed back to the Southern Region.

October 9th/10th 1945: Returned to the Channel Islands and spent a year on the route before moving to the Newhaven – Dieppe service.

March 14th 1947: Arrived back at Southampton and four days later was back in the island, fitted with radar.


January 1st 1948: Registered to the British Transport Commission, Southern Region. The ship then carried on with her normal routine until 1956.

January 1st 1956: At Weymouth, covering for ST JULIEN. She also underwent improvement during that year.

September 7th 1957: Approaching St Helier Harbour, the ship continued to swing after rounding Elizabeth Castle and struck the SE rock, causing damage which required dry docking.

March 24th 1960: She was sold to Mohamed Senussi Giaber of Tripoli, Libya.

March 31st 1960: Left Southampton under tow bound for the Tyne, where she underwent conversion.

April 28th 1960: Left for Tripoli after being renamed LIBDA and plans were to use her as a pilgrim ship between Tripoli – Jeddah.

1960 – 1963 (early): She was little used on the Tripoli – Benghazi route.

1963: Scrapped at La Spezia in Italy.

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: Andreas Wörteler for his assistance in producing this feature.

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

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