British Railways Board (BRB)British Transport Commission (BTC)FerriesPast and PresentSouthern Region

SS Ringwood – Past and Present

ID Number (LR 1930-31): 82563

SS Ringwood

Ex HMS Ringwood, Ringwood

British Railways Board

 Steel twin screw steamer, built and engined by D. & W. Henderson, Glasgow, in 1926 (Yard No 730) as a Cargo ship..

Technical Data

  • Length on Deck: 69.82m
  • Breadth of Hull: 10.24m
  • Depth: 4.30m
  • Tonnage: 755 gross (1925/ 304 net (1925)/270 deadweight (1928)
  • Engines:2 x T3Cyl. (15, 25 & 41 – 24)in
  • Power: 1,850 ihp
  • Speed: 15 knots
  • Capacity: 8 passengers, 30,000 cu ft of cargo space
  • Call Sign: KVDB, MNQS
  • Registry: Southampton
  • Number in Book (Lloyds Register 1930-31): 82563
  • Official Number: 149269
  • Sister Ships: Deal (818), Tonbridge (633), Minster (634), Hythe (II) (706), Whitstable (707), Fratton (720), Maidstone (II)(729), Haslemere (719)


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.

April 13th 1926: Launched at a cost of £41,900 and was the last of the standard cargo vessels to be built for the Southern Railway.

June 1926: Completed.

June 18th 1926: Made her maiden voyage to Guernsey.

October 8th 1927: Hit rocks off the Grand Jardin lighthouse at the entrance to St Malo, but re-floated and made port.

SS  Ringwood

1927:  Later the same year the ship was altered for the transport of export cattle from the Channel Islands, which meant the ship also called at Plymouth and London.

June 10th 1940: Requisitioned by the Admiralty, initially to carry military stores.

June 1940: Based at Weymouth for the post Dunkirk evacuations.

June 21st 1940: Embarked evacuees at Jersey for Weymouth.

June 28th 1940: Attacked by aircraft while berthed at St Peter Port, at Guernsey but, managed to sail to Southampton and laid up.

March 11th 1941: Requisitioned by the Admiralty.

May 8th 1941: Began taking military supplies from Preston, Workington, Maryport and Whitehaven to Londonderry and Coleraine in Northern Ireland.

September 23rd 1941: Completed service as a stores ship and sailed from Whitehaven to Penarth to be fitted out as an auxiliary Netlayer in place of TONBRIDGE which had been sunk.

February 6th 1942: Commissioned as HMS RINGWOOD (T245).

February 17th 1942: Arrived on the Clyde.

March 15th 1942: Sailed to Scapa to work on bottom nets.

June 1942: Ordered to the Faeroes to lay nets in the Outer Hebrides.

October 1942: Known to be at Shetland.

February 1943: At Stornaway in the Outer Hebrides.

March 22nd 1943: Collided with ELENA resulting in her bottom plating becoming slightly dented.

January 16th 1944: Collided with a dredger.

June 6th 1944: Left the Solent as part of Mooring Force B.

June 7th 1944: Arrived in the British Eastern Task Force area to work off the Normandy beaches intermittently until mid-September.

November 1944: Returned to Scottish waters.

1945: Laid mines in the Bay of Biscay.

August 2nd 1945: Arrived in London.

December 5th 1945: Paid off.

June 1946: Returned to her owners.

SS Ringwood

June 10th 1946: Made her first post-war sailing from Southampton to the Channel Islands.

January 1st 1948: Became the possession of the Southern Railway.

October 9th 1959: Final sailing.

1959: She was eventually scrapped at Nieuw Lekkerkerk.

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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