FerriesPast and PresentRegie voor Maritiem Transport (RMT)

TS Stad Antwerpen – Past and Present

LR Register Number (1931- 1932): 3457

TS Stad Antwerpen

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

Steel triple screw turbine steamer, built and engined by Cockerill’s of Hoboken (Yard No. 530) in 1913 for the Belgian Marine Administration’s Ostend service as a passenger/mail vessel.

Technical Data

  • Length on deck: 91.44m (300.0 ft)
    Breadth of hull: 10.97m (36.0 ft)
    Depth: 7.0m (14.6 ft)
    Tonnage: 1,365 gross (1931)1,384, 1,849 (1937)/636 net (1931), 890 (1937)/1,779 deadweight (1937)
    Engines: 3 sets Cockerill compound direct drive steam turbines later converted to oil burner.
    Boilers: 8 Babcock & Wilcox w/t forced draught
    Power: 12,000shp
    Speed: 24 knots (Trial)
    Capacity: 900 passengers (1914), 200 passengers and 60 cars (1936)
    Call Sign: GQDL
    LR Register Number (1931- 1932): 3457
    Sister ship: Ville De Liege (531)


March 4th 1913: Launched

1913: Delivered and experimentally fitted with Frahm-type anti-roll tanks, which were later removed.

July 6th 1913: Left Antwerp for trials at Plymouth.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

July 6th 1913: Called at Dover for water on the way, departing again the following day.

August 11th 1913: Made her inaugural voyage Ostend – Dover.

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection
Roy Thornton Collection

August 1st 1914: Laid up in Ostend.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

Antwerp Port Authority Photo Archives

Roy Thornton Collection

August – August 19th 1914: Made several crossings, with passengers, between Ostend and Folkestone.

1914: She became a transport for Allied troops.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

Imperial War Museum

Imperial War Museum (Q 18821)

August 20th 1914: Antwerp.

August 22nd 1914: Evacuates 200 wounded from the Ostend garrison to Dunkirk and Caen and returns from Le Havre with military equipment. On the return trip, at Le Havre, shipped equipment for the Belgian army.

September 2nd 1914: At Ostend.

October 7th 1914: Evacuates public service officials and refugees from Antwerp to Ostend.

October 10th – 14th 1914: Transports refugees from France to England.

October 17th 1914: At Le Havre converted to a Hospital Ship and sent to Dunkirk as a floating hospital.

Imperial War Museum

Courtesy of Arne Pyson

April 1915: Owing to the bombardments in Dunkirk she was sent to Le Havre.

August 26th 1915: Loaned to the British.

August 27th 1915 : Used as a Hospital Ship between Calais, Boulogne, Dieppe and England.

October 13th 1915: Evacuation of Ostend.

August 8th 1916: Arrived at Gravesend with exchanged prisoners of war.

December 31st 1918: Completed service as a Hospital Ship having made 431 crossings.

January 18th 1919: Refitted

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

January 25th 1919: Returned to Regie voor Maritiem Transport, Oostende and, together with her sister VILLE DE LIEGE, they were the first Belgian steamers to bring Belgian exiles back to Ostend .

1919: After major refit returned to service between Ostend – Dover.

1920: Fitted with Frahm anti-rolling tanks, but owing to the extra weight of water, soon removed due to fear of supplementary risk of instability.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

© P Ransome-Wallis

© P Ransome-Wallis

February 22nd 1928: Whilst entering Dover Harbour, struck the breakwater and damaged her bow.

1930: Funnel cowls removed and tops painted black

April 16th 1930: In heavy seas, thrown against the pier in Ostend. Refloated by tug.

May 1st 1933: Near to the South Goodwins and in thick fog collided with PRINCESS MARIE JOSE (outward bound from Ostend). At the time of the collision STAD ANTWERP (inward bound Dover – Ostend) had stopped and PRINCESS MARIE JOSE was going dead slow. Minor damage to both vessels and able to continue service.

October 17th 1934: Sold at public auction to Van Heyghen, Belgian breakers.

1935: Broken up in Ghent.

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions found. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Arne Pyson and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

Special thanks to Urbain Ureel

Articles: The British Newspaper Archives

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


  1. Hi Nigel:

    Great photos and info as usual. I mentioned before that it is very important to change address to https: Now on web browsers including Chrome, it actually says Exclamation in triangle in red not secure. Here is an article explaining why changing address is so important. lyfemarketing.com/blog/seo-tricks/
    See Number 2. Secure your site with HTTPS.
    Warmest regards,

    1. Hi Caroline,

      On behalf of Nigel, thank you once again for your kind words in regards to the this recent article. In regards to the websites ‘security’ I refer you to my previous answer in regards to this question which is available in the comments section at https://www.doverferryphotosforums.co.uk/turning-40-room-with-a-view/ and is quoted below.

      “Hi Caroline,

      I have looked into getting SSL authentication for the website (the https bit to anyone else reading this lol) but at the present time it is something I neither have the time, technical knowhow or funding to achieve.

      I am aware that you can get certificates for free for some hosting packages, unfortunately ours isn’t one of them. I have looked at moving the site to another host but it may be a little harder than I thought as this site is currently at 13.5 gigabytes storage capacity already and our MySQL database is nearly at 70 megabytes. I am also very frightened to move it, knowing from bitter experience that it only takes one line of code to be wrong and the whole site can topple.

      I can see why Google have introduced the warning, especially in regards to membership sites and websites taking payments but this site only has two members that log in, thats myself and Nigel and we are protected from brute force attacks via a security suite. Since July 2018 when Google introduced the warning we haven’t seen any real changes in our visitor numbers, on average we get around 700 hits a day and that has remained pretty steady over the last 12 months.

      Other Chromium based browsers such as the new Microsoft Edge and Firefox also state that the site is insecure but thankfully it’s not in red with a big flashing exclamation mark, thanks Google lol.

      I will look at the site in the future and see what can be done.”

      The situation in regards to this subject hasn’t changed and will not change for the foreseeable future. I have a baby on the way (due in January 2020) and I am currently house hunting to secure not only my own future but that of my new family as well, as a consequence I have neither the time, technical knowledge or the finances to undertake such a proposition at this time.

      Please don’t get me wrong, I would love to be able to achieve this but this website is a pastime/hobby for both myself and Nigel and at this time it is not a priority in regards to my near future.

      Best Wishes


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