British Transport Commission (BTC)FerriesPast and PresentSouthern Railway

TS Worthing – Past and Present

TS Phryni

ex Worthing, HMS Brigadier, HMS Worthing, Hospital Carrier No 30, Worthing

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

Steel twin screw turbine vessel built in 1928 at Denny’s of Dumbarton, (Yard No 1203) for Southern Railway as a passenger/mail vessel

Technical Data

  • Length: 306 ft (93.27m)(overall) 297.7 ft (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 38.6 ft (11.79m)(extreme)
  • Depth: 15.9 ft (4.84m)
  • Draught: 10.7 ft (3.27m)(maximum)
  • Tonnage: 2,288 gross/1,143 – 2,391 net/922 – 932 deadweight
  • Engines: Two sets of Parsons single reduction geared steam turbines.
  • Boilers: Four Yarrow oil-fired w/t 252lb/sq in closed stokehold
  • Power: 14,500/16,400ihp
  • Speed: 24 knots
  • Capacity: 1040 passengers
  • Call Sign: GJYW
  • ID Number: 160135
  • Registry: Newhaven/UK
  • Sister Ship: Brighton (V)


WORTHING could be distinguished from BRIGHTON (V) by bulwarks on her foredeck (shorter) and an smaller bridge house, while the six rear lifeboats were mounted (lower). Window arrangements (forward amidships) on her passenger deck were also larger”

June 8th 1927: Ordered.

November 17th 1927: Keel struck.

May 3rd 1928: Launched.

August 17th 1928: Sea trials.

August 23rd 1928: Left the builders yard for Newhaven.

August 30th 1928: Delivered to Southern Railways, Southampton, England. Commenced service between Newhaven – Dieppe.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

September 8th 1939: Ordered to Southampton to become a troopship.

September 10th 1939: Left for the first of six crossings to Cherbourg.

September 26th 1939: Despatched to Falmouth to make one return trip to Brest.

October 2nd 1939: To Southampton.

October 3rd 1939: Her port quarter was damaged by DUKE OF ARGYLL.

November 17th 1939: Selected for conversion at Southampton for military hospital use.

December 1939: Converted by H&W Southampton to HOSPITAL CARRIER No 30.

January 7th 1940: Medical crossings between Newhaven – Dieppe.

May 26th 1940: Ordered to Dover for the evacuation of Dunkirk and survived aerial attacks.

May 27th 1940: To Newhaven with 300 patients.

June 2nd 1940: After leaving The Downs anchorage again attacked by aircraft. Nine bombs were dropped either side of her. With engine room castings broken and the vessel making water slightly she returned to Dover. Then went on to Newhaven.

June 11th 1940: After repairs sailed to Le Havre. No berth was available so she embarked patients at anchorage.

July 13th 1940: Medical duties ended and arrived at Preston to take up her duties as a Fleet Air Arm Target vessel.

August 8th 1940: Reached the Mersey to be adapted for her new task.

November 13th 1940: Commissioned as HMS WORTHING.

November 30th 1940: Left Mersey for Scapa Flow.

December 7th 1940: Renamed HMS BRIGADIER.

December 9th 1940: Reached the Firth of Forth where she was based for service as a Target Vessel for Crail Naval Air Station.

Imperial War Museum   Imperial War Museum

Imperial War Museum (both)

May 11th 1942: Ceased operations and sent to West Hartlepool. For work required to convert her to a White Ensign Landing Ship, Infantry (Hand-hoisting) carrying six LCA’s. Her troop complement was 180 and she was armed with one 12-pounder and four 20mm anti-aircraft guns.

June 5th 1944: Took part in the Normandy Invasion at Juno Beach.

November 11th 1944: Landed forces at Arromanches on D Day. Rammed  HQ Ship HILARY off  Gilkicker Point.

December 18th 1944: Paid off and refit.

March 23rd 1945: Returned to Newhaven service as WORTHING.

Roy Thornton Collection   Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

January 1st 1948: Registered to British Transport Commission, Southern Region

Roy Thornton Collection   Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

April 28th 1949: Sailed to the channel Islands and operated an excursion from Guernsey to Jersey for the International Road Race.

April 29th 1949: Operated a service from the Islands to Southampton as a special excursion for the Cup Final.

June 1955: Sold to John S. Latsis, Piraeus, Greece. Renamed PHYRNI.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

August 1955: On Saturdays operated between Piraeus – Tinos – Mykonos. Mondays, Piraeus – Chania – Rethymnon. Wednesdays, Piraeus – Heraklion – Rethymnon – Chania.

1960: Laid up.

1964: Broken up in Greece.

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.

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

One Comment

  1. My father was evacuated from Dunkirk on the Worthing (he called it the Worthing Town) on 31st May 1940. His brother-in-law was a crew member.

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