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Postby shipstamps » Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:57 pm

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The stamps in this “Bon Voyage” issues beautifully captured the mystique and allure of the 20th century ocean travel to and from Australia.

The designs drawn on stylish artwork from original advertising posters to evoke the romance and excitement associated with ocean travel.

The four stamps in these issues give us a glimpse of tourist ships in the early to mid 20th century. Many fabulous posters were designed from the 1920s advertising the delights of ocean travel. During this period Australia was a destination for many, including migrants, and more adventurous travelers from Europe.

Not a ships name given by the Australian Post, but a maximum card, I bought from the Australian Post of this issues depict the MORETON BAY of the Aberdeen & Commonwealth Line.
The stamp depicts a vessel of the company, sailing under the Sydney harbour bridge; maybe she is the MORETON BAY.

She was built by Vickers Ltd., Barrow, U.K. for the Commonwealth Government Line.
04 September 1919 laid down.
23 April 1921 launched under the name MORETON BAY, named for the large inlet near Brisbane.
Tonnage 13.850 gross, 8.420 net, dim 549.0 x 68.4 x 33.3ft. (draught).
Powered by 4 steam turbines geared to two shafts, 1.977 nhp, speed 15 knots.
Accommodation for 12 Government-sponsored first class and 720 third class passengers.
Cargo capacity not less than 360.000 cubic feet was refrigerated for the carriage of frozen meat from Australia to the United Kingdom.
Homeport, Brisbane, and registered in this port on 20 January 1922.

The other passenger ships of this class were the LARGS BAY, ESPERANCE BAY, HOBSON BAY and JERVES BAY. The JERVES BAY is on a stamp of St. Vincent issued 1996 $1.20 sg 3475.

07 December 1921 she sailed from Tilbury Docks near London via Suez Canal to Aden, Colombo, Fremantle, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane with her 4 sisters she supplied a monthly service between the U.K. and Australia.
By the lack of experience in the management of ocean services in Australia, and strikes from seamen the line was not profitable, and the losses were high. Her first class accommodation was soon removed after her maiden voyage.
June 1923 she was held responsible for a collision with the steamer MARGIT SIEMERS in the River Thames, and 27 August 1923 she collided with the steamer CHEMNITZ off Southend.
1923 The company was renamed in Australian Commonwealth Line.
May 1928 the line and 7 vessels were taken over by Lord Kylsant for £1.900.000.
Renamed in Aberdeen & Commonwealth Line, and managed by Geo. Thomson & Co., under British register and flag.
The hull was painted thereafter in the dark green color as seen on the stamp, shortly thereafter the U.K. terminal was changed from London to Southampton. Passenger accommodation reduced to 635.
1931 She was refitted and modernized and passenger accommodation reduced to 550 tourist class.
After the collapse of the Kylsant Group in April 1933 a new company was formed, the Aberdeen & Commonwealth Line Ltd., the major shareholders were the P&O and Shaw, Savill & Albion Co., the Shaw, Savill as the largest shareholder managed the ships of the new company.

The only change in the service was that from the 1930th a call was made at Malta.

When World War II broke out the MORETON BAY was requisitioned by the Royal Navy on 26 August 1939 and refitted in a merchant cruiser by the Cockatoo Island Dockyard, Sydney from August.
October 1939 commissioned in HMS MORETON BAY (F11).
Armament 7 - 6 inch and 2 – 3inch guns.
Stationed in the China Station till August 1940, then from Sept. 1940 in the South Atlantic Station and from October 1940 till June 1941 in the Freetown Escort Force.
31 October 1940 she captured the French liner CUBA
20 August 1941 returned and converted in a troopship. Used as a troopship in the North Atlantic and North African landings. During the African invasion she was damaged during an air raid when lying in Algiers, but not due to the air raid, but the tugs assisting her for mooring abandoned her when the air raid whistle sounded, and she crashed in the pier.
She was released from Government service in 1947.
After a refit, where her passenger accommodation was reduced to 514-tourist class passengers, she returned to service in 1948 between the U.K. and Australia via the Suez Canal.
1951 The only shareholder of the Aberdeen & Commonwealth Line Ltd. was Shaw Savill & Albion.
30 November 1956 she sailed for her last voyage from London to Australia, returning in the U.K. in February 1957, after disembarking her passengers in Southampton, she steamed to Hull and then London to discharge her cargo.
Then she was sold for breaking up to Thos W.Ward and arrived at their Barrow-in-Furness yard on 13 April 1957.
The last of the five ships the LARGS BAY arrived by the breaker on 22 August 1957, and the flag of the Aberdeen & Commonwealth Line Ltd. disappeared from the seas.

Source; Conversion for War by Richard Osbourne. Shaw Savill & Albion by Richard P de Kerbrech. North Star to Southern Cross by John M Maber. Passenger ships of Australia & New Zealand by Peter Plowman.
Some copied from the ... uct_type=8
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