The first vessel on this stamp, the Damaraland, was the former Historian, built in Glasgow in 1924, by C. Connell and Co. Ltd., for the Charente S.S. Co. Ltd. (Thos. and Jas. Harrison Ltd., managers). Designed to run in various services, she was a steamship of 5,074 gross tons (3,156 net) on dimensions 395 ft. 5 in. x 52 ft. 5 in. x 28 ft. 0 in., with a speed of 12 knots. She featured in the news on one or two occasions. On June 6, 1942, then the Historian, she was in collision with the steamer Port Auckland in the Atlantic without any loss of life.
In March 1948 she was sold to G. A. Contomichalos, Ltd. (Gaibraith, Pembroke and Co. Ltd. managers). Renamed Marlene, she was put on general cargo trade. During the following July, when loaded with iron ore from Boma to Barrow, she struck a submerged object while entering Falmouth and was beached, when her bottom was found to be severely damaged. She was refloated and her cargo salved. In January 1949 South African Lines Ltd., of Cape Town bought her and renamed her Damaraland, and the stamp design shows her with this company's conspicuous funnel colours. Muzaffer Zorlu, of Canakkale, Turkey, bought her in 1951 and she was renamed Serniramis, but sold her the following year to the Sanko Kisen K.K. and she was renamed Semirarnis 1. Towards the end of 1952 she was again sold, to the Far Eastern and Panama Transport Corporation (Wheelock, Mardon and Co. Ltd., managers) of Panama. On May 23, 1955, on a voyage from Calcutta to Singapore with coal, she stranded on Landfall Island, in the Andamans, but was later refloated. She traded until 1960 when sold to Japanese shipbreakers.
Sea Breezes Sept 1961.
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