Built by Cammell Laird & Co. Ltd. at Birkenhead as a ferry for the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co.
12 April 1934 launched under the name MONA’S QUEEN (3), two sisters the LADY OF MANN and BEN-MY-CHREE.
Tonnage 2.756 gross, dim. 337 x 48 x 17ft.
Two single reduction geared steam turbines, 8.500 bhp., speed 21.5 knots.
Accommodation for 2.486 passengers. 83 crew.
1934 Completed. Building cost £201.250.
Built for the ferry service between Liverpool and Douglas, Isle of Man.
She was requisitioned by the British Government as troopship one day before the Second World War broke out.
04 September 1939 she reached Southampton, and she was the first troopship which made regular sailing between the U.K and France. Her first sailing was on 07 September from Southampton to Cherbourg.
07 January 1940 transferred from Southampton to Dover, and transported troops from Boulogne to Dover, which were going on leave. Was kept in this service till 15 May.
Then she received orders to proceed to the Netherlands but before she arrived there the Dutch had surrendered and she returned.
Instead she made a call at Oostende (Ostend) where 1.786 Belgium, Dutch, British and French men, women and children embarked, then she sailed for Folkenstone where she arrived 16 May at 21.25hrs.
19 May used to rescue troops from Boulogne, and arrived there again on 23 May with on board a contingent of Irish and Welsh guards, 250 tons ammunition and a demolition squad.
Then embarked women, children and troops, and just after she had left the quay the port was attacked by German bombers.
26 May she sailed from the U.K for Dunkirk, at Dunkirk around 4.000 troops embarked and she arrived safely at Dover.
After some repairs she left Dover on 29 May early in the morning with a load of cans with fresh water for the troops.
On arrival off Dunkirk early the next morning about two miles from the entrance, she hit a magnetic mine and broke in two. 32 crew were rescued by the destroyer HMS VANQUISHER, of which one died before she reached port, 20 other crewmembers mostly from the Isle of Man perished with the MONA’S QUEEN.
Isle of Man 2005 29p sg?, scott?
Source: Island Lifeline by Connery Chappell. Short Sea Long War by John de S. Winser.
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