RMS Andania II (1922-40)

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The RMS Andania was the second Cunard vessel to bear the name.

Despite the fact that the Andania was the last of the ‘A’ Class of 1922 batch to be launched, she was the first to be completed and made her maiden voyage, from London to Quebec and

Montreal, on the 1st June 1922. Throughout the 1920’s and 30’s the Andania sailed mainly on the London to Montreal route and then in the winter months, when the St Lawrence River was frozen, terminated her voyage at Halifax. She also frequently called at Hamburg to embark third class passengers and load cargo.

And 001 And 002 And 003 And 004 And 005This series of stills has been taken from a British Pathe news reel from the early 1920’s, which shows Lady Perly, launching the SS Andania at the Hawthorn Leslie yard at Hebburn-on-Tyne in 1922. (Copyright British Pathe).

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The SS Andania takes to the water for the first time (Copyright Argenta Images)


A 1922 newspaper article recording the launch of the new Cunard Liner, RMS Andaina. Lady Perley is seen in the photograph formally performing the launch at Hebburn on the River Tyne.



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The RMS Andania in London dock prior to her maiden voyage.

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A postcard photograph of RMS Andania in the early 1920’s

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Cunard publicity photographs of the RMS Andania in 1922.

The depression in the early 1930’s caused the Canadian trade to drop off and by 1932 the Andania had to be laid up for two years. By the time that she returned to service the Cunard and White Star Lines had merged and from 1935 onwards, she began to sail from Liverpool to New York.

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The boat deck, looking forward on board RMS Andania photographed in July 1923.


Photograph of the RMS Andania taken sometime in the early1920’s.

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Photograph of the RMS Andania taken sometime in the early1920’s.

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Two photographs of the RMS Andania taken sometime in the early1920’s. (Copyright Kevin Blair).

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These are the centre pages taken from a Cunard promotional booklet printed in the 1920’s advertising the Veranda Café and Children’s Playroom aboard the RMS Andania, RMS Antonia and RMS Ausonia.

On 14th December 1937, at the end of a voyage from Halifax, she was involved in a collision with the tanker, British Statesman, while on her way up the Thames in thick fog. The tanker, which was moored at Purfleet Jetty, was seriously damaged in her starboard quarter and the Andania suffered damage to its bows and had to anchor in mid-stream, unable to proceed any further until the fog had cleared the next day. There were no passengers on board as they had already been disembarked at Tilbury and fortunately no one was injured on either ship. Over the next few days she underwent repairs and was able to sail once again for Halifax on the 20th December, only two days later than had been scheduled.

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A painting by Keith Byass of the RMS Andania being docked at Southampton (Copyright William H.Miller)
The Andania sailing from New York’s Pier 54, at the foot of West 13th Street. (Copyright Cunard)


Photograph of the RMS Andania taken sometime in the late1920’s.

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An unusual photograph of the RMS Andania, with a dismantled aircraft stowed on her boat deck, taken sometime in the late 1930’s. (Copyright Historical Images)

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Photograph of the RMS Andania taken sometime in the late1920’s.
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Photograph of the RMS Andania taken sometime in the late1920’s.

Another photograph of the Andania taken sometime in the early 1920’s

In August 1939, the Andania was on the Liverpool, Belfast and New York and route and when she returned to Liverpool, in September 1939, she was immediately requisitioned by the Admiralty to serve as an armed merchant cruiser. The Andania went to Cammell Lairds yard in Birkenhead, for conversion work and was commissioned on the 9th November 1939 the same day that most of her ships company arrived in a draft from Devonport. She was armed, like most AMC’s in the early weeks of the war, with eight elderly six inch guns and two three inch high angle anti-aircraft guns. On Sunday the 12th November she left her berth and moved into the Alfred Dock for the final stages of her conversion. Four days later she left the Mersey and after nine days of trials in Liverpool Bay she left for Greenock to join the Northern Patrol.

Seven months later, on 15th June 1940, she was torpedoed and sunk, the only one of the former ‘A’ Class liners to be lost during the Second World War.

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Photograph of the RMS Andania taken sometime in the early1930’s.


The RMS Andania at Boston Docks in 1937


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The last known photograph taken of HMS Andania showing Robert Woods on her bridge just prior to her loss in June 1940. (Copyright Sarah Parry)


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