Sunday, 11 May 2014

HMS Canton.

HMS CANTON   22-Jun-42   to   10-Jul-42

The only Canton I can find was an armed merchant cruiser. I can find no proof that she was near Durban at this time. However in an album kept by P.R. Porter (Dad’s Dad) it says that Dad made the1800 mile rail journey from Durban to Cape Town along with the rest of the Admirals staff. This would explain the two days between leaving the Ramillies and joining the Canton.

SS.Canton recently completed new.

HMS Canton was originally P&O’s Canton. She was built in Glasgow and launched in 1938 for use on the London, Bombay, Singapore, Hong Kong, Yokohama run.
LOA    566’
Beam   73’
Draft   30’
Speed  18kts
GRT    15748 tons
She briefly went aground in the Thames on her maiden voyage and then collided with French liner ‘Marechal Joffres’ in fog off Hong Kong. She was three weeks being repaired. Later she rescued 39 passengers from the Danish Liner ‘Asia’ which was on fire.

HMS Canton as a troopship after conversion in April 1944.

The Royal Navy took her up from trade in October 1939 and converted her to an armed merchant cruiser in Glasgow were 8 x 6” and 2 x 3” guns were added. On leaving the Clyde she ran aground off the isle of Lewis in a gale. Two holds were flooded and she was abandoned. A few days later, on 11-Jan-40, she came free herself and was boarded and taken back into Glasgow. She was once again fully seaworthy in April 1940 and was put to work as convoy escort in the South Atlantic working often along the coast of Africa. She was refitted and upgraded on the Clyde again in July 1942 which would indicate that she was making her way north when Dad joined her. She was converted to a troopship in 1944 and handed back to P&O in 1947.

I must assume that Dad joined Canton in Cape Town on her way north and left her on arrival in Freetown to join his next ship that was already there.

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