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Lot 824Lot 824Lot 824

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Lot 824 Details

SHIPBUILDER'S HALF-HULL OF THE 'RMS SALSETTE' the hull composed of two sections, bearing plaque reading 'T.S.S., Salsette, No. 314, built for Penninsular & Oriental S.N.Co 1908', mounted on a wooden board, approximately 336cm long overall Note: In 1907 the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, commissioned Caird's yard, Greenock, to built the RMS Salsette. This skip was smaller than the 'M' class but was almost 6000 tons and designed for a shuttle service between Aden and Bombay. This ship was commissioned because the company's Australian mail ships were calling enroute at Aden every other week, alternating with the Indian mail steamers. It was to be Salsette's job to pick up Indian mail and passengers with some special cargo from the Australian bound ships and rush it to Bombay. On the return voyage, she was to load the United Kingdom mail at the Indian port and transfer it in Aden to the ships homeward bound from Australia. For this service, the ship needed a considerable reserve of power and speed to cope with delays occuring to the mail ships, and a designed sea speed of 18.5 knots was required. She was essentially a mail and passenger ship, with little room for cargo. The RMS Salsette had an overall length of 457ft and registered length of 440ft. She had two hatchways forward and one aft, and eight watertight bulkheads with two overall decks, a forecastle, bridge deck and poop deck. She was given a white hull and yellow funnels. Originally her superstructure was painted the usual P&O 'light stone' colour, but later repainted white. She sailed a delivery cruise down the Irish Sea into the Bay of Biscay, and then to Tilbury, and she also made two pleasure cruises, one to the Northern Capitals and one to the Mediterranean. From 1908-1915 she remained steadily on the shuttle service. She was considered to be a reliable and strong ship, but her fine lines made her prone to rolling and the high horse power in the comparatively slender hull caused much vibration. During WWI, the Salsette was left to her normal run until 1915 and was placed on the London-Bombay mail service. She was fitted with a dummy gun from Bombay which frightened off a U-boat, and then fitted with a real gun in London. On her next voyage, she became stranded in the Gulf of Suez, but on her return home, she was placed on the Australian service. On 20th July 1917 off of Portland Bill, she was hit by a torpedo and sunk. The explosion destroyed five of her twelve boats and killed a number of crew in the engine room. She sank in four minutes, rolling over and going down by the head. Fourteen people died, and survivors were picked up by trawlers. The Salsette currently lies approximately 10 miles from Portland Bill on her side in a 48m scour with a 45 degree list to port. The ship is still mostly intact, and the starboard side of the wreck lies in approximately 32m of water and still has the majority of its 300 portholes intact.

Estimate: £1000 - £2000
Hammer: £1900

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The Works of Art, Medals, Militaria & Furniture Auction: 10/3/2017
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