built by Barclay Curle & Company Glasgow,
Yard No 519
Engines by Harland & Wolff Glasgow
Last Name: MATRONA (1947)
Previous Names: ABA (1920)
Port of Registry: Liverpool
Propulsion: Oil 4SCSA 16cy Twin screw speed 14 knots,
Launched: Saturday, 16/03/1918
Built: 1918
Ship Type: Passenger Ship
Tonnage: 7937 grt
Length: 450 feet 5
Breadth: 55 feet 8
Draught: 36 feet 6
Owner History:
Glen Line, Glasgow
1920 British & African SN Co. (Elder, Dempster)
1933 Elder Dempster Lines
1939 Admiralty (as hospital ship)
1947 Bawtry S.S. Co (J.Livanos)
Status: Arrived for Scrapping - 03/10/1948

Remarks: Accommodation for 225
1st, 70
2nd and 70
3rd class passengers. Laid down in 1916 for the Imperial Russian Government, work was suspended when the October Revolution occurred and she was taken over by the Shipping Controller. Completed Sep.1918 as a funnelless, four masted cargo ship. Completed as GLENAPP for the Glen Line (McGregor, Gow & Holland). 1920 purchased by the British & African Steam Nav. Co. (Elder Dempster & Co.), she was rebuilt with one funnel, fitted with passenger accommodation and renamed ABA. In Nov.1921 she commenced Liverpool
West Africa sailings. Dec.1929 damaged in heavy weather off Kinsale and towed to Queenstown after her steering gear failed. Jun.1931 grounded at Lagos but refloated and Nov.1931 laid up at Dartmouth. Apr.1933 back in service for Elder Lines Ltd and in Sep.1939 was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to a Naval Hospital Ship. Mar.1940 transferred to the Army and took part in the evacuation from Norway and was then transferred to Alexandria. May 1941 bombed and damaged off Crete and then used variously on Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East
South Africa services. Mar.1944 clearly marked as a hospital ship, she was again bombed at Naples. After repair, she was used on the North Atlantic and after D
Day was used on the Southampton
Cherbourg service. Decommissioned in Jan.1947 and returned to Elder Dempster & Co., she was too old to be worth reconditioning and was sold to Bawtry SS Co., Liverpool and renamed MATRONA for conversion to an emigrant carrier. However, when her ballast was removed, she fell onto her side in Bidston Dock Eventually righted in Jun.1948 by seven locomotives on specially built tracks, she was towed to Barrow
Furness where she was scrapped. [Merchant Fleets, vol.20 by Duncan Haws]
Seen here as Aba Previous update by Colin Campbell, Bruce Biddulph, Stuart Cameron
Previous update by George Robinson
Photo supplied by John Ward~McQuaid

Last updated: by John Ward~McQuaid from the original records by Stuart Cameron

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