RMS Tyrrhenia

The Ship

The Lancastria was built as Tyrrhenia in 1922 by the William Beardmore yard at Glasgow. She went into service on the Canadian route sailing from Liverpool to Quebec and Montreal. In 1924 she was renamed Lancastria and transferred to the Southampton - New York route. At the outbreak of the World War Two, she was requisitioned by the British Admiralty for trooping duties. On 17th June 1940, two weeks after the famous evacuation from Dunkirk, British Forces and equipment were still being rescued from the Brittany coast. Lancastria was ordered to a position off St Nazaire, where over 5,000 troops and civilians, including women and children were ferried out to her. At 4 p.m. she was attacked by German dive-bombers and suffered three direct hits. Holed below the waterline, she sank very quickly, and an estimated 3,000 lives were lost. It was the worst single shipping disaster of the war, and remains today the greatest British maritime loss.

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