Ship Details


Passenger Liner




20,043g 12,027n


632.2 x 75.4 x 33.1


Orient Steam Navigation Co.Ltd., reg. Barrow. 1939: Requisitioned as a troopship. Allocated to the French Government for bringing troops from Madagascar. 1940 June 1: Bombed by German aircraft at Marseilles, set on fire, beached & burned out. 14 killed. 1947: Salvaged & scrapped at Savona, Italy.



My father Colin Sydney Dowding served on the Orford when it was bombed and beached off Toulon in WW2. He was 15 years old and lucky enough to find his way back to Brittain. He was also on the Orcades 2 when she just made it out of Singapore before it fell to the Japanese. Later serving on her when torpedoed and sank off South Africa. He has since passed on, but very rarely spoke of any his war experiences.

As a 5 year old I travelled on the RMS Orford from Melbourne (25 April 1939) to Colombo. Also on board travelling from Melbourne to Colombo was a 5 year old girl whom I subsequently met and married in Australia.

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