Ship Details


Steel Twin Screw Steamer, 16000 ihp



Built In


20,952g 12,823n

Built By


600.8 x 73.4 x 48.6


Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co., reg. Belfast. Sister to Maloja. 1929: Routed via Bombay. Re-engined with Bauer-Wach exhaust geared turbines. 1939 Oct.: Converted to an armed merchant cruiser, based in Freetown. 1941: Troopship to Bombay. 1942 Nov.11: Present at the North African landings at Arzeu. 1948: Returned to passenger service. 1954: Sold to British Iron & Steel for scrapping at Faslane.



My husband Barry Colin Watters came from the UK as a ten year old with his parents - Leonard and Lily Watters as Ten Pound Poms on the Mooltan. They arrived in Sydney but lived in Brisbane for a year before Len (an electrician) and family headed to New Guinea for twelve months for their next adventure on Abau where he connected the virgin island with power. They then came back to Brisbane.

TSS Mooltan 1949 Memories of our introduction to Australia. RMS "Mooltan", quarantined in June 1949 The experience was not so pleasant. Upon coming ashore, we were made to have a disinfectant shower in the blocks in the vicinity of the Power House in the company of other passengers of their sex. In addition, their clothes and luggage were taken to be fumigated. Mother recalled how unpleasant it was for her and for other passengers and how it was seen as an unpleasant introduction to Australia. For me it was an adventure. Passengers from a quarantined ship all had to have a shower in water containing Phenol - which is an antiseptic. Phenol is carbolic acid and it burned the skin and made it itch. How many people can remember their first shower? Dad went with the men and I and Sister Carole with Mum. We removed our clothes, picked up in a wheel barrow taken away. We waited for them to come back and I remember all mum did was put her foot in the shower. Apparently there is a peep hole in the wall of each shower so that the officials could look in and make sure the person was showering properly, they missed us. Unfortunately, steam cleaning made natural fibres shrink so very often, the clothes were too small. After this indignation we were packed into a double-decker bus and taken to the Victoria Park Race Course. There we connected with my Aunt Helen, taxi to Central Station, Steam Train to Hornsby and Taxi to Dural through the Galston Gorge. We knew Australia was the backwoods but Galston Gorge. Aunty and Uncle had 80 acres in Dural mainly canyons and bush but 20 acres growing Citrus. It rained 24 days no stop, Dad had a job at GMH at Pagewood but due to the coal strike could not work for three months. I was 6 years old.

My mother Edna Hemming and myself 4 years old arrived in Fremantle WA on the SS MOOLTAN in July 1950

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