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SS Delphic (II)

Delphic (II) was an 8,006 ton cargo ship, with two masts and one funnel, operated by the White Star Line between 1925 and 1933. Originally Delphic was called War Icarus – one of a class of 22 G type standard design ships, and was built for the British government’s war time Shipping Controller, as part of a program to maintain Britain’s shipping and to compensate for the countries loss of ships as a result of enemy action.

War Icarus was launched during the First World War, on 19th September 1918, at Workman Clark & Co., Belfast. Upon completion, War Icarus was managed by the Booth Line.

In May 1919 War Icarus was sold to the Atlantic Transport Line, like White Star Line, a company belonging to IMM, and was renamed Mesaba.

Mesaba was then transferred to the White Star Line in 1925, renamed Delphic and placed on White Star’s Britain to Australia service. By the time Delphic was transferred, White Star already owned two other ships of Delphic’s type, Gallic (II) and Bardic.

On Wednesday 9th march 1927, It was reported in The Brisbane Courier that, on the previous day in Brisbane, “dissatisfaction was expressed [...] by the seamen and the firemen" aboard Delphic “against the food and cook” – resulting in the seamen and firemen going on strike – refusing to return to work until a new cook was appointed – which was the case the next day. It was reported that before the cook that the crew had objected to was appointed, there had been three previous cooks on this voyage, the first cook leaving the ship in the UK – after only a day – and the other two having left the ship in Australia. The fourth cook was said to be going to work his way back to Sydney as a coal trimmer.

While laid up in Milford Haven, Wales, UK on 27th September 1933, Delphic was involved in an accident when a steam trawler struck her. Although Delphic took on water, the damage does not seem to have been serious. Presumably the accident was the trawlers fault.

In 1933, for £53,000, Delphic was sold to Clan Line Steamers and renamed Clan Farquhar – remaining in the same service, sailing from Britain to Australia. In 1948, Clan Farquhar was eventually broken up for scrap at Milford Haven, Wales UK.

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