HMAS Berrima

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HMAT Berrima
HMAT Berrima
Career (Australia (RAN)) RAN ensign
Owner: P & O
Builder: Caird & Co, Greenock
Launched: 13 September 1913
Acquired: 1914 by RAN
Commissioned: 17 August 1914
Decommissioned: 20 October 1914
Fate: converted to troop ship, later damaged
Career (United Kingdom)
Name: SS Berrima
Operator: P & O
Acquired: 1914
In service: 24 March 1920
Honours and
Battle honours:
Rabaul 1914[1][2]
Fate: sold for breaking up September 1939
General characteristics
Tonnage: 11,137 gross tons
Length: 500 ft (150 m)
Beam: 62 ft (19 m)
Draught: 38 ft (12 m)
Speed: 14 knots (26 km/h)
Armament: 4 x 4 inch guns

HMAS Berrima was an Armed Merchant Cruiser which served in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) during World War I.

The P&O passenger liner SS Berrima was requisitioned for use by the Navy, refitted and armed at the Cockatoo Island Dockyard and commissioned into the RAN as the auxiliary cruiser HMAS Berrima.

Berrima left Sydney on 19 August 1914 carrying men of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force, consisting of a battalion of 1,000 infantry and a small battalion of 500 Naval Reservists and time-expired Royal Navy seaman, for operations against the German New Guinea colonies. Troops were landed at Herbertshöhe and Rabaul on 11 and 12 September respectively, and on the New Guinea mainland on 24 September. The ship was retroactively awarded the battle honour "Rabaul 1914" in March 2010 to recognise these landings.[1][2] Berrima subsequently returned to Sydney and, despite plans to employ her as an armed merchant cruiser, she was paid off in October and converted to a troop transport.

In her new role, HMATT (His Majesty's Australian Troop Transport) Berrima sailed for the Middle East in December 1914 as part of the second troop convoy, carrying Australian and New Zealand troops and towing the submarine AE2. Berrima continued to work under the liner requisition scheme until 18 February 1917, when she struck a mine in the English Channel off Portland and was beached and later repaired.

Berrima was returned to commercial service 24 March 1920, and was sold to Japanese shipbreakers in September, 1939.


  • British Warships 1914-1919 by Dittmar, F.J. and Colledge, J.J. Ian Allan, London; (1972), ISBN 0-7110-0380-7
  • Australia's Ships of War by John Bastock. Angus and Robertson, Sydney; (1975), ISBN 0-207-12927-4
  • Naval Reservists in WWI – first to fight, first to fall[dead link] by LCDR Glenn Kerr, RAN in Navy Reserve News Volume 9 Number 5, May 27, 2002 retrieved 1 Jan 2007.
  • Jeremy, John, Cockatoo Island: Sydney's Historic Dockyard, p. 115. UNSW Press, Kensington (2005). ISBN 0 86840 817 4

External links