RMS Celtic (1901)

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RMS Celtic
Name: RMS Celtic
Owner: White Star Line
Route: Liverpool - New York
Builder: Harland and Wolff, Belfast
Yard number: 335
Launched: 4 April 1901
Completed: 11 July 1901
Maiden voyage: 26 July 1901
Fate: Ran aground on 10 December 1928, scrapped on site
General characteristics
Tonnage: 21,035 GT (gross tonnage)
Length: 701 ft (214 m)
Beam: 75 ft (23 m)
Installed power: 14,000 ihp (10,000 kW)
Propulsion: 2 × quadruple-expansion steam engines
2 × screws
Speed: 16 kn (18 mph; 30 km/h)
Capacity: As built 2,857 passengers (300 1st class, 160 2nd class, 2,350 steerage);
1927 1,600 passenger (350 1st class, 250 2nd class, 1,000 3rd class)[1]

RMS Celtic was an ocean liner belonging to the White Star Line. The first ship larger than the SS Great Eastern in gross tonnage, she was the first of a quartet of ships over 20,000 tons, dubbed The Big Four.[2]

Celtic was launched on 4 April 1901 from the Harland and Wolff shipyards in Belfast, and set off on her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York on 26 July.

At the beginning of the First World War, she was converted into an armed merchant cruiser, but since she used up too much coal, she was converted into a troop ship in January 1916, and used to carry soldiers to Egypt. She was put back on the transatlantic route in March.

In 1917, Celtic hit a mine off the Isle of Man. Seventeen people on board were killed, but the Celtic survived. The ship was towed to Peel Bay and repaired in Belfast. In March 1918, U-Boat UB-77 torpedoed Celtic in the Irish Sea. Six people on board were killed, but again Celtic did not sink. She was towed to Liverpool and repaired again.

Early on 10 December 1928, she struck the Pollock Rock off Cobh. RNLB Mary Stanford, the Ballycotton Lifeboat, along with tugs, a destroyer and local life-saving teams, rescued all on board. Seven thousand tons of cargo were scattered. She could not be moved or salvaged, and was declared a total loss. She was completely taken apart for scrap by 1933.[3] The Celtic features in the painting Sports on the Celtic by the British artist William Nicholson.


  1. Arnold Kludas. Great Passenger Ships of the World Vol 1 1858-1912. Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 90. ISBN 0-85059-174-0. 
  2. * Roberts, Chalmers (August 1901). "The Biggest Ship". The World's Work: A History of Our Time II: 1176–1179. 
  3. Daniel Othfors. "Celtic II". The Great Ocean Liners. http://www.greatoceanliners.net/celtic2.html. Retrieved 2008-12-14. 

External links

cs:RMS Celtic (1901) de:Celtic (1901) fr:RMS Celtic