SS Orcades (1937)

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Orcades-2 c.1937.jpg
Orcades c.1937

RMS Orcades (1937-1939)

HMT Orcades (1939-1942)
Owner: Orient Steam Navigation Company (Orient Line) 1937-1939

UK-Australia 1937-1939

British troop ship 1939-1942
Builder: Vickers-Armstrong Ltd, Barrow-in-Furness, England
Completed: 1937
Fate: Torpedoed and sunk 10 October 1942 by German U-172 during Second World War
General characteristics
Tonnage: 23,456
Length: 201.2 m
Beam: 25.0 m
Draught: 9.1 m
Installed power: Six Parsons single reduction gear turbine engines
Propulsion: Twin screws
Capacity: 1,068 passengers
Notes: Sank 500 km WSW of the Cape of Good Hope

RMS Orcades was a British built ocean liner that served on the UK-Australia route as a Royal Mail Ship from 1937-1939. Orcades was requistioned by the British government as a troopship in 1939.

Torpedoed and sunk by German U-172 on 10 October 1942 with the loss of 48 lives and 1,117 survivors.

The vessel's sister ship was Orion. The interior fittings of Orcades and Orion were designed by New Zealand born modernist architect Brian OʼRorke.[1]

Orcades is an ancient name[2] for the Orkney Islands.


  1. Quartermain
  2. Encyclopedia Britannica


1. Quartermain, Peter and Peter, Bruce (2006) Cruise: Identity, Design and Culture, p.39, Laurence King Publishing ISBN 1 856694 46 1

2. Encyclopedia Britannica