A Maritime History

by Trevor Boult

In 1977, the remote British island of St Helena in the South Atlantic, host to Napoleon and Captain Bligh, and Boer War prisoner-of-war camp, was first served by a lifeline ship dedicated to the purpose.

The Royal Mail Ship St Helena became affectionately known simply as the RMS. In 1990 she was replaced by the first purpose-built vessel for the service.

This, the final St Helena, embodied romanticism from the era of passenger cargoliners.

At a time when fresh consideration was being given to provide the island with an airport – and the irrevocable changes it would bring – the author sailed on the RMS as part of the ship’s company, to document the working life of this highly individual ‘family’ ship, and aspects of the island community which she served. Due to the problems in constructing the airport, this iconic vessel is still in service, and may remain so for some time yet.


This is an excellent history of the vessels that have served St Helena over the years, and backed up with some excellent photographs, gives a valuable insight into life on this remote island. I would very highly recommend this book to our readers.

Published by:
Amberley Publications
The Hill
Glos. GL5 4EP


Paperback: 235mm x 165mm, 96 pp illustrated

Price: £14.99



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