The 16,504grt Mongolia was built in 1923 by Armstrong, Whitworth & Co. at High Walker. She enjoyed a career lasting nearly 68 years. (The late Allan Green)


Mongolia was the only P. & O. liner built during the inter-war period that subsequently had four further names of Rimutaka, Europa, Nassau and Acapulco. German unrestricted submarine warfare against British shipping during World War I had resulted in the loss of 44 fine passenger and cargo-liners of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. A huge new fleet of nineteen deep-sea passenger liners were ordered in stages for their very important Indian, Far East and Australian services to be completed by 1930, as follows:-

  • A new Indian service flagship in Viceroy of India with 672 passenger berths on the Bombay direct service
  • Five new Branch Line passenger steamers for the Australian service via Suez in Ballarat, Baradine, Bendigo, Barrabool and Balranald with a total of 2,455 berths plus a number of deck passengers
  • Four new ‘M’ class passenger liners for the Australian service via Suez in Moldavia, Mongolia, Mooltan and Maloja with a total of 2,120 passenger berths
  • Four new ‘R’ class passenger liners for the Bombay direct service in Ranpura, Ranchi, Rawalpindi and Rajputana with a total of 2,400 passenger berths
  • Five new ‘C’ class intermediate passenger liners for the Australian service via Colombo and the Far East service in Cathay, Chitral, Comorin, Carthage and Corfu with a total of 1,695 passenger berths. A further superior ‘C’ class vessel was completed shortly before the outbreak of World War II as Canton, with ‘A’ deck having a complete run of First Class staterooms to accommodate a total of 480 passengers, making the total for the six ‘C’ class of 2,175 passenger berths.

: The 2,799grt first Mongolia was built in 1865 by Scott & Co. at Greenock for the Calcutta to Suez route, later serving the Venice to Bombay route. She was broken up in Bombay in November 1888

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