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Cruise diary from RMS RANGITANE, 1930s

Date: 1930s
Overall: 135 x 80 x 10 mm, 93 g
Medium: paper, ink, clot
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Barry Fisher
Classification:Books and journals
Object Name: Diary
Object No: 00050201
Place Manufactured:United Kingdom

User Terms

    This small cloth covered cruise diary from New Zealand Shipping Company liner RMS RANGITANE belonged to C M Carruthers. The diary contains information about onboard accommodation, dining, embarkation procedures, passports, attire, games and tipping. It also includes a glossary of sea terms, guide to onboard menu, packing lists for men and women, a foldout world map, and space to record expenses, sights, and autographs of the ship's captain and new friends.
    SignificanceThis souvenir cruise diary provides a valuable insight into the activities, entertainments and conditions onboard an early 20th century passenger vessel - one of the largest to be sunk during World War II.
    HistoryRMS RANGITANE was one of three sister 'Rangi' ships built by John Brown & Co Ltd for the New Zealand Shipping Company in 1929. RANGITANE carried nearly 600 passengers, 200 crew and refrigerated cargo from England to New Zealand via the Panama Canal.

    On 25 September 1940 RANGITANE departed Liverpool with 113 British children who were being evacuated to New Zealand by the Children's Overseas Reception Board (CORB). On the same day RANGITANE was recalled back to Liverpool after news that SS CITY OF BENARES had been torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean en route from Liverpool to Canada. With 77 CORB children among the 134 passengers killed, the overseas evacuation scheme was declared too risky and abandoned.

    On 27 November 1940 RANGITANE was sunk by German raiders off New Zealand. Sixteen of the 312 passengers died, including volunteers who had escorted 477 CORB evacuees to Australia on MV BATORY. The survivors were taken prisoner and later rescued by Australian authorities.

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