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P&O RMS STRATHNAVER 22,500 Tons. India and Australia Mail and Passenger Service

Date: 1931-1947
Overall: 90 x 140 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Postcard
Object No: 00002875

User Terms

    This black and white postcard features a photographic image of the P&O Line RMS STRATHNAVER underway from broadside port view. RMS STRATHNAVER was built with three funnels, two of which were fake. This image shows the vessel before the funnels were removed during a refit in 1947.

    The P&O Line - along with the Aberdeen and Sitmar Lines - transported thousands of child migrants from the UK to Australia until the child migration schemes ended in the 1960s.
    SignificanceThis postcard relates to a significant period in Australia's migration history, when thousands of children and youths emigrated from the UK through various church and philanthropic schemes as labour for rural Australia - all while bolstering the population with 'good British stock'.
    HistoryFrom the 1860s, more than 100,000 children were sent from Britain to Canada, Australia and other Commonwealth countries through child migration schemes. They were sent by charitable and religious organisations, with government support, in the belief that their lives would improve, and that they would provide much-needed labour and increase the population.

    Few were orphans; many came from families who were unable to care for them. The lives of these children changed dramatically and fortunes varied. Some succeeded in creating new futures. Others suffered lonely, brutal childhoods. All experienced disruption and separation from family and homeland. Child migration schemes received criticism from the outset, yet continued until the 1960s.

    Until the early 1960s most child migrants to Australia travelled by sea, sailing on vessels of the Aberdeen, Orient and Sitmar Lines. Names such as STRATHNAVER, ORMONDE, ORONSAY and FAIRSKY still evoke powerful memories for many former child migrants.

    RMS STRATHNAVER was launched in 1931 and operated by the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O). STRATHNAVER was the first of a series of Strath class ocean liners built by the Vickers-Armstrong shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, England. STRATHNAVER was the sister ship of RMS STRATHAIRD - known as the 'White Sisters'. In October 1931 STRATHNAVER left for her maiden voyage from London to Sydney - a run the vessel serviced frequently during the post-war migrant boom. During World War II, STRATHNAVER was requisitioned by the Government for service as a troopship and training ship. In 1948, it was refitted (which included the removal of its two fake funnels) and returned to commercial passenger service on the UK - Australia run carrying First and Tourist Class passengers. In 1954 it was converted to a single class ship, accommodating up to 1,250 passengers. In 1960 Orient Line and P&O Line merged and STRATHNAVER came under the ownership of P&O-Orient Lines. As the number of migrants to Australia slowed down, it was announced in 1961 that STRATHNAVER would be withdrawn from the service, and in February 1962 STRATHNAVER was sold and scrapped in Hong Kong.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: P&O RMS STRATHNAVER 22,500 Tons. India and Australia Mail and Passenger Service

    Web title: P&O Line RMS STRATHNAVER

    Related People
    Maker: P&O

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