- RMS Mauretania during the Great War -
If you enjoy this site please consider making a donation.
Add Stories & Photos
Day by Day
War in the Air
Prisoners of War
The Royal Navy
Training for War
Those Who Served
Life on Home Front
Central Powers Army
Central Powers' Navy
World War Two
Add Stories & Photos
Help & FAQ's
Our Facebook Page
Great War Books
Research your Family History.
World War 1 One ww1 wwII greatwar great
1st August 1914 Hospital and Troopship WW1
RMS Mauretania was an ocean liner designed by Leonard Peskett and built by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson for the British Cunard Line, and launched on 20 September 1907. She was the world's largest ship until the launch of the RMS Olympic in 1911 as well as the fastest until the launch of the Bremen in 1929. Mauretania became a favourite among her passengers. After capturing the Blue Riband for the fastest transatlantic crossing during her 1909 inaugural season, Mauretania held the speed record for twenty years.
The ship's name was taken from Mauretania, an ancient Roman province on the northwest African coast, not the modern Mauritania which is now to the south. Similar nomenclature was also employed by Mauretania's running mate, Lusitania, which was named after the Roman province directly north of Mauretania, across the Strait of Gibraltar, the region that now is Portugal.
- Tonnage: 31,938 gross register tons (GRT)
- Length: 790 ft (240.8 m)
- Beam: 88 ft (26.8 m)
- Draft: 33 ft (10.1 m)
- Installed power: Direct-action Parsons steam turbines (two high pressure, two low pressure)
- 68,000 SHP (shaft horsepower) nominal at launch, 76,000 SHP on record run, later increased to 90,000 SHP after conversion to oil burning
- Propulsion: Quadruple propeller installation triple bladed design at launch changed soon after to four bladed versions. Astern turbines available on inboard shafts only.
- Speed: 24 knots (46 km/h) designed service speed
- Capacity: 2165 passengers total: 563 first class, 464 second class, 1138 third class. Crew: 802
Mauretania and Lusitania were both designed by Cunard naval architect Leonard Peskett with Swan Hunter and John Brown working from the plans for an ocean greyhound with a stipulated service speed of twenty-four knots in moderate weather for her mail subsidy contract. Peskett's original configuration for the ships in 1903 was a three-funnel design, when reciprocating engines were destined to be the powerplant. A giant model of the ships in this configuration appeared in Shipbuilder's magazine. Cunard in 1904 decided to change power plants to Parson's new turbine technology and Peskett then added a fourth funnel to the ship's profile as the ships design was again modified before construction of the vessel finally began.
In 1906, Mauretania was launched by the Duchess of Roxburghe. At the time of her launch, she was the largest moving structure ever built and slightly larger in gross tonnage than Lusitania. The main visual differences between Mauretania and Lusitania was that Mauretania was five feet longer and had different vents (Mauretania had cowl vents and Lusitania had oil drum-shaped vents). Mauretania also had two extra stages of turbine blades in her forward turbines making her slightly faster than the Lusitania. Mauretania and Lusitania were the only ships with direct-drive steam turbines to hold the Blue Riband; in later ships, reduction-geared turbines were mainly used. Mauretania's usage of the steam turbine was the largest yet application of the then-new technology, developed by Charles Algernon Parsons. During speed trials, these engines caused significant vibration at high speeds; in response, Mauretania received strengthening members and redesigned propellers before entering service, which reduced vibration.
Mauretania was designed to suit Edwardian tastes. Its interior was designed by Harold Peto, architect, and was fitted out by several London companies, with twenty eight different types of wood used in her public rooms, along with marble, tapestries, and other furnishings. Wood panelling for her first class public rooms was meticulously carved by three hundred craftsmen from Palestine. The multi-level first-class dining saloon was decorated in Francis I style and topped by a large dome skylight. A series of elevators, then a rare new feature for liners, was installed next to Mauretania's grand staircase. A new feature was the Verandah Café on the boat deck, where passengers were served beverages in a weather-protected environment.
Mauretania departed Liverpool on her maiden voyage on 16 November 1907 under the command of her first captain, John Pritchard and later that month captured the record for the fastest eastbound crossing of the Atlantic with an average speed of 23.69 knots (43.87 km/h). In September 1909, Mauretania captured the Blue Riband for the fastest westbound crossing — a record that was to stand for more than two decades. In December 1910 Mauretania broke loose from her moorings while in the River Mersey and sustained damage that caused the cancellation of her special speedy Christmas voyage to New York. In a quick change of events Cunard rescheduled Mauretania's voyage for Lusitania under the command of captain James Charles which had just returned from New York. Lusitania herself completed Christmas crossings for Mauretania, carrying revellers back to New York. In 1912 both King George and Queen Mary were given a special tour of Mauretania, then Britain's fastest merchant vessel, adding further distinction to the ship's reputation. On 26 January 1914, while Mauretania was in the middle of annual refit in Liverpool, four men were killed and six injured when a gas cylinder exploded while they were working on one of her steam turbines. The damage was minimal and she returned to service two months later.
World War I.
Shortly after Great Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914, Mauretania and Aquitania were requested by the British government to become armed merchant cruisers, but their huge size and massive fuel consumption made them unsuitable for the duty and they resumed their civilian service on 11 August. Later, due to lack of passengers crossing the Atlantic, Mauretania was laid up in Liverpool until May 1915 at the time that the Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat.
Mauretania was about to fill the void left by Lusitania, but she was ordered by the British government to serve as a troopship to carry British troops during the Gallipoli Campaign. She avoided becoming prey for German U-boats because of her high speed and the seamanship of her crew. As a troopship, Mauretania received dazzle camouflage, a form of abstract colour scheming, in an effort to confuse enemy ships.
- Hospital Ship or Ambulance Transport Service during WW1.
- Medical Staff strength.
- Accommodation capacity.
- Period of Service as Hospital Ship or Ambulance Transport.
- Date From:22nd October 1915
- Date To:1st March 1916
- Ships Crew details:
When combined forces from the British empire and France began to suffer heavy casualties, Mauretania was ordered to serve as a hospital ship, along with her fellow Cunarder Aquitania and White Star's Britannic, to treat the wounded until 25 January 1916. In medical service the vessel was painted white with large medical cross emblems surrounding the vessel. Seven months later, Mauretania once again became a troop ship when requisitioned by the Canadian government to carry Canadian troops from Halifax to Liverpool. Her war duty was not yet over when the United States declared war on Germany in 1917, and she carried thousands of American troops, the ship was known by the Admiralty as HMS Tuberose until the end of the war, but the vessel's name was never changed by Cunard.
Mauretania returned to civilian service on 21 September 1919. Her busy sailing schedule prevented her from having an extensive overhaul scheduled in 1920. However, in 1921 Cunard Line removed her from service when fire broke out on E deck and decided to give her a much needed overhaul. She returned to the Tyne shipyard of her birth, where her boilers were converted to oil firing and returned to service in March 1922. Cunard noticed that Mauretania struggled to maintain her regular Atlantic service speed. Although the ship's service speed had improved and it now burned only 750 short tons (680 t) of oil per 24 hours, compared to 1,000 short tons (910 t) of coal previously, it was not operating at her pre-war service speeds. On one crossing in 1922 the ship managed an average speed of only nineteen knots. Cunard decided that the ship's once revolutionary turbines were in desperate need of an overhaul. In 1923, a major re-fitting was begun in Southampton. Mauretania's turbines were dismantled. Halfway through the overhaul, the shipyard workers went on strike and the work was halted, so Cunard had the ship towed to Cherbourg, France where the work was completed at another shipyard. In May 1924, the ship returned to Atlantic service.John Doran
If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.
Want to know more about RMS Mauretania?There are:1 articles tagged RMS Mauretania available in our LibraryThese include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.
Those known to have served in
during the Great War 1914-1918.
This page is new, as yet no names have been submitted.
The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List
Looking for help with Family History Research?
Please see Family History FAQ's
We are unable to provide individual research free of charge, but do offer a paid service at competitive rates, the small profit from these services will be put towards the costs of keeping this website running. For more information please see our Research Services Leaflet
Can you help?The Wartime Memories Project is run by volunteers and this website is funded by donations from our visitors.
If the information here has been helpful or you have enjoyed reaching the stories please conside making a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web. In these difficult times current donations are falling far short of this target.
If you enjoy this site please consider making a donation.
- The Wartime Memories Project is the original WW1 and WW2 commemoration website
This website has been running for 16 years and receives in excess of a million hits per month. The website and our group will continue long after the 2014-18 events are over. We hope that people will continue to support us by submitting material and stories in addition to submitting to the new websites set up for the anniversary.
- We are looking for volunteers to help with researching the activities of units of the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Territorial Force, Regular Army, Pals Battalions, Kitchener's New Armies, Voluntary Organisations and the Ships of the Royal Navy. We currently have a huge backlog of stories and historical documents which need to be edited or transcribed for display online, if you have a good standard of written English, an interest in the two World Wars and a little time to spare online we would appreciate your help. For more information please see our page on Volunteering.
Wanted: Digital copies of Group photographs, Scrapbooks, Autograph books, photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to the Great War. If you have any unwanted photographs, documents or items from the First or Second World War, please do not destroy them. The Wartime Memories Project will give them a good home and ensure that they are used for educational purposes. Please get in touch for the postal address, do not sent them to our PO Box as packages are not accepted.
We are now on Facebook. Like this page to receive our updates, add a comment or ask a question.
If you have a general question please post it on our Facebook page.
Mar 2017World War 1 One ww1 wwII greatwar great
Please note we currently have a backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 230777 your submission is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.
Did you know? We also have a section on World War Two. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.
Want to know more about RMS Mauretania?There are:1 articles tagged RMS Mauretania available in our Library
Available at discounted prices.
Items from the Home Front Archive
Do you have any photos, postcards, documents or memorabilia relating to this unit? Please add to this archive.
Suggest a link
The Wartime Memories Project is a non profit organisation run by volunteers.
This website is paid for out of our own pockets, library subscriptions and from donations made by visitors. The popularity of the site means that it is far exceeding available resources.
If you are enjoying the site, please consider making a donation, however small to help with the costs of keeping the site running.
Website © Copyright MCMXCIX - MMXVII
- All Rights Reserved