Empress Of France (1)
The first "Empress of France" was built by Wm Beardmore & Co Ltd.,Glasgow in 1913 as the "Alsatian" for the Allan Line. She was an 18,481 gross ton ship, length 571.4ft x beam 72.4ft, two funnels, two masts, four screws and a speed of 18 knots. She was the first North Atlantic liner with a cruiser stern. There was accommodation for 287-1st, 504-2nd and 848-3rd class passengers. Launched on 22/3/1913 as the "Alsatian" she left Liverpool on her maiden voyage to St John NB for the Allan Line on 17/1/1914. On 22/5/1914 she commenced her first Liverpool - Quebec voyage and on 17/7/1914 started her last voyage on this service. On 7/8/1914 she became an Armed Merchant Cruiser and joined the 10th Cruiser Squadron patrolling off the Shetland Islands. She became flagship for Admiral De Chair and later for Vice Admiral Tucker and was one of the first ships to be fitted with the new wireless direction finding apparatus. After the squadron was retired in 1917, she was returned to Canadian Pacific Ocean Services, who now managed the combined Allan line and Canadian Pacific fleets. On 28/9/1918 she commenced her first voyage from Liverpool to Canada and after a second voyage on this service, was refitted at Glasgow. She was renamed "Empress of France" on 4/4/1919 and on 26th Sept. that year commenced her first voyage under her new name from Liverpool to Quebec. On 3/5/1922 she commenced sailing between Southampton, Cherbourg and Quebec and on 31/5/1922 between Hamburg, Southampton, Cherbourg and Quebec. In 1924 she was converted from coal to oil fuel, and in July 1926 her accommodation became 1st, 2nd, tourist and 3rd class and was altered again Jan.1927 to 1st, tourist and 3rd class. On 29/9/1927 she started her last Hamburg - Southampton - Cherbourg - Quebec voyage and on 8/9/1928, her last Southampton - Cherbourg - Quebec voyage. On 31/10/1928 she left Southampton for Suez, Hong Kong and Vancouver and subsequently sailed on the Pacific until 17/10/1929 when she left Hong Kong for Liverpool. She started her final voyage from Southampton to Cherbourg and Quebec on 2/9/1931 and in Sept. of that year was laid up in the Clyde. She was scrapped at Dalmuir on 20/10/1934. In total, she had made 99 Atlantic voyages, 5 trans-Pacific, and 8 cruises as well as her war service. [North Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P.Bonsor, vol.3,p.1313] [Canadian Pacific - 100 years by George Musk]
Citation: [Posted to The ShipsList by Ted Finch - 24 November 1997]
Empress Of France (2)