SS Delphic

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Delphic I.jpg
Owner: Oceanic Steam Navigation Company (White Star Line)
Builder: Harland and Wolff, Belfast
Yard number: 309
Launched: 5 January 1897
Completed: 15 May 1897
Maiden voyage: 17 June 1897
Out of service: 16 August 1917
Fate: Torpedoed and sunk 16 August 1917
General characteristics
Tonnage: 8,273 GRT
Length: 475.11 ft (144.8 m)
Beam: 55.3 ft (16.9 m)
Installed power: 3,000 ihp
Propulsion: Two triple expansion steam engines
Speed: 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph) service speed
Capacity: 1,000 passengers

SS Delphic was an ocean liner of the White Star Line, built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast and completed on 15 May 1897.[1] She worked the New Zealand trade.

In design Delphic was built as a smaller and slower version of the earlier liner Gothic which also served the New Zealand service, but more space was given over to passenger accommodation rather than cargo, and this gave Delphic a capacity for 1,000 steerage passengers. She was built for a joint service between White Star Line and the Shaw, Savill & Albion Line.[2]

Upon her delivery in May 1897 to White Star Line's shipowning company, Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, it was decided to give Delphic's machinery a run in with several voyages on the Atlantic, as such her maiden voyage began on 17 June between Liverpool and New York, she made two round trips across the Atlantic before entering service on her intended route between London and Wellington on 3 October 1897.[2]

Delphic served as a troopship during the Second Boer War carrying troops from New Zealand to South Africa between 1900 and 1902, following which she returned to commercial service.[2]

Following the outbreak of World War I in 1914, she remained on her commercial service. On 16 February 1917, Delphic narrowly avoided being torpedoed by U-60 off the south coast of Ireland; the torpedo was fired, but just missed the ship. In March 1917, she was taken over under the Liner Requisition Scheme. On 16 August 1917, Delphic was torpedoed and sunk by the Imperial German Navy submarine UC-72 135 miles (217 km) from Bishop Rock, Isles of Scilly (48°30′N 9°10′W / 48.500°N 9.167°W / 48.500; -9.167), during a coal transport voyage from Cardiff, Wales, to Montevideo, Uruguay. Five people were killed in the sinking.[2][3][4]


  1. ^ McCluskie, Tom (2013). The Rise and Fall of Harland and Wolff. Stroud: The History Press. p. 124. ISBN 9780752488615.
  2. ^ a b c d Kerbrech, Richard De (2009). Ships of the White Star Line. Ian Allan Publishing. p. 64. ISBN 978 0 7110 3366 5.
  3. ^ "Delphic". Retrieved 28 December 2012.
  4. ^ "BRITISH MERCHANT SHIPS LOST to ENEMY ACTION Part 2 of 3 - January-August 1917 in date order". Naval History. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
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