Sailing to Singapore


We moved to Singapore. My mother does not remember the date, but it was after I was baptised. We went on a ship of the Flotta Lauro Line. It was either the TN Roma or the TN Sydney. Both ships had been built in the 1940s as Auxilliary Aircraft Carriers in the USA and then transferred under the Lend Lease program to the Royal Navy. After the war they were converted in to passenger ships. The HMS Fencer, which became the TN Sydney, was involved in an aerial attack on the Tirptiz. By the 1960’s they were being used to bring immigrants to Australia as part of the low cost immigration scheme of the time. We travelled on the ship in the opposite direction: Melbourne – Sydney – Brisbane – Singapore. Perhaps we travelled in  Tourist Class, my mother said that the ship was very basic, perhaps even spartan in it’s fit out. They had told my mother that they would have all the facilities required for a baby, but they did not. So in Sydney my parents had to go shopping for nappies and other things.

Specifications Sydney & Roma

Rebuilt in:                         Genoa Italy 1950/51

Tonnage:                          Sydney 14,708 – Roma 14,687

Length:                            150m (493ft)

Width:                              21m (69ft)

Draft:                               2.7m (29ft)

Engines:                           D.R.G. Steam Turbines (9350 SHP)

Screws:                            Single

Service speed:                   17 knots

Home Port:                        Naples – Italian registration

Passenger decks:               6

Passengers:                      1951 – 92 First – 680 Tourist Class

1960 – 119 First – 994 Tourist Class

Crew:                               276

Livery:                             White Hull and Superstructure. Black topped blue funnel with the Flotta Lauro white star logo. Blue line on the upper hull and blue boot-topping

Flotta Lauro Post card
Post card purchased on the journey

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