Ceramic Fact File
Owner: Oceanic Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. (White Star Line)
Vessel Type: Passenger ship
Official No: 135474
Builder: Harland & Wolff Ltd, Queen's Island, Belfast
Yard No: 432
Laid down: 12 September 1911
Launched: 11 December 1912
Handed over: 5 July 1913
Port & Date of Registry: Liverpool, 26 June 1913
Managing Owner & Address: Harold Arthur Sanderson, 30 James Street, Liverpool
Number of Decks: 3 & 2 Partial
Number of Masts: 4
Framework & Description of Vessel: Steel
Number of Bulkheads: 12
Number of water ballast tanks: 14
Length: 655.1 ft
Breadth: 69.4 ft
Depth: 48.35 ft
Gross Registered Tonnage: 18,481.17
Engine Builder: Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast
Engine Type: 2 X inverted direct acting triple expansion condensing, 1 X low pressure turbine
Cylinders: 2 X 26; 2 X 42; 4 X 47½ inches
Stroke: 51 inches
Nominal Horse Power: 8,370
Description: Cylindrical horizontal return tube
Iron or Steel: Steel
Pressure when loaded: 215 lbs
Speed: 13½ knots
Signal Letters: J. C. N. K.
Ceramic was the last liner ordered by J. Bruce Ismay before he resigned as Chairman and Managing Director of the White Star Line and the last link with the founders of the Line.
Designed for operation on the Company's joint service with Shaw Savill & Albion between London and Australia via the Cape, Ceramic was the largest liner calling at Cape Town until the Union-Castle liner Arundel Castle (Yard No. 455) entered service in April 1921.
During the First World War (as pictured) she carried larger numbers of servicemen and was painted at one stage in this elaborate dazzle camouflage scheme in order to confuse and otherwise prevent attack by by German U-boats.
She was sold to Shaw Savill & Albion Line, after the amalgamation of the Cunard Line and White Star in 1934, the sale formally registered on 1 January 1935.
Tragedy struck Ceramic in late 1942 when she was torpedoed in the South Atlantic by a German U-Boat. Out of her 656 passengers and crew there was only one survivor plucked from the sea by the crew of the submarine as proof of their kill.