Ceramic Fact File

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Ceramic Fact File

Owner: Oceanic Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. (White Star Line)

Ship Details


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

Rigged: Schooner

Stern: Elliptical

Build: Clencher

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

Number: 6

Iron or Steel: Steel

Pressure when loaded: 215 lbs

Screw: Triple

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.

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