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Elder Dempster Line

History

The African Steam Ship Company Ltd was incorporated by Royal Charter on 7 August 1852 ‘for the purpose of establishing a postal and other communication, by means of steam navigation, between Great Britain and Ireland and the west coast of Africa…’. In 1868 the British & African Steam Navigation Company was founded in Edinburgh and on 1 October Alexander Elder and John Dempster formed Elder, Dempster & Co to act as Liverpool agents for the new company. In 1880 they became managers of the company.

In 1878 Alfred Jones founded his own company in Liverpool, also trading to West Africa, but the following year became a partner in Elder Dempster and incorporated his business into it, subsequently becoming the senior partner. In 1891 Elder Dempster also became managers of the African Steam Ship Company. Beaver Line and its Canadian services was acquired in 1898 and sold to Canadian Pacific in 1903. The Imperial Direct West India Mail Service Company established in 1901.

The company became part of Royal Mail Group in 1910 by which time it controlled a fleet of 109 ships. The Royal Mail Group collapsed in 1931 and as a result management passed to Alfred Holt until 1944.

In 1951 Elder Dempster purchased the British and Burmese Steam Navigation Company and in 1953 the Group name became Liner Holdings. Ocean Steam Ship Co Ltd, the largest shareholder, bought the remaining Liner Holdings shares in 1965 and also acquired John Holt’s Guinea Gulf Line.

In 1972 the group was renamed Ocean Transport & Trading. The remaining British flag West African trader, Palm Line, was acquired in 1984 but in 1989 the Elder Dempster name, along with those of Palm Line and Guinea Gulf, was sold to Delmas-Vieljeux.

Ships

Vessel Name Vessel Type Launched/Completed Tonnage DWT Builder
Aba Cargo / Passenger 254,000 G. 1918 Gross: 7937 Net: 4596 Barclay, Curle & Co. Glasgow
Abinsi Passenger April 1910 Yard No: 402 Gross: 6365 Net: 3914 Harland & Wolff Ltd. Belfast
Abosso Passenger 19/06/1935 Yard No: 1006 Gross: 11329 Net: 6743 Cammell, Laird & Co. Birkenhead
Accra Passenger 1926 Yard No: 616 Gross: 9337 Net: 5417 Harland & Wolff Ltd. Belfast
Accra Passenger 24/02/1947 Yard No: 948 Gross: 11644 Net: 6447 7112 Vickers-Armstrong Ltd. Barrow
Adda No Info
Apapa Cargo / Passenger 315,000 G. 26/08/1926 Yard No: 695 Gross:9333 Net: 5472 6512 Harland & Wolff Ltd. Belfast
Apapa Cargo / Passenger 315,000 G. March 1948 Yard No: 949 Gross: 11651 Net: 6455 7112 Vickers-Armstrong Ltd. Barrow
Appam Cargo / Passenger 1913 Gross: 7781 Net: 4741 5500 Harland & Wolff Ltd. Belfast
Akabo Passenger April 1902 Yard No: 482 Gross: 3806 Net: 2418 SW. Raylton Dixon & Co. Ltd. Middlesbrough
Aureol Cargo / Passenger 323,000 G. 1951 Yard No: 629 Gross: 14083 Net: 7689 7120 A. Stephens & Sons. Ltd. Glasgow.
Automedon Cargo / Passenger 591,857 G. 21/07/1948 Yard No: 639 Gross: 7709 Net: 4484 9320 Scotts SB & E. Co. Ltd.
Barracoo Cargo 10/09/1919 Yard No: 310 Gross: 5234 Net: 3155 8075 R. Thompson & Sons. Ltd. Sunderland
Bereby Cargo 440,000G, 27/06/1919 Yard No: 600 Gross: 5248 Net: 3179 8057 Irvine Shipbuiders & Dry Dock Co. Ltd. West Hartlepool
Bodnant Cargo May 1919 Yard No: 417 Gross: 5258 Net: 3177 8075 John Brown & Co. Ltd. Clydebank
Bompata Cargo / Passenger 28/10/1920 Yard No: 560 Gross: 5570 Net: 3352 8200 Harland & Wolff Ltd. Belfast
Calgary Cargo / Passenger 18,000 R. 1921 Yard No: 596c Gross: 7206 Net: 4486 10600 John Brown & Co. Ltd. Clydebank
Chandler Cargo 584,000 G. 02/05/1944 Yard No: 140 Gross: 7161 Net: 4221 10246 North Vancouver Ship Repairs Ltd. N. Vancouver
Dalla Cargo / Passenger 617,567 B. April 1961 Yard No: 1141 Gross: 6564 Net: 3476 10550 Lithgows Ltd. Port Glasgow
Daru Cargo 612,412 G. Sept 1958 Yard No: 679 Gross: 6340 Net: 3385 10000 Scotts SB & E. Co. Ltd.
David Livingstone Cargo / Passenger April 1930 Yard No: 853 Gross: 4022 Net: 2175 5860 A, McMillan & Son. Ltd. Dumbarton
Degema Cargo 617,850 G. April 1959. Gross: 5902 Net: 3114 9700 Wm. Gray & Co. Ltd. West Hartlepool
Deido Cargo 628,322 G. May 1961 Yard No: 686 Gross: 6109 Net: 3195 9598 Scotts SB & E. Co. Ltd.
Dixcove Cargo 616,040 G. June 1959 Yard No: 1296 Gross: 5905 Net: 3114 9700 Wm. Gray & Co. Ltd. West Hartlepool
Donga Cargo 617,657 B. 12/04/1960 Yard No: 1133 Gross: 6559 Net: 3486 10550 Lithgows Ltd. Port Glasgow
Dumbaia Cargo 617,657 G. Oct 1960 Yard No: 1134 Gross: 6553 Net: 3484 10550 Lithgows Ltd. Port Glasgow
Dumurra Cargo / Passenger 621,180 G. July 1961 Yard No: 677 Gross: 6160 Net: 3262 9550 A. Stephens & Sons. Ltd. Glasgow.
Dunkwa Cargo 62,774 10/01/1960 Yard No: 685 Gross: 6109 Net: 3195 9572 Scotts SB & E. Co. Ltd.
Ebani No Info 12/06/1912 Yard No: 820 Gross: 4862 Net: 2963 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co. Ltd. Jarrow
Ebani Cargo 578,328 G. June 1952 Yard No: 656 Gross: 9396 Net: 5241 10073 Scotts SB & E. Co. Ltd.
Eboe No Info 25/09/1912 Yard No: 821 Gross: 4866 Net: 2965 6800 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co. Ltd. Jarrow
Eboe Cargo 598,000 G. March 1952 Yard No: 655 Gross: 9397 Net: 5242 10060 Scotts SB & E. Co. Ltd.
Edward Blyden Cargo / Passenger 27/02/1930 Yard No: 867 Gross: 5003 Net: 3023 Harland & Wolff Ltd. Glasgow
Egba Cargo / Passenger 17/12/1913 Yard No: 444 Gross: 4989 Net: 3024 Harland & Wolff Ltd. Glasgow
Egori Cargo / Passenger 12/06/1956 Yard No: 673 Gross: 8586 Net: 4558 10300 Scotts SB & E. Co. Ltd.
Elmina Passenger 1906 Yard No: 413 Gross: 4792 Net: 2997 A. Stephens & Sons. Ltd. Glasgow.
Falaba Cargo 501,635 G. 09/01/1962 Yard No: 690 Gross: 7703 Net: 4215 8393 Scotts SB & E. Co. Ltd.
Fantee No Info 21/11/1919 Yard No: 277 Gross: 5663 Net: 3527 9020 Palmers' Shipbuilding & Iron Co. Ltd. Jarrow
Fian Cargo 513,037 G. 15/10/1963 Yard No: 1148 Gross: 7689 Net: 4072 8150 Lithgows Ltd. Port Glasgow
Forcados Cargo 513,328 G. Nov 1963. Gross: 7690 Net: 4073 Lithgows Ltd. Port Glasgow
Fourah Bay Cargo 457,889 B. Dec 1961. Gross: 7704 Net: 4226 Scotts SB & E. Co. Ltd.
Freetown Cargo / Passenger 513,307 G. Sept 1963 Yard No: 1149 Gross: 7700 Net: 4350 8115 Lithgows Ltd. Port Glasgow
Fulani Cargo 513,037 G. 1964 Gross: 8245 Net: 4072 Lithgows Ltd. Port Glasgow
Macgregor Laird Cargo / Passenger July 1930 Yard No: 859 Gross: 4015 Net: 2167 5650 D & W Henderson & Co Ltd. Glasgow
Mano Cargo 623,960 G. 15/03/1957 Yard No: 509 Gross: 8539 Net: 4894 9660 Caledon Shipbuilding & Eng Co., Dundee
Mary Slessor Cargo / Passenger May 1930 Yard No: 864 Gross: 4016 Net: 3163 5650 A. McMillan & Son Ltd. Dumbarton
New Georgia Cargo 493,000 G. 12/06/1919 Yard No: 556 Gross: 6566 Net: 4044 10400 Harland & Wolff Ltd. Belfast
New Texas Cargo 14/08/1919 Yard No: 559 Gross: 6568 Net: 4044 10400 Harland & Wolff Ltd. Belfast
Obuasi Cargo 484,710 G. Nov 1952 Yard No: 1449 Gross: 5895 Net: 3119 7089 Harland & Wolff Ltd. Belfast
Ondo Cargo / Passenger 522,610 G. 07/06/1956 Yard No: 1554 Gross: 5430 Net: 2758 8000 Harland & Wolff Ltd. Belfast
Onitsha No Info 15/03/1910 Yard No: 488 Gross: 3921 Net: 2422 Irvine Shipbuiders & Dry Dock Co. Ltd. West Hartlepool
Onitsha Cargo / Passenger 451,400 G. 29/01/1952 Yard No: 1448 Gross: 5802 Net: 3171 6927 Harland & Wolff Ltd. Belfast
Oti Cargo / Passenger 522,610 G. April 1956 Yard No: 1346 Gross: 5485 Net: 2780 7840 Harland & Wolff Ltd. Belfast
Owerri Cargo / Passenger 460,070 G. 21/06/1972 Yard No: 1479 Gross: 6240 Net: 3371 7697 Harland & Wolff Ltd. Belfast
Patani Cargo 517,797 G. Aug 1954 Yard No: 663 Gross: 6183 Net: 3312 10147 Scotts SB & E. Co. Ltd.
Perang Cargo 606,905 G. 30/08/1954 Yard No: 1267 Gross: 6177 Net: 3439 10060 Wm. Gray & Co. Ltd. West Hartlepool
Salaga Cargo / Passenger 403,000 G. 18/06/1947 Yard No: 688 Gross: 4810 Net: 2634 6360 Hawthorne, Leslie & Co. Ltd. Newcastle
Sangara No Info June 1939 Yard No: 574 Gross: 5445 Net: 3196 Scotts SB & E. Co. Ltd.
Sansu No Info
Sherbro Cargo / Passenger 402,000 G. 16/05/1947 Yard No: 405 Gross: 4811 Net: 2636 Furness SB. Co. Ltd. Haverton on Tees
Sherbro No Info 1973 Gross: 5677 Net: 2780 8128
Sokoto No Info 1979?
Shonga No Info 1973?
Sulima Cargo / Passenger 399,000 G. 27/01/1948 Yard No: 643 Gross: 4802 Net: 2298 6320 Scotts SB & E. Co. Ltd.
Swedru Cargo / Passenger May 1937 Yard No: 644 Gross: 4124 Net: 2321 5987 Scotts SB & E. Co. Ltd.
Tarkwa Cargo / Passenger 485,000 G. April 1944 Yard No: 399 Gross: 7414 Net: 4303 7690 Caledon Shipbuilding & Eng Co., Dundee
Winneba Cargo / Passenger 388,650 G. May 1938 Yard No: 1556 Gross: 8355 Net: 4923 7362 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd. Wallsend
Zaria Cargo / Passenger 21/12/1903 Yard No: 257 Gross: 3243 Net: 2023 Clyde Engineering & Iron Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. Glasgow