Thomas Montague Priske, merchant seaman, sail in S.S. Shropshire?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Federal Steamship Shropshire

Hello and I live in Canada but my great-grandfather was a merchant seaman named Thomas Montague Priske. He had a very long history as a seaman. One of his voyages was on the S.S. Shropshire, as a commodore captain on the ship’s maiden voyage.  I have a copy of the commendation he received from the grateful citizens of New Zealand.

I am trying to find additional information on this ship and can find only vague information. Do you have any information that may help me?

Thank you.
Kathy Jones



There were two merchant ships named Shropshire, but I believe that Shropshire 11 is the one you are interested in.

Here are a few details.

Shropshire ( 1 ) was built in 1891 by Harland and Wolff at Belfast, as a 5,721 ton vessel for the Bibby Line. She was 445 1/2 feet long with a 49 foot beam and a speed of 14.5 knots. In 1909, sold to Lim Chin Tsong of Rangoon and renamed Seang Bee. In 1915, chartered for use as a troopship, and saw service between Burma and India and in the Dardenelles area, returned to her owners in 1919, and finally broken up in 1931.

Photo of Shropshire ( 1 ) as a Bibby line ship.

The next Shropshire, was built in 1911 as a Federal Steam Navigation Company Limited of London ship. She was of 8,130 tons and was requisitioned as His Majesty's Auxiliary Troopship Shropshire to transport members of the Australian Imperial Force ( AIF ) to Egypt. The ship remained under the control of the Commonwealth of Australia until 1917. In 1922, she was renamed Rotorua ( 2 ) and in 1936, transferred to the New Zealand Shipping Company, to be torpedoed in the North Atlantic in 1940, and 19 lives were lost.

SS Shropshire

AWM Collection Record: C01032

 ID Number:  C01032  
Maker:  Unknown
Place made:  At sea
Date made:  Unknown
Physical description:  Black & white
Summary:  The transport ship SS Shropshire carrying troops to England.
Credit line:  Lent by Sister Isambert
Copyright:  Copyright expired - public domain
Copyright holder:  Copyright Expired
Related conflict:  First World War, 1914-1918

The S.S. Shropshire at the jetty
Photo No:  PH0238/0114
Title:  The S.S. Shropshire at the jetty.
Photographer:  Unknown.
Date taken:  191?
Place:  Darwin Harbour
Collection:  Peter Spillett Collection.
Description:  The S.S. Shropshire at the jetty, loading the first export meat from Vesteys meat works. There are 3 masts forwards (the 3rd being higher) & 10 derricks. These are 2 masts aft & 6 derricks. Two accommodation decks, 3 lifeboats behind bridge.
British Federal Steam Navigation Co.

The 1st Light Horse Regiment received many reinforcements throughout the course of the war. The regiment initially departed Sydney on Star of Victoria 19 October 1914.

      4th Reinforcements departed Sydney on SS Shropshire 17 March 1915



back to letters index


This site was created as a resource for educational use and the promotion of historical awareness. All rights of publicity of the individuals named herein are expressly reserved, and, should be respected consistent with the reverence in which this memorial site was established.

Copyright© 1984/2014 Mackenzie J. Gregory All rights reserved