Troopships - HMT
HMT Malabar in Malta Harbour, 1895.
Accession Number: KO0738/15
HMT Malabar - the last of the Indian Troopships - took the 1st Battalion
from Portsmouth to Malta in 1895.
Accession Number: KO0623/01-01
Crocodile, Malabar, Euphrates, Jumna and Serapis
five troopships built in 1866 after some difficulties were experienced
transporting troops during the Crimean War (1854-56) and in the Indian
Mutiny (1857). The Royal Navy was charged with building and operating
these ships on behalf of the Indian Government. The Star of India was
emblazoned on each bow. The ships were painted white with a yellow funnel
and for distinction each had a different coloured riband round the hull.
Euphrates, blue, which later became the colour for all British troopships,
Jumna, red, Crocodile, yellow, Malabar, black and Serapis, green. Each
ship could accommodate a full infantry battalion and married families, or
about 1200 people. They were in service for more than thirty years by
which time they were far behind many of the vessels of the Merchant Navy.
Before the opening of the Suez Canal the Crocodile and Serapis ran between
England and Alexandria, whilst the other three ran from Suez to Bombay.
Malabar was the last of the ships to be disposed of in 1896.
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