This is the Steam Ship that my grandfather, Charlie "Skin" Pavey worked on. The SS St Julien was one of a pair of steam ships built by John Brown of Clydebank for the Great Western Railway's Weymouth to Channel Islands services. She was launched on the Clyde in Feb 1925. Her sister ship was the St Helier.
|GWRSS St Julien just after launch with dummy funnel still in place.|
|RMS St Julien with dummy funnel removed.|
As an aside, my family lived on Jersey during World War II. Charlie was recovering at home when the Germans began their invasion of the Channel Islands. He quickly arranged for his wife and children to get on one of the last ships to leave the Island before the German forces landed, but he couldn't find his youngest son David (my father). Eventually he was found on the beach watching all the activity. My Uncle Dennis grabbed him and dragged him back home. They made their way to the harbour in St Helier with only the clothes he was wearing and a bag that my Gran had packed for him.
Grandad Charlie contracted TB whilst he was recovering and was unable to return to the ship, but the St Julien spent the remainder of World War II as a hospital carrier and saw service in the Mediterranean as well as the D-Day Landings in 1944 where she pressed into service for the US Navy. She was damaged by a mine on June 7th and had to be towed back to England with her bows well down in the water. Less than three weeks later she was back in service in Normandy assisting with American casualties at Arrowmanches.
|HM Hospital Carrier St Julien clearing casualties from Arrowmanches in July 1944|
|SS St Julien in St Helier Harbour, Jersey 1955.|
In 1946 St Julien was returned to the GWR at Weymouth and was passed on to British Railways on 1st January 1948 when GWR became part of the British Transport Commision (British Railways). St Julien made her last Channel Islands crossing on 27th september 1960 when the two sister ships were replaced by the new SS Caesarea and SS Sarnia. She was scrapped the following year and sold to Van Heyghen Freres, Ghent in March 1961. She was last heard of being used by Dockyard workers at Walcheren in late 1963.
|St Julien with windows plated up on the sides of the main deck and a white forecastle.|
Propulsion: 4 Parsons steam turbines SRG two shafts 18kn 4350bhp
Ship Type: Passenger Vessel
Ship's Role: Channel Island ferry
Tonnage: 1885gross tons.
Length: 282.2 feet
Breadth: 40 feet
Draught: 13 feet
Great Western Railway Co, London; 1925-1939 and 1946-1948
British Railways Southern Region; 1948-1961