Ships engine room clock : SS Devanha

Accession Number REL32383
Collection type Technology
Object type Technology
Physical description Brass, Glass, Steel
Place made India: Bombay
Date made Unknown
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Brass engine room clock from the SS Devanha. The clock is marked in Roman numerals and is equipped with a bevelled glass cover within a circular hinged brass frame. Printed on the clock face is text which reads 'Lund & Buckley' and 'Bombay'. The glass cover can be opened to wind the clock. The winding key is missing. There is a horizontal adjusting lever at the twelve position for fast or slow operation, and a seconds sweep hand and dial just below this. There are four holes around the base of the clock for attachment to a bulkhead or wall.

History / Summary

This clock was removed from the engine room of the P&O ship SS 'Devanha' when the ship was being broken up for scrap by Sakaguchi Sadakichi Shoten K K at Osaka, Japan in April 1928, by Charles Mabey, who had joined the crew as second engineer on 21 April 1925. He completed eleven voyages in the ship before accompanying her to the breakers in 1928.

SS 'Devanha' was built in 1905-6 by Caird and Co, Greenock, Scotland for the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O). Newly registered on 31 January 1906, the ship was placed on the UK to India and China run before being pressed into military service in 1915; at the time of the Gallipoli landing in 1915, the 'Devanha' was known as Troopship A3 and its lifeboats were used to land Australian troops on 25 April.

After the first wave of troops landed the 'Devanha' steamed up the coast as a feint to draw enemy fire. That evening the vessel evacuated her first load of casualties and began service as a hospital ship. As a hospital ship, HMHS 'Devanha' provided emergency treatment while evacuating the troops directly to Egypt, from where some would be sent to Malta and England. 'Devanha' continued with these duties until the end of the campaign. The P & O history notes that the vessel was the last hospital ship to leave the Dardanelles. It continued to serve as a hospital ship in the Persian Gulf, East Africa, Bombay and Suez, before being converted back into a troopship in 1919, repatriating Australian troops. In 1920, one of her lifeboats which had been used during the Gallipoli campaign, was presented to the Australian War Museum in Melbourne (later moved to Canberra for the Australian war Memorial). The following years saw 'Devanha' re-enter service with P&O. She was ultimately sold for scrap and broken up at Osaka, Japan.