SS Berrima

The liner SS Berrima was requisitioned from the Peninsula and Orient Steam Navigation Company in August 1914 and commissioned into the RAN as the auxiliary cruiser HMAS Berrima.

Berrima left Sydney on 19 August 1914 carrying men of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force for operations against the German New Guinea colonies. Troops were landed at Herbertshöhe and Rabaul on 11 and 12 September respectively, and on the New Guinea mainland on 24 September. Berrima subsequently returned to Sydney and, despite plans to employ her as an armed merchant cruiser, she was paid off in October for conversion to a troop transport.

In her new role, SS Berrima sailed for the Middle East in December 1914 as part of the second troop convoy, carrying Australian and New Zealand troops and towing the submarine AE2. Berrima continued to work as a trooper until 18 February 1917, when she was torpedoed in the English Channel off Portland and beached.



Class:   armed transport
Launched:   1913
Commissioned:   17 August 1914
Complement:   pending further research
Length:   500 feet 1 inch [152.4m]
Beam:   62 feet 3 inches [19m]
Draught:   38 feet [11.5 m]
Displacement:   11120 tons
Speed:   14 knots
Armament:   4 x 4-inch guns
Armour:   not applicable

Pendant Number(s)

  • Nil


  • RAN: Nil

For more information please see the Roll of Honour, Wounded and Missing, First World War Nominal Roll and Embarkation Roll databases.


    RN Personnel
  • 1 MID

For more information please see Honours and Awards database

Collection Items

Search for related collection items


  • J. Bastock, Australia's Ships of War, (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1975).
  • R. Gillett, Australian & New Zealand warships, 1914-1945, (Lane Cove: Doubleday, 1983).
  • A.W. Jose, Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918, Volume IX, The Royal Australian Navy, (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1937).
  • J.H. Straczek, The Royal Australian Navy: ships, aircraft and shore establishments, (Sydney: Navy Public Affairs, 1996).