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
- RAN: Nil
- 1 MID
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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).