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Image:  The 'Queen' leaving Dover c.1905.
The 'Queen' leaving Dover c.1905.

The ‘Queen’ was the first turbine steamer to be built for the cross-Channel service. She was built by the South Eastern & Chatham Railway and entered service between Dover and Calais in June 1903. In 1907 she transferred to the Folkestone-Boulogne service. While operating on this route she was involved in a collision in thick fog with the ‘Onward’ which also belonged to the SECR. Damage to each ship was made worse by the respective anchors catching and tearing a large hole in the other’s side.

During the early part of the First World War in 1914, the ‘Queen’ helped to evacuate refugees from Ostend, after which she became a troop transport, in common with other SECR vessels. On 26 October 1914, she rescued over 2,000 refugees from the French vessel ‘Amiral Ganteaume’, torpedoed whist bound from Calais to Le Harve.

In September 1916 she towed the disabled troop transport ‘Queen Empress’, filled with troops, back to safety. Then, just one month later on 26 October, the ‘Queen’ herself was attacked by German destroyers, some miles off Folkestone, and sunk.

 

 


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