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
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
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.