Monday, 16 July 2012
In the later part of the 1880’s, White Star Line struck a deal with the British Government to help fund the construction of two new ships. The deal was that the Government would help to fund them in return for in time of war the ships being available to be and designed to be easily converted into armed merchant cruisers. The first of these ships completed was RMS Teutonic, followed by a sister ship RMS Majestic.
Teutonic, shipbuilder’s yard number 208, was launched on 19th January 1889 at Harland and Wolff, Belfast. As well as being the first passenger ship designed to be easily converted in to an armed merchant cruiser, she was also White Star’s first twin screw (two propellers) ship and the first to completely abandon sails. Teutonic departed Liverpool for her maiden voyage to New York on Wednesday 7th August 1889. In May 1911, Teutonic was transferred from the Britain to America, Southampton-New York Service to the Britain to Canada, Liverpool- Montréal service. She made her first voyage on this service on 13th May. Teutonic was laid up at Cowes Roads, Isle of White, UK, and was then broken up for scrap at Emden, Germany in 1921.
Florence Melita Bell - Lowry's nanny - sailed out of Liverpool in April 1912 as a steward aboard the RMS Teutonic en route to Montreal. She appears to have only made one return voyage on the ship as she wrote to Lowry and his brother Russell that the she didn't like the sea. Perhaps the Titanic disaster in April 1912 disturbed her. (Gordon Bowker Pursued By Furies Pg. 10)