Friday, 15 February 2013

MV British Motorist

MV British Motorist was a 6,891 ton tanker, built by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Newcastle upon Tyne in 1924 for the British Tanker Company.

While under charter to the merchant navy, she was in port in Darwin, Australia when on 19 February 1942, she was hit by two bombs during the Japanese air raid on Darwin and was sunk. Read more

Lowry refers to the ship in his incomplete novel La Morida: "it were eponymous, and certainly not so unimaginative as the beautiful horrible romantic old freighter he'd seen in the Indian Ocean, the British Motorist — the ship has a cargo of rolls of rusty barbed wire. Ugly ships. Possibly she'd done yeoman service in the war. Had oil-tankers got souls? Could their captain love these diesel-engined monstrosities to the extent, like his grandfather, of going down with them?" Pg 188

We can assume that Lowry saw the MV British Motorist on his Far East voyage in 1927 while sailing across the Indian Ocean.

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