Tuesday, 12 March 2013

S.S. Coconada (2)

S.S. Coconada (2) was built by Barclay Curle & Company Glasgow; Propulsion: steam, triple expansion, 3300 ihp, 14 knots, twin screw. Launched: Friday, 23/09/1910; Tonnage: 3958 grt; Length: 390.5 feet; Breadth: 50.2 feet.

Originally owned by the British India Steam Navigation Company, the Coconada along with her sister Chilka were built for the Coromandel Coast Rangoon service. She became an Indian Expeditionary Force Transport from August of 1914 to July of 1916 in the main trooping the Meeruts Karachi - Marseilles and Karachi - Suez. In May of 1917 she came under the Liner Requistion Scheme and served as an Expeditionary Force Transport from November 1918 until November 1919 where she spent sometime in the Pacific sailing from Vancouver to Hong Kong via Japan. She was sold on the 1st of September 1933 to the Scinda Steam Navigation Company of Bombay and renamed Jaladurga. She was requisitioned once more for war duties in February of 1941 and at War's end was transferred to the Singapore - Bangkok trades, it was whilst on these trades that she sank in Bombay. She was successfully raised and repaired and continued on her normal services before being finally called to the colours once more when she carried Indian trorops to Korea in 1953. She was finally sold for scrap in 1954 and work commenced at Bombay in the following year after an incredible 44 years of service. Merchant Navy Officers

Lowry refers to the ship in his novel Under The Volcano when the Consul reminds his brother Hugh that; "I have perhaps acted as a father: but you were only an infant then, and and seasick, upon the P. and O., the erratic Cocanada." (Pg. 83) and “When you were an infant, ' the Consul's teeth chattered. 'On the P. & O. boat coming back from India.. The old Cocanada." (Pg. 178).

 Frederick Asals suggests that Lowry may have been attracted by the canada’ in ‘Cocanada’.(The Making of Malcolm Lowry's 'Under the Volcano'. Pg. 178). British India Steam Navigation Company were part of the P&O Lines hence Lowry's reference to the company. It is possible that Lowry noted the ship on his voyage to the Far East in 1927. There is no record that the ship sailed on the India to England service as indicated by the Consul's remarks.

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