Depot ship that looked just like a liner

Fast Launch Isinglass bound for Wales in the early 1970s.

Portsmouth’s speedy ‘grey ghosts’ which were the army’s navy

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Not every ship built for the Royal Navy before the Second World War was a fighting ship. Here we have what looks like a liner and perhaps had the comfort of one, but is in fact a submarine depot ship.

Medway was the first and only diesel-propelled ship (other than submarines) in the navy in her time.

She was launched on July 19, 1928, and completed the following July. She had a ship’s company of 400 officers and enlisted men and could accommodate up to 1,335 additional men.

Designed to support 18 submarines and an additional three during wartime, her fate was settled while evacuating personnel from Alexandria on June 30, 1942.

While off Port Said with stores and 1,135 personnel on board, she was hit by two torpedoes from U-372 and sank with the loss of 30 men.

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