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Does anyone remember Devonia?

Hi boys & girls - does anyone have any memories, photos, news articles etc about the good ship Devonia? I was incredibly fortunate in going on a schoolkids cruise on her in the mid sixties as a 12 or 13 year old - it was paid for by brother who had just started a job ... that's another story. Anyway, Devonia is the lady responsible for my brief career with P & O .... and the fact I am still cruising today ..

Cheers

Terry

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Hi
This info might Help some inquiries.........?

The Devonshire ( renamed DEVONIA)was the final ship in the four troopship build program. The third ship Ettrick being built for P & O and was sunk during the Second World War. The Devonia was built for Bibby Line who ran her on trooping duties until selling her to British India for £175, 000 in January of 1962.

Launched on the 20th December 1938 she entered service in July of 1939 and does general trooping duties until the outbreak of the war. From then on she is involved in the Mediterranean, Singapore, Sicily and Salerno, Italy. On 7th June during the D-Day landings in line ahead she is accompanied by three other Bibby Line ships, the Cheshire, Lancashire and Worcestershire carrying 10, 000 troops for the Normandy Bridgeheads. After the war she continues trooping and is involved in the Korean conflict before arriving in April of 1953 at Glasgow for a refit similar to that of the Dilwara. After refit her tonnage is now 12, 773g and she carries 130 First Class, 96 Second Class and 824 troops. She resumes her trooping duties February 1954.

As previously stated she is eventually sold to British India renamed Devonia in 1962 and embarks on her educational cruise career until being sold for scrap and broken up at La Spezia.

Devonia Built 1939 ex- Devonshire, 1962 purchased from Bibby Line, educational cruise ship, 1967 sold for scrap. 1968 scrapped in Italy. Managed for Ministry of War Transport.

Best regards
Mike

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Many thanks Mike & Lightning - much appreciated

Cheers

Terry

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Quote: margaret yates
Hi Terry
I went on a school cruise in 1963 on the HMS Devonia. It was a Mediteranian cruise, stopping at Gibralta, Casablanca and Spain...10 days. xx

Where are you from: Woking, Surrey

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Sailed on her as a school kid. From Genoa to Venice. Called at Naples, Corfu, Athens. Must have been others but can't remember. Fantastic sunset over Sicily, still have the photo on my wall. Remember a Mr King one of the officers, can't remember his rank. He helped us with the fancy dress - a group of us went wrapped up in the "ships flags". Again can't remember what they were.
Not heard of it since.

Where are you from: Sussex

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Would have been John King, met him recently at the Southampton reunion lunch last May.Still going strong.

Mike Gold.

Where are you from: Moruya, South Coast ,New South Wales, OZ.

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

School kids 'educational cruise' Feb '63 - 13yo, group from around Consett area. Train-Durham to Genoa change at Calais. Devonia-Genoa to Palermo, to Athens through force 7 gale. To Dubovronik no bullet holes at that time, to Venice. Return train Venice to Durham.

Where are you from: Durham

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

I went on an educational cruise in 1962/3 went to Lisbon on HMS Devonia with our geography teacher. I can't remember much education but had a good time. We were put into dorms I was in Mungo Park. I also remember the terrible bay crossing where most ended up in sick bay
Only two of us went from our school in Caerphilly my parents paid weekly for me to go.
Does anyone else remember this cruise ?
Lynne

Where are you from: Wales

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Wouldnt it be great to get hold of some the old girl's Itineraries from that era. My cruise left from Swansea (I think - it was definately South Wales anyway), and took in Bergen, Copenhagen, the Kiel Canal & Amsterdam ... a truly amazing experience for a young schoolboy. It certainly influenced my future! Is there anything like it in the UK these days?

Where are you from: Originally Cheltenham Glos, now Brisbane Oz

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Yea... I was on that one too.... around '65 or '66 .If I remember rightly we sailed from Avonmouth and returned to Tilbury. Still have some details of the trip in the attic ( how sad is that ) and even sadder ... it's the one and only time I have been abroad ,having never held a passport . Still remember it vividly, including the first four days in my dorm being as sick as a dog !!!!!
Also remember the Kiel canal ..... looking over the side and shouting to a guy pushing a bicycle down the footpath beneath us , or so it seemed. Great memories , still have the photos .

Where are you from: leominster

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

I went to Norway and Sweden in the devonia on a school cruise ithink it was 1966

Where are you from: Redbridge

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Happy days folks ! If anyone has any pictures of her I would be very grateful if you could email.

Where are you from: Originally Cheltenham Glos, now Brisbane Oz

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Yes I also went on hms Devonian about 1963, we sailed from Cardiff in the October. Our destinations were Lisbon, Malaga , passing the rock of Gibraltar and Vigo. I was homesick and seasick most of the time I hated it. I still have a load of slides as my dad let me borrow his camera. Years later I found out that my bridesmaid, a friend I worked with in the inland revenue, had also been on the same cruise but was from a different school in Cardiff. I was from heol hir in llanishen.

Where are you from: Cardiff, South Wales

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Hi ,I was a lucky school girl from Childwall valley high school in Liverpool to do the med cruise Lisbon Tangiers Vigo Casablanca in 62/63. I hold very happy memories and still have my (clean) sick bag full of pictures and autographs of all the wonderful people I met. Remember bunk inspections and many remakes of bed to get perfection!,,, Dico nights were brilliant. Ahh.

Where are you from: Liverpool

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Hi Terry
Thought I'd get in touch as no-one has mentionned a Baltic school cruise on HMS Devonia in the summer of 1966. We sailed from Sunderland and crossed a rough North Sea to visit Copenhagen, Stockholm and Leningrad, as it was then known. I remember seeing the lifesize mermaid in Copenhagen and enjoying Tivoli Gardens and visiting the VASA ship museum in Stockholm. We were greeted by a Russiam army band on the quay in Leningrad and visited the Hermitage Museum and Palace of the Young Pioneers. On board ship the girls played deck hockey and the boys played water polo.There was a cinema, classrooms and a common room area with a tuck shop and souvenir shop.I bought and still have a souvenir HMS Devonian mug tho I don't know how it has survived intact!The dining area had long parallel fixed tables with an upright edge so your compartmentalised metal tray of food didn't end up on you knee though it would slide down the length of the table during rough seas!Happy memories even tho'the Beachboys were singing Home, let me go home!
Hope that helps!
Maggie Fairs (Margaret Rodgers in 1966)







in Stockholm I remember the cabins - dormitories - were named after famous explorers.

Where are you from: Harrogate but Monkwearmouth Grammar School Sunderland in 1966

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Hi Maggie

The Baltic would have been a great cruise! Thankyou for posting. My most recent cruise was to the Baltic, calling at Stockholm, Helsinki, St Petersburg, Tallin, Warnemunde & Copenhagen on the Oriana - it was very special because my wife & I were able to meet up with Swedish & German relatives. Only 2 small negatives experienced - the Russian customs officials were a tad grumpy, and my relatives were not allowed to come on board.

I don't remember playing water polo on Devonia, but it was a long time ago!
I do remember the dining area now that you mention it.

Best wishes

Terry

Where are you from: Originally Cheltenham Glos, now Brisbane Oz

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Quote: Margaret Yates
Quote: margaret yates
Hi Terry
I went on a school cruise in 1963 on the HMS Devonia. It was a Mediteranian cruise, stopping at Gibralta, Casablanca and Spain...10 days. xx

I was on the same cruise as you ! Can still remember those horrid apes in Gib ! Do you ? Was sea sick every day but had a great time .

Where are you from: london

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Quote: Terry Williams
Hi boys & girls - does anyone have any memories, photos, news articles etc about the good ship Devonia? I was incredibly fortunate in going on a schoolkids cruise on her in the mid sixties as a 12 or 13 year old - it was paid for by brother who had just started a job ... that's another story. Anyway, Devonia is the lady responsible for my brief career with P & O .... and the fact I am still cruising today ..

Cheers

Terry


My Dad escorted a group of students from Brooklands college, Weybridge, Surrey, we think in 1966 or 1967. My Dad taught at Brooklands. He also took 45 minutes of cine footage of the trip. This includes shots of Tilbury Docks, Vigo, Lisbon, and Amsterdam, and some brief shots of the Devonia herself Quite a trip! I shall post up this footage, as soon as I can.

Where are you from: Chertsey

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Hi I sailed on the Devonia in may 1967. We left from Avonmouth and returned to Tilbury Went to Norway and Denmark had a very bad North Sea crossing
most kids were sick including myself. None the less I had a wonderful ten days. The experience has stayed with me my whole life and I remember vividly being lowered in a life boat to visit the village of Olden in the Nord Fjord. I still have my log book/diary which includes a list of clothing I took with me as well as noting I had £5.00 pocket money to spend. I also have my Devonia Certificate and small Devonia badge all reclaimed from the attic a few years ago. Went on a Norwegian cruise last year scenery still out of this world.
I don't think there is such an opportunity for youngsters now. I was only just 11 years old when I went. I cant imagine many parents would allow their children out of sight for that long now.
Imagine the risk assessments.

Where are you from: Bristol

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

1967, September, Our whole year group, I guess about 150 of us from The Royal Hospital School, Ipswich.
We sailed from Tilbury, and visited Coruna, Oporto and Bordeaux.
Crossing Biscay was very rough, many were seasick but I knew fresh air and a view of the horizon would help.
I went to breakfast and was one of only a dozen or so there. If I remember correctly the dining mess was right in the fo'csle and was pounding up and down.
Thick fog on the return to Tilbury and dozens of us queued up to ring the bell on the fo'csle while we were hove to.

Where are you from: Milton Keynes

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Hi Giles - sounds fantastic. Please PLEASEE upload any footage or pics when time permits ... so good to hear from some of Steve's chatters who have had the pleasure of experiencing an educational cruise as a schoolkid :)

Best wishes, Terry

Ps - If only we (i.e. taxpayer's , parents, generous siblings who had just scored their first job) ... could do this stuff in this day and age. Those BI Cruises opened up my world ... as they did for many of us ... thanks for posting :)

Where are you from: Originally Cheltenham Glos, now Brisbane Oz

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Hi Nick

What a great experience ! I can't help thinking, how blessed / fortunate we were to have the opportunity, and I am forever grateful to those that helped make it happen. My parents were quite poor, so I give credit to my elder brother (who had just scored his first job) ... and the taxpayer, who must have contributed to the subsidised cost of educational cruises at the time.

If only we could do this today? I am told that kids these days have so much more in terms of opportunities. I am not so sure .. If I was a brit kid now (or anywhere else ) , I would gladly trade in my ipad / iphone / skateboard .. for the experience I had. In Bergen in the late 60's , we visited a Stave Church ... there was a "wishing stone" embedded in the beautiful original timber frame of the church (don't get me wrong - I aint religeous). I made my wish ... it came true 5 years or so ago. In the interim, the Church had been burnt down by a fruitloop arsonist. Suffice to say, the stone survived, and a very good replica is now in place :)

Travel broadens the mind, as I am sure you know ... we were very lucky. I would gladly contribute to an educational cruise program for students now ...

Best wishes.

Terry



Where are you from: Originally Cheltenham Glos, now Brisbane Oz

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Hi Christine

Please send me pics ... I won't tell my missus if you don't tell your partner ok ? ... I reckon we were shipmates ,, but Olden was not on my itinerary ... but it was a long time ago :)

Best wishes

Terry

Where are you from: Originally Cheltenham Glos, now Brisbane Oz

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Went in last year of junior school so maybe 1962 or 63
charabanc to Tilbury.
Visited vigo,corunna & Lisbon
Too sea sick most days to remember much - put me off cruises for life

Where are you from: ex Gloucester now maidenhead

Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

I was on the Asturias 1956/57 remember being tied up in Southampton with the Nevasa, Devonshire, Dilwara Dunera plus many other troopers during the build up for Suez Canal.

Where are you from: Eastbourne UK

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

I sailed on her in April 1964 with a party from Sudbury Girlls High School in Suffolk with our headmistress , Miss Sargent and Art teacher, Mrs Wignall. We flew from Gatwick to Genoa , visited Naples and Pompeii, Corfu, Athens and on to Venice., flying back to Gatwick from there. I still have an MS Devonian badge , a collection of postcards and a few photographs and happy memories!
I seem to remember the cost was £45 as I worked in the Addis factory in Haverhill during the summer holidays of 1963 to pay for it!

Where are you from: Hertfordshire

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Hiya think it was the Devonian I went on called at Cadiz Tangier Oporto there was a force 12 hurricane on the ship in the bay of biscay. It made headlines in national papers I believe but never got to see the paper deos anyone have a copy. This cruise gave me a love a travel best thing I ever did and all thanks to my dear widowed mum. We lost my dad when I was 8 and she had 4 of us still at school. Don't know how she managed to pay for me.

Where are you from: Liverpool but live in warrington

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Ps.the cruise I went on was about 1967 I think

Where are you from: Liverpool but live in warrington

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Went on 3 cruises one on the devonia 2 on the nevasa fromm 1966 to 1968

Where are you from: London

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Yes, Rough Seas basic accomodation, watched Born Free about Five times, went with School party from Commercial Road Secondary School in Sunderland. On Board with sister Christine who was with a party from Bede Grammer School in Sunderland. Now used to fine cruising.

Where are you from: Sunderland

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

School Trip - Cwrt-yr-Alla Junior, Ely, Cardiff (1966 ish) - Sailed from Tilbury to Kristiansand (Norway), Copenhagen (Denmark) & Amsterdam (Netherlands) - sailed through Skagerak Straits & Kiel canal. Great trip lots of memoirs, unfortunately no surviving photos. Mr Jones was our Teacher (Top Man), it was an educational trip, however Mr Jones relaxed the rules a little. Only four from our school went 'Times was hard' I think it cost mam & Dad about £30 plus £5 spending monies. Finishing note my Dad was on board the Davonia as a Troop ship in the mid 50's during his Army service in Egypt.

Where are you from: Cardiff, South Wales

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Hello Terry
At long last, trying to do this today. Hope it works.
Giles Sanger

Where are you from: Chertsey

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Hello Giles

Really looking forward to seeing it!

Kind regards

Where are you from: Originally Cheltenham, Glos, now Brisbane

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Sincere thanks to Giles Sanger for forwarding some great footage of a Devonia Cruise from the 1960's. It brought back some great childhood memories of my first seagoing experience that lead to a brief but rewarding career with P & O.

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

Hi, I remember that cruise, October 1967, leaving from Liverpool. was with Lawrence Road school. Bordeaux was also on the itinerary.

Do you remember the regatta in the lifeboats on the Bay of Biscay because we had made good time? Also the Hallowe'en party on board, that was great fun!

I was 11 years old and got sloshed at Oporto, the Sandemans vineyard visit, and at the Bordeaux vineyard visit. I recall wetting myself dockside in Bordeaux as we waited for the gangway to be lowered! I fled aboard smelling of wine.

Tangier was most exotic, and where most of our money was spent. When we were set free in small groups, my group decided to try and 'sell' our 5th Former, as she was receiving much attention from the men in the 'casbah'. I also recall meeting a middle aged Danish hippy gentleman, sitting outside a market shop, smoking.

The storm on the return journey was so bad that we couldn't go on deck. We were stuck inside watching, through portholes, one second sky, one second sea. The locker doors opening and clanging closed with every pitch of the ship.

Poor old Devonia had to put in at Ireland for a quick damage assessment and she only made one further journey after ours.

Where are you from: Liverpool

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I have never forgotten The Devonia.I've been to many places since but Madeira Tangiers and Vigo remain as the most beautiful memories. Likewise my memory of Linda Jones most beautiful girl from Brynhyfrydd Swansea. Still love you Glassy.

Where are you from: Australia

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Re: Does anyone remember Devonia?

I went on an education cruise from 10th May 1964 to Coruna, Lisborn and Santander with Peckham Rye School. A fantastic experience in spite of suffering from sea sickness formuch of the time at sea. Have great memories of seeing those places, particularly Lisborn which made a great impact on me.

Where are you from: London

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I sailed in the early sixties we visited Lisbon, Tangiers and Santander. We should have gone to Vigo but were stranded off Southend in thick fog for 6 hours and had to give it a miss. We were a bit miffed as we were going to have a race around the ship in the lifeboats whilst in port. Bay of Biscay was so rough that the cinema was cleared just after the film started (Beatles - Help) with everyone feeling sick. It just left a few of us to enjoy it.
I still have many happy memories of a cruise that was brilliant in every way even though catering left much to be desired.

Where are you from: Brentwood, Essex

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I sailed on the Devonia in October 1967, I was 12 at the time and went to Lawrence road School, I seem to remember the cruise costing £10, it took my mum and dad a year to pay for it, I used to take in a few shillings each week. We visited Bordeaux, Oporto, Cadiz and Tangiers. I remember going to the vineyards at Bordeaux, why they took a group of school children there I have no idea! I remember Tangiers very well, especially the Kasbah which was full of markets and snake charmers. I remember filling in a log book on a daily basis, I just wish I'd kept it. I also remember a boys school having the next dormitory to us, we didn't find out until almost the end of the cruise but they had drilled a hole in the wall and had been spying on us all. The thing I remember most about the cruise was the sea sickness, I lived on Barley sugars handed out by the nurse and lost half a stone. The hurricane on the way home was the worst, the deck areas where out of bounds. That didn't stop my friend Pamela Williams and I going on top deck to explore!!!! I've never seen anything like it the waves were so high and the wind so strong I have no idea how we were not swept away, we had great difficulty getting back inside the ship, but eventually managed it. We were woken that night to see our dormitory full of water and our suitcases floating around. I think Devonia was scrapped not long after our return. I must admit it put me off Cruising for many years, but it must have lit a slow burning flame because almost 30years after sailing on Devonia, I found my sea legs at last. I can't get enough of cruising now, absolutely love it, although it did take me a long time to sail in the Bay of Biscay again.

Where are you from: Liverpool

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I sailed in her as a kid but not on a school cruise. It was in her former life as a troopship. My father was in the RAF and we returned from a tour of duty in Cyprus in the late fifties on HMT Devonshire. We called at Malta and Gibraltar before docking in Southampton. I and my sister had a great time on board as the young troops (mostly National Servicemen) were very pleased to amuse us while my poor mother spent the ten days being sick in the cabin with my dad looked after her. Same ship, different times.

Where are you from: Cheltenham

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Sailed on Devonia in 1963 from Grangemouth to Vigo, Lisbon and Casablanca. It was during school summer holidays as my year weren't allowed to go during term time as we had exams. I was a ship's prefect and we were all invited to one meal with the teachers. I stayed in Tasman dormitory. It was my first time abroad and a wonderful experience.

Where are you from: Balloch

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hi I was on the same cruise happy days remember the storm well in the bay of Biscay,i met a girl on that cruise her name was linda lewis she was a lovely girl!....I think she got married to some tv celebrity such fond memories.

Where are you from: liverpool

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