3/06/07…Stirling Moore has emailed with the following:
I travelled on the Dunera in 1958/59 from Southhampton to Limassol in Cyprus. Fond memories of going through the Bay of Biscay and around the straights of Gibraltar where the sea changed to a beautiful blue.

22/04/07…Carr has contacted us…
I remember travelling out to Singapore in 1956, I was 7 or 8 at the time. I travelled with my Mother and two younger brothers to join my father who had been posted the Malayan Boys School in Nee Soon. I remember the six week trip with fondness since we had to go via the Cape. The Suez Canal had been closed. Mum must have had her hands full though with the three of us.

18/12/06…Tom Herbert has emailed with the following…
In 1953 travelled from Southampton to Singapore on the Dunera, when I was aged 5, with my mother, brother and sister. We were going to join my father who was stationed in Tengah. I am unsure of the actual dates but we were in England for the Coronation in the summer of ’53 and I remember that we were in Singapore for Christmas so I guess it must have been late summer early Autumn.
Does anyone know the exact dates? For a 5 year old I remember quite a bit, including the bad weather in the Bay of Biscay, stopping at Aden and going shopping.
Does anyone know the exact dates of the trip? This will fill in a bit of my family history

06/11/06…Ken Duffey has been in touch (check the question at the end):
Having just found your site, I thought I’d chip in with my reminiscences. I sailed back from Hong Kong on MS Dunera – in March 1960 if my memory serves (it is getting increasingly difficult!). My father was in the Lancashire Regiment and we were returning from a 3–year tour in Hong Kong. I was 13 at the time – and it was a great adventure. I remember waking up after we anchored in Gibraltar – I looked out of our cabin window – and there was ‘our’ ship half a mile away. It took me a while to work out that it wasn’t Dunera, but a sister ship (Devonshire?, Devonia?) that was a carbon copy. We sailed into Southampton – and berthed next to one of the ‘Queens’ – that completely dwarfed us. I could go on – but that’s all for now.Does anyone have a sailing schedule?? I’d like to find out the exact dates of the trip……
PS – We sailed to Hong Kong in 1957 aboard the Troopship Oxfordshire.

27/10/06….Linda Mitchell has emailed us…. Having come across your website I thought I would add a few memories of my time on the Dunera. My mother seems to think we sailed from Singapore in 1954. I was about 6 years old and I remember having to go to school in the dining room and not enjoying it very much. We were travelling back to the UK along with my baby brother who was born in Singapore and was a complete surprise to our family in the UK because my mother didn’t bother to tell anyone about him. I have very happy memories of the ship and the time spent on it.

16/07/06… We’ve surprised Graham Hibbert somewhat! I was amazed that my EM appeared on your site so quickly. I would love to hear from any one that was on the Dunera 58/59 in particular any medical staff or any one that was treated in the ships hospital. Your photo might be in my book, (ISBN 1 904546 42 0) and I have other photo’s.
Good luck with your web site.
Best regards Graham Hibbert

Many thanks Graham – we have slipped up a few times and been a bit slow – we try not do do this, but just occasionally…….!

10/07/06…Graham Hibbert has emailed us with this one…
I was RAMC medical staff on the Dunera 1958/59 and have just had a book published called “From Bollington To Zanzibar”. It includes an account of life on the Dunera with photos of the ships hospital patients and staff.

11/04/06….Mike Kirkup…
It was August 1956 and I was in the RAF with the trade of radar operator when word came through to my posting in West Hartlepool that a number of rader ops were needed to set up camps in Cyprus before the balloon went up in Suez. I joined the MS Dunera at Southampton and that was the start of an amazing 10-day voyage that I will relate another time. Was anyone else on that trip?

02/04/06….Gordon Calder…..
In June 1958 I sailed on dunera as an RAF regular to Cyprus via Gibraltar. A pleasant 10 day cruise.

29/03/06…Sandra Evans emailed in
I sailed from Limassol to Southampton on the Dunera in Ocober 1959 with my parents and younger sister. I was sixteen years old and those ten days were the last of my childhood freedom before I started working. I always remember the ship with fondness.

19/12/2005….(another late one from Michael…..sorry) Hi Mike
Have had great fun digging up old stuff, Dunera menus attached also my father’s pass to meet us on board, Aden had no quays so we went in and out on tenders. You might look at www.khormaksar.school.users.btopenworld.com as so many people went there on Dunera in the 1950s before the aircraft age. I’m working on story about life there in the early 50s. The menu cards are attached, will be interested to see if I hear from anyone and will of course let you know. Happy days, Thanks again

Kids Menu Image Ships menu image
Dunera Pass image

13/02/06…Maurice Williams has emailed:
I travelled on the MS Dunera to Cyprus on the 11th October 1958 during my National service period. I was in REME and attached to the 25th Field Regiment Royal Artillery who were being shipped out there. We left from Southampton and called into Malta for stores etc. The journey to Cyprus took 10 days and there were approx. 1200 troops on board. Most of the sleeping quarters were on ‘H’ deck which was two decks below the water line.

1/11/05…..My apologies – yet again this is late…John (Sandy) Catanach
I sailed on MS Dunera in November 1960 as a member of the 1st Battalion, Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment. We were an advance party destined for Aden to take over from the Royal Scottish Fusiliers. I remember the trip took six weeks, can that be right?
Dunera image

18/12/2005 – Michael McRitchie has messaged in….

Hi there
Dunera took the McRitchie family to Aden in July 1951 to join father at RAF Khormaksar. The voyage took two weeks and for a 10–yr–old was a great adventure until the Army Education Corps spoiled our second week by introducing school in dining room. Highlights were awnings going up and ship’s officers changing into white shorts through the Med, the trip through Suez, the bumboatmen who haggled with passengers before throwing up a line for purchasers to haul up their goods, and Port Said gilli-gilli men who were allowed aboard to perform conjuring tricks by saying the magic words (gilli–gilli of course!)

Mother had a cabin with Christine and Niall, who was four, while to my delight I was put in a cabin with three other boys including Barry Maddocks, who was to be a friend throughout our tour. The stormy Bay of Biscay kept us quiet but after that we became total pests until the Education Corps pressganged us for five hours’ schooling a day.

Khormaksar school had two houses, Dunera and Dilwara, to which we were allocated depending on transport, for some reason most Aden postings sailed on the two sister ships. In 1952 it was decided to transport Service personnel by air rather than sea, and two centuries of troopships gradually came to an end.
Michael McRitchie
Comber, Co Down

1951 pic attached, B & I line trooper colours white with blue stripe. Also have menu cards from July that year if you would like to post them, drop me a line. Food was very good in those austere days

07/11/05 Linda..Sandra’s sister has also written in!…. Hi, my sister Sandra has already posted a comment on HMS Dunera (as it was at the time) – I remember I had just turned 5 when we boarded the ship and I had to go to school for the first time ever. I screamed blue murder at being left with a load of strangers! I was not impressed, especially as my sister didn’t have to go as she was only 3.

06/11/05 Sandra has called in….I was on Dunera with my mother and sister in September 1957, on our way to live with dad who was already at RAF Khormaksar in Aden. I don’t remember much about it as I was only three at the time, but I do remember plastering the mirror in our cabin with mum’s lipstick! One of her postcards at the time tell of her and “a neighbour” playing tombola on the ship. I have that postcard (a picture of the ship at sea) which I will scan in when I can work out how to.

06/11/05 Christina has called in….I was on the Dunera 1960 from Wayneflete school

Nigel Sweeney contacted us….. Sailed on MV Dunera from S’oton to Singapore in 1960 as a 10 year old, with my parents en–route to Kluang, Malaya. 4 wonderful weeks of aclimatization.

26th June….Betty Cochrane has messaged us here…. I sailed out of Southampton on the Troop Ship DUNERA, on board was the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards enroute to Kenya. I am sure the year was 1959, but would like to know the exact date if possible. I had a super time on board considering it was the first time to foreign shores for me…..

Can anyone shed any light on the exact date here…?

13th April ’05…Bernard has written in….Hi, It was in April 1953 that I sailed from Southampton bound for Port Said. In though days she was a troopship. It took us ten days to get to Port Said with a stormy passage through the Bay of Biscay.

Apart from that I enjoyed the journey very much, if only I had realised what I was sailing to, the biggest beach I have ever seen. I still hold fond memories of the MS Dunera. I have seen several photographs but there seems to be some confusion as to the weight of the MS Dunera is anyone able to tell me its true weight? Regards…Bernard

Ian Beaton has contacted us – Along with my mother and brother we sailed from Southampton early December 1951 and arrived in Singapore early January 1952 to join my father who was in the RAF and based at Seletar. We had to attend school in the mornings, and were let loose in the afternoons to cause havoc, around the vessel, there were a lot of us kids on that trip, anyone else out there……? Please contact us and your message will be passed on – Thank you

Many thanks David – things had been getting quiet around here!!

Sir – I was one those many troops that sailed on H M Dunera which sailed from Southampton in 1952 . Our destination was Korea. We were to join the Welsh Regiment already at the front line. We went as far as Hong Kong in H M Dunera and then by another boat to Japan for further training and eventually to Korea.

The journey from home to Hong Kong took about six weeks and every minute I revelled in. Many troops were sea sick in the Bay of Biscay especially in the Galley where we had to sit on the stairs while in queue for food. The decks below were full of hammocks and on some decks galvanised bunk beds. Mine was a hammock and swung with the motion of the rise and swell of the seas.

My memory of her was one of delight and on one occasion on guard duty in the brig,nobody to guard of course, I lay full out on the table, face up and felt my stomach move forward and backwards with each pitch of the bow as it sunk into the waves and then up again as it sailed on like a great whale. But I was never sea sick and like many had never left the shores of Britain. Right now I am glad that I did and I take great pleasure in telling you that ship was classic.
David T Williams

Brian Kendall has written in: I sailed on the Dunera twice..the first time was in 1959 with my mother and brother..we sailed fron Southampton to Aden to join my Father and then the 4 of us returned to England in 1961. This was during the time when she was a troop ship, from what I remember about 4 years prior to her being decommissioned.We were lucky enough to have cabins and not beds in dormitories. The outward trip was absolutely fabulous with a wonderful crew who treated us all so well but by the time we returned to England she had become very tired and the accomodation had deteriorated as had the attitude of the crew possibly because of her future fate. Nevertheless I still have really fond memories of my first ever long sea trip although it’s 45 or so ago. I lost my father last year, he was 94, and he would often talk about those days and all the good times like our trips to overseas postings.

Marilyn Williams has just contacted us with this message – I was on the MS Dunera in 1960. Our school trip was to Spain, Portugal & Gibraltar. The politicians Tam Dalziel & Tony Benn were long for the ride too as it was the first of the school ship trips. My school was Firrhill in Edinburgh. – any one else on the same trip – please get in touch…


Contacts from folks on the Dunera, 1951 – 1960 — 71 Comments

  1. I have been reading the posters on this forum and came across the post by Bernard. I was also on that trip from Southampton to Port Said and remember the rough Biscay crossing, the first time I was sea sick !!!!. I hated the trip mainly because I had to attend the school that had been set up on board. I was only five and as I recall it was my first ever schooling, which is not nice in any location for a youngster. My favourite memory from that journey was the arrival in Post Said when we were piped off the ship by a Scottish regiments band, the sound of bagpipes is still one of my favourite sounds. Whilst we were waiting for our transport to wherever our location was I recall sitting round the Port Said quay whilst the band performed a mini tattoo. I don’ know if Bernard remembers that day but it is set in my mind and will stay there til I get the call for the big troopship in the sky

  2. Hello Steve
    Great post reply!! Thanks for this and do feel free to add a post to the main blog page if you have any more bits that someone may like to read!! Just sign in and post away!
    Thanks Steve…

  3. Hello Ken Duffey.
    I don’t know if it helps but I came back on the Dunera from Hong Kong after serving with the 1st BN The Lancashire Regiment (PWV) at Stanley Barracks, I worked on the camp telephone exchange during my stay at Stanley.
    Strange though it may seem I still have my Berthing card for embarking onto the Dunera it was allocated for the Troopdeck.
    Deck E
    Section 2
    Berth No. 25 A
    I have also written on the back of the berthing card dates of embarkation & Disembarkation
    Embarked :- 18th May 1960
    Sailed:- 19th May 1960

    Docked:- 22nd.June 1960
    Disembarked:- 23rd. June 1960
    Unfortunately I don’t remember where we docked.

  4. Hello,
    New on board. The family sailed back to Southampton from Aden in 1960 on the Dunera. It was before August which was my eighth birthday. Myself, my mother and brother had sailed out to Aden in 1958 on the Devonshire, again before August.

    In Southampton we were berthed opposite the Queen Mary, from whose deck came the sound of jazz music.

    Years later, when I met him, it transpired that one of the musicians was none other than Ronnie Scott, who was able to present me with the set list!

    Any information or memories of these two voyages will be gratefully received.
    John Rooney

    • Hello John – MANY thanks for this note. Always excellent to hear from anyone who has been involved on trips with Dunera.

      What a fantastic memory with Ronnie Scott! Do you still have that set list??!

      Many thanks and all best wishes


  5. I sailed from Southampton (for Cyprus) on the Dunera reported on board on July 14, 1958 (my 21st birthday, two more RAF had their 21st on board, all National Servicemen) we were a very small minority and did no guard duties or patrols, on board among others were the Royal Ulster Rifles. A pleasant, all though at times boring voyage.

  6. Pingback:We have a new comment on our page… | MS Dunera, Troop Ship To School Ship

  7. Hello Tom Herbert. I was on the same voyage on the Dunera as you in 1953. I was in the army heading for Kure Japan before going into Korea. I spent my 19th birthday in Singapore on the 21st of August 1953 so that is your date of arrival.

    Rob Jamieson

    • Hi I was on that trip on way to Korea in June 1953 I was in the REME also on board was the contingent of Gurkhas that were in the parade on coronation day .I remember well the Suez Canal and the ” bum” boats also on board were quite a few Q A R A N C Nurses on way to “War” the cease fire came into force whilst we were “in transit” as it were we were lucky I suppose. I returned home April 1955 . Jim Molloy

  8. After being a weapons instructor at Blandford camp I was posted to Borden to be equipped for Korea. I sailed on the Dunera from Southampton on 31st of Oct 1951.

    I recall the rough weather in the Bay of Biscay where all around me men were being sea-sick. I escaped. Anyone taking this journey can’t help but be moved by the contrasts of beauty and poverty that saw.

    The Rock of Gibrolta, the (Bum boats, as we called them). in the harbour of Port Said where the sellers spoke with the strongest Scotch accent out side of Scotland, calling everyone ‘Mac’Gregor’. Then the narrowness of the Suez canal with the men cowered down along the edge in a way that westerners would find painful.

    The open seas to and beyond our quick call in what was then Celon with the Porpus and Flying fish dancing around the bow and occasionally landing on deck. There was some of the best entertainment on board any one could wish for. Apart from the evening film, the Welch Regiment Band with it’s soloist’s were as good as any professional band.

    Next port of call was Singapore where we spent time in the Britania club and standing with open mouths, wishing we could afford to step inside ‘The Raffles Hotel’. (I made it 60 years later).

    On returning to ship we were informed that some men would be staying put while I and others would be going on to Hong Kong.

    Damn!! Do I have to stay here for three years? First they sent me to Fan Ling followed by Causeway Bay where I was for the coronation. After about nine months I was posted to Whitfield Barracks on Nathan road. I reverted to my old job of weapons and drill instructing with our squad winning a competition. Then came ’81 Pack Troupe’, north of Tai Po ending in 18 field ambulance.

    I returned to Liverpool Sept; 1955.

    • Hello Ray – that is one excellent tale and I really appreciate your writing in. I hope others who may have been with you see this and get in touch…

      Very best to you


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  9. Hi I was on Dunera I think in 1960 or 1961.

    We went to La Coruna, Gibralter, Lisbon then to Lorient in Northern France.

    The weather through the Bay of Biscay was horrendous and I was one of the few not seasick.

    I remember dancing with one of the crew members and falling totally in love. Also playing netball against a girls school in Gibralter, visiting gardens in Lisbon and seeing Lorient in freezing rain.

    Anyone else remember that cruise?

    • Patricia – many thanks for adding your thoughts to our site – this is what keeps it alive and interesting! I look forward to seeing replies!

      Best to you


  10. I was on the Dunera in 1958, en route to Singapore.

    I was 4 years old!

    Still remember the trip though, and had lots of fun.

    Best part was winning a fancy dress party and having the grease paint washed off with cold seawater. Loved that!!

  11. Hi All. I’ve only just discovered this website, very interesting indeed.

    I was on Dunera from the Caribbean (Trinidad) to Southampton during Feb and March 1960.

    I was with The Worcestershire Regiment. Bn HQ was in Jamaica with detachments in British Guiana, British Honduras and The Bahamas.

    The Hampshire Regt travelled out on the Dunera to replace us.

    • Hello Chris

      Great to hear from you and love having items added like yours. Again as said before – it makes it all worthwhile. If you have any more to add, please register and post…OR email me details and I’ll add on your behalf

      Many thanks


  12. I sailed with my family on the Dunera in 1956.

    My Dad (Army – Royal Engineers) had been posted to Malaya (as it was then). The end destination was supposed to be Singpore.

    However, with the Suez Crisis developing (and the ship apparently now wanted to carry troops to the region),the ship stayed some days in Malta. We were then transferred back to the UK by air.

    Later, after some time in a Blackpool B&B (no idea why there), we flew to Singapore from Blackbush Airport in an unpressurised RAF Hermes (meaning it could fly no higher than 5,000ft).

    The journey, I recall,took several days with over-night stops, including Brindisi (Italy) and Calcutta.

    I recall the time on Dunera fondly, including the ‘school’ classes.

    Would be pleased to hear from any one who connects with this comment.

    Nick Carter

    • Hello Nick,

      I believe I too was travelling on this Dunera trip in summer of 1956 with my parents. My father, Philip McLaughlin, was in the Royal Engineers and we lived in Malaya for a few years.

      My mother wrote in my baby book: “A month’s cruise to Malta and back on the Dunera, because Nasser was behaving badly in Egypt, a fortnight in Blackpool, another week in Kent and four days flight in Hermes via Brindisi, Beirut, Bahrain, Karachi, Delhi, Calcutta, Bangkok and Singapore, brought you eventually to Penang a seasoned young traveller of ten months, and you smiled the whole way. Waiting for you in Runnymede was Lily (amah) who waited on you bottle and nappy for ten months.”

  13. Was shipped out on Dunera if I recall late 59 or early 60 to Aden with RAF Contingent dates elude!

    Trip was quite long and cramped to Aden, we eventually got there and it was hellish hot!

    Can anyone shed more light on this trip with the RAF Lads from RAF Innsworth about that time?


    • Hello Vernon

      Great to hear from you. I hope the comment here helps get people to get back to you..

      If you wish to write a longer resume of your time over there and on Dunera, that may do more to help. If so, send an email over to me at mike@mikefinding.com and I’ll add it as a post on the home page on your behalf.

      That goes for anyone else reading here – please do send over your stories, or register on the links in the menu, and post out yourself. They are moderated but only because that’s the way the system works. I’ll allow them out on site of course.

      Many thanks


  14. Like Stirling Moore 03/06/07 I sailed from Southampton to Cyprus on the Dunera in January 1959. I wonder if anyone knows the date we docked outside Limasoll. We stayed aboard through the night and were not taken ashore until the following morning.

    I was one of about 120 RAF onboard on the lower decks below a load of Royal Green Jackets who were still doing their initial training. We weren`t too happy about being in the bowels of the ship as most of us had already done well over a years service especially several warrant officers and SNCOs.


    At the end of JULY 2014 the 120 day minimum stay in Cyprus prior to April 18th 1959 to get the GSM was reduced to 90 days by the Government. It means that we who were on the Dunera in Jan 1959 were not until July eligible for the medal BUT now we are JUST as long as you were still in Cyprus on April 18th that year.

    I wonder how many guys who did that trip can now claim their medal?

    Anyone who was on board will remember HMS Belfast steaming passed on her final voyage. She came out of the mist off Portugal lamps flashing and her crew lined the side as we did to give each other three cheers.

    A sight I`ll never forget.

    • Many thanks Roger – as I always say – any more info always good to show on here – the site is getting quite a following!

      If you have more that can be posted in the news and updates blog area – pleased do let us have it or register to post yourself…

      Many thanks

      Mike Finding

    • I was on the Dunera.

      We sailed from Southampton on the 6 Jan 1959, many of the troops had a rough trip through the Bay of Biscay, I think that there was a handful having breakfast and keeping it down.

      When we arrived at Limasoll some of us had the pleasure of guard duty on the deck with the instruction ‘if you see a boat or swimmers approaching, then go to the brig about 5 decks down and draw off 5 rounds of ammo for the empty rifles!!!’

      That was our welcome to Cyprus!

      I think that you are correct about the GSM Roger I am going to apply for it.

      • Hello Don

        Many thanks for getting in touch on here. As I have said before – it is excellent to hear from all who have traveled on Dunera all the years ago.

        Do let us know if anyone gets in touch! This is what makes this site so interesting.

        Bye for now


    • Many thanks Len – great to hear from you (really appreciate these stories and interest points that people like yourself add on here)

      Hope you had an excellent Christmas.

      A very Happy New Year to you and yours

      Bye for now


    • Hi Mike I passed through the Suez Canal on a cruise ship from the Med going to Aqaba Jordan and the ship had pole position. How do I post picture on this site?

  15. I’ve just come across this web site. In May 1959 I sailed on the Dunera from Southampton to Cyprus as part of a group of Intelligence Corps personnel posted to Travel Security (Cyprus).

    Like other posters I had a bad experience of the Bay of Biscay even to the extent of leaving a meal queue to be sick and then rejoining it!

    I also remember seeing the film A Tale of Two Cities starring Dirk Bogarde on board very soon after its release.

    I returned to the UK in August 1960 on my way to freedom from the Army again by troopship, the Dunera I think. The highlights of that were playing deck hockey against members of the Blues & Greys which was fierce to say the least. We arrived at Southampton on a Sunday and were kept on board till the Monday rather than have Customs officers work on a Sunday (double time?).

    I later joined the TA and my OC had sailed on the Dunera pre-war on a Scottish schoolboys educational trip and he couldn’t believe it was still afloat!


    • I’ve only just come across this page, so I may too late get a reaction.

      I was also in the Intelligence Corps working for Travel Control Security, based in Limassol, having arrived in Cyprus in April 1958. I also returned to the UK on the DUNERA, which left from Famagusta on 16 August 1960 (the day of Cypriot Independence). I had arrived very late the previous evening, maybe the last one on board. Every serviceman was assigned a task of some description for the voyage, but by the time I boarded the vessel all the tasks had been allocated. I therefore had a very relaxing experience during the time the vessel took to arrive in Southampton,reading as many books as I could from the library.
      The stopover in Malta was particularly enjoyable.

      As you say, Happy Days!

  16. I sailed on the Dunera approx Aug 1951.

    We were mostly Signal Corps bound for Singapore and Malaya, with some married personnel, also 40/42 Commando and RAF.

    We formed a small dance band with some battered instruments that kept us free of fatigue duty. Most band members were RAF, I played trumpet.

    The ship had recently been refitted with American style dining facilities and metal bunks that helped contribute to a memorable 4 weeks cruise in tropical waters.

    Brian Phillips.

    • Hello Brian

      Great to hear from you and that’s quite a story!

      These memories are excellent and they make the site “alive” and we love to see them coming in.

      Any more thoughts – please do post ’em out!!

      Bye for now


  17. I was on the Dunera sometime during 1959. I think we left Southampton. We travelled through the Suez Canal to Mombasa. My Dad was in the RAMC and being sent to Nairobi Army Hospital I was 12. We travelled with the Coldstream Guards.

    Have some memories of this journey. I shared a cabin with my Mum and brother (7). Not sure of any ports we stopped at though. I’m sure we would have stopped in Cyprus and the Suez. I have to be cautious with my memories, as also travelled through the Suez in 1965 emigrating to Australia.

    Leanna from Down Under

    • Hello Leanna

      Many thanks for your comment here. It’s always good to receive these posts as it really keeps the site “alive”…

      Thank you – do let us know if you get feedback

      Bye for now


  18. Hi Great to read from other people of their recollections of Dunera. I travelled from Southampton to Singapore in 1950 at the age of nine. I remember getting up early mornings, with the other kids and racing each other in deck chairs around the decks, as the boards were slippery, just having been washed down. During our five week journey, we were invited up to the bridge, and also down to the engine rooms. School was a bit of a farce really. Didn’t learn much at all, but had to attend for a few hours in the mornings.

    Remember feeling sick for most of the journey, and not really enjoying the food, even though they had fancy menus. One lunch time, as we were sat at our elegant dining table, a tidal wave swept onto the deck and soaked everyone. We were fortunate kids to have seen so many amazing sights like the Botanical gardens in Ceylon and the Suez Canal. Singapore was a wonderful experience that I remember so well at such an impressionable age.

    Pleased to have been able to have logged some of my memorable impressions. I came upon this website because I included a trip to West Africa on another troop ship in a Eulogy for my mother who has recently died. Names of Army troop ships got me searching. Thanks Mike

    • Hello Carole

      Great to hear from you and only too glad this old site helps people to remember good times!

      Thank you, Carole, really sorry to hear about your mum….

      Please do let us know if you get feedback from your post

      Bye for now


  19. I was in the 1st Batallion Royal Fusiliers.

    In early 1958 I sailed on the troop ship Dunera, from Southampton to Mombasa, I was on the troop deck E2, B company was dropped off in Aden.

    We stopped at many ports on the way, and one was Bombay, to change ships crew, with us on board were lots of other regiments.

    We had to have salt tablets, given bromide, sometimes to hot to sleep below deck,so we slept on deck, we had weapon firing off the back of the ship, had many bumboats peddling there merchandise in all the ports we stopped in.

    Dunera was a great ship.

    • Hello Peter

      MANY thanks for your comment here. I’ve said it before and I’ll do it again! These comments keep the Dunera life experiences alive.

      They are all so interesting and give an idea of what happened “back in the day”.

      Many thanks and if you get a reply – do let us know.

      Many thanks

      Mike Finding

  20. I have just found this web site. I traveled with my mother & sister from UK to Malaya / Singapore circa 1953/4. Apparently it was full of troops. I contracted mumps & was quarantined in the sick bay. I did not see the sun till we were in the Indian ocean.

    • Hello James
      Great to hear from you! Glad you found us!

      These comments are always welcome! If you have photos etc – please feel free to register and set up a post.

      All the best to you

      Bye for now


  21. I was RAMC medical staff on board the Dunera from December 1957 to May/June 1958. My first trip at sea was to Christmas Island in the Pacific, followed by 2 days in Hawaii to give the troops we had picked up some R&R. The next trip was to Gibraltar, Malta, Cyprus, through the Suez Canal to Aden, then on to Bombay, Colombo, Mombasa, Dar es Salaam & Mauritius. Unforgettable times for my first time away from home.

  22. Hi my dad ‘Michael Macfarlane Kirkland’ travelled onboard Dunera in late 1953, from Southampton to Korea.

    My dad was in the Royal Signals and served in Korea until ‘55 and then went straight to Egypt for the Suez for a year and then onto Cyprus for the Eoka problem and back to work in London at the war office in about ‘57.

    My dad talks now and again about his time in the army.

    Was anyone else in the Royal Signals at the same time?

  23. Leanna I travelled on the Dunera with the 2nd btn Coldstream Guards the first stop was cyprus second stop was port siad where a famous majician came aboard the Hully Gully man we waited 8 hours there for a cnvoy of ships to go through then through the Red sea stopping at Aden

    We then passed the island of Socotra then turned south for Mombasa we were the last regement sent on a three year posting it was 1959 we left Southampton the Band playing it was a great experience

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to post a comment here Peter.

      We love to see / hear stories from time gone by and the website benefits from it I’m sure!

      Any more or any responses – please do get back to us again

      Many thanks


  24. Mike – I recall three instances on the voyage on leaving Aden aproaching the Indian Ocean we hit a 25 foot sea a lot of people were very ill.

    The next crossing, the Equator, the usual tradition took place. Approaching Mombasa port I remember the coconut trees along the shore line.

    What a wonderful site specially from a 19 year old from industrial Teesside.

  25. Hi Mike, Sailed from Southampton to Famagusta on the old Dunera in October 1960 with about 30 other RAF bods.

    The ship was full of Paras (Can’t remember which battalion) who disembarked at Tripoli.

    Can’t say our lives were made very pleasant until the army left the ship!

    • Hello Steve

      Really good to hear from you and thank you for taking the time to post a comment! It’s always good to hear from people who have sailed on the Ol’ Dunera – but I am not one!!

      This site was started when asked by a good friend, the photographer David Matthews!

      Comments like yours keep this site alive – many thanks!

      Bye for now


  26. Good afternoon

    Wondering if anyone may recall my Parents, who held their wedding reception on “Dunera” in southampton 26th December 1957.

    My mother Angela Quiqley was a Captain in the Queen Alexandria Army Medical Corps, my father Barney Leeson probably had the rank of troop officer. They were married at Netley.

    It would be of interest to see any photos of around this period especially in either London or Southmapton Docks

    • Hello John

      MANY thanks for getting in touch!

      THAT sounds like a great question and I hope that you get a response!

      It is always good to see these messages and it keeps the site alive!!

      Do let us know if you get any replies?

      Bye for now


  27. It is 62 years ago today/night 22 December 1956 when the troopship lifted anchor from Port Said and I was on my way back to the UK and demob.

    As we sailed past DeLessops statue I remember seeing Egyptians clambering over it.

    • Hello Leonard

      MANY thanks for your comment here.

      Comments like yours keep the site alive – I say it every time – but it IS true. The visitors to this site are really a good number!

      Do please let us know if you get any replies / contacts!!

      All the best for Christmas and 2019 to you and your family.

      Bye for now


  28. Dear Mr Matthews,
    I am writing a book about Christmas Island and the 1,000 troops who were taken from Southampton aboard Dunera on New Years Day 1958 to participate in nuclear bomb. testing I would be very grateful for any assistance you can give me about life on board; photographs, memories etc.
    Yours sincerely
    Alan Rimmer

    • I was in 38 Regiment RE’s onboard the Dunera to Xmas Island for 5 nuclear tests in 1958 I volunteered for work in the medical section.

      During rough seas in the Bay of Biscay we had a corridor full of seasick patients. The MO whittled them down by half saying “malingerers” and told me to get some loaves and give them a slice each on the island itself.

      I drove a bulldozer and in a large tent which was the fitting shop having a cuppa with the foreman fitter tent flap was opened in stepped this guy in a tank suit and asked to borrow 2×12 volt batteries fitter said “we haven’t got any”

      I said “I will bump start you with the dozer”

      He replied “I have a Helicopter”

  29. Hello Alan
    I have no information on this voyage in fact it is totally new to me. All the photos we have are on site. I will share your request we have some very knowledgeable people on here

  30. My memories of the Dunera in one sentence explanations.

    Father in the Lancashire Reg. Bernard Robson. Posted to Hong Kong 1957.

    The best Posting for me as a child.

    We flew to HK with a 4 engined Prop stopping over night in Singapore, we flew over the Himalayas beautiful views.

    Returned to the UK on the Dunera.

    What I remember on board:
    Having to go to school 09.00 to 12.00
    The cook makeing hotcross buns.
    The soldiers playing games with us.
    Seeing Flying fish and Dolphins.
    Taking on fresh water at Aden which did not taste very good, going through the Suez Canal seeing the Pyramids and docking at Alexandria Eygpt to change the fresh water.

    I have a photo with my mum and 3 brothers stood in front of a lifesaving ring with Dunera’s name on it.

    At myancestry you can have a look into the passenger arrival list of the Dunera arriving at Southhampton, I found my family names and those of people who I knew in the regiment.

    Like I said, HK was the best posting I experienced as a army kid.

  31. Writing on behalf of my grandad – “It was the worst two days of my life going through the Biscay, with the RAF on board left Southampton to Limassol either 1959 or 1960.”

    He remembers being in the bunk beds going over the waves when the ship was going up you breathe in and then when the ship went back down you breathed out to help you stop being sick!

    • Hello Charles “Bill”……

      Many thanks for your comment here – always good to hear from anyone who sailed on the Dunera!
      It has been quite an education to see how loved the travels have been…

      Keep in touch and let us know if anyone responds to your comment!

      Bye for now


  32. I sailed on MS Dunera in November 1960 as a member of the 1st Battalion, Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment. We were an advance party destined for Aden to take over from the Royal Scottish Fusiliers. I remember the trip took six weeks, can that be right?

    Yes thats correct ,there were also Troops of the RAF ( I was Wireless Operator) a long and sometimes horrid trip, with the squashed accomodation. Slept in Hammock mostly. But we got there and did well. Aden was a bleedin Hot Hole ! Cheers

    • Hello Vernon

      MANY thanks for your post here. It’s always good to hear from anyone who has a story about their time on the Dunera – or about anyone they knew who sailed.

      Do let us know if anyone gets in touch!

      Bye for now


  33. November 1957 we set sail from Southampton for Limassol Cyprus via Malta.

    Unfortunately the seas were so rough that we had to lay off as the entrance to the harbour is very narrow.

    One day stop then onward to Limassol where we had to unload all luggage
    Transferred. To Nicosia airport and onward to Iraq Habbaniya for 18 month.

    National service was very good an experience

  34. I sailed back from Hong Kong on the Dunera in 1952 with my parents and brother, I was 8. School every morning, soldiers played quoits with us. Father was a RN Instructor Commander and I remember him and my mother going to a Fancy dress dance (my father as a scarecrow using the straw packing that bottles came in). Have photos somewhere!

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