Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. I love family history. Since 2007, I have spent much of my time providing part-time support for the world's largest free family history site This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
Since April 2010, I have served in the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I found some interesting historical info on the Laurentic. Also see this site, where the picture comes from.
35 tons of gold ingots? Not many ships can boast a cargo like that!

SS Laurentic (1909)

RMS Laurentic (1909) was a British ocean liner of the White Star Line.
The Dominion Line steamship company operated liners on the Liverpool-Canada route in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Their ships had become outdated, so in 1907 two new liners were ordered from Harland and Wolff, the SS Alberta and SS Albany. However, while they were being built they were transferred to the White Star Line and with them the White Star Line itself entered the Canadian passenger trade.[1]
The Alberta was renamed the Laurentic and Albany became the Megantic.[1] At the time, the two were the largest ships yet built for Canadian service and were used as a form of full-scale experiment to decide on the machinery for the Olympic and her sisters, the Megantic being a conventional twin-screw ship with quadruple expansion engines while the Laurentic, with the same hull and boiler power, was given three screws and engines of a revolutionary design.[2]
Laurentic was launched in 1908 and entered service between Liverpool and Montréal on 29 April 1909. She only ever served on the Liverpool-Canada route. Being in Montréal when the Great War began, Laurentic was immediately commissioned as a troop transport for the Canadian Expeditionary Force. After conversion to armed merchant cruiser service in 1915, she struck two mines off Lough Swilly in the north of Ireland on 25 January 1917 and sank within an hour. Only 121 of the 475 aboard survived.
In addition to her passengers and crew, the ship was carrying about 35 tons of gold ingots stowed in its second class baggage room. At the time the gold was valued at £5 million, approximately £250 million in 2007. Royal Navy divers made over 5,000 dives to the wreck between 1917 and 1924 and recovered all but about 1% of the ingots. The Royal Navy returned to the site thirty years later and recovered the rest.[3]


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