Great Western and Great Southern

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Great Western arrives in St Helier from France

Two of the Great Western Railway Company's vessels which could only be described as relief packets to the Channel Islands were the Great Western and Great Southern. Sister ships built by Laird Brothers of Birkenhead in 1902, they were twin screw steamers of 1,224 tons, built originally for the Waterford-Milford service, they were sold in 1933 and 1934 respectively.

This Great Western was the second vessel of this name to operate to the Channel Islands. The original Great Western was acquired by the Great Western Railway in 1878 when they first received permission to operate steamship services and was on the Weymouth-Cherbourg route until 1885.

She was then chartered to operate between Weymouth and the Channel Islands, until replaced by new ships in 1889.

Great Western II and Great Southern only operated occasional passenger services to Jersey from 1916, and were mainly seen in the island as freight vessels during the potato season.

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