|Name:||1907: RMS Cairo
1910: RMS Royal Edward
|Owner:||1907: Egyptian Mail Steamship Company
1910: Royal Line
|Port of registry:||1907: London
|Fate:||sunk by UB-14, 13 August 1915|
|Tonnage:||11,117 GRT (Gross register tonnage)|
|Length:||160.3 m (525 ft 11 in)|
|Beam:||18.4 m (60 ft 4 in)|
|Propulsion:||3 × propeller shafts
3 × steam turbines
|Speed:||19 knots (35 km/h)|
|Notes:||two funnels, three masts|
Source: Wikipedia, HMT Royal Edward
The change to C.N.R. Steam Ships
In April 1910, the correspondent from the N.Z. Evening Post visited the Clyde shipbuilding yards. He intended to report on the Dreadnought cruiser which New Zealand was to present to the British Navy. As he toured the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company yards at Govan he noticed “two interesting vessels” – the Cairo and the Heliopolis. They had returned to the Clyde after the failed Mediterranean enterprise.
AN EXPENSIVE EXPERIMENT.
Abeam are two interesting vessels. Not long ago, to meet the supposed necessities of the new Egyptian tourist traffic, a company ordered from the Fairfield Works, at a cost of about a quarter of a million pounds each, two very elaborate steamers to carry passengers between Marseilles and Alexandria. The venture was a complete failure. The boats, the Cairo and Heliopolis, were expensive to operate, and the passengers did not patronise them. They worked for some time at a loss, and were then disposed of at ridiculously low prices. They have now been purchased to run in the Royal Line, a new service across the Atlantic from Canada to Avonmouth, in which the Great Northern Railway is interested. The different requirements of this service necessitate considerable alterations in the vessels. For one thing, the heavier seas of the Atlantic would have played havoc with the flimsy hulls of the vessels, and the shells are now being doubled, new plates being riveted on. The names, too, are changed to Royal George and Royal Edward. So much for the work in hand at Fairfield.”
Evening Post, Volume LXXIX, Issue 126, 31 May 1910, Page 3
Courtesy the National Library of New Zealand.
Further details of the Royal Edward were published in The Sphere magazine:
The Royal Edward and Royal George are sister ships and were built by the Fairfield Shipbuilding Company, Glasgow. Their chief dimensions are as follows: Length over all 545 ft.; breadth, 60ft. 3 in.; depth from keel to shelter deck, 38ft.; tonnage, 12,000 gross; horse-power, 18,000. Every requirement of Lloyd’s and the Board of Trade has been more than met with. The Royal Edward is subdivided into ten compartments by watertight bulkheads, while a cellular double bottom has been fitted from stern to stem. There are seven decks, beginning with the lower and rising in succession to the main, upper, shelter, bridge, promenade, and boat decks. The fastest service to Canada is promised by this new enterprise.
THE SPHERE May 21, 1910 p.ii
A booklet extolling the luxurious features of the Royal ships can be seen here: