The third of Canadian Pacific's "Duchess" ships, Duchess of Richmond was
built by John Brown & Co. of Glasgow. Launched in June 1928, she began
her career on 26 January 1929, with a cruise from Liverpool to the
Canary Islands. She then entered the line's transatlantic service with
a 15 March 1929 sailing from Liverpool to St. John, New Brunswick. She
remained on the Liverpool to St. John (winter) or Montréal (summer)
service for her entire career with Canadian Pacific.
At the beginning of World War II, Duchess of Richmond was taken over as
a troop carrier, and began her service in that role with a 7 January
1940 trip from Liverpool to Suez. When the war was over, she was sent
to Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering at Glasgow and was refitted in a
first-class/tourist-class configuration. When she re-entered Canadian
Pacific service on 16 July 1947, she had a new name -- Empress of
Canada -- to go with her new fittings.
After 186 roundtrips, the career of Empress of Canada came to a sudden
end when she caught fire, heeled over and sank at Liverpool's Gladstone
Dock on 25 January 1953. After extensive work, she was refloated in
March 1954, and left Liverpool in tow on 1 September, headed for the
shipbreakers at Spezia.
Duchess of Bedford/Empress of France II;
Duchess of Atholl;
Duchess of Cornwall/Duchess of York.