Virginia Barton

16 May 2013: Do you ken the “Ken”?

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 16 May 2013


While trying to trace the history of a Second World War troopship, I stumbled across the blog site of soldiers, sailors and civilians who had sailed in her years ago. It was like overhearing a conversation: fascinating but rather impertinent to be eavesdropping.

This particular ship was an Allied war prize, seized at Travemunde in ‘45. She had been a German liner for 300 passengers, the Ubena, on the East Africa run, then converted to a hospital ship. By the time a forward detachment of Polish Cadets from Palestine embarked in Suez, the Empire Ken, her new name painted over Ubena, was full of military personnel and civilians, many more than 300 by then, heading for England. The picture shows a handsome two-funnel’d vessel which sad to say was broken up in Scotland in ‘57.




If anyone reading this travelled in the Ken, do please let me know how she came to be called “Ken”.







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