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OF


ARCHIBALD CURRIE and CO

also known as

CURRIE LINE MELBOURNE

Created in 1853 when the Scottish born Archibald Currie (1830-1914) after he migrated to Melbourne. He acquired a quarter share in the brigantine Elizabeth and later bought a majority share. The early times saw trading on the New Zealand coast and then to China. In 1860 Currie bought the barque Rialto in partnership with T E Boyd to carry prospectors to the Port Curtis goldfields. King Island, (in Bass Strait between Victoria and Tasmania) largest township carries this Shipping owner's name Currie after the time when he purchased the remains of the full-rigged ship Netherby wrecked near there in 1866, and used the harbour as a base for salvage operations. Currie & Boyd's fleet rapidly expanded and traded to the west coast of North America, India and Japan but the partnership between Currie and Boyd ended in 1873 when Boyd retired from the industry. Vessels such as barques, ketches, schooners and brigs of this company numbered nineteen in total. Currie invested in salvage and personally supervised the removal of cargo from several wrecks. Through his efforts a lighthouse was erected at Currie Point, King Island. In 1882 with William Brookes he bought the Australian Paper Mills, leased the land on the south bank of the Yarra and spent £37,000 on buildings. The mills later expanded to Geelong and Broadford. Specialised in the export of horses to Calcutta and returning with rice, oil, jute and tea. Also participated in some salvage operations and other sidelines. In 1883 he travelled to Britain and 1885 the company purchased their first steamship, the Bucephalus to operate between Melbourne and Calcutta. The last sailing ship was sold in 1889. Involved in trooping to South Africa during the Boer War. In 1913 the company and fleet were sold to British India Steam Navigation Co


Ed
HOUSE FLAG

Ed
FUNNEL


ARGUS
1889-1907
2,792 gross tons, 1,822 net. Lbd: 325' x 40'4" x 24'. Steel steamship built by Palmers & Co., at Newcastle on Tyne for Archibald Currie & Partners, Melbourne. Held a triple expansion engine producing 363 nhp. As a passenger vessel, she plyed between Australia and Calcutta, India (Indo-Australia S S Co). Serviced frequently the passenger trade between Western Australia (various ports) and the eastern seaboard of Australia. Was involved in a collision with the 'Mildura' of the Australasian S N Co in Sydney Harbour on 31st July 1903, causing her to run ashore in saving life and cargo, as well as ship. 1905 sold to Osaka Shosen K K., Osaka renamed Giran Maru Wrecked in Soya Strait, Sorghurd in the China Seas on September 11th 1907
ARGUS image (b45740) courtesy State Library Victoria


BUCEPHALUS
1884-1930
1,818 gross tons. Lb: 84.1 x 11.6 metres. on1088919 Iron hulled steamship, cargo only as built by Palmers, Jarrow for A Currie & Co, Melbourne. Single screw. Compounded engine. Launched 14 February 1884 completed March 1884. Arrived Australian waters 1885 and opened a direct steam service to India.1901 sold to Handel Maats. Kian Gwan, Samarang, Java renamed Simongan. 1914 sold to T Yoshida, Japan renamed Asaka Maru. Broken up at Japan 2nd quarter of 1930


CLITUS
1886-1930

2,435 gross tons. Lb: 91.4 x 11.6 metres. Cargo vessel, single screw, triple expansion engine. Built by Palmers, Jarrow for A Currie & Co, Melbourne. 1904 sold to K Oaki, Yokohama renamed Miyo Maru. Broken up at Japan 1930
CLITUS image (b41644) courtesy State Library Victoria


DARIUS
1892-1921

3,295 gross tons, 2,130 net. Lbd: 340' x 43' x 25'. Steel steamship built by William Doxford & Sons Ltd., Sunderland as Darius for Archibald Currie & Co, Melbourne. Held a triple expansion engine, output unknown. Passenger-cargo vessel whose sailing details remain unknown.
Sold To Western Australia's State Shipping Service on 15th July 1912. Renamed Kwinana, given a vast refit and placed upon the Fremantle - West coast service. On Christmas Day 1920 badly damaged by fire off Carnarvon while en route from Fremantle to Wyndham. 1921 towed to Careening Bay, Garden Island in Cockburn Sound. There she was stripped and hulk left at anchorage. May 1922 broke mooring during a gale and blown ashore near Rockingham. Her remains were still visible amongst concrete during the 1980's. The town of Kwinana was named after her. (aboriginal name means 'pretty lady'... Darius is Latin derivative of ancient greek word Dareius for 'King' & in Old Testament 'Persian King' )
DARIUS image shown as the Kwinana and 2nd left image of Kwinana beached


EURYALUS
1898-1923

3,570 gross tons. Lb: 109.7 x 13.9 metres. on1101720 Passenger/cargo steamship built by Palmers, Jarrow for A Currie & Co, Melbourne. Single screw, triple expansion engine. 1913 sold to British India S N Co, London. Scrapped 31 December 1923 at Spezia
EURYALUS image Rose Stereograph postcard


FORTUNATUS
1901-07

3,425 gross tons. Lb: 105.2 x 14.5 metres. Steamship, cargo onlt built by Armstrong Whitworth, Elswick for A Currie & Co, Melbourne. Single screw, triple expansion engine. 1907 destroyed by fire in the Indian Ocean (6.00S/90.00E ) on voyage Calcutta to Australia
ARGUS image (b45740) courtesy State Library Victoria


GRACCHUS
1902-1944

3,760 gross tons. Lb: 109.9 x 14.9 metres. on1101745 Passenger/cargo steamship built by Palmers, Jarrow for A Currie & Co, Melbourne. Single screw, triple expansion engine making 10 knots. 1913 sold to British India Steam Navigation Co, London. Sold to Hashiya Kisen, Japan renamed Daiboshi Maru No 6. 29 November 1944 torpedoed and sunk (17N/125.11E ) by USS Spadefish
GRACCHUS image courtesy State Library New South Wales


HYMETTUS
1906-37
4,606 gross tons. Lb: 122 x 15.9 metres. on1120730 Passenger/cargo steamship built by Palmers, Jarrow for A Currie & Co, Melbourne. Single screw, triple expansion engine. 11.5 knots. 1913 sold to British India S N Co. Requisitioned by the Commonwealth Government and became Troop Transport A1 HMAT Hymettus during first world war.
War record: Under command of Major A A Holdsworth, embarked 5 Officers, 106 troops of the 1st AIF at Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide. Simultaneously carried over 686 horses of the 1st Australian Division from Australia to Egypt. Assembled with 27 other troop transport vessels, all numbered A1 - A28 at King George's Sound, Western Australia on 1st November 1914 for escorted convoy to the Great War arena. Further AIF Units embarked at Melbourne, Victoria on 2 February 1915 and embarked at Sydney, New South Wales, 8 February 1915. 34 Other ranks embarked at Sydney. Unit embarked at Melbourne, Victoria on 27 January 1916. Unit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland on 3 February 1917.
Handed back to owners 15 May 1917. Sold to Harada Kisen, Japan 1925 renamed Seiun Maru. 28 July 1937 involved in a collision with the Benmohr off Choshi and, sank next day in 36.16N/141.17E
HYMETTUS image personal collection


ITONUS
1898-1916
5,340 gross tons. Lb: 136.9 x 16.5 metres. on1109977 Cable ship, steam powered as built by Vickers Maxim, Barrow as the Anglia for Telegraph Construction & Maintenance Co Ltd, London. Twin screw, triple expansion engine making 11.5 knots.
1907 purchased from Grangemouth & Greenock Dockyard Co. after stranding repairs, converted into a 'cargo' ship and renamed Itonus. 1913 sold to British India S N Co. Requisitioned by the Commonwealth Government and became Troop Transport A50 HMAT Itonus during first world war.
War record: Unit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland on 30 December 1915. Unit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland 8 August 1916. Also carried New Zealand's Wellington Infantry Battalion (less 2 Companies) and Canterbury Infantry Battalion (2 Companies). 20 December 1916 torpedoed and sunk off Malta by U 38. with a loss of 5 lives
ITONUS image far left (b38118) courtesy State Library Victoria, colour art image of the Peter Beattie Collection courtesy www.biships.com


JANUS
1910-32

4,824 gross tons. Lb: 121.9 x 16.2 metres. Passenger/cargo steamship built by Palmers, Jarrow for A Currie & Co, Melbourne. Single screw, triple expansion engine. 12 knots. 1913 sold to British India S.N. Co. 1932 sold for scrap, possibly burnt out and scuttled Visakhapatnam as breakwater 7th January 1933
JANUS image (b38338) courtesy State Library Victoria


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