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Built in Belfast by Harland & Wolff, the Lamport & Holt Line cargo liner Delius was the first of three sisterships completed between 1937 and 1945 featuring an unusually large funnel that was incorporated into the vessel's superstructure and housed the radio room and the radio officer’s accommodation. By Andrew Linington
Launched only two years before the outbreak of war, the 6,065grt vessel had an eventful time during the conflict – but managed to survive and to continue trading until 1962.
The Liverpool-registered ship was powered by a six-cylinder double-acting two-stroke Burmeister & Wain engine. The single-screw ship had a service speed of 14 knots and was built for the South American trade, which had been started by Lamport & Holt in the 1840s.
Named after the composer, Delius had three cargo holds forwards and three aft of the engineroom, and cargo was handled by 19 tubular steel derricks. The ship had accommodation for 12 passengers.
Delius was requisitioned by the UK government in the Second World War and saw service in Operation Ariel to evacuate armed forces and civilians from northern France, also taking part in the Norwegian campaign and convoy duty around the world. The ship was damaged by bombing on 27 and 29 April 1940 while in a convoy off the coast of Norway. In November 1943, while returning from a voyage to India, Delius was attacked in the Atlantic after 60 enemy aircraft targeted a convoy of 20 ships.
Named after the composer, Delius had three cargo holds and accommodation for 12 passengers. The 1937-built ship was requisitioned in the Second World War and saw a great deal of action