Amazing Photos of RMS Aquitania During Her Life

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RMS Aquitania was a British ocean liner of the Cunard Line in service from 1914 to 1950. She was designed by Leonard Peskett and built by John Brown & Company in Clydebank, Scotland. She was launched on 21 April 1913 and sailed on her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York on 30 May 1914.

RMS Aquitania
Aquitania was the third in Cunard Line’s grand trio of express liners, preceded by RMS Mauretania and RMS Lusitania, and was the last surviving four-funneled ocean liner. Shortly after Aquitania entered service, World War I broke out, during which she was first converted into an auxiliary cruiser before being used as a troop transport and a hospital ship, notably as part of the Dardanelles Campaign.
Returned to transatlantic passenger service in 1920, she served alongside the Mauretania and the Berengaria. Considered during this period of time as one of the most attractive ships, Aquitania earned the nickname “the Ship Beautiful” from her passengers. She continued in service after the merger of Cunard Line with White Star Line in 1934. The company planned to retire her and replace her with RMS Queen Elizabeth in 1940.
However, the outbreak of World War II allowed the ship to remain in service for ten more years. During the war and until 1947, she served as a troop transport. She was used in particular to take home Canadian soldiers from Europe. After the war, she transported migrants to Canada before the Board of Trade found her unfit for further commercial service.
Aquitania was retired from service in 1949 and was sold for scrapping the following year. Having served as a passenger ship for 36 years, Aquitania ended her career as the longest serving Cunard vessel, a record which stood for six years until overtaken by RMS Scythia’s service record of 37 years.
In 2004, Aquitania’s service record was pushed into third place when Queen Elizabeth 2 became the longest serving Cunard vessel.
A set of amazing photos from Kenneth Allyn Barton that shows beautiful images of RMS Aquitania during her life.
Aquitania at the Clydebank yards of John Brown. Built to maintain a weekly transatlantic schedule with Lusitania and Mauretania, the larger Aquitania was perhaps the most successful of all the great liners, 1913

The passenger liner Aquitania under construction by John Brown & Co Ltd. at Clydebank. A general view along the port side of the ship, 1913

901 feet long, 97 feet wide. Passenger capacity- 610 1st Class, 950 2nd, and 1,998 3rd. The 45,647 ton Aquitania at John Brown & Company shortly before her launch, circa 1913

Cunard’s Aquitania on the stocks at John Brown & Company of Clydebank; the same Scottish yard that would later build the Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Elizabeth 2, circa 1913

One of Aquitania’s massive funnels is about to be hoisted onboard during the liner’s fitting-out, circa 1913

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