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The Asturias is a ship to remember and once played the Titanic.

I RECENTLY discussed with veterans of the Malaya campaign what had happened to Her/His Majesty's troop ship Asturias, which transported thousands of veterans from Southampton to the Far East via Cyprus, Aden, and Ceylon.

I did some research and discovered some interesting facts, which I am sure will be of interest to the thousands of veterans who served and fought against the communist terrorists in the jungles of Malaya during the 1950s.

The Asturias was built in 1926 and at that time was the largest motor ship in the world.

Later she was the Royal Mail's representative at the Silver Jubilee Spithead Review in 1935 for George V and Queen Mary.

At the outbreak of war she was converted to an armed merchant cruiser for use on the South Atlantic patrols.

In July 1943 she was torpedoed in the South Atlantic but was successfully towed to Freetown in South Africa. With her engine room flooded, she lay there for two years and was finally abandoned by the Royal Mail.

In 1945 she was towed to Gibraltar for temporary repairs before being towed to Belfast for an extensive refit.

She then become a Government Emigrant ship and in 1953 repatriated British troops from Korea.

She underwent further refurbishment in 1954 and emerged in full trooping colours. In 1956 I returned from Singapore to Southampton on one of her last voyages before she was broken up for scrap in 1957. But before her final voyage she played the part of the Titanic in the film A Night to Remember.

Bryan Prescott Bronrhiw Fach, Caerphilly

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The SS Asturias, which ended its days doubling for the Titanic in the film A Night to Remember
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 3, 2009
Words:283
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