Channel Packets

A postcard history of English Channel ferries since 1900.

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Updated: 30-11-2013

Built in 1896 by William Denny & Brothers at Dunbarton as a replacement for the ill fated Seaford1. She served on the Newhaven-Dieppe service until replaced by the turbine steamer Paris in early 1913 when she was transferred to the French flag and operated with a French crew by the LBSCR's partner, the Administration des Chemins de Fer de l'Etat.

At the start of the war the Sussex was requisitioned for use as a troopship but was returned to civilian service with a French crew in 1915. On service between Folkestone and Dieppe in March 1916 she had her bows blown off when torpedoed by the UB29, giving rise to the 'Sussex Incident'. Beached near to Boulogne she was repaired and reused by the French Navy as a mine sweeper.

The Sussex never returned to the channel service; sold to Greece in 1920 she was scrapped in 1922 after being damaged by fire.

1. The Seaford, built in 1894 by William Denny & Brothers, was the LBSCR's first screw driven passenger steamer. She sank, happily without loss of life, the following year after colliding in thick fog with the SS Lyon, a LBSCR cargo steamer.

Sussex departing Dieppe.
0024 - An untravelled 'M' card no. 624.
Sussex arriving at Dieppe.
0023 - A G. Marchand card postmarked 1905.
Sussex pulling away from her berth at Dieppe.
0030 - An untravelled Levy card.
A busy quayside scene at Dieppe as the last of the passengers' baggage is loaded aboard Sussex.
0027 - An untravelled Levy et Fils postcard.
Sussex departing Dieppe
A rare view of Sussex under the French flag after her conversion shortly before WW I. Her low afterdeck has been plated-in and a third, somewhat smaller, lifeboat added abreast the funnel. A second smaller mast has been added in order support W/T aerials which in order to have the required length have been continued towards the bow, as indicated by the spreader bar which seems to float in the air above the house on the cliff top in the background.
0413 - An untravelled Bettembos card.

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