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HMS "Nemesis" WWII Campbeltown Anti-Submarine Training Ship

Built by Cockerill's Hoboken shipyard in Belgium in 1923 for the Belgian State's Ostend to Dover and Folkstone cross-channel ferry service as the 1,821 gross registered ton "Princesse Marie-José", the new 110.61 metre long, 12.95 metre beam ship, with a draft of 3.02 metres, made her maiden voyage on June 16, 1923, from Ostend to Dover. The first of the company's ships to be so fitted, she was given 14,000 hp Parsons geared turbines driving twin screws and, with a trial speed of 24.21 knots, was able to carry 1,400 passengers. A note on spelling - Belgium has three different national languages, 60% speaking Flemish/Dutch; 30% Walloon (French) and and 10% Eupisch (German) Since the independence of Belgium in 1830, there has been a row between the North (Flemish) and the South (Walloon) and every new ferry had to have a French or Flemish (Dutch) name. Thus the following examples of spellings in English, Dutch and French - King - Koningen - Roi; Queen - Koningin - Reine; Prince - Prins - Pince and Princess - Prinses - Princess. In August 1926, the "Princesse Marie-José" was chosen to take the Belgian royal family to Stockholm for the wedding of Prince Leopold and Astrid and then, too in 1926, from October 30 to November 17, took the family to Gothenberg. On August 7, 1937, the ship collided with the 6,111 gross ton, 410-foot long "Clan MacNeil" off Dunkirk, she launched from Ardrossan Dockyard on Thursday, December 1, 1921 and scrapped at Port Glasgow in May 1952. With the beginning of World War II, the "Princesse Marie-José" took fleeing refugees to Folkestone and, on September 17, was loaned to The Royal Navy for conversion into an Asdic Training ship, the ship initially renamed HMS "Southern Isles" and, the work completed on 1

March 3, 1941, the ship renamed HMS "Nemesis" and ordered to Campbeltown, remaining there till the autumn of 1942.


On October 6, 1942, as HMS "Baldur", sent to Iceland, to replace The North of Scotland Shipping Company's "St Clair" as an accommodation ship. On June 4, 1945, she reverted names to again become HMS "Nemesis" and on June 15 that year was returned to the Belgian government and, returning to Belgium on July 12, took up her original name, "Princesse Marie-José", she continuing in use as a training ship for the Belgian navy and, after a further short spell as an accommodation ship, sold to be broken up at the Van Heyghem Frères yard in 1947.

Second-in-command of HMS "Nemesis" was Lieutenant-Commander Robert W. Mayo, he fourth from left in the photograph taken on board the ship in Campbeltown Loch - He married Sheila Colvill, a daughter of Campbeltown distiller and former provost of the town, she working with Campbeltown's service canteens and then The Royal Observer Corps at Machrihanish during the war years, Sheila's first husband, Herbert Reeder, served on board HMS "Kelly" as secretary to Earl Mountbatten and he lost when HMS "Kelly" was sunk off Crete on May 23, 1941.


Very similar in appearance to the Clyde turbine steamers "Duchess of Montrose" (1930) and "Duchess of Hamilton" (1932), though one deck higher in build, the "Princesse Marie-José" is seen here on her way to the ship-breakers' yard.