PAGE 1,2 & 3

A to Z
quick jump
Ada Dent
Amur *chartered*
Barbara and Jane
Birksgate *chartered*
Bobbie Towns
Dairy Maid
Elamang *chartered*Electric Light
Heather Belle
Katoomba *chartered*
Malaita (1)
Malaita (11)
Marsina (1)
Marsina (11)*chartered*Matafele
Minghua *managed*
Moresby (1)
Moresby (11)
New Guinea *chartered*
Norkoowra *chartered*
Red Gauntlet
River Hunter

Tulagi (1)
Tulagi (11)
Uncle Tom



Zephyr 11





& South Sea Subsidiaries

In 1883 Burns Philp and Company Limited was formed by amalgamating the various businesses in Sydney and Queensland carried on in the names of James Burns and of Robert Philp and Company. With James Burns as chairman of directors
the company expanded rapidly and lines of steamers were run from Australian ports to the many Pacific islands in the main, with Singapore Auckland and Hong Kong also as ports of call. Robert Philps was Managing Director of Queensland Operations. Diverse business interests included the Copra plantations and the pearling industry. Many vessels were registered at the main ports' of their most frequented call. South Seas Division was created after a complete takeover of their subsidiary Robbie, Kaad & Co, being re-titled and removing area (pacific) control from Sydney to the Fiji headquarters specific to the Islands' trades. Other subsidiaries as Hong Kong and PNG (Papua-New Guinea) Ltd as suffixes also existed. The changing times of 1960's with airline competition, Union demands for Australian crewing and an ageing fleet saw the Parent Company cease all Australian shipping operations by 1970. Notwithstanding, they held an established name in Australian Shipping History



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Cooktown QLD
at Cooktown QLD
Both MORESBY (1) images courtesy State Library Queensland
images Wanted! Courtesy stated and full credit given
MORESBY (1) 1763 gross tons, 1338 net. Lbd: 260'8" x 34'6" x 24'. (101.2 x 15.3 metres) Iron steamship built by Raylton Dixon & Co., Middleborough as the Jacob Christiansen for H Konow & others, Bergen. Single screw, compound engine 160 horsepower built by T Richardson & Sons, Hartlepool. Acquired by this company in 1898 and renamed Moresby and registered Sydney. Worked the Australia - Papua-New Guinea run, predominantly as a cargo vessel as built, but capable of limited passenger carrying capability. Sold March 1915 to J G White registered Shanghai. Torpedoed by submarine and sunk November 28th, 1916 120 miles North-West of Alexandria 32.36N/28.38E with a loss of 33 souls
MORESBY (11) 4214 gross tons, 3175 net, 5530 dwt. Lbd: 332'1" x 30'2" x 19'7". Steel Motorship, refrigerated, cargo only as built by NSW State Government Engineering & Shipbuilding Works, Newcastle, New South Wales for this company. Single screw, diesel engine 14 knots. Designed for the Australian - Papua-New Guinea trade. Sold May 1970 in a climate of Seamans' Union unrest over another vessel (Montoro) in the company's fleet not having Australian crew. ( General consensus of Burns Philp abandoning shipowning in Australian waters being the Seamans' Union demands as the catalyst) She was subsequently renamed Neptune Jade by her new owners with Singapore registry. 1976 renamed Assalamah. 1980 renamed Apollon under Greek registry. 1982 renamed Apollon Delios under Cyprus registry. Foundered 38.22N/6.37E 10 December 1982

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MORINDA & 1st MULIAMA images courtesy Australian War Memorial
2nd (right) MULIAMA image postcard personal collection
MUNIARA image courtesy National Archives of Australia
MORINDA 1,971 gross tons, 1091 net. Lbd: 332'1" x 30'2" x 19'7". (79.2 x 11.6 metres) Steel steamship passenger-cargo built by Greenock & Grangemouth Dockyard Co, Grangemouth for this company. SIngle screw, triple expansion engine 231nhp. 11 knots. Late 1923 a minor refit saw her passenger accomodation slightly increased to 64 total and tonnage increased to 2,025 gross, 1146 net. Maiden voyage 31 October 1913 from Sydney - Queensland ports to Papua-New Guinea run although this first journey saw her scrape coral reefs and return to Sydney for repairs. Once made good, she resumed the service on a continual basis. August 1917 in Sydney Harbour a fire erupted in cargo stowed in the fore hold. Owing the the amount of water used in extinguishing the blaze, she settled on the bottom of the Harbour. Later when raised, only damage was from water and she was 'cleaned up' and able to resume normal services. Later placed upon the Lord Howe - Norfolk Island - New Hebrides passage with some trips extended to Auckland New Zealand. Managed to be damaged by coral reefs on 10 separate occassions, twice been given up as lost. During the Second World War she was dive bombed by Japanese planes at Port Purvis near Tulagi but remained undamaged. From 17 July 1947 until 3 June 1948 underwent a lengthy stay at unknown dockyard where accomodation was overhauled. After 321 voyages for the Company, she was sold 1952, sale not finalised and found the Tokyo shipbreakers 12 April 1953
MOTUSA 205 gross tons 95 net. Lbd: 121'5" x 27'8" x 7'4". on: 125203. Wooden steamer built at the Brisbane Water, Blackwall site of Rock Davis by his estate trustees. Note: Rock Davis built many vessels for Australian interests and is much acclaimed for his prowess and output. "Ave". G W Whatmore registered this vessel in Sydney as the Warwick Edward, sold her in 1910 to C Kaad of Suva. Renamed Motusa. At some later date Burns Philp acquired her with a Levuka registry, and sold again 1921 to A H Marlow & Co Ltd. Scrapped Suva 1926
MULIAMA 689 gross tons, 384 net. Lbd: 165'7" x 31'1" x 12'6". (50.5 x 9.5 metres) on: 159461. Steel motorship built by Hong Kong & Whampoa Dockyard, Hong Kong for this concern's New Guinea trade. Single screw, diesel engine 148bhp 9 knots. 12 passenger capacity. Requisitioned 1941-2 WW2 served Darwin to Port Moresby shuttle. Sold 1957, in May to John Manners Hong Kong based shipping concern and renamed Paloma. 1958 renamed La Paloma. Later 1958 renamed Soon Huat for Great Asia Shipping Co. 1961 owned by Hua Siang Steamship Co and renamed Selamat working out of Singapore. Was still operating 1978. Deleted 1986 from Lloyd's register (last sighted 1978)
MUNIARA 837 gross tons, 511 net. Lbd: 200'2" x 30'2" x 13'1". on: 114401. Steel steamship built by J P Renoldson & Son, South Shields as the Volunteer for Fisher, Renwick & Co of Manchester. Single screw triple expansion engine 95nhp also by shipbuilder. Acquired by this concern February 1908, renamed, registered Sydney and employed on the Gilbert & Ellis Island group run, including Ocean Island, Marshall Island and the Solomon Islands trades. Wrecked upon Ebon Island, part of the Marshall Island group 15th January 1912


5,952 gross tons, 2507 net. Lbd: 393'1" x 521'9" x 25'3". Steel twin screw motorship 2 funnel, built as a passenger-cargo vessel at Kiel, Germany by Frederick Krupp Keil as the Rio Panuco. Owned by Flensburg Steamship Co of Hamburg who later went bankrupt trying to survive the depression years. Sold to the Nord Deutscher Lloyd Line of Bremen, 1931 laid up until 1934 and renamed Neptun. Along with her sistership Rio Bravo renamed Merkur placed on the service between New Guinea and Hong Kong via ports in competition with Burns Philp. Burns Philp approached the Australian Government to have them prevented from operating out of New Guinea. The Government declined and instead offered to pay the interest on any money Burns Philp borrowed to buy them. This was agreed to and they were purchased in 1935. Renamed Neptuna she was placed upon the Australia, New Guinea, Philippines, Hong Kong, Saigon (French Indo China) Service. Used to evacutate civilians from several ports under threat of invasion at the time of the second world war. Her war career is extensively covered on a reliable website see The Australian Merchant Navy Website
Bombed & sunk by Japanese Aircraft when dockside at Darwin harbour on February 19th 1942 (When the fire entered No.3 and No. 4 hatch Neptuna blew herself apart, with a huge atomic style mushroom cloud created by the explosion of the ammunition still remaining aboard) Tragic loss of 45 souls
Postcard image personal collection

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images Wanted! Courtesy stated and full credit given
NIKAU 248 gross tons, 97 net. Lbd: 120'2" x 22'1" x 7'3". Steel, twin screw steamship passenger/cargo built 1909 by Mackie and Thompson Ltd, Glasgow for the Anchor Shipping & Foundry Co Ltd, Nelson New Zealand. Twin compound engines184nhp. Employed on the Nelson to Wellington run doing three round trips a week. 1935 converted to a motorship when re-engined with twin diesel engines. 1954 after 45 years service with Anchor Company she was sold to Kiwi Shipping Co (Lewis & Graham) Auckland. September 1955 Purchased by Northern Steamship Co Ltd, Auckland. July 1956 Sold to Burns Philp (South Seas) Ltd of Suva. 1956 transferred to Burns Philp (New Hebrides) Ltd, Port Vila. 1960 1956 Sold to Burns Philp (New Hebrides) Ltd of Port Vila back to Burns Philp (South Seas) Ltd of Suva. 1964 Wrecked at Loasia, East Coast of Tanna Island New Hebrides.
OVALAU 1,229 gross tons, 767 net. Lbd: 230' x 32'1" x 23'9". Steel steamship built by William Denny & Bros., Dumbarton for the Union Steamship Co., New Zealand. Quadruple expansion engine 101nhp, 75hp. August 1903 purchased by this concern and (with ownership already transferred to Sydney registry) whilst en-route to Sydney from Norfolk Island, during anchorage off the North Passage, Lord Howe Island, destroyed by a fire in her cargo of copra, 19th October 1903
PARUA 106 gross tons, 51 net. Lbd: 87' x 18' 8'2". Wooden steamer built by Riley, Hargeaves & Co., Singapore for James Hay of Crows Nest, Sydney and registered in Townsville. Held compound engine 17 horsepower. July 1900 acquired by Burns Philp & Co. March 1905 registry transferred to Sydney. Sold March 1906 to Robbie & Co of Suva. 25 September 1909 wrecked off Nasalai Reel in the South Pacific
PIONEER 16 gross tons, 11 net. Lbd: 62'6" x 12'9" x 3'6". Wooden steamer built by W Dunn of Lavender Bay Sydney for T Russell of Sydney. 8 horsepower engine by Vale & Lacey, Sydney. December 1878 J A Lamont. June 1882 James Dunscombe Palmerston (now Darwin) Northern Territory and acquired by this concern in August 1883. Sold November 1901 to Matthew Rooney of Townsville. Register officially closed 1953 and her remains believed to be at Fig Tree Bay, Fraser Island Queensland
RALUM 356 gross tons, 194 net. Lbd: 132' x 23'8" x 11'4". (40.2 x 7.3 metres) Single screw, triple expansion engine. Steel steamship built by F Lemm, Boizenberg Germany for Hamburg Sudsee A G, Hamburg. 1927 owned by Melanesia Co Ltd registered London and in that year modifications saw a tonnage increase to 368 gross, 185 net and installation of diesel engine - 47nhp. 1933 owned by Burns Philp (South Seas) Ltd, Suva and retained her original name. Scuttled 1938 May 14th at Tarawa Lagoon

Burns Philp Island Steamer departing Sydney circa 1920

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TAMBO image courtesy State Library Victoria
RATANUI 515 gross tons, 250 net. Lbd: 144'3" x 27'1" x 15'6". Single screw steel motorship (machinery aft) built by G T Davis & Sons, Lauzon Quebec. Launched as the Ottawa Mayspring for the Canadian Government, however completed as the Mayspring for General Timber Products Ltd, Quebec. 1948 renamed Arrenak for S A Thomasen. During 1952 acquired by this company's South Seas division of Suva and renamed. Another record states owned in 1952 by Northern Steamship Co New Zealand, perhaps then was managed by Burns Philp however distance, trade and locale seems improbable. 1969 sold to Athol Rudsen of New Zealand, since was chartered to George Wimpey & Co for oil survey purposes. Broken up at Madang 1971
RED GAUNTLET 57 gross tons, 39 net. Lbd: 76'6" x 17'1" x 6'9". Wooden steamer built and owned by H C Stephen, Leith on Forth Tasmania and registered at Launceston. Compound Surface condensing engine 14nhp. 1893 owned by Joseph Bradshaw, Melbourne. June 1896 acquired by Burns-Philp & Co Ltd., Sydney. Scrapped Thursday Island with registered closed 1902
TAMBO 732 gross tons, 450 net. Lbd: 190' x 30'1" x 14'6". Steel steamship built by Ardrossan Shipbuilding Co., Ardrossan for Huddart Parker Ltd., Melbourne. Triple expansion engine 82nhp rated 10 knots. 1982 ship registered at Hobart. November 1902 acquired by Burns-Philp & Co Ltd., Sydney. Placed upon the New Hebrides - Pacific Islands service. Wrecked ahsore at Abamama, Gilbert Islands, Pacific Ocean, 10th September 1919



203 gross tons, 130 net. Lbd: 120' x 20' x 9'. Iron hulled passenger steamship built by Black & Noble, Montrose for the Tasmanian Steam Navigation Co, Hobart. December 1879 of G W & B B Nicoll, Sydney. December 1880 of G W Nicoll. 1881 April, James Burns of Sydney & Brisbane and 1882 transferred to Queensland Steam Shipping Co Ltd, registered London. April 1887 Australasian United Steam Navigation Co, Sydney. Since, had also been chartered by Burns Philp & Co working New Guinea. Whilst on the mail run to New Caledonia, she was wrecked February 11th, 1891 at Aneityum, New Hebrides
image as a modern production of painting by 'unknown' now available for purchase here as a modern 6x4 inch postcard and larger size print. Click image for details

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TITUS image at breakwater Wharf c 1901, & TRUGANINI image courtesy State Library Queensland
TULAGI (11) image as 'Kagowa' as seen here at Singapore Eastern Anchorage, February 1977 - taken by and with thanks to Frederick Moniaga was served aboard her as Radio Officer
TITUS 789 gross tons, 517 net. Lbd: 185'8" x 27'1" x 14'6". Iron hulled steamship built by A Stephen & Sons, Glasgow for G Anderson, Hamburg. Compound SC engine 80 nhp built by shipbuilder. 1884 W C Walker of Melbourne registered as owner. August 1891 Cannifex & Arhurst. August 1893 Orr & Fischer. November 1893 J Walker & Partners. 1898 owned by this concern with Sydney registry and operated on most of the company's Island trades until 1908 when hulked for use in Suva, thus ending her 'ship' status. Suttled off Suva 19th March 1919
TRUGANINI 203 gross tons, 130 net. Lbd: 120' X 20' X 9'. on: 57581. Iron steamship built by Black & Noble, Montrose for the Tasmanian Steam Navigation Co., Hobart. December 1879 G W & B B Nicoll, December 1880 G W Nicoll. 1882 April, James Burns on behalf of Queensland Steam Shipping Co Ltd., registered London. Note: At this juncture, the Queensland Steam Shipping Co Ltd was set up by British-India Line of London to compete fiercely with the all Australian concern known then as Australiasian Steam Navigation Co. James Burns himself didn't operate the vessel but was a key player and the Sydney based representative for and of the interests of British-India Line. For the Burns connection requires this vessel listed being listed here. April 1887 Australasian United Steam Navigation Co became owners as a result of QSS takeover of the ASN Co. Wrecked February 11th, 1891 New Hebrides
TULAGI (1) 2,281 gross tons, 1680 net. Lbd: 240' x 44' x 27'5". (73.7 x 13.5 metres) on: 172755. Steel twin screw motor vessel built by Hong Kong and Whampoa Dock Co., of Hong Kong for this concern with Hong Kong registry. Twin diesels 396bhp. 12 knots. Comenced services from Gilbert Islands to Mexico and later unwent 'recruiting' voyages between Gilbert, Fanning and Washington Islands. Since, operated between Sydney - Darwin - New Guinea. 28 March 1942 left Sydney with a cargo of flour and mails bound for Colombo. Torpedoed by German submarine U532 28th March 1944 (11.00S/78.40E) 1100 nautical miles off Colombo, Indian ocean. Of a crew of 54, only seven survivors. In a single life raft they endured fifty eight days of drifting until landfall at the Seychelles Islands. For a fuller account see Mercantile Marine Website

TULAGI (11) 2,746 gross tons, 1396 net, 2360 dwt. Lbd: 289'8" x 46'8" x 17'6". (88.3 x 14.2 metres) on: 186209. Steel motor vessel (cargo) built at Grangemouth by the Grangemouth Dockyard Co for this concern with a London registry. Single screw, diesel engine making 14 knots. Seems to have based services from Sydney to the South Pacific Islands. Sold October 1970 renamed Jacques Del Mar. Sold December 1971 to Kie Hock Shipping of Singapore and renamed Kagowa. That Company filed for bankruptcy in 1979, and all of its fleet were transfered to Kie Gwan Shipping, again of Singapore registry. 1982 vessel renamed Tat Lee No.3. Broken up at Kaohsiung December 1984



54 gross tons, 37 net. Lbd: 60'6" x 17' x 4'4". on: 75029. Wooden steamer built by W A Dunn, Berry's Bay North Sydney for J Halstead of Sydney. on: 83862. Held a high pressure engine of 8 horsepower as built by Bell Bros, Sydney. 1880 C E Jeanneret. 1883 of this concern believed stationed at Burketown. March 1888 owned by W Harney of Burketown. Records end (no trace) since 1924 and deleted from register 1953
No image yet available



90 gross tons, 61 net. Lbd: 100'7" x 11'4" x 5'4". Wooden steamer built and owned by William McPherson, Eagleton, New South Wales and registered at Newcastle. Held a high & Low pressure engine of 25 horsepower. 1881 Robert Philp then under this company's banner from May 1896, registered Sydney. First steamer for this Company to service Thursday Island and Port Moresby. Hulked 1903 and scrapped later same year
No image yet available



2434 gross tons, 225 net. Lbd: 151'6" x 28'1" x 8'5". (46.2 x 8.6 metres) Steel twin screw motorship built by Taikoo Docking & Engineering Co., Hong Kong for this concern's South Pacific division, with Hong Kong registry. Twin diesels, 70bhp. November 1938 chartered out for survey party at Gardner Island in the Pacific ocean re - construction of an Airfield. Was in charter at least until February 1939. Served WW2. 9th March 1962 wrecked Duin Dui, Oba Island, New Hebrides
image now available for purchase here as a modern 6x4 inch postcard and larger size print. Click image for details



523 gross tons, 367 net. Lbd: 166'5" X 26'5" X 12'2". on: 106126. Steel steamship passenger/cargo built by Blohm & Voss, Steinwerder Hamburg for the New Guinea Co., Hamburg (A.von Hansemann). Compound SC engine 51nhp 8 knots. October 1896 Acquired by this concern after charter of unknown time span. Ran to New Hebrides and New Guinea, probably this Company's first foray fully outside Australian waters. Serviced nearly all the ports this company traded with. June 7th 1907 saw her wrecked on the reef at Namu Island, of the Marshall Island group
No image yet available



257 gross tons, 115 net. Lbd: 125'1" x 23'1" x 7'2". on: 179935. Steel motor vessel built by Gebr. Niestern & Co., Delfzijl Netherlands for the North Westland Shipping Co Ltd., Wellington New Zealand. Acquired 1955 by this concern's South Pacific division, Suva registry. Strangely retained the '11' in her name as there was no Zephyr (1) in the fleet and, the ship's name itself out of character for this fleet. Fate since unknown
No image yet available



4,942 gross tons. 2,843 net. Lbd 449'2" x 56'8" x 24'7". (131.36 x 17 metres) Cargo vessel built at Cockatoo Island Dock & Engineering Co Pty Ltd., Sydney for the Australian Government with Burns Philip & Co. Ltd appointed Managers. Transferred to Australian Shipping Board October 1947. Feb 1957 transferred to Australia National Line. July 1959 sold to Albert Sims Ltd Australia & registered at Hong Kong. Transferred to Hang Fung Shipping Hong Kong. September 1959 transferred to Wallem & Co Ltd., Hong Kong renamed Sze Feng. Scrapped 1960 at Hong Kong
image courtesy Matterson/Marine - Shippingdatabase


14,224 gross tons. Lb: 551 x 72 feet. Passenger vessel built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique, St. Nazaire for Compagnie de Navigation Paquet, Marseilles as Ancerville. In April 1973 purchased by The People's Republic of China, renamed MINGHUA and placed in China and East Africa service. 1981-83, under management of Burns, Philp & Co Ltd., she commenced cruising from Australia, with accommodations for 380 passengers in one class. In 1983 the vessel was berthed at Liuwan Bay, at Shekou near Shenzhen in southern China's Guangdong province, part of a "special economic zone". Once renovated the shipboasted; 253 hotel rooms, Chinese and Western restaurants, an English Bar, Bamboo Grove Bar,

Music Dance Hall, swimming pool, health centre, children's recreation centre and the China Folk Customs Exhibition Centre. Renamed by the Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping as SHEKOU SEA WORLD, the ship became part of a plaza of shops, hotels and restaurants in the town centre of Shekou, a radical first of its kind for China.
She now rests surrounded by lawns and trees in a bizarre yet scenic land-locked setting. Top left image Minghua as Anverville - postcard in issue.....Minghua image at Shekou - Photo by David Brandt




518 gross tons. Lb: 165 x 27 feet. (50.4 x 7.4 metres) Single screw. Compounded engine 2 cylinders. Cargo Steamship as designed by James Pollock, London (Project No 88) in 1898. Launched: Monday, 19 June 1899. Built, completed 1899 by Murdoch & Murray Port Glasgow. Yard No 165. Owner History: Newcastle Wallsend Coal Co, Sydney New South Wales. 1905 Chartered to Burns Philp & Co, Sydney. 1913 sold to E & O Warburton, Sydney New South Wales. 1920 Australian Steamships Pty (Howard Smith), Sydney. Hulked 1934. Scuttled off Sydney Heads 07 February 1935
image (P02929) courtesy Wollongong City Library

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ELAMANG (130751p) ashore Brisbane floods 1983 image courtesy State Library Queensland, BIRKSGATE image (a636507r) courtesy State Library New South Wales, NORKOOWA image courtesy State Library Victoria, VICTORIA image courtesy State Library Queensland, WYRALLAH image (b38415) courtesy State Library Victoria
BIRKSGATE 1,458 gross tons, 916 net. Lbd: 255' x 33' x 21'7". Iron steamship, 2 masts and schooner rigged with compounded engine of 163 horsepower. Built by D & W Henderson, Patrick, Glasgow for H Simpson & Co (Black Diamond Line) registered Port Adelaide. Designed as a passenger-collier vessel running between South Australia and Newcastle, taking in Launceston en route. June 1884 acquired by ASN Co and of AUSN Co April 1887. 1897 purportedly conveyed passengers from Port Adelaide to the New Guinea goldfields. At this juncture, probably managed by Burns Philp & Co at the Pacific terminus. Sold July 1904 to Y Kensuke, Tokyo and renamed Saito Maru. Went missing, failed to arrive at Moji on a voyage from Chinnampo April 1907
NORKOOWA 1,643 gross tons. Passenger-cargo vessel built by Edwards & Sons at Howden for Carson & McIlwraith, Melbourne. Single screw, triple expansion engine. 1892-1898 served the east - west trade, as Melbourne - West Australia. 1902 - 1906 under charter from McIlwraith McEachearn. Broken up at Bombay 1912
VICTORIA 1,254 gross tons. Lbd: 239'6" x 30'2" x 23'. Iron steamship, 2 masted schooner rigged built by Richardson & Co., Newcastle-on-Tyne for the Italian Government as the Siracusa. Considered too slow and sent to Australia, and renamed by Australian Steam Navigation Co, Sydney when purchased in 1872. Used as a passenger ship of their major routes. Of AUSN Co 1887. December 1897 charted by H C Sleigh who placed her on a run to New Zealand with Newcastle coal. On her return jourrney the cargo shifted and the coal stocks were low, forcing her to put in at Twofold Bay. Refuelled and cargo re-balanced she made her destination Melbourne, being handed back to AUSN 18 days after arrival. 1898 - end of 1899 chartered out to Burns Philp & Co, Sydney Sold 1899 to O E Pauss & Partners (traded as 'The Steamship Victoria Ltd') for their South Seas Islands' trade. Sold 1903 to Chinese shipbreakers
WALLSEND 518 gross tons. Lb: 165 x 27 feet. (50.4 x 7.4 metres) Single screw. Compounded engine 2 cylinders. Cargo Steamship. Designed by James Pollock, London (Project No 88) in 1898. Launched: Monday, 19 June 1899. Built, completed 1899 by Murdoch & Murray Port Glasgow. Yard No 165. Owner History: Newcastle Wallsend Coal Co, Sydney New South Wales. 1905 Chartered to Burns Philp & Co, Sydney. 1913 sold to E & O Warburton, Sydney New South Wales. 1920 Australian Steamships Pty (Howard Smith), Sydney. Hulked 1934. Scuttled off Sydney Heads 07 February 1935
WYRALLAH (1) 302 gross tons, 205 net. Lbd: 140' x 22'3" x 13'2". Iron twin screw steamship built at Mort's Dock & Engineering Co., Balmain Sydney for Bruce B Nicoll, registered Sydney. Twin compounded engines producing 45 horsepower as coal fired. Passenger cargo status. October 1891 acquired by North Coast S N Co for use along their New South Wales northern rivers trade. 1895 chartered out to Burns Philp Co (in joint operation with AUSN Co And McIlwraiths) running the mail service between Albany and Esperance on the West coast. This run was intended for their soon to be delivered steamship MacGregor, which took over after a six month period. Wyrallah later carried mail from the mainland, probably Sydney to Noumea, New Caledonia on the one occassion. Sold April 1900 to G A Carpenter of Melbourne. September 1900 acquired by Gippsland Steamers Pty Ltd. 1895 chartered out to Burns Philp Co running the mail service between Albany and Esperance on the West coast and later the mainland to Noumea, New Caledonia on one occassion. Under Gippsland steamers she met her demise when sunk in a collision with the Dilkera during a squall off Point Nepean Victoria


946 gross tons, 490 net. Lbd: 229' x 29'2" x 18'5". Iron twin screw passenger steamship, 2 masts and brig rigged with twin compounded engines making 200 horsepower. Built by Blackwood & Gordon, Port Glasgow for the ASN Co. Became part of the AUSN Co fleet 1887. 1895 converted into cargo only vessel. 1900 under charter from AUSN. Where place and how utilised is unknown. Sold 1904 to D Sheehy who had her stirpped and converted into a hulk. Purchased by the New South Wales Government who sank the hulk as a breakwater off Newcastle in February 1905

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KATOOMBA, NEW GUINEA & MAWATTA images courtesy State Library Victoria
KATOOMBA 1,006 gross tons, 489 net. Lbd: 249'8" x 29'3" x 19'. Iron twin screw, brig rigged passenger ship of twin compounded engines producing 200 horsepower. Coal fired boilers rated 65 psi. Built by Blackwood & Gordon, Port Glasgow for the ASN Co., and worked their Sydney - Hunter River run. Also serviced their other coastal routes. 1887 became part of the AUSN Co fleet. 1891 was chartered out to Burns Philp & Co, Sydney for a round trip of Samoa. Passenger accomodation removed 1896. Sold 1903 to D Sheehy of Sydney who stripped and hulked her by the following year. 1905 February sunk to protect the breakwater at Newcastle, new South Wales
AMUR 790 gross tons, 570 net. Lbd: 216 x 28 x 11 feet. Steamship built at the Strand Slipways, Sunderland England for Lombard Steam Ship Co (J White). Held triple expansion engine as built by North Eastern Marine Engineering Co. Began services off Siberia, later off the Japan coast. Was a transport vessel for Japan during the Sino-Japanese war 1894-5. 20th February 1895 arrived Sydney Australia via Hong Kong with American grain. Burns-Philp & Co were the shore based agents for this shipment and, it would seem they held the agency as she was chartered out March 1896 to the Australasian SN Co for a run to the New Hebrides. Under the flag of Australasian New Hebrides Co she continued this service up until 1897. Ensuing that date, she was then chartered out to the Adelaide Steamship Co and placed upon the Queensland trade. February 1898 arrived at the Klondyke Trading & Transfer Co at Victoria BC, Canada and since sold to Canadian-Pacific Navigation Co 1899. January 1901 paper ownership of Canadian Pacific Railway on takeover of Canadian-Pacific Navigation Co. 1912 owned by Coastwise Steamship & Barge Co. 1925 A Berquist, Vancouver as recorded owner since she was ran ashore previous year at Prince Rupert Sound, salvaged and probably re-engined by new owner. Details since unknown however 1929 saw her sold as part of a Court Judgement and scuttled 1930 off Burrard Inlet
NEW GUINEA 2,674 gross tons, 1,700 net. Iron hulled single screw steamship of 300' x 40'1" x 24'5". Built by W Doxford & Sons, Sunderland predominantly as a cargo vessel for McIlwraith McEacharn & Co Ltd, London. (Sistership Cloncurry) 1885 - 1889 chartered to British India S.N. Co., London. Returning to original owners, she was employed on the Melbourne - West Australian run during the 'goldrush' era early 1890 onwards and carried passengers bound for the goldfields. Ship's registry transferred to Melbourne 1893. 1909 under charter to Burns Philp, details unknown. 1910 reverted to original owners. Was on a voyage from Melbourne to Sydney, whilst under charter to Huddart-Parker & Co., Melbourne when she foundered and was wrecked in Disaster Bay, off Green Cape New South Wales, 13th February 1911
MARSINA (11) 2,224 gross tons 3390 dwt. Lb: 102.7 x 14.4 metres. Steel, single screw refrigerated cargo ship (diesel) built by Langesunds MV, Langesunds Norway as Bahia for L Lorentzen Oslo. 14 knots. Sold 1966 to China Navigation Co., renamed Papuan Chief. May 30 1969 chartered to Burns, Philp & Co., of Sydney, renamed Marsina. 1970 Returned to owners and name reverted back to Papuan Chief. 1975 sold to Maldives renamed Maldive Coral. (Source: theshipslist) Broken up at Bombay November 1979
MAWATTA 1,086 gross tons, 539 net. Lbd: 210'6" x 32'7" x 14'6". (64.2 x 10 metres) on: 139034. Steel steamship cargo only, built by Fred Krupp A G., Germania-Werft, Kiel Germany as the Germania for Jaluit Gesellschaft AG, Hamburg. Single screw, triple expansion engine making 10 knots 158 nhp. She worked the German owned and controlled islands and ports as well as running Hong Kong - Australia Marshall Islands in a passenger-cargo capacity. Being dockside Sydney at the outbreak of hostilities, she was taken as a war prize Australian Government August 1914. Renamed Mawatta and leased to Burns Philp from February 1915 until June 1920. Handed back to Australian Government who chartered her 1920 to James R Patrick, who then purchased the vessel 1924 as Patrick Steamships Ltd. Transferred to James Patrick & Co Ltd in August 1925. Rebuilt 1926 Cockatoo Island Dockyards Sydney, new midships added. Sold July 1928 to Noumea interests. Sold 1937 to Mollers Towages of Shanghai, converted into a salvage ship and renamed Elsie Moller. Captured 1941 by japanese navy renamed Esashi Maru. Sank 29 March 1945, raised and written off

This entity, as a subsidiary affiliation, operated small motorships out of and around Papua New Guinea. They were steel hulled, of 92 to 94 gross tons, and built at Ballina, new South Wales

RUI 11


The 'BUR" prefix class vessels were all built by Sing Koon Seng Ltd, Singapore and supposedly of 449 gross tons, 364 net, with dimensions of 40.31m x 9.2m x 4.4 metres. Bow door ramp cargo ferries with limited passenger capacity and diesel powered

BURSEA Sold in 1989 to Jural Pty Ltd, Cairns Queensland and renamed Cape Trader. 1992 sold to Lord Howe Island Sea Freight Pty Ltd of Yamba, New South Wales. She was renamed Island Trader and placed under Australian registry
BURCREST Sold to Angola interests renamed Cabinda 111
BURTIDE Sold to Western Tug & Bargo Co Pty Ltd, remaining under Papua-New Guinea registry
BURWAVE Sold to Zanzibar renamed Pemba

1998: The company launches a restructuring, shedding a number of holdings, including the last of its shipping line
Only steamship and motorships are listed on this page. Excluded are the many diesel powered lighters, pure sail only vessels, and any former steamships that were purchased and immediately converted into lighters and as hulks within this shipping concern's fleet.
I cannot guarantee all known vessels as steam and motor powered are listed, as accurate records are scarce. At this point I should like to highlight a Mr.Ronald Parsons, Ship Historian Extraordinaire, unto whom I am extremely grateful for all his labours in researching and compiling most of the knowledgeable Australian ship data available. His book, 'The Ships of Burns, Philp and Company' was the main source of my data here and that book is available from oceans.customer.netspace.net.au/amhs-publications.htmlAMHS PUBLICATIONS



2007-09 ŠJohn E Hoskin/Flotilla-Australia
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