Military Wiki
Kyarra (ship)
Career (Australia)
Name: Kyarra
Owner: Australian United Steam Navigation Co. Ltd.
Port of registry: Fremantle, Western Australia
Builder: William Denny and Brothers, Dumbarton
Launched: 2 February 1903
Fate: Sunk by UB-57 on 5 May 1918
General characteristics
Tonnage: 6,953 GRT
4,383 NT[1]
Length: 415 ft 5 in (126.62 m)[1]
Beam: 52 ft 2 in (15.90 m)[1]
Draught: 31 ft 5 in (9.58 m)[1]
Propulsion: 2 × 375 hp (280 kW) triple expansion engines[1]
Speed: 15.4 knots (28.5 km/h; 17.7 mph)[1]
Capacity: 2600 tons general cargo[2]
286 passengers (126 first class & 160 second class)[1]
Armament: 4.7 in (120 mm) gun[2]

The Kyarra was a 6,953 ton (7,065 t) steel cargo and passenger luxury liner, built in Scotland in 1903 for the Australian United Steam Navigation Company.

Construction and launch

The Kyarra was built at Dumbarton by William Denny and Brothers, and launched on 2 February 1903 on the River Clyde, Scotland. Her name was taken from the aboriginal word for a small fillet of possum fur.


For ten years Kyarra sailed between Fremantle, Western Australia, where she was registered, and Sydney, New South Wales carrying cargo and passengers. She sailed the flag of the United Steam Navigation Company Limited of London. On 6 November 1914 she was requisitioned and converted into a hospital ship (HMAT A.55 Kyarra) for the purpose of transporting Australian medical units to Egypt. The hull was painted white with a large red cross on the side. In March 1915, Kyarra was converted into a troop transport. Commonwealth control ended 4 January 1918.[3]


On 5 May 1918, Kyarra was sailing from Tilbury to Devonport, where she was to embark with civilian passengers and full general cargo. Before she could do so, however, she was attacked and fatally wounded by UB-57 near Swanage and sent to the bottom. Six lives were lost.

This wreck was discovered in the late 1960s by a member of the Kingston and Elmbridge British Sub-Aqua Club, and was later bought by the group. The wreck lies one mile off Anvil Point, and remains popular with divers.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "SS Kyarra". 2009. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "The S.S. Kyarra". Swanage Boat Charters. 2011. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  3. "His Majesty's Australian Transports". Australian Light Horse Studies Centre. 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 

External links

Coordinates: 50°35′27″N 1°56′58″W / 50.59083°N 1.94944°W / 50.59083; -1.94944 (Wreck of Kyarra)

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