The SS Dresden was laid down on Saturday, January 12, 1888 at the Fairfield Govan Ship Building and Engineering Co. in Glasgow, Scotland at Yard No. 336. She was launched December 1, 1889 under the name SS Dresden for Norddeutscher Lloyd of Bremen, Germany. She was built as a passenger-cargo vessel with a single screw and her steam engines gave her a speed of 13 knots. Her gross tonnage was recorded at 4,527 GRT and she was 390' 6" in length and 46' 8" across her beam. The Norddeutscher Lloyd Company had ordered eight passenger-cargo ships of the same type built and the Dresden was the first of these eight ships to be built.
In 1903 Dresden was sold to the British and South American Steam Navagation Co. LTD. of Liverpool and managed by the R. P. Houston Co., for their South American passenger-cargo service. She was renamed Helius at that time and with in a years time was sold again in Marcj of 1904. This time to the Union Castle Line, where she was placed in service as a reserve steamer and was laid up at Netley near Southampton, England. There she laid along with another ship named Pembroke Castle, both ship being unused.
After the end of the Boer War in 1902 there was a surplus of ship tonnage on the South American routes and so the Union Castle Line wanted to dispose of her. During June of 1906 the Turkish Government purchased her and converted her to a Turkish navy transport. Helius had her name changed to Bezmi-I Alem meaning Council of the Universe.
On November 6, 1914 Bezmi-I Alem was steaming from Istanbul to Trabzon with a full load of troops and cargo. Steaming in the Black Sea near Kandilli a Russian destroyer spots her and sinks her (41.23N-31.32E). During this attack she was steaming with the Bahriye Amer (ex Roland) and the Mithat Pasa (ex Port Royal) who were also attacked and sunk.
Photo copy of Peter Mulvany
Date this page was created April 3, 2008 and was last updated
This page is owned by Joe Hartwell ©2008
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