The S.S. Rohilla was built by Harland & Wolff in 1906 and registered at Glasgow. Originally intended as a passenger and cruise liner, she had been used as a troop carrier for several years, operating between Southampton and Karachi. The gross weight was 7, 409 tons, length 460 feet, width 50 feet, depth 30 feet and her draught was 24 feet of water. The black funnel ha two white rings of the British India Steam Navigation Company and the lifeboats and hull were also painted black. She had a top speed of 17 knots and the recently developed wireless telegraphy had been installed. The name was taken from a ruling tribe of Afgan Pathans in Rohilkhand, India, who were deposed by a group of neighbouring chiefs, with the help of British soldiers, 1773 – 74.
Copyright © Ken Wilson 1981