Starter Source 3

A 1930s photograph of the ex-troop ship SS OrmondeThis was one of the first of the lesser-known ships that carried post-war migrants. It docked in Liverpool on 31 March 1947 for over a year before the Empire Windrush. By courtesy of Nick Messenger


‘S.S.’ means ‘screw steamer’ and often defined as ‘steam ship’. ‘MV’ is also used as prefix for ships and means ‘motor vessel’.


A troop ship is a ship used to carry soldiers, either in peacetime or wartime. The passenger list for the ship reveals that there were 241 onboard, including 11 stowaways and six distressed seamen. It shows a wide range of professions. Due to an unofficial colour bar in Britain, many could only find employment with low wages and poor conditions. Find out more about this and other ships in this National Archives blog.

« Return to Empire Windrush: Caribbean migration
  • Discover more about SS Ormonde from the Master Mariner’s website.
  • Can you find the document reference for SS Ormonde’s passenger list in The National Archives online catalogue?
  • Find out about the ship ‘Almanzora’ which came after the ‘Ormonde’. The Almanzoradocked at Southampton on 21 December 1947. It brought 200 Caribbean passengers to the UK, many of whom were former Royal Air Force personnel who had served during the Second World War.