When the SS. Great Britain was launched she was the largest ship in the world weighing in at a colossal 1930 tons. Her maiden voyage to New York on 26 July 1845 was completed in an astounding fourteen days and showed her ability to do safe and speedy passages. Although she could take up to 252 passengers served by 130 crew, her voyages did not generate much money for her owners as they had miscalculated the demand for their services. When the Great Britain ran aground at Dundrum Bay in Northern Ireland in 1846, her engines were ruined and the expense of re-floating her so drained the finances of her owners that she was sold to Gibbs Bright and Company, who used her to great effect on the Australian run.
S.S. Great BritainGold had been recently discovered over there and so the Great Britain was remodelled as a fast luxury emigrant carrier and her accommodation was rebuilt to accommodate 750 passengers. Between 1855 and 1856 the British Government chartered the ship to transport troops to and from the Crimea War. Over 44000 troops were carried during the course of the conflict. Later she was again chartered to carry troops, this time to quell the Indian Mutiny. In 1861 she carried the very first English cricket team to tour Australia. The tour was a great success with England playing twelve games of which she won six, drew four and only lost two
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