The ship

archive photo of a ship leaving the riverbank
'SS Politician' departing the Mersey for Beira, 18 April 1936.
McRoberts Collection, McR/38/142, copyright unknown

The 'SS Politician' was built in 1922-3 and was originally called 'London Merchant' by her owners Furness, Withy and Company. She was renamed Politician after 1935, when she was purchased by the Liverpool based firm, T and J Harrison Ltd. She was often affectionately called the 'Polly' by her crew. She had a reputation as a good, fast ship that could cruise at seventeen knots, and was employed by Harrisons in the North Atlantic trade. When the Second World War broke out she was employed in the Atlantic convoys.

technical cut-through diagram showing the interior sections of a ship
'SS Politician' Capacity Plan, showing the location of the number 5 hold where the whisky was stowed.
B/HAR/13/9/427, Harrison Line Archive, Courtesy of Charente Ltd