Pin badge 'HMS Olympic'


About this object

This mother of pearl and enamel pin badge was produced in the First World War, during Olympic’s career as a troop ship. The Olympic came to Liverpool during the war.
Liverpool’s liners carried thousands of soldiers from Britain’s colonies to fight on the Western Front and the Dardanelles.

White Star Line’s Olympic was converted to accommodate 6000 troops. She was fitted with two guns, painted grey, and carried troops to Gallipoli in September 1915.

Between March and December 1916, Olympic made ten round trips from Liverpool to Halifax carrying Canadian soldiers. For the next two years she took Canadian and American troops across the Atlantic.

On 4 April 1917 she was commissioned as His Majesty’s Troopship (HMT) Olympic. Additional guns were added and she was painted in dazzle camouflage.

Olympic survived three U-boat attacks, including one incident when a torpedo struck the ship but failed to explode. In May 1918 she rammed and sank German submarine U-103.

In 1919, Olympic made her final crossing as a troop ship, bringing the victorious soldiers home. She had carried over 200,000 British, US and Canadian troops. Canadian troops affectionately nicknamed her “Old Reliable”.

Object specifics

  • Title
    Pin badge 'HMS Olympic'
  • Accession no.
  • Type
  • Artist/Maker
    White Star Line
  • Place made
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Date made
    1914 - 1918
  • Materials
    Enamel; Mother of Pearl; Metal
  • Location
    Merseyside Maritime Museum, First Floor, Lusitania: Life, Loss, Legacy
  • Measurements
    29 mm x ; 1 1/8 in
  • Related people
    White Star Line (Oceanic Steam Navigation Co Ltd) (Ismay Imrie and Co) (Artist/maker)
  • Collection
    From the Merseyside Maritime Museum collections
Object view = Social History
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