Book Review: RMS QUEEN ELIZABETH By Andrew Britton

I recently received a copy of Andrew Britton’s RMS QUEEN ELIZABETH published by The history Press and distributed by Trafalgar Square Publishing, to mark the 75th anniversary of her launch, this new book tells of her story in excellent colour photographs.

Andrew Bitton's RMS QUEEN ELIZABETH book cover, Trafalgar Square Publishing 2013
Andrew Britton’s RMS QUEEN ELIZABETH book cover, Trafalgar Square Publishing 2013

This thick paperback contains a wealth of colour photographs and printed artifacts, many previously unpublished, following a detailed account of QUEEN ELIZABETH’s construction, dramatic entry to wartime service and her famous post war years paired successfully with her running mate QUEEN MARY.  We follow ELIZABETH to the period in Florida following her Cunard years, and finally the untimely fire and destruction in Hong Kong.

The colour plates take up much of the book, with images from speed trials to graving dock, from her super-liner period sailing from Southampton to New York to pictures of her Captain’s log book pages. We see QUEEN ELIZABETH at Southampton’s icon Ocean Terminal building, as well as many images on board and of special items from the Andrew Britton’s collection.

One photograph that caught my eye in particular  is a view of the rear of the 44-year old tug tender IGENIEUR MINARD alongside QUEEN ELIZABETH taken in 1953 in Cherbourg. Those who love their Cunard and White Star history will recognise this name as none other than the former tender SS NOMADIC, the last surviving White Star Line vessel, now being restored in Belfast, Ireland where she was built.

Several more colour plates illustrate life aboard a crossing, with passenger games and deck scenes rounding out the on board experience of the era, along with other interesting pairings, a photograph of QUEEN ELIZABETH with BRITANNIC, one with BREMEN, and a favourite of mine taken off  Nassau with SS CONSTITUTION in the foreground.

Andrew Britton brings includes personal memories of the QUEEN ELIZABETH shared through interviews with the Commodore Marr, an officer and crew with which he brings to life the glorious history of this great and beloved ocean liner.

-Martin Cox, October 2013

RMS QUEEN ELIZABETH by Andrew Britton (120 pages, 10″x9″) is available in book stores and online (ISBN-10: 0752479512)

Previous books by Andrew Britton in the “Classic Liner” series include: RMS MAURETANIA, SS UNITED STATES and RMS QUEEN MARY.




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