The 'Demosthenes' was built by Harland & Wolfe in Belfast for the Aberdeen White Star Line in 1911 and was managed by Geo.Thompson & Co.Ltd of London.
Launched at the beginning of March and passing her sea trials without incident, advertisements for the maiden voyage began to appear in The Times from 6th June 1911 for her maiden voyage, from from the Royal Albert Docks, London to Melbourne via the Plymouth, Teneriffe and the Cape of Good Hope on the 31st of August - a passage which, at an average speed in excess of 14 knots, lasted thirty six days.
Prior to the voyage, The Times reporter was invited on board and a lengthy description of the vessel was published on the 18th of August.
The vessel operated on the Australia run continuall and, during WWI was pressed into war service as a Troop Ship, 164 HMAT 'Demosthenes', before returning to the Australian passenger service in 1920.
In 1928 she came under the management of The Oceanic, but remained on the same route, which now included Brisbane. In 1929 'Demosthenes' sailed for Australia from Liverpool, instead of London.
The end of her days came in 1931 when she was broken up at Jarrow.
Although carrying the Dyzart family to their new life in Australia is the only known connection between the ship and Oatlands, during our researches we did uncover a sad connection between the Demosthenes and probably the world's best known ship, the RMS Titanic - see here. (opens in new window)