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Two famous Great Western Railway sister ships were the Roebuck and Reindeer. Built in 1897 by the Naval Construction and Armament Company at Barrow, of 1,093 tons, 280 feet long by 35 ft 5 in beam, they were schooner rigged, main screw steamers


Reindeer had a much less eventful life than her sister ship, which was involved in one of the most famous maritime accidents in Jersey waters.

Harbour accident

Reindeer did hit the paddle steamer Brodick Castle while entering Weymouth Harbour on 3 September 1897, shortly after coming into service, but otherwise led an uneventful life.

In October 1914 she was requisitioned for war service and was used as a minesweeper in the Mediterranean, and then a troopship between Weymouth and Cherbourg. After a refit she returned to the Channel Island service in 1920 and operated full-time for another five years before becoming a relief ship.

However, when replacing the St Helier, which had been damaged when ramming the pierheads, she managed to hit exactly the same spot and was withdrawn from service for repairs. She lasted another three years and then spent the summer of 1928 laid up before being scrapped at the end of the year.

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