Ephemera BULOLO


The MV Bulolo was built in Glasgow by Barclay Curle and Co for the Burns, Philp Shipping Company to be a passenger, cargo and mail steamer. She began her career on 19 November 1938 between Australia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, New Hebrides, Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands. She had completed eight voyages when war broke out in September 1939.

BULOLO 1938 trials

On 22 September 1939 the Bulolo was requisitioned by the British Ministry of War Transport on behalf of the Royal Navy. She spent October 1939 to January 1940 being converted into an armed merchant cruiser with seven 6-inch guns, two 3-inch anti-aircraft guns, depth charges and smaller armaments. She was then converted to a Landing Ship Headquarters (LSH) in 1942. She directed the landings on North Africa, Sicily, Anzio and Normandy during World War II.

On 4 December 1946 she was decommissioned and returned to the Burns, Philp Shipping Company in 1948 to resume her merchant duties. After 161 round voyages, she was sold to the China Steel Corporation and scrapped at KaohsiungTaiwan in May 1968.

The ephemera displayed below includes tickets issued to the Davidson twin sisters on a voyage from Port Moresby to Sydney in December 1951. The Sydney Heritage Fleet has a large collection of photographs taken by the Davidson twins. The photographs can be seen here.