The November 2012 mystery ship is Takliwa, which was built in 1924 by Barclay Curle and Co, Glasgow for the British India Steam Navigation Co Ltd. She was of 7,936 gross and 3,742 net tons, had a speed of 17 knots and was powered by twin screw triple expansion engines.

Accommodation was provided for 56 first, 80 second and 3,302 deck (unberthed) passengers. The second of three sisterships (the other two were Tairea and Talamba), she was employed on the India, China and Japan service and on the Bombay-East Africa service from 1933-39.

Requisitioned during World War II, she was involved in the Singapore evacuation in January 1942 and then in both the Madagascan and Sicilian landings. On 15 October 1945 she was taking 800 Indian ex-prisoners of war from Hong Kong to Madras when she ran into a gale in the Bay of Bengal and grounded on Great Nicobar Island. Although all on board were rescued, a fire broke out in the stoke hold and she was gutted, and was abandoned as a total loss. The photograph was almost certainly taken in Dar-es-Salaam.

A. J. Smythe, Rayleigh, Essex

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