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Life on board

Short films

Click on the links below to watch these short films and find out more about what life was like on board:

Children and families

Diaries

Food

Keeping well

Making the SS Great Britain

Sailors’ lives and jobs


Passenger diaries

Read these diaries from the passengers that travelled on board the SS Great Britain:

Allan Gilmour

Allan Gilmour, his brother Matthew, and their father travelled together to Australia in a steerage cabin on board the SS Great Britain.


Annie Henning

Annie Henning, her brother Biddulph, and his dog Gipsywent to Australia together in 1853, in First Class.
 

Edward Towle

Edward Towle travelled to Australia with his brother Benjamin in 1852
 

Frances Duberly

Frances Duberly was married to a British army officer, who was in charge of soldiers travelling to India on the SS Great Britain.


Samuel Archer

Samuel Archer was the SS Great Britain’s surgeon for two voyages


Sister Mary Paul Mulquin

Sister Mary Paul Mulquin shared her journey to Australia with fellow nuns from a convent in Ireland. They were going to teach in a school for Catholic girls near Melbourne.


Susan Mary Crompton

Susan Mary Crompton began her married life on board the SS Great Britain. The voyage from Melbourne to Liverpool in 1866 was the start of a honeymoon visit to England with her new husband Joseph. 


An Incredible Journey

The following film shows the story of the daring rescue attempt and triumphant return of the SS Great Britain: