I am trying to identify the ship in this picture in order to date the photograph. The writing on the back says it is "Aquatania" (sic) but when I search for that name on the internet the Aquitania has four funnels and this one only has two. enter image description here

  • The ship's name is actually Aqu*i*tania. I corrected it and added a "sic" after your transcription of the name from the back of the photo, on the assumption that you copied it correctly. – David Richerby Nov 22 '14 at 13:03

Having a date for that picture might be helpful, but my best guess is that is a picture of the RMS Mauretania, taken in the spring of 1940 while she was in Sydney harbor (along with the 3-funnel Queen Mary) to pick up troops for deployment to the Middle East. The paint scheme is fairly distinctive, as the all-gray was a wartime paint job. During peacetime she had a black and white paint job to help her stand out, whereas you can only see one tone of color in this photo.

Here's a photo of her underway with the wartime paint job. enter image description here

Here's a website that goes into a nice bit of detail about her trip to Sydney harbor along with the Queen Mary (a 3-funnel ship). Incredibly, there's even a video showing both of them during their wartime duty, some of it shot in Sydney I believe.

Another possibility is the Queen Elizabeth, which looked very much like the Mauretania on the outside, and was also used as a troopship during the war.

  • There's a nice shot in the video starting at about 8:01 that looks to me like the same ship underway near the same bridge. – T.E.D. Nov 22 '14 at 3:57

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