Gallic II was constructed as War Priam for the Shipping Controller in order to increase Britain's cargo carrying capacity. War Priam was a Standard 'G' type, of which there were 22, 14 of which were fitted with twin screws. The White Star Line purchased three of these vessels after the war ended, War Argus, War Icarus, and War Priam, all, fitted with twin screws, which would become, Gallic II, Delphic II, and Bardic respectively.

War Priam was launched at Harland and Wolff's Belfast yard on  the 19th December, 1918.

War Priam was sold during her fitting-out the following year, to the White Star Line and was renamed Bardic. Bardic underwent her sea trials on March 13th, then embarked on her maiden voyage on March 18th, between Liverpool and New York. Bardic was operated by the Atlantic Transport Line.

Bardic was placed on the White Star Line's Australian route in 1921.

On August 31st, Bardic was stranded in fog on Stag Rock, Lizard, and the image on this page above shows her stranded. One month later, on September 29th, Bardic was pulled-off the the rocks, but she had suffered severe damage to the bottom of the hull. Bardic underwent temporary repairs at Falmouth, and then was able to proceed to Harland and Wolff at Belfast.

In 1925, Bardic was transferred to the Aberdeen Line, and renamed Hostilious. The following year she underwent another name change, this time she became Horatius.

Horatius was transferred to the Shaw, Savill & Albion Line, and was renamed Kumara in 1932, like her sisters for some other routes, she was too slow.

Kumara was sold to John Latsis, of Piraeus in 1937, and renamed Marathon.

On May 9th, 1941, Marathon was part of a convoy sailing to the north east of the Cape Verde Islands, and was struggling to keep up. Marathon was sunk by the German battle cruiser Scharnhorst, but her 38 man crew were rescued, spending the rest of the war in a prison or of war camp. Luckily, Marathon managed to send out adequare warning messages to the rest of the convoy, meaning she was the only loss.


N.B. Image source GreatShips



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