S.S. Roman Star



A steamer operated by the Blue Star Line.


Date Known

7 October 1925

One person dies and two more are severely scalded in an explosion in the stokehold of the S.S. Roman Star, off Ushant, France. Ordered by his employer, Blue Star Line, to attend to the ship at the earliest possible moment, Edward Allan Thomson charters a two-engined plane to fly from Croydon Air Port to Le Bourget for Paris and catches a night-train onward to Brest, where the ship has temporarily docked. Sources: 2

8 October 1925

On arriving in Brest first thing in the morning, Edward Allan Thomson heads immediately for the S.S. Roman Star, where he finds the crew in a state of alarm and much talk of bombs and detonators. Edward conducts an investigation for Blue Star Line but concludes that the explosion was caused by a mishap while salt balls were being cleaned from the furnaces. Sources: 1

9 October 1925

Edward Allan Thomson convinces the Port Authorities and crew that there is no evidence of bombs or detonators and the S.S. Roman Star departs from Brest, France. When the Pilot boards to guide them into Gravesend, he produces a copy of that morning's Daily Mail that confidently asserts that several men had been killed by bombs planted in the coal bunkers and that Detectives from Scotland Yard have met the vessel to investigate. However, the S.S. Roman Star arrives at Royal Albert Dock, London, England without further incident — or sign of the police. Sources: 1