T.S.S. Cochin – ship no 195


Morty’s Picture showing the Cochin at work

This post was precipitated by an email from Morty Grant (retired) Houston Texas who is one of the members of the Old Leithers. ( www.Oldleither.com )

Here is what he told me about himself and the Cochin.

“Hi Ruth,

My name is Morty Grant (Old Leither) known to John Stewart.  Read your article on ‘Old Leither’ website.

I was born in Leith, apprenticed with Brown Bros (Marine Engineers) Edinburgh. Sailed with British& Commonwealth ( Clan Line/Union Castle) 1952-1962.  Was Senior 2nd Engineer on above ship in 1959 in Cochin, India when the Tug ‘Cochin’ was used to dock and assisted when we left the port.

We were told that the tug was built in Robb’s in 1933 so it was still in service then!  

Thought perhaps you could verify the story we heard and if true, could be of some use to your research.

I understand the engines were twin screw reciprocating and it was a coal burner!

Best Regards ,  Morty Grant,   retired in Houston ,Texas ,USA.”

So, what do I know to further the information from Morty?

Well, he is absolutely right that Robb’s built a tug called Cochin, for the Government of India. She was a twin screw, steam powered salvage tug.


Her cabin was made of pine, her upper deck, forecastle and navigation bridge of teak. She had two 12 man lifeboats.

She was commissioned by the Indian Government, launched 14th February, sailed 22nd March 1933.

Her dimensions were 110 x 29’6” x 13’6”; deadweight 106 tons and gross tonnage 273.03.

Her inclining experiment was carried out at Victoria Dock on 22nd March. Her speed, as per the order book, was 12 knots, although she made 12.89 on her sea trials on 14th March 1933 despite a strong south westerly breeze.

I am delighted to hear that she was seen relatively recently, and wonder if she is still going strong – a planned trip to India within the next year or so is looking more and more like it may have several stops in the steps of my great grandfather to see the ports for which we built ships and maybe, just maybe to find one.

Perhaps readers may know if the Cochin, or any other Robb’s ships are still working?

Copyright: Ruth Patterson 2010


About Ruth Macadam

Great Granddaughter of Henry Robb. School teacher.
This entry was posted in Henry Robb, Leith, Leith Shipbuilding, Shipbuilding and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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