British India Line's centenary year - 1956 - was marked by the handing over of its biggest ship, the 20,527-ton Nevasa.

She was the company's 459th vessel and the first troopship built since the end of the Second World War.

With accommodation for 500 officers and their families and 1,000 NCOs and men on the troopdeck, Nevasa introduced a new era of trooping by sea.

She had many comforts compared with older vessels, including stabilisers to reduce rolling in rough sea.

Nevasa was built on the Clyde and launched on November 30, 1955, and sailed into Southampton for the first time the following year.

Already in port when Nevasa arrived were two other British India Line's troopships, Dunera and Dilwara.

Despite an auspicious start to life, Nevasa did not have a long trooping career and, in 1962, the government decided to end the movement of soldiers by sea so the ship was withdrawn from service For two years Nevasa, pictured below, lay idle in the River Fal but then BI decided to spend £500,000 on a conversion and turn her into an education cruise ship, with accommodation for 1,100 pupils and teachers, and 230 private cabins for cruise passengers.

She made nearly 200 voyages, steamed around 750,000 miles and carried 187,000 students.

But again this career was short-lived and, in 1974, faced with huge rises in oil costs, the ship went to the breaker's yard in Taiwan.