The Loftsman
Leith Shipyards

A history of the Ships built at the Henry Robb Shipyard in Leith, Scotland. Also a testimony to the men who built the Ships and to all who sailed in them.
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Home Ships Built in Leith 1946 to 1984 AUBY - Yard No 434 - Diesel Cargo & Passenger - Sarawak Steamship Co - Built 1953

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AUBY - Yard No 434 - Diesel Cargo & Passenger - Sarawak Steamship Co - Built 1953


The MV AUBY Ship No 434



Owners    Sarawak Steamship Company
Registered    Sarawak Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Cargo/Passenger Ship Launched    24/09/1953
      Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall     Launch Details    
Length B.P.    212' 0" Weather    
Beam    44' 0" Time to Water    
Depth Mld    21' 0"      
G.R.T.    1,733      
Props    2      
Other known names        
Current Status        
Content on The MV AUBY will be added as and when available. 


(Photo courtesy of Meurig Martin who's Father was Skipper of her for a while)



Ships History

Once a ship had been built and launched she then had to be out-fitted, and then complete sea trials
before being handed over to her new owners, who would look to have that ship at sea, as long as possible to pay for her build costs and of course to make the company good profits.
To this end one company may have had no requirement for a particular ship after a time and would then sell her on just like any other disposable commodity.

Hence a ship may have had a few owners and would go through many changes and names during what was hoped for a long and successful working life.

The M.V.AUBY had a long and sometimes eventful working life and included being used as a troopship, during troubles between Malaysia and Indonesia. The ships from the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb were serving all over the world.

The Sarawak Steamship Company's trade with Sarawak by 1963 was coming under intense competition exacerbated by the confrontation between Indonesia and Malaysia the following year nine other companies were competing for the same cargoes as the Sarawak Steamship Company. Consequently Sarawak Steamship sold Rajah Brooke, Bentong and Bruas to Straits Steamship retaining Rejang and Auby, Straits Steamship then took over the trades from Singapore to Kuching, Sarikei, Binatang and Sibu. Rejang was retained on the Kuching Rejang River Ports service and Auby was chartered to the Ministry of Transport during the period of the Malaya/Indonesia confrontation acting as a troopship ferrying some 31, 000 troops.

We try here to give as full an account of her history as time and research permits, if you know of missing info or you have any photographs of her, then please get in touch and we shall update her story as we go along.



This photograph of the MV AUBY was taken by Petroc and was first shown on

and is shown here by permission.




Tales from the Ship

Here you will find the stories from the men and women who sailed on the ships, what was it really like to be working on a ship in a raging sea and in the pitch dark of night, the real stories some funny some sad, some good and some bad.

Dedicated to all the brave men and women who sailed the vessels from the Leith Shipyards.

As told to the website a story by Derek Longly


This interesting little vessel was constructed in 1954 by Henry Robb Shipbuilders of Leith.  She had a tonnage of 1,713 gross and was diesel driven.  There was provision on board for a small number of passengers, their cabins being situated within the rather massive looking forward superstructure.  Here too were the cabins for the ship’s officers and their mess, which I believe they shared with any passengers.   There was also I think an open air veranda immediately aft of the bridge, provided with a bar hatch and this, apart from the aforementioned officer’s mess, was the only public space, as such, on board.  In the event of inclement weather this area could be enclosed with canvas screens.



(The centre of Singapore photograph by D.Longly)

Should you know of anyone who may have sailed on her, then please feel free to get in touch so that we can add the story here.


 Voyage on the MV AUBY continues on second page.

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0 #12 David Mills 2018-01-07 16:21
I sailed on the Auby in May 1965. I was REME Attached to 40 Light Regt Royal Artillery from Singapore to Kuching.
The accommodation for the troops was hideous so I found myself a little spot in the superstructure where it was cool and less pungent.
The showers were like cages hanging over the sides as were the toilets. One side of the ship had a perpetual brown stain for obvious reasons. 300 men per day performing their daily rituals was not a pretty sight.
The food was criminal and served alternately to port and starboard groups under a huge awning on the top deck.
We returned on her later after a year of active service fighting the communist terrorists and Indonesian army.
-1 #11 Stephen Swayne 2016-12-18 01:18
On about 18 March 1965 my Dad was in a large 3 RAR Australian Army truck convoy from Terendak Garrison near Malacca to Singapore and then went by Auby to Borneo. They disembarked at the port of Kuching on Borneo island and proceeded to the 3 RAR base near Bau by truck.
0 #10 Meurig Martin 2016-08-17 08:43
My apologies to Mr. James Mattinson, m.v. Rejang was a vessel within the Straits Steamship Fleet as verified on page 261 of, "Home Port, Singapore", by Tregonning, it was just a little before my time and I don't recall it's name being mentioned during the various discussions between my Father and the other "old timers" at "the Guild" or any other watering hole, once again, apologies.
0 #9 Meurig Martin 2016-08-17 07:47
Just to clarify a few details on behalf of Mr. James Mattinson: I do not ever remember my Father, John Martin, being a "partner" in the Port Kelang Pilots Association (a "member", maybe), the "Rejang" was a river and never the name of any ship in Straits Steamship Company Fleet and my Father retired in 1983 to Wales.
0 #8 james hutchinson 2015-11-16 10:05
Was a passenger on a trip from Sibu to Singapore via Kuching in 1966. Was travelling to Penang for R & R. I belonged to 205 Signal squadron.
0 #7 james mattinson 2014-11-21 19:40
I was in Sibu from 1961 to 1963 working as a Shipping Assistant with The Borneo Co. Ltd.
I knew all the ships mentioned, including Auby and Rejang. I was friendly with David 'Dave' Austin from the day he made his first trip 'up the Rejang'. I knew Capt John Martin less well then but became much closer when we were both based in Port Swettenham (later Port Kelang) in Malaysia. At that time John was a partner in the Port Swettenham Pilots Association. Soon after the Association was nationalised by the Malaysian government John took retirement and if memory serves moved to Perth, W. Australia.
One of the reasons Auby and Rejang were kept in service after the merger with Straits Steamship was they were paid a subsidy by the government to continue to provide a 'deck passenger' capacity between Sarawak's 5 Divisions in those days.
If memory serves both 'Rejang' and 'Auby' were licensed to each carry a max of 120 deck passengers.
0 #6 deb 2014-11-15 05:18
meurig, where are you now. its been since 1984. contact me please
0 #5 David Austin 2014-08-03 00:51
I remember Murig & his father well. Also sailed a chief engineer on the Auby
+1 #4 Derek Longly 2012-08-17 16:03
I sailed aboard the Auby in February 1965 from Singapore to Brunei when she was being used as a troopship. Accommodation was very basic. On board were members of the Australian army, Malaysian police, some Gurkhas and just seven of us from the Royal Air Force.

We had a rough trip until the last day but it was made up for by the beauty of the scenery as we sailed up the Brunei River. On arrival we had to transfer by way of a narrow plank onto the top of the bridge of an army landing craft to continue the voyage onward to Port Victoria, on Labuan Island.
+6 #3 Greg 2011-04-02 07:10
I sailed from Singapore to Kuching, Sarawak in about 1975 as a passenger. I remember discussing the ship's history with the Captain.

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