When she was laid down at J.C. Tecklenborg of Geestemunde, this
Norddeutscher Lloyd ship's name was to be Washington; by the time she
was launched in October 1907, however, she had been renamed Prinz
Friedrich Wilhelm. Her maiden voyage began on 6 June 1908, and was from
Bremen to New York, with stops at Southampton and Cherbourg. She made
her last NDL voyage on that route in June 1914, and was in the midst of
a cruise to Norway when World War I began in August. She went aground
trying to return to Germany, and subsequently was interned at Odda,
Prinz Friedrich Wilhelm attempted to escape from her internment in 1916,
but again went aground and was then laid up at Kiel. At the war's end,
she was ceded to Great Britain as a war reparation, and was initially
charted to the U.S. government for troop repatriation service. In 1920,
she was placed under Canadian Pacific management and made her first
Liverpool-Québec trip on 14 July 1920, still under her NDL name.
After three such trips and one from Bombay to Canada, the ship was
purchased by Canadian Pacific and renamed Empress of China III. That
name, though was already being registered as the new name of Hapag's
Tirpitz, so she became Empress of India II. She returned to service in
August 1921 under this name but on charter to Cunard, for whom she made
two Southampton-New York sailings. She finally made her first regular
Canadian Pacific sailing on 23 June 1922, making three trips to Canada
(two from Liverpool and one from Southampton) before being refitted for
cabin class service at the end of the 1922 season.
She returned to service in 1923 with yet another name, Montlaurier, and
remained on Canadian Pacific's Liverpool-Canada service until 1925. She
then required repairs after steering gear damage stranded her at Cobh
and caught fire while those repairs were being made. During these
repairs she was renamed twice. She never sailed as Monteith, but
returned to service in July 1925 as Montnairn. In 1927, her eastern
berth was moved to the continent and she commenced service from Antwerp.
Her final sailing, in July 1928, was from Hamburg to Québec; on her
return, Montnairn was laid up at Southampton. She made a total of 62
North Atlantic roundtrips for Canadian Pacific.
Montnairn was scrapped at Genoa in 1929.
Sources: Bonsor's North Atlantic Seaway; Haws' Merchant Fleets; Kludas'
Great Passenger Ships of the World.