London

The film opens and closes in the rainy streets of London. The opening shots show Miss Quested outside of the P&O passenger office. She goes in to finalise the ticket-arrangements for Mrs Moore and herself.

Miss Quested in the P&O Offices, London - Click to show full-size image in new browser
Miss Quested in the P&O Offices, London

The P&O (The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company) passenger office was at 14 Cockspur Street, London SW1. There was also another booking office in the city, at 130 Leadenhall Street, London EC3. I do not know where the location used in the film was.

The P&O shipping clerk - Click to show full-size image in new browser
The P&O shipping clerk

The shipping clerk does not mention the name of the ship that Mrs Moore and Miss Quested are travelling out on, and no clues are given as to its identity, though he does mention that the Viceroy is travelling on the same ship as well. However, this is no clue, as the P&O steamers left Southampton for Bombay every Saturday, and I have not been able to locate a list of Viceroy's travel movements.

The Viceroys of the period were:

04Apr16-02Apr21Frederic John Napier Thesiger, Baron Chelmsford
02Apr21-10Apr25Rufus Daniel Isaacs, Baron Reading of Erleigh
10Apr25-03Apr26Victor Alexander George Robert Bulwer-Lytton, Earl of Lytton
03Apr26-29Jun29Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, Baron Irwin
29Jun29-18Apr31George Joachim Goschen, Viscount Goschen of Hawkhurst
18Apr31-18Apr36George Freeman Freeman-Thomas,Earl of Willingdon
18Apr36-01Oct43Victor Alexander John Hope, Marquess of Linlithgow

Click to see more P&O postcards
P&O S.S. Rawalpindi
Click to visit Maritime Timetable Images site
P&O Passage Rates

The shipping clerk does, however, say that Mrs Moore is booked to return on the ship 'Rawalpindi' on May 12th. The 'Rawalpindi' (16,500 tons) was built in 1925, and was a regular on the India run. The second of four sisters, she was preceded by Ranpura and followed by Ranchi and Rajputana. The R class were the first P&O ships with facilities for carrying refrigerated stores, mostly fish and fruit. She was requisitioned as an armed merchant cruiser in August 1939, and sunk in November 1939.

The typical route for a P&O steamer in those days was from Bombay via Aden, Port Said, Malta, Algiers, Marseilles, and Gibraltar, to Southampton. Aden was an important coaling station. It was also the point where the passengers changed their wardobes from the light clothes of India to something more suitable for English weather.

At the end of the film, Miss Quested arrives back in London, alone. We see her reading a letter from Dr Aziz. The rain pours down outside the window. I have not been able to locate where this scene was filmed.

Miss Quested back in London - Click to show full-size image in new browser
Miss Quested, back in London

 

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