SS Commonwealth Passage Contract - 18 August 1921


Third Class (Steerage) Passage Contract for The Stevens Family of Four sailing on the P. & O. Line SS Commonwealth on 18 August 1921.

Third Class (Steerage) Passage Contract for The Stevens Family of Four sailing on the P. & O. Line SS Commonwealth on 18 August 1921 from the Port of London to Melbourne, Australia. From the Bill Stevens Collection. GGA Image ID # 1fa48f32ad


Summary of Passage Contract

  • Date of Purchase / Voyage: 18 August 1921
  • Steamship Line: Peninsular & Oriental Line
  • Steamship: SS Commonwealth
  • Route: London to Melbourne
  • Ticket Type: Passage Contract
  • Voyage Class: Third Class (Steerage)
  • Name on Contract: Mr. Gollie William Stevens and Family
  • Etnicity of Passenger(s): British or Australian
  • Contract Terms: Transcribed
  • Cost of Ticket: £94 15s 0d / £4,298.00 GBP in 2020


Details of Passage Contract

No. 114 P. & 0. BRANCH SERVICE

1.—A Contract Ticket in this form must be given to every Person engaging a Passage as a Third Class (steerage) Passenger in any Ship proceeding from the British Islands to any Port out of Europe, and not within the Mediterranean Sea, immediately on the payment or deposit by such Third Class (steerage) Passenger of the whole or any part of the Passage Money,- for or- in respect of the Passage engaged.

2. —The Victualling Scale for the Voyage must be printed in the body of the Ticket.

3.—All the Blanks must be correctly filled in, and the Ticket must be printed in plain and legible characters, and legibly signed with the Christian Names and Surname and Address in foolproof the person who issues it.

4.—The day of the Month on which the Third Class (steerage) Passengers are to embark must be inserted in Words, and not in figures.

5.--When once issued, this ticket must not be withdrawn from the Passenger, nor any alteration, addition, or erasure made in it.

6.—This Ticket is not transferable.

7.—A Contract Ticket shall not contain on the face thereof any condition, stipulation, or exception not contained in this Form.

The P. & 0. Branch Service Steam Ship "COMMONWEALTH," of 7,000 tons register, to take in Passengers at the Port of LONDON for AUSTRALIA on the day of 19, engage that the person named in the margin shall be provided with a Third Class (Steerage) Passage to, and shall be landed at, the Port of MELBOURNE in AUSTRALIA in the Steam Ship "COMMONWEALTH" with not less than Fifteen Cubic Feet for Luggage for each Statute Adult, and shall be victualled during the voyage and the time of detention at any place before its termination, according to the subjoined Scale, for the sum of £ 94-15-0 including Government Dues before embarkation, and Head Money, if any, at the place of landing, and every other charge, except Freight, for excess of Luggage beyond the quantity above specified, and I hereby acknowledge to have received the some of £ 92-12-6 in full / part payment. The luggage carried under this engagement, whether in excess of Fifteen cubic feet or not, shall be deemed to be of a value not exceeding £10, unless the value in excess of that sum be declared and paid for.

The ship shall have liberty to comply with any orders or directions as to departure, arrival, routes, ports of call, stoppages or otherwise howsoever given by His Majesty's Government or any Department thereof, or any person acting or purporting to act with the authority of His Majesty, or of His Majesty's Government, or of any Department thereof, or by any Committee or person having, under the terms of the War Risks' Insurance on the ship, the right to give such orders or directions, and if by reason of and in compliance with any such orders or directions anything is done or is not done the same shall not be deemed a deviation.


Passengers' Full Christian and Surnames and Ages

  • Mr. Gollie William Stevens, 43
  • Mrs. Gemmell Elizabeth Stevens, 35
  • Campbell James Stevens, 4 (Note 1)
  • Goldie Doublas Stevens, 2 (Note 1)
  • Total Number of Persons: Four

Note 1: Equal to 1/2 Statute Adults

Berth No. 115/116 Four-Berth Cabin ("C" Grade Rate); 161 Four-Berth Cabin ("B" Grade Rate.)

The following Quantities, at least, of Water and Provisions will be supplied the Master of the Ship, as required by Law, viz.; To each Statute Adult four quarts of Water daily, exclusive of what is necessary for cooking any Article issued under this scale.


Provisions, Weekly, per Statute Adult. ( Lbs. Oz.)

  • Beef or pork, or partly one and partly the other : 2 4
  • Preserved meat : 1 0
  • Suet : 0 6
  • Butter : 0 4
  • Bread or biscuit not inferior in quality to Navy Biscuit : 2 8
  • Wheaten flour not inferior to best seconds : 3 8
  • Oatmeal, rice, and peas, or any two of them : 2 0
  • Potatoes : 2 0
  • Raisins : 0 6
  • Tea : 0 2
  • Sugar : 1 0
  • Salt : 0 2
  • Mustard : 0 1/2
  • Pepper, black or white, ground .. O 1/4
  • Dried or compressed vegetables .. O 8
  • Vinegar or mixed pickles .. 1 Gill

Bedding, Cabin and Table requisites provided by the Ship.


On behalf of the P. & 0. Branch Service,


per /s/ A. R. Maylott

32, Lime Street, London, E.C.3.

12 Aug 1921

Deposit ... £ 92-12-6

Balance ... £ 2-2-6 be paid at 32, Lime Street, London, E.C. 3, three days prior to embarkation

Total ... £ 94-15-0 Received Balance £ 2-2-6 for FREDERICK WHITE, /s/ A. R Maylolt

2nd Portion of Return Ticket /s/ Cisfer Alexander 5/6 No. 619 18/8/1921



1.-If Passengers, through no default of their own, are not received on board on the day named in their Contract Tickets, or fail to obtain a passage in the Ship, they should apply to the Emigration Officer at the Port, who will assist in obtaining redress under the Merchant Shipping Acts.

2.—Passengers should carefully keep this part of their Contract Ticket till after the end of the Voyage.

N.B.—This Contract Ticket is exempt from Stamp Duty.



Relative Cost of Passage Ticket in Today's Currency Value

In 2020, the relative value of £94 15s 0d from 1921 ranges from £4,298.00 to £41,140.00.

simple Purchasing Power Calculator would say the relative value is £4,298.00. This answer is obtained by multiplying £94.75 by the percentage increase in the RPI from 1921 to 2020.

This may not be the best answer.

The best measure of the relative value over time depends on if you are interested in comparing the cost or value of a Commodity, Income or Wealth, or a Project . For more discussion on how to pick the best measure, consult the Tutorials.

If you want to compare the value of a £94 15s 0d Commodity in 1921 there are four choices. In 2020 the relative:

  • real price of that commodity is £4,298.00
  • labour value of that commodity is £15,180.00
  • income value of that commodity is £26,970.00
  • economic share of that commodity is £41,140.00

If you want to compare the value of a £94 15s 0d Income or Wealth, in 1921 there are four choices. In 2020 the relative:

  • real wage or real wealth value of that income or wealth is £4,298.00
  • labour earnings of that income or wealth is £15,180.00
  • relative income value of that income or wealth is £26,970.00
  • relative output value of that income or wealth is £41,140.00

If you want to compare the value of a £94 15s 0d Project in 1921 there are three choices. In 2020 the relative:

  • real cost of that project is £4,385.00
  • labour cost of that project is £15,180.00
  • economic cost of that project is £41,140.00



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