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Ella was built for the LSWR in 1881 by Aitken and Mansell.

An iron single screw steamer of 851 tons, speed 14 knots, Ella had a straight stem, one funnel and two masts. She was an improved version of the successful Diana. Her first voyage to Jersey was 31 July 1881 and she remained on the route until 1890, transferring to Cherbourg.

She had been upgraded in 1886 with steam steering, a wheelhouse and new deck.

On 7 December 1895 she lost her funnel en route from Cherbourg to Southampton and was delayed ten hours. In November 1906 she collided with Princess Ena off Alderney, and in 1912 she hit and sank the hopper Rosina.

She was sold to the shipping federation in 1913 and used as a home for jobless people, and she also saw service in World War One and was eventually broken up in 1926.

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