The iron screw steamer City of Cambridge was built by Workman, Clark & Co. at Belfast in 1882. Owned by George Smith & Sons of Glasgow, she was one of several steam vessels ordered by their City Line at the same time, each of which order went to a different yard. Rigged as an auxiliary four-masted barque, City of Cambridge was registered at 3,788 tons gross (2,473 net) and measured 400 feet in length with a 42 foot beam. Engined by her builders, she could steam at 13 knots, had accommodation for 80 saloon passengers and travelled mostly to the ports of the Indian sub-continent. Chartered as a government transport (No. 15) during the Boer War, she transferred onto Mediterranean sailings in 1903 as a result of her owners selling out to the Ellerman Line. Although she had previously survived two submarine attacks in March and November 1915, she was torpedoed and sunk on 3rd July 1917 off the North African coast of Algeria.
This work, showing her wearing the number 15, can be dated to her service as a Boer War transport, circa 1900, during which period she probably carried troops to and from Hong Kong.