The steel screw steamer Cervantes was built for the Liverpool, Brazil & River Plate Steam Navigation Co. (Lamport & Holt) by D. & W. Henderson at Glasgow in 1894-95. Ordered for the company's thriving South American trade, she was registered at 4,640 tons gross (2,983 net) and measured 410 feet in length with a 48 foot beam. Engined by her builders, she could make 11 knots and began regular sailings to Rio de Janeiro and Valparaiso after completion in May 1895. After a brief charter as a Boer War horse transport (1899-1900), she was transferred to the Soc. de Nav. Royale Belge Sud-Americaine (another Lamport & Holt subsidiary) in 1902 with whom she operated until reverting to British registry in 1908. Six years later she became an early Great War casualty when she was sunk in the South Atlantic by the German light cruiser Karlsruhe on 8th October 1914 whilst en route to Liverpool with a cargo of frozen meat.