Welcome again to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Merseyside landmarks, buildings, streets and events from bygone days with how they look today.

Flags draped on the quayside walls welcome the troop ship Nieuw Holland to Liverpool in October 1945. It had just sailed from Malaya with hundreds of repatriated prisoners-of-war on board.

Families and friends are eager to be reunited with loved ones as the servicemen and women disembark after their long voyage. Many had been held in Japanese prison camps.

Launched in Amsterdam in December 1927, the SS Nieuw Holland was built by the Nederlandsche Scheepsbouw company as a cargo-cruise liner for the Dutch KPM line. The 11,000-ton ship was widely admired for its elegant design.

Along with its sister ship the SS Nieuw Zeeland, the liner operated regular services from Malaya via Indonesia to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

The Nieuw Holland was modified in 1940 to become a Royal Navy transport vessel for 1,000 troops, but still had a Dutch crew.

After operating in the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean, the ship’s capacity was doubled to 2,000 troops in 1941. Both the Nieuw Holland and her sister liner took part in the allied invasion of North Africa in November 1942.

After being refitted as a passenger liner in 1948, the Nieu Holland operated between Australia and Asia for a decade. Her last voyage was from Singapore to Hong Kong in March 1959.

Our modern image shows a far less crowded waterfront in 2020 in the midst of Covid restrictions.

*Unmissable wartime images from Liverpool and the North West are included in Clive Hardy’s latest hardback book The Home Front – Britain 1939-45.

It’s available for £14.99 from inostalgia.co.uk or the order hotline 01928 503777 – or get three books for 25 per cent off in iNostalgia’s Summer special promotion.