The business was originally involved in ship owning and ship management.  It was founded in 1920 by Robert Monroe shortly after he was demobilised at the end of the First World War.

Originally based in Cardiff he was joined by his two brothers in the early twenties.  He had a discerning eye to purchase well-built boats and an attention to the detail of the operating costs.  As such his business was profitable and over time he built up a fleet of thirty coasters.

The outbreak of the Second World War saw the fortunes of the company change.  Ships were lost from enemy action and also requisitioned by the Admiralty.  Robert Monroe died of heart disease in 1942 and only the intervention of his wife, Anne Monroe, prevented the company being requisitioned by the Royal Navy.

At the end of the war Robert Monroe's eldest son Kenneth left the Navy to join the company followed shortly after by the youngest son, another Robert.  Coastal shipping was in decline against the competition from road haulage and the company shifted the emphasis to two ocean-going cargo vessels the "Helen Miller" and the "Susan Miller".  Simultaneously the company diversified into ship-broking. In 1988 the remaining ships were sold and the ship-broking business sold a few years later.

The Hamphire Bay was completed in 1915.
She was acquired and renamed Kylebay in 1936 by Monroe Brothers Ltd and owned by them until 1950.

(Photograph and history courtesy of R S Fenton, World Ship Society)

The Staghound was acquired in 1931.
She was bombed by aircraft and sunk at Torquay during the Second World War.

(Photograph and history courtesy of R S Fenton, World Ship Society)

The Senator was completed in 1938.
She was acquired in 1938 and renamed the Kyleglen. In December 1940 she was torpedoed and sunk by U.100 southwest of Iceland with the loss of all her crew

(Photograph and history courtesy of R S Fenton, World Ship Society)

In 1996 Charles, the youngest son of Robert Monroe, returned from working in Italy as an engineer and restarted the company as an engineering consultancy.  Over the subsequent years the company has prospered delivering advanced cryogenic solutions to its clients.