Dunvegan Castle (1)
DUNVEGAN CASTLE (1) was built in 1896 by Fairfield Ship Building & Engineering Co. at Govan with a tonnage of 5958grt, a length of 450ft 6in, a beam of 50ft 11in and a service speed of 15 knots.
She entered service as a mail steamship and in 1900 had her yards removed. In 1901, together with the Scot, she carried members of both Houses of Parliament to King Edward VII's Spithead Review.
In October 1902 she hit the breakwater at Cape Town doing some £10,000 of damage.
She was laid up at Netley in Southampton Water after being replaced by the Kenilworth Castle in May 1904 and remained there for almost seven years.
In 1913 she replaced the Guelph on the East African service but was laid up again in the following year when the Llandovery Castle entered service.
She was used to land the first wave of the British Expeditionary Force at Le Havre on 10th August 1914 accompanied by the Norman.
She returned to the mail run briefly in 1915 when larger ships were requisitioned for war service but in the October was deployed as a hospital ship with 400 beds.
On 20th April 1916 she reverted back to her owner but under government control and in 1917 carried General Jan Smuts, the South African Prime Minister, to England where he joined the War Cabinet.
In 1918 she undertook two voyages across the Atlantic from Liverpool to New York for Cunard and in 1919 was chartered to the French Government for two voyages from Copenhagen to Cherbourg to repatriate French prisoners of war from Northern Germany.
She was laid up at Netley in 1921 and sold in 1923 to Schwitzer & Oppler for breaking up in Germany.
Inscribed "France to Blighty".
Probably the property of Martin McGeoch, from Wigtown, who served with the Scottish Horse and Royal Garrison Artillery.
He was awarded the DCM for action at Gallipoli.
Signed in pencil by various British Army officers to the reverse
Including officers of the RFA, Gurkha Rifles, Royal Surrey Regiment, RAMC, Royal West Kent Regiment, RGA, and Scottish Horse.
The four test match series was won 3-1 by Australia
The Australian touring party:
Joe Darling, Warwick Armstrong, Reggie Duff, Charles Eady, Syd Gregory, Clem Hill, Bert Hopkins, William Howell, Ernest Jones, James Kelly, Frank Laver, Charles McLeod, Montague Noble, John Saunders, Joseph Travers, Hugh Trumble and Victor Trumper
A tragic press cutting from The Cheshire Observer
The suicide happened on 18 June 1903
Alfred Grain was aged 28 years and 5 months