Arundel Castle (4)


In 1939 she was requisitioned for use as a troopship and in November 1942 took part in the North Africa landings when she survived a glider bomb attack by shooting down a JU-88 aircraft.

She took part in the Sicily and Italian campaigns in 1943 and in August 1944 exchanged wounded prisoners of war at Gothenburg.

The Gripsholm (Swedish America Line) brought German POW's from the USA and, with the Arundel Castle and Drottningholm repatriated 1800 sick and wounded troops and 552 civilians to Liverpool.

All the ships had 'Protected' painted on their hulls. In January 1945 she carried out a similar exchange with Donaldson's Letitia when they carried 1940 persons including 1400 wounded, many from the Arnhem 'Market Garden' operation, from Marseilles to Liverpool.

During 1945-46 she continued trooping between the UK-Gibraltar-Malta - Port Said for the RAF and RN and in 1947, with berths for 846, carried emigrants to the Cape in 'Austerity' conditions.

After steaming 625,000 miles she completed her final government voyage in May 1949 and returned to her builders for an overhaul.

She returned to the Mail run on 21st September 1950 and on 6th November 1958 left Southampton on her 211th and final voyage having been replaced by the Pendennis Castle.

She was sold for scrap, realising £245,000, and was broken up in 1959 by Chiap Hua Manufacturing Co. at Kowloon, Hong Kong.

ARUNDEL CASTLE (2) was completed in 1921 by Harland & Wolff in Belfast with a tonnage of 19023grt, a length of 630ft 5in, a beam of 72ft 5in and a service speed of 16 knots. She was laid down in 1915 as the Amroth Castle but wartime shortages delayed completion.

The internal layout of the public rooms and passenger accommodation set the pattern for all subsequent mails ships until the Pendennis Castle was launched in 1958.

When she was delivered on 8th April 1921 for the mail service she was the company's largest ship at the time and caused a sensation on the route as she was so similar, albeit smaller, to the North Atlantic liners.

In 1923 she brought South African Prime Minister Smuts to London for the Imperial Conference and in 1925, during the seamen's strike, came home with a scratch crew which included 120 non-seamen and was the first Union-Castle vessel to arrive for a month.

In November 1926 she collided with the steamer Maud Llewyllyn in Southampton Water.

With her sister, the Windsor Castle (2), she was, in 1936, deemed too slow for the mail run and in the following year was modernised by Harland & Wolff which included re-engining and the reduction of funnels from four to two, resuming service in October 1937 with her service speed increased by 3 knots.

Service in WW2

Launch - 11 December 1919

Arundel Castle was the largest liner built in Belfast since 1914 when the Belgenland was built. So when the time came for her launch it attracted a great deal of local interest.

She was launched without any great ceremony.

At precisely 1145 the hull was set in motion and Arundel Castle took to the water.

Such was the urgency for new builds after the Great War than no sooner was she afloat than a new build number was hoisted at the yard for the next ship to occupy the slipway.

Refitted - 1937

In 1937 she was transformed from “ugly duckling” into the “beautiful swan” at Harland & Wolff

Re-engined to increase her speed from 15 to 19 knots

Arundel Castle

Artist - Maurice Randall

Arundel Castle

Artist - Keith Byass

Arundel Castle

Artist - Roger H Middlebrook

Off Cape Town

Artist - Unknown

In September 1944 exchanged wounded prisoners of war at Gothenburg.

The Gripsholm (Swedish America Line) brought German POW's from the USA and, with the Arundel Castle and Drottningholm repatriated 1800 sick and wounded troops and 552 civilians to Liverpool.

Resumption of Mail Service after WW2 - 1950

Arundel Castle - Art Gallery

Farewell Arundel Castle - 1958

Final Voyage to Hong Kong - 1959

On 30 December 1958 she left Southampton for Kowloon on her way to Chiap Hua, the ship breakers in Hong Kong.

When the ship arrived in Hong Kong harbour, Chiap Hua organised a lavish cocktail party on board the vessel with many of Hong Kong's dignitaries including government officials and bank executives.

The ship's furnishings and accessories—including the chronometers, captain's armchair, steering wheel, crockery and sterling silver cutlery—were offered as gifts.

In her career she had steamed 2,850,000 miles in peace-time service and 625,565 as a troopship.

A Bristol Britannia, in B & C livery, about to leave Heathrow for Hong Kong to repatriate the ship’s company

Arriving in Hong Kong Bay

Moored and awaiting her turn in the scrap yard

From the start of the war in 1939 until December 1940 Arundel Castle remained employed on her Liner Service.

From January 1941 until September 1949 she was taken up on Sea Transport Personnel services.

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Clyde


12-Jan


Freetown

25-Jan

29-Jan


Durban

10-Feb

12-Feb


Suez

03-Mar

18-Mar


Aden

22-Mar

22-Mar


Mombasa

30-Mar

05-Apr


Dar es Salaam

06-Apr

07-Apr


Durban

12-Apr

19-Apr

Voyage repairs

Cape Town

23-Apr

02-May

Voyage repairs and drydock

St Helena

05-May

07-May


Freetown

12-May

14-May


Freetown

16-May

16-May


Gibraltar

22-May

22-May


Avonmouth

01-Jun

15-Jun

Voyage repairs and fumigation

Newport

15-Jun

26-Jun


Freetown

13-Jul

16-Jul


Durban

29-Jul

03-Aug


Aden

18-Aug

18-Aug


Suez

22-Aug

30-Aug


Durban

10-Sep

21-Sep


Port Elizabeth

22-Sep

24-Sep


Cape Town

25-Sep

28-Sep


Trinidad

12-Oct

13-Oct


Clyde

23-Oct

12-Nov

Voyage repairs

Freetown

25-Nov

28-Nov


Durban

18-Dec

31-Dec

Voyage repairs

1941

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Port Elizabeth

01-Jan

03-Jan


Cape Town

04-Jan

14-Jan


Freetown

22-Jan

23-Jan


Clyde

03-Feb

17-Feb


Liverpool

18-Feb

23-Mar

Engine & boiler repairs, fumigation and drydocking

Freetown

06-Apr

11-Apr


Cape Town

23-Apr

02-May


Stranraer

22-May

22-May


Newport

27-May

02-Jun


Avonmouth

02-Jun

17-Jun

Voyage repairs and drydock

Clyde

20-Jun

21-Jun


Freetown

02-Jul

06-Jul


Durban

20-Jul

26-Jul


Aden

07-Aug

08-Aug


Suez

12-Aug

14-Aug


Diego Suarez

22-Aug

03-Sep


Durban

07-Sep

08-Sep


Port Elizabeth

09-Sep

14-Sep


Cape Town

16-Sep

20-Sep


Clyde

08-Oct

10-Oct


Glasgow

10-Oct

31-Oct

Boiler cleaning, ballasting and fumigation

Clyde

31-Oct

01-Nov


Algiers

09-Nov

15-Nov


Clyde

23-Nov

12-Dec


Algiers

21-Dec

24-Dec


Clyde

31-Dec



1942

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Clyde


07-Jan


Glasgow

07-Jan

17-Jan

Repairs to machinery and heavy weather damage

Clyde

17-Jan

24-Jan


Freetown

06-Feb

09-Feb


Cape Town

22-Feb

26-Feb


Aden

15-Mar

16-Mar


Suez

20-Mar

24-Mar


Aden

27-Mar

30-Mar


Mombasa

05-Apr

06-Apr


Durban

13-Apr

27-Apr


Cape Town

29-Apr

29-Apr


Liverpool

20-May

17-Jun

Voyage repairs and drydocking

Clyde

18-Jun

25-Jun


Glasgow

25-Jun

01-Jul

Voyage repairs

Malta

10-Jul

14-Jul


Gibraltar

21-Jul

21-Jul


Avonmouth

01-Aug

14-Aug

Voyage repairs

Clyde

14-Aug

16-Aug


Port Said

29-Aug

16-Sep

Voyage repairs

Alexandria

17-Sep

21-Sep


Taranto

24-Sep

24-Sep


Augusta

25-Sep

28-Sep


Greenock

07-Oct

15-Nov

Voyage repairs

Port Said

02-Dec

02-Dec


Suez

03-Dec

04-Dec


Aden

07-Dec

13-Dec


Mombasa

19-Dec

20-Dec


Durban

24 Dec


Voyage repairs

1943

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Durban


07-Jan


Mombasa

12-Jan

12-Jan


Aden

17-Jan

18-Jan


Suez

21-Jan

01-Feb


Port Said

02-Feb

03-Feb


Augusta

07-Feb

08-Feb


Algiers

11-Feb

12-Feb


Liverpool

20-Feb

14-Mar

Voyage repairs and drydocking

New York

23-Mar

06-Apr


Greenock

16-Apr

16-Apr


Glasgow

16-Apr

03-May

Voyage repairs

Greenock

03-May

05-May


Algiers

14-May

26-May


Greenock

29-May

11-Jun

Voyage repairs

Algiers

20-Jun

01-Jul


Naples

03-Jul

04-Jul


Algiers

05-Jul

07-Jul


Naples

08-Jul

09-Jul


Algiers

11-Jul

13-Jul


Naples

15-Jul

17-Jul


Algiers

19-Jul

21-Jul


Naples

23-Jul

24-Jul


Greenock

10-Aug

28-Aug

Voyage repairs and fumigation

Liverpool

29-Aug

02-Sep


Gothenburg

08-Sep

10-Sep

POW exchange & repatriation

Liverpool

15-Sep

16-Sep


Greenock

17-Sep

23-Sep


Glasgow

23-Sep

28-Sep

Voyage repairs

Greenock

28-Sep

30-Sep


Malta

09-Oct

09-Oct


Naples

10-Oct

13-Oct


Algiers

15-Oct

19-Oct


Naples

20-Oct

21-Oct


Oran

22-Oct

25-Oct


Algiers

26-Oct

29-Oct


Naples

30-Oct

31-Oct


Oran

02-Nov

03-Nov


Naples

05-Nov

08-Nov


Algiers

09-Nov

09-Nov


Bone

10-Nov

10-Nov


Naples

11-Nov

12-Nov


Algiers

14-Nov

19-Nov


Taranto

19-Nov

19-Nov


Oran

22-Nov

23-Nov


Naples

25-Nov

27-Nov


Taranto

28-Nov

29-Nov


Algiers

01-Dec

04-Dec


Gibraltar

11-Dec

12-Dec


Oran

16-Dec

17-Dec


Naples

19-Dec



Algiers

22-Dec

24-Dec


Naples

26-Dec

26-Dec


Gibraltar

31-Dec



1944

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Gibraltar


01-Jan


Greenock

06-Jan

07-Jan


Faslane

07-Jan

12-Jan

Fumigation

Greenock

12-Jan

12-Jan


Liverpool

13-Jan

15-Jan


Gibraltar

18-Jan

20-Jan


Marseilles

21-Jan

30-Jan


Gibraltar

31-Jan

31-Jan


Liverpool

05-Feb

10-Mar

Voyage repairs and drydock

Gibraltar

16-Mar

17-Mar


Port Said

21-Mar

21-Mar


Suez

21-Mar

23-Mar


Bombay

31-Mar

14-Apr


Suez

22-Apr

22-Apr


Port Said

23-Apr

23-Apr


Gibraltar

30-Apr

30-Apr


Greenock

05-May

05-May


Glasgow

05-May

23-May

Engine repairs

Greenock

23-May

27-May


Liverpool

28-May

30-May


Cristobal


16-Jun


Wellington

03-Jul

04-Jul


Sydney

06-Jul

15-Jul


Fremantle

22-Jul

22-Jul


Bombay

31-Jul

04-Aug


Aden

08-Aug

09-Aug


Suez

13-Aug

13-Aug


Port Said

13-Aug

14-Aug


Liverpool

23-Aug

16-Sep

Voyage repairs and fumigation

Haifa

24-Sep

25-Sep


Port Said

26-Sep

27-Sep


Malta

30-Sep

30-Sep


Toulon

02-Oct

03-Oct


Malta

06-Oct

06-Oct


Taranto

06-Oct

06-Oct


Port Said

09-Oct

11-Oct


Taranto

14-Oct

16-Oct


Port Said

18-Oct

19-Oct


Bombay

27-Oct

04-Nov


Suez

11-Nov

12-Nov


Port Said

12-Nov

13-Nov


Southampton

20-Nov

06-Dec

Voyage repairs and drydocking

Marseilles

11-Dec

15-Dec


Port Said

19-Dec

20-Dec


1945

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Saigon

04-Jan



Singapore

12-Jan

14-Jan


Bombay

20-Jan

24-Jan


Port Said

01-Feb

03-Feb


Takoradi

13-Feb

14-Feb


Freetown

17-Feb

18-Feb


Port Said

01-Mar

02-Mar


Suez

02-Mar

04-Mar


Bombay

11-Mar

17-Mar

Voyage repairs

Colombo

19-Mar

19-Mar


Singapore

23-Mar

25-Mar


Kure

01-Apr

07-Apr


Singapore

11-Apr

16-Apr


Port Swettenham

17-Apr

19-Apr


Colombo

22-Apr

25-Apr


Bombay

27-Apr

29-Apr


Suez

06-May

07-May


Port Said

08-May

08-May


Southampton

16-May

14-Jun

Drydocked for drawing of tailshaft for survey. Deck, engine and accommodation repairs, including boiler survey

Port Said

21-Jun

22-Jun


Suez

22-Jun

23-Jun


Aden

26-Jun

27-Jun


Mombasa

01-Jul

02-Jul


Durban

06-Jul

15-Jul


Kilindini

19-Jul

20-Jul


Aden

24-Jul

24-Jul


Port Said

28-Jul

29-Jul


Naples

01-Aug

01-Aug


Southampton

06-Aug

26-Aug

Deck, engine and accommodation repairs

Port Said

03-Sep

04-Sep


Aden

06-Sep

08-Sep


Singapore

18-Sep

19-Sep


Colombo

23-Sep

24-Sep


Bombay

26-Sep

29-Sep


Aden

03-Oct

03-Oct


Suez

06-Oct

06-Oct


Port Said

07-Oct

08-Oct


Southampton

15-Oct

07-Nov

Deck, engine and accommodation repairs

Gibraltar

10-Nov

11-Nov


Port Said

16-Nov

16-Nov


Aden

20-Nov

20-Nov


Singapore

29-Nov

04-Dec


Hong Kong

08-Dec

09-Dec


Shanghai

12-Dec

12-Dec


Kure

15-Dec

19-Dec


Hong Kong

25-Dec

27-Dec


Singapore

31-Dec



1946

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Singapore


01-Jan


Aden

09-Jan

09-Jan


Suez

12-Jan

12-Jan


Port Said

13-Jan

13-Jan


Southampton

21-Jan

07-Feb

Voyage repairs, drydocked for cleaning and painting

Port Said

15-Feb

15-Feb


Aden

19-Feb

20-Feb


Colombo

25-Feb

25-Feb


Singapore

01-Mar

04-Mar


Bombay

10-Mar

13-Mar


Suez

20-Mar

20-Mar


Port Said

20-Mar

21-Mar


Southampton

28-Mar

17-Apr

Voyage repairs

Port Said

24-Apr

25-Apr


Aden

29-Apr

30-Apr


Bombay

04-May

09-May


Suez

16-May

16-May


Port Said

17-May

17-May


Southampton

24-May

17-Jun

Voyage repairs

Gibraltar

20-Jun

20-Jun


Port Said

24-Jun

24-Jun


Port Sudan

27-Jun

27-Jun


Aden

29-Jun

29-Jun


Bombay

03-Jul

09-Jul


Aden

13-Jul

13-Jul


Suez

16-Jul

16-Jul


Port Said

17-Jul

18-Jul


Southampton

25-Jul

12-Aug

Voyage repairs, drydocked for cleaning and painting

Malta

17-Aug

17-Aug


Port Said

19-Aug

22-Aug


Malta

25-Aug

25-Aug


Gibraltar




Southampton

31-Aug

11-Sep

Voyage repairs

Malta

17-Sep

17-Sep


Port Said

20-Sep

21-Sep


Salonika


24-Sep


Piraeus


25-Sep


Malta

27-Sep

27-Sep


Gibraltar


29-Sep


Southampton

03-Oct

16-Oct

Voyage repairs

Port Said

23-Oct

25-Oct


Aden

28-Oct

29-Oct


Kilinidini

02-Nov

03-Nov


Bombay

09-Nov

14-Nov


Aden

18-Nov

19-Nov


Massawah

20-Nov

21-Nov


Suez

23-Nov



Port Said


24-Nov


Southampton

02-Dec

12-Dec

Voyage repairs

Malta

17-Dec

17-Dec


Port Said

19-Dec

21-Dec


Salonika


23-Dec


Piraeus


24-Dec


Malta

26-Dec

26-Sep


Gibraltar

27-Dec

29-Dec


1947

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Southampton

01-Jan

13-Jan

Voyage repairs

Gibraltar

16-Jan

16-Jan


Malta

19-Jan

19-Jan


Port Said

21-Jan

23-Jan


Piraeus

26-Jan

26-Jan


Malta

28-Jan

28-Jan


Southampton

02-Feb

12-Feb

Voyage repairs

Malta

16-Feb

16-Feb


Port Said

20-Feb

22-Feb


Cyprus

23-Feb



Salonika


25-Feb


Piraeus


26-Feb


Malta

01-Mar

02-Mar


Gibraltar

04-Mar

04-Mar


Southampton

07-Mar



1948

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Southampton


16-Jun


Malta

21-Jun

21-Jun


Port Said

24-Jun

26-Jun


Malta

28-Jun

28-Jun


Southampton

03-Jul

14-Jul


Malta

19-Jul

19-Jul


Port Said

21-Jul

23-Jul


Malta

25-Jul

25-Jul


Southampton

30-Jul

11-Aug


Gibraltar

14-Aug

14-Aug


Malta

16-Aug

16-Aug


Port Said

19-Aug

21-Aug


Malta

23-Aug

23-Aug


Gibraltar

25-Aug

26-Aug


Southampton

29-Aug

09-Sep


Malta

14-Sep

14-Sep


Port Said

16-Sep

18-Sep


Southampton

25-Sep


Handed back to owners

1949

Painted in her war-time grey colours

The very stylish 1st Class Lounge

The Interior of Arundel Castle

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