Stirling Castle (2)


STIRLING CASTLE (2) was built in 1936 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 25550grt, a length of 696ft, a beam of 82ft 5in and a service speed of 20 knots.

She was launched on 15th July 1935 by Mrs Robertson Gibb, wife of the Chairman, and sailed on her maiden voyage on 7th February 1936.

She completed her first voyage in the scheduled time of 16 days 15 hrs but, capable of 21 knots if required, did the run in 13 days 9hrs in the following August and beat the record established by Union's Scot in 1893.

In 1966 she was sold for scrap, realising £360,000, and arrived at Mihara, Japan on 3rd March for breaking up by Nichimen K.K.

April-1944 Stirling Castle arrive at the docks in Liverpool to a welcome provided by a military band from the South Staffordshire Regiment and a US Army reception committee which includes a number of 'snowdrops' (US military police)

Arriving Melbourne with homecoming Australian Forces

The players and officials of British Rugby Team depart from Southampton


9th October 1935:  Shipyard workers constructing the funnel for the new liner, the 'Stirling Castle', on the quay at Belfast's Harland and Wolff shipyard

Hoisting the rudder stock into place

The Building of Stirling Castle

British Lions Tour of South Africa - 1938

Service in WW2

Laying the keel plate on 1 May 1934

Ready for the launch ceremony on 15 August 1935

After the launch Stirling Castle is moved to the fitting out berth

Stirling Castle

Artist - Frank H Mason


Stirling Castle outward bound passing The Needles

Artist - Robert Lloyd

Stirling Castle

Water Colour by Tony Westmore


Stirling Castle - Art Gallery

Stirling Castle brings Tristan da Cunha Residents to UK - 1961

In 1506 a Portuguese sea-captain called Tristao da Cunha came across a group of six little islands far out in the Atlantic between South Africa and South America. The largest of them, which he named after himself, has a volcano in the middle. The British annexed the islands in 1816 and a population slowly formed from members of a temporary British garrison, shipwrecked sailors and other Europeans, as well as women from other islands. By 1886 there were 97 inhabitants, clustered at the settlement of Edinburgh on Tristan da Cunha.

From August 1961 there were signs that the Tristan volcano was restless. There were earth tremors and in the following months a large fissure opened in the ground behind the island’s lighthouse and a mound formed that gave off a powerful smell of sulphur and grew steadily larger.

The island’s 264 people moved to the uninhabited Nightingale Island for an uncomfortable night before a Dutch liner, the Tjisadane, that happened to arrive the next day, took them away to Cape Town. HMS Leonard arrived from the Cape on October 13th to find that red-hot lava and smoke were pouring out of the mound, which was 250ft (80m) high.

The crew collected as many of the islanders’ belongings as they could before sailing back to South Africa, but all the farm animals and domestic pets had to be left behind.

The islanders were soon taken on to England in a mail ship, the Stirling Castle. After a brief spell in wooden huts in Surrey, they were housed at a former RAF camp at Calshot, near Southampton, where they suffered unhappily through an unusually cold English winter.

A Royal Society expedition in 1962 found that, although the Tristan crawfish cannery was no more and the islanders’ dogs had taken a heavy toll on the sheep, conditions seemed not impossible.

An advance party returned to Tristan in April 1963 and in November some 200 people, including four Tristan girls who had meantime married Englishmen, returned to their island.

The rescued islanders in church in Cape Town

As portrayed on the front covers of the South African Shipping News magazine.

Artist - Unknown

Farewell Stirling Castle - February 1966

MCC Tour of Australia & New Zealand - 1946

Before sailing for Australia, the players were busy hunting round for spare clothing coupons. On 31 August 1946 the team took a train from Waterloo Station, London, to Southampton Docks and sailed on the Union-Castle ship  ‘Stirling Castle’’. They made only one stop at Port Said, to Fremantle, landing on 24 September 1946.

The ship called at Colombo, but for the first time since 1903-04 did not play a match.  “Nearly a month at sea on a crowded ship run on austerity lines by the Government - no classes and no drink” {E W Swanton]

The team arrived at Perth much earlier than anticipated so an extra minor match was arranged.

After the Australian section of the tour, the bulk of the team flew by seaplane from Sydney to Auckland, then by road to Wellington for the first match in New Zealand.

Hutton flew home for a throat operation, arriving in England on 17 March.

Langridge (groin injury) had been unable to play for six weeks. With Gibb, Hardstaff, Eric Bedser (not an official member of the team) and Ferguson, he returned home in the ‘Largs Castle’, leaving Sydney on 18 March.

The main team returned by air in four groups, completed by the arrival of Hammond and Major Howard on 8 April.

Ikin had to remain in hospital at Rangoon for treatment to a septic arm wound.

In 1940 she was requisitioned for troopship duties capable of carrying 6000 persons eating and sleeping in two sessions, a capacity which was occasionally reached.

In 1941 she was kept on 7 day standby, as part of a 12,000 strong force, in case it became necessary to occupy the Azores and/or the Canary Islands and in 1943 carried troops from the US to the UK as part of Operation Bolero in readiness for the D-Day landings.

29th October 1935:  Shipyard workers at Belfast's Harland and Wolff shipyard, watch as a crane hoists the top portion of the rudder for the new liner, into place

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Liverpool


31-Oct


Freetown

14-Nov



Durban

03-Dec

05-Dec


Suez

22-Dec



1940

1941

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Suez


01-Jan


Durban

13-Jan

23-Jan


Cape Town

25-Jan

26-Jan


Clyde

15-Feb

24-Mar

Voyage repairs

Freetown


07-Apr


Durban

19-Apr

26-Apr

Voyage repairs

Melbourne

10-May

19-May


Halifax

14-Jun

21-Jun


Clyde

30-Jun

02-Jul


Liverpool

03-Jul

09-Jul

Drydocking and voyage repairs

Clyde

01-Aug

02-Aug


Freetown

18-Aug

21-Aug


Cape Town

02-Sep

06-Sep


Durban


09-Sep


Bombay

22-Sep

23-Sep


Singapore

30-Sep

02-Oct


Sydney

12-Oct

13-Oct


Auckland

16-Oct

25-Oct


Balboa

12-Nov



Cristobal


15-Nov


Liverpool

28-Nov


Drydocking and voyage repairs

1942

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Liverpool


07-Jan


Greenock

08-Jan

11-Jan


Freetown

25-Jan

29-Jan


Durban

13-Feb

17-Feb


Bombay

04-Mar

08-Mar


Colombo

11-Mar

14-Mar


Melbourne

27-Mar

30-Mar


Auckland

03-Apr

13-Apr


Balboa

28-Apr



Cristobal


01-May


Liverpool

17-May

20-Jun

Drydocking and voyage repairs

Freetown

02-Jul

06-Jul


Durban

20-Jul

26-Jul


Mauritius

31-Jul



Melbourne

13-Aug

15-Aug


Auckland

20-Aug

28-Aug


Balboa

13-Sep



Cristobal

13-Sep

15-Sep


Halifax

22-Sep

29-Sep


Liverpool

07-Oct

29-Oct

Engine and voyage repairs

Bahia

15-Nov

19-Nov


Durban

04-Dec

06-Dec


Bombay

17-Dec

24-Dec


1943

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Durban

04-Jan

08-Jan


New York

30-Jan

10-Feb

Engine repairs

(Broken piston rod)

Liverpool

19-Feb

17-Mar

Voyage repairs

New York

26-Mar

02-Apr


Casablanca

12-Apr

12-Apr


Oran

13-Apr

18-Apr


Gibraltar

19-Apr

25-Apr


Liverpool

02-May

17-May

Voyage repairs

Clyde

17-May

19-May


Oran

26-May

29-May


Gibraltar

30-May

31-May


Dakar

04-Jun

10-Jun


Freetown

12-Jun

06-Jul


Cape Town

21-Jul

26-Jul


Bombay

13-Aug

23-Aug


Durban

05-Sep

14-Sep

Drydocking

Bombay

28-Sep

05-Oct


Aden

10-Oct

10-Oct


Suez

13-Oct

16-Oct


Port Said

16-Oct

17-Oct


Augusta

21-Oct

23-Oct


Algiers

25-Oct

27-Oct


New York

07-Nov

05-Dec

Voyage repairs

Liverpool

15-Dec



1944

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Liverpool


15-Jan

Voyage repairs

Port Said

29-Jan

03-Feb


Augusta

07-Feb

08-Feb


Algiers

11-Feb

12-Feb


Liverpool

20-Feb

03-Mar

Voyage repairs

New York

12-Mar

23-Mar


Liverpool

03-Apr

15-Apr

Voyage repairs

New York

25-Apr

04-May


Liverpool

14-May

03-Jun

Voyage repairs

Drydocking to draw tail shaft

General troop deck repairs

Belfast

03-Jun

06-Jun


Greenock

06-Jun

14-Jul


Glasgow

14-Jul

17-Jul

Windlass armature repairs

Greenock

17-Jul

26-Jul

Gibraltar

01-Aug

04-Aug


Greenock

10-Aug

19-Aug

Voyage repairs

Fitting new fan in windlass motor

Gareloch

19-Aug

01-Sep


Greenock

01-Sep

04-Sep


New York

15-Sep

20-Sep


New York

21-Sep

28-Sep

Collision damage, repairs to stem

Liverpool

16-Oct

03-Nov

Repairs to stem damage

Drydocking and

troop deck repairs

Greenock

04-Nov

09-Nov


Port Said

20-Nov

21-Nov


Suez

22-Nov

23-Nov


Aden

27-Nov

28-Nov


Bombay

04-Dec

12-Dec

Voyage repairs

Suez

20-Dec

20-Dec


Port Said

21-Dec

26-Dec


1945

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Greenock

10-Jan

18-Jan


Liverpool

18-Jan

10-Feb

Voyage repairs

Belfast

10-Feb

16-Feb


Liverpool

16-Feb

18-Feb

Voyage repairs

Balboa

06-Mar



Wellington

22-Mar

23-Mar


Brisbane

26-Mar

27-Mar


Sydney

29-Mar

05-Apr


Wellington

08-Apr

16-Apr


Cristobal

01-May



Bermuda

06-May



Liverpool

20-May

18-Jun

Engine and general voyage repairs

Cristobal

29-Jun



Balboa


02-Jul


Wellington

18-Jul

20-Jul


Sydney

24-Jul

29-Jul


Fremantle

03-Aug

05-Aug


Madras

14-Aug

21-Aug


Suez

30-Aug

31-Aug


Port Said

01-Sep

02-Sep


Liverpool

10-Sep

04-Oct

Engine, troop deck and general voyage repairs

Drydocking

Algiers

08-Oct

08-Oct


Port Said

12-Oct

13-Oct


Suez

14-Oct

14-Oct


Fremantle

28-Oct



Sydney

04-Nov

14-Nov


Fremantle

20-Nov

20-Nov


Colombo

27-Nov

29-Nov


Suez

06-Dec

08-Dec


Port Said

08-Dec

09-Dec


Southampton

17-Dec


Voyage and machinery repairs

1946

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Southampton


19-Jan


Taranto

26-Jan

28-Jan


Port Said

30-Jan

30-Jan


Suez

31-Jan

31-Jan


Fremantle

15-Feb

17-Feb


Melbourne

21-Feb

22-Feb


Wellington

26-Feb

07-Mar


Sydney

10-Mar

13-Mar


Fremantle

19-Mar

20-Mar


Aden

01-Apr

01-Apr


Suez

05-Apr

05-Apr


Port Said

06-Apr

06-Apr


Southampton

14-Apr

19-May


Port Said

26-May

27-May


Suez

28-May

28-May


Fremantle

12-Jun

13-Jun


Melbourne


17-Jun


Sydney

20-Jun

29-Jun


Melbourne

01-Jul

08-Jul


Fremantle

12-Jul

13-Jul


Port Said

30-Jul

31-Jul


Southampton

08-Aug

31-Aug


Port Said

07-Sep

08-Sep


Fremantle

24-Sep

25-Sep


Melbourne

29-Sep

30-Sep


Sydney

02-Oct

09-Oct


Melbourne

11-Oct

20-Oct


Fremantle

24-Oct

25-Oct


Port Said

09-Nov

09-Nov


Malta

12-Nov

12-Nov


Southampton

17-Nov

02-Dec


Port Said

09-Dec

10-Dec


Bombay

18-Dec

23-Dec


Aden

27-Dec

27-Dec


Suez

30-Dec

30-Dec


Port Said

31-Dec

31-Dec


Now back in company livery

March  - 1946 Arrival at Sydney

1947

Port

Arrived

Sailed

Comments

Southampton

07-Jan

14-Jan


Belfast

16-Jan


To be re-fitted for the mail service

Welcoming homecoming troops at Fremantle

Resumption of Mail Service after WW2 - 1947

Her virtually trouble free war service ended in 1945 having steamed over 500,000 miles and carrying 128,000 troops.

She was finally released in 1946 and underwent a refit before returning to the mail run in 1947.

Stirling

Castle

Left Southampton

26 October

For South Africa

(Extra Service)

Master

D Sowden

Chief Officer

R Parkin

Second Officer

P Jordan

Extra Second Officer

J Innis

Third Officer

G Holden

Fourth Officer

D Wrathmall

Cadets

D Rees

J Woodrow

Carpenter

A Wadmore

Bosun

E Wheeler

Master-at-Arms

R Rogers

C Telfer

First Radio Officer

H Liggins

Second Radio Officer

G Walker

Third Radio Officer

W Owen

Fourth Radio Officer

J Holloway

Surgeon

M Cawley

Nursing Sister

Miss J Adams

Chief Engineer

W Makepeace

First Engineer

W Maitland

Second Engineer

W Deacon

Int Second Engineer

E Sartori

Jnr Second Engineer

A K Brown

D Beckett

D Cadenhead

Snr Third Engineer

B Russell

Int Third Engineer

J Ferguson

Jnr Third Engineer

E Pirie

Snr Fourth Engineer

T Guluk

Jnr Fourth Engineer

W Herd

Junior Engineers

J Ridley

A Sanders

J Gardner

R Johnston

J McCurdy

T Russell

First Electrician

H Forbes

Second Electrician

R C Smith

Third Electrician

T Jones

ER Storekeeper

E McCall

ER Leading Hand

J Watson

Purser

B James

Chief Catering Officer

G Browning

Second Purser

C Lloyd

Asst Pursers

W McCall

Second Catering Officer

C Lawrence

R Ledbury

Purser’s Clerks

M Leather

Miss B Greeb

Miss S Lomax

Miss C Vroons

Miss J Van Sante

Children’s Hostess

Miss E Heath

Chief Barman

L Farrow

Storekeeper

H Matthews

Linen Steward

J Cordiner

Head Waiters

P Law

A Barkhuysen

First Steward

V Jordan

Bandleader

A Blackburn

Laundryman

J Beavis

Chef

B Phillimore

Baker and Confectioner

A Woodward

Butcher

R Waterbridge

Shopkeeper

A Pond

Stirling

Castle

Left Southampton

1 February

For Mihara (Delivery Voyage)

Master

G Matthews

Chief Officer

R J C Parkin

Second Officer

R G Smith

Third Officer

G Holden

Carpenter

T Buckland

Bosun

E Wheeler

First Radio Officer

W Owen

Chief Engineer

W Maitland

Second Engineer

A Brudenell

Int Second Engineer

B Melling

Jnr Second Engineer

D Beckett

D Cadenhead

J Morris

Snr Third Engineer

J Ferguson

Jnr Third Engineer

T Guluk

Snr Fourth Engineer

D Walker

Junior Engineers

J Gardner

First Electrician

C Tingley

ER Storekeeper

J Watson

Second Catering Officer

W Woods

Chef

W Stevens

Final Passenger Voyage - November 1965

The Memorable Order of Tin Hats - July 1964

She served on the Cape run until her last voyage in 1965 when she arrived at Southampton on 30th November.

Finally left Southampton on 1st February 1966 for Mihara, Japan where she arrived on 3rd March for breaking up

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