For well over a century an essential link between Britain and South Africa was maintained by the steamers of the Union Line and the Castle Line and by the vessels of the Union Castle Line which resulted from the amalgamation in 1900 of the two original companies.
Settlers, emigrants and, in less happy times, soldiers were all carried in countless thousands: machinery to work the ground and to mine the ores, textiles, foodstuffs and a thousand and one items classified as "general cargo" were shipped from Britain in these ships; and in return the fruits and products of Africa filled the holds of homeward-bound vessels. South Africa made Union-Castle, and Union-Castle in return contributed much to the development of the sub-continent.
W.H.Mitchell and L,A.Sawyer, two of the country's foremost shipping historians, tell the story of Union-Castle services up to the last sailing of the mail service in 1977 and of the ships employed.
heir text is complemented by the drawings of Nigel V. Robinson.