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to the Mail run on 21st September 1950 and on 6th November 1958 left Southampton on her 211th and final voyage having been replaced by the Pendennis Castle.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.
The very stylish 1st Class Lounge
Artist - Maurice Randall
Artist - Keith Byass
Artist - Roger H Middlebrook