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KINFAUNS CASTLE (1) .was built in 1879 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 3507grt, a length of 360ft 4in, a beam of 43ft and a service speed of 12 knots. She was delivered to D. Currie & Co., which was still the registered name of the company, was the first steel hulled ship ordered by the company and constructed for potential conversion into an Armed Merchant Cruiser. In 1883 she was sold to the Russian Volunteer Fleet at Odessa and renamed Moscva (Moskva) and in 1895 became the Russian training ship Proot (Prut), also based in Odessa. In 1909 she was converted into an operational minelaying training ship. On 29th October 1914 she was hit by gunfire from the German battlecruiser Goeben which had been temporarily renamed Sultan Selim off Cape Fiolen, Sevastopol and was scuttled to avoid capture. Ten days later the Sultan Selim was badly damaged by two mines laid by her victim .(A.Crisp)

GRANTULLY CASTLE (1) was built in 1879 by Barclay, Curle & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 3489grt, a length of 359ft 7in, a beam of 43ft 10in and a service speed of 12 knots. Sister of the Kinfauns Castle she was built in iron rather than steel and joined the mail run in January 1880. In 1888 she became the first Castle ship to be fitted with refrigeration for fruit and carried 30 tons of grapes packed in cork dust. She was sold to Booth Line in 1896 and renamed Augustine (2). On 2nd October 1904 she rescued the crew of the Greek ship Clementine, owned by AG Vassiliadi of Syra, 24 miles west of Ushant. She was sold for £8250 in August 1912 and broken up by Harris & Co. at Falmouth, Cornwall. (Photo: Nautical Photo Agency)

GARTH CASTLE was built in 1880 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 3537grt, a length of 365ft, a beam of 43ft 6in and a service speed of 12 knots. The first of two near sisters of the Kinfauns Castle she was named after Sir Donald Currie's estate in Scotland. On 23rd July 1881 she hosted a dinner for leading personalities after a fleet review in Leith Roads. Transferred to the Intermediate service in 1890 she became surplus to requirements when the companies merged in March 1900. She was sold to Elder Dempster & Co. in 1901 for their Bristol to Jamaica service and in the July was chartered to Franco-Canadian Steam Navigation Co. for their Dunkirk - Bordeaux - Quebec run. In 1902 she was sold to Khedivial Mail Steamship & Graving Dock Co. of London and renamed Ismailia. She was sold on to Soc. Armatrice Radivo-Frausin of Trieste, renamed Brunette and broken up in Italy in 1923.

DRUMMOND CASTLE was built in 1881 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 3537grt, a length of 365ft, a beam of 43ft 6in and a service speed of 12 knots. Sister of the Garth Castle she was built for the mail run and, in 1892, had the distinction of carrying the first cargo of South African peaches in her 'cold chambers'. She was transferred to the Intermediate service in 1894. On 28th May 1896 she sailed from Cape Town under the command of Capt. W.W. Pierce with 143 passenger and 103 crew. On 16th June she was lost at night and in poor visibility on Pierres Vertes Reef, Molene Island off Ushant. The sea was so calm that there were no breakers to warn the watch keepers that the ship was off course in the tide race. Earlier, the Werfa (C.H.W. Grassdorf, Cardiff) had sighted and logged the Drummond Castle as being off course. When the ship hit the reef the captain was under the impression that she was fast aground and ordered the lifeboats to be readied for lowering. In accordance with company policy for ships at sea the lifeboats were already slung out and all that was required was for the braces and belly bands to be removed. The captain also gave the order to let off steam in case of explosion. However, the ship was not fast and had overshot the reef. Within four minutes she had sunk before a lifeboat could be lowered and out of the 246 persons on board only three were saved, one passenger and two members of the crew. M. Alphonse Bertillon of the French Criminal Investigation Dept. was asked to investigate the scene and identified 51 of the 53 bodies recovered, receiving a gold medal from Queen Victoria for his efforts. In 1929, whilst searching for bullion aboard P&O's Egypt which sank in 1922, the Italian salvage vessel Artigilio of Soc. Sorima found the hull of the Drummond Castle with a long gash in the hull from the keel to the waterline.

PEMBROKE CASTLE (2) was built in 1883 by Barrow Shipbuilding Co. at Barrow-in-Furness with a tonnage of 3936grt, a length of 400ft 2in, a beam of 42ft 7in and a service speed of 12 knots. She was actually purchased on the stocks, the only vessel built away from the Clyde prior to the merger, the first four masted steamship and the largest ship in the fleet at the time. On completion in July 1883 she undertook a shakedown cruise carrying dignitaries around Britain but also made a call at Copenhagen where the Tzar and other royalty were received on board. In service she replaced the Kinfauns Castle and was deployed on the Intermediate run and as a relief mailship. In June 1901 she was used as a coastal passenger and mailship following the loss of the Tantallon Castle. She was sold to the Turkish Government in 1906 and renamed Bezmi-Alem for use as a Black Sea and consular passenger ship to Trabzon. In August 1915 she was sunk by Russian warships off Samsoun in Turkey. (Photo: from UCPSC 01/01)

DOLPHIN was a tug built in 1883 with a tonnage of 49grt, a length of 76ft and a beam of 16ft. She was brought out from Southampton in 1883 and stationed at East London. In 1899 she was replaced by the larger Penguin and was sold to Clifford E. Knight of Cape Town in January 1900.

DOUNE CASTLE (1)/DUNBAR CASTLE (1) was built in 1883 by Barclay, Curle & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 2682grt, a length of 335ft, a beam of 38ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. She was laid down as the Doune Castle but when it was discovered that the staff pronounced the name in a variety of ways the name was changed to Dunbar Castle. The same problem obviously didn't arise when the Doune Castle (2) was launched seven years later. When delivered she was already too small for the growing trade and was used as an extra steamer, mainly on the Mauritius service. In 1895 she was sold to Fairfield Ship Building and Engineering Co. in part payment for the Tantallon Castle, renamed Olympia and re-sold to R. Barnwell of London. Two years later she was acquired by the Scottish American Steam Ship Co. of Glasgow with Sir W. G. Pearce as manager and later by W. M. Rhodes for use in the USA as the Northern Pacific Steamship Line. In 1898 when war with Spain was declared, she was sold to the North America Mail Steam Ship Co. of Tacoma for operation of the Tacoma (terminal of the Northern Pacific railway Co.) - Victoria - Yokohama - Hong Kong - in parallel with the Canadian Pacific service out of Vancouver. By 1903 she was owned by the North Western Steam Ship Co. of Seattle with J. Rosine as manager and in 1904 was sold to the Alaska Steam Ship Co. who removed her yards and installed three lifeboats on each side. In October 1910, still as the Olympia, she was wrecked on the coast of Alaska.

ARUNDEL CASTLE (2)/CLUNY CASTLE (1)/METHVEN CASTLE was built in 1883 by Barclay, Curle & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 2681grt, a length of 335ft, a beam of 38ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. She was initially advertised as the Arundel Castle then as the Cluny Castle but was delivered as the Methven Castle. Sister of the Dunbar Castle she was also too small for the growing trade and was used as an extra steamer until 1897 when she was sold to the Scottish American Line, renamed Columbia and used on the same routes as the Dunbar Castle operating a bi-monthly service. In 1898 she was sold to the North American Mail Steam Ship Co. of Tacoma and in 1904 became the Rosecrans when she was re-sold to Matson Navigation Co. of San Francisco and converted to carry oil in bulk to Honolulu. By 1905 she was owned by the Associated Oil Co. of San Francisco and in January 1913 was wrecked on the coast of California.

ARDTORNISH CASTLE/HAWARDEN CASTLE was built in 1883 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 4341grt, a length of 380ft 7in, a beam of 48ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. Although advertised as the Ardtornish Castle she was renamed Hawarden (pronounced 'Harden') Castle after the Prime Minister William Gladstone's estate in North Wales. Launched by Mrs. Gladstone she was Donald Currie's largest ship at that time. Delivered for the mail run the class of three vessels were heavy rollers in a cross sea. On 8th February 1893 she towed the Aberdeen Line's Sophocles into Cape Town after she had lost her propeller when four days out of port. She transferred to Union-Castle in 8th March 1900 and in 1904 was sold to Booth Line of Liverpool and renamed Cyril (2). On 5th September 1905 she was lost below Para in the River Amazon after being in collision with Booth's Anselm.

NORHAM CASTLE was built in 1883 by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 4012grt, a length of 380ft 7in, a beam of 48ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. Sister of the Hawarden Castle she was built for the Mail service and in June 1887 was one of the two Castle ships at Queen Victoria's Jubilee review at Spithead. Transferred to Union-Castle on the merger she was sold in 1903 to Compagnie Général Transatlantique for their Bordeaux to West Indies service and rename Martinique. She was eventually broken up in Italy during 1932.

ARMADALE CASTLE/ROSLIN CASTLE (2) was built in 1883 by Barclay, Curle & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 4280grt, a length of 380ft, a beam of 48ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. When the keel was laid her intended name was the Armadale Castle but she was launched on 24th April 1883 as the Roslin Castle initially for the mail service but later on the East coast of Africa routes. She was renowned for her tendency to roll and was nicknamed the Rolling Castle. In 1888 she was re-engined and, at the same time, had a new stern fitted in what proved to be an unsuccessful attempt to reduce the rolling. Her new triple expansion engine increased her speed to 15 knots and in October 1889 she reduced the Cape - Plymouth run to 15 days 22 hrs 4 min. On 5th June 1891she carried the last mail from Dartmouth when the mail embarkation port was changed to Southampton. On 22nd October 1899, as HMT 26, she was part of the first convoy of six troopships to carry troops to South Africa on the outbreak of the Boer War being the first to arrive with part of the West Yorkshire Regiment. She transferred to Union-Castle on 8th March 1900 following the merger. In September 1904 she was sold to German interests in the Hamburg-Amerika Line, renamed Regina, painted black and fitted out for use as a store ship for the Russian Navy in the Far East. When the Japanese broke off diplomatic relations with Russia on 5th February 1904 and attacked the Russians at Port Arthur four days later German colliers were used to coal the Baltic Fleet on its way to the Far East where it suffered a heavy defeat at the Battle of Tsushima on 27th May 1905. In March 1905, loaded with coal, the Regina grounded on the coast of Mozambique and after the cargo was salvaged she was eventually towed back to Durban where she remained until engine repairs were made which enabled her to steam to Italy. Records show that she never served under the Russian Navy and in 1908 she was broken up at Genoa in Italy.

CLUNY CASTLE was a sailing ship built in 1883 by Barclay, Curle & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 1986grt, a length of 276ft 6in, and a beam of 41ft 2in. She was used to carry up to 150 emigrants on cheap assisted passages to South Africa and Welsh anthracite to Calcutta where the coal was of an inferior quality. On the return voyage she carried jute. Since three sailing ships had been sold to Charles Barrie during 1883 her acquisition came as somewhat of a surprise but she was Donald Currie's last and was eventually sold with the only other remaining sailing ship, the Carisbrooke Castle, in 1889. Sold to Edenmount Sailing Ship Co. of Greenock with R. Ferguson as managers, she was renamed Rowena and remained until 1913 when she was re-sold to Rederiaktieb 'Delfin' of Helsingfors (Helsinki) with G. Stenius as manager. She was eventually broken up in 1924.

DOUNE CASTLE (2) was built in 1890 by Barclay, Curle & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 4046grt, a length of 396ft, a beam of 43ft 2in and a service speed of 12.5 knots. She was the first ship to be specifically designed as an intermediate liner initially for the London - South Africa - Mozambique ports together with her sister the Lismore Castle. Unfortunately, there were problems with the French and she entered service on the Mauritius run. In 1904 she was taken back with her sister by Barclay, Curle in part payment for the Cluny Castle and the Comrie Castle which were being built. She was resold by them to East Asiatic Co. (Ostasiatiske Kompani) of Copenhagen for a passenger service to the West Indies and renamed Domingo. In 1905 she was transferred to the East Asiatic Co., a Russian subsidiary company, and renamed Curonia. She was sold to Goshi Kaisha Kishimoto Shokai of Darien and renamed Kaijo Maru in 1913. Sold again in 1918 she was renamed Susanna II by Madrigal & Co. of Manila and was broken up in 1936.

LISMORE CASTLE was built in 1891 by Barclay, Curle & Co. at Glasgow with a tonnage of 4046grt, a length of 380ft, a beam of 48ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. Sister of the Doune Castle she was delivered in Jan 1891 for the same service. On 20th October 1899 she sailed from Southampton bound for Cape Town carrying troops to the Boer War. After the merger in 1900 she continued to be used as a troopship with troops in 3rd class whilst being deployed on the Intermediate service. In 1904 she was returned to Barclay, Curle as part payment for new buildings and renamed Westmount. In the following year she was sold to Cia Trasatlantica of Barcelona and renamed C. Lopez y Lopez ,after one of the founders, for deployment on their Central American service to Mexico. When wartime passenger traffic increased in 1916 she was placed on the Barcelona - Malaga - Cadiz - New York service until the US joined the Allies in 1917 when she reverted to the Mexico service. She was finally broken up in Italy during 1931.

DUNOTTAR CASTLE was built in 1890 by Fairfield Ship Building & Engineering Co. at Govan with a tonnage of 5625grt, a length of 433ft, a beam of 49ft 8in and a service speed of 17 knots. Launched by Lady Currie she was designed to outclass the other ships in the Union fleet. On 20th June 1891 she loaded the first consignment of mail at Southampton when it was substituted for Dartmouth and completed the homeward run from Cape Town in 16 days 14 hours. In 1894 she grounded for two tides near the Eddystone Lighthouse. She had a refit in 1897 when the funnels were heightened, the yards were removed and she was given a wheelhouse. In November 1899 she carried General Buller and 1500 troops to Cape Town for Boer War duties and on the following voyage carried Lord Roberts and Lord Kitchener. On 8th March 1900 she became part of the merged Union-Castle fleet and was the first ship to fly the new houseflag. In December of that year her propeller shaft snapped and she had to be towed into Dakar the Galician being diverted to pick up the passengers and mail. In 1904 she was laid up at Netley in Southampton Water but by 1907 she was being chartered to the Panama Railroad Co. for their New York to Colon (Panama Canal) service. In 1908 she was chartered to Sir Henry Lunn Ltd for cruises to Norway and the Mediterranean, and in 1911 she took guests to the Delhi Durbar of King George V. She was sold to the Royal Mail Line in 1913 for cruising, renamed Caribbean and given a white livery. On the outbreak of the First World War she was initially used as a troopship to bring soldiers from Canada to Europe before being requisitioned as an Armed Merchant Cruiser. However it was found that she was unsuitable to carry gun mountings and was converted into a dockyard workers accommodation ship in May 1915. On 26th/27th September of the same year she foundered in heavy weather off Cape Wrath whilst en route to Scapa Flow with the loss of 15 lives. HMS Birkenhead took the crew off. (Photo: World Ship Society Library)

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