MV Stirling Castle.

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Mostonian, May 12, 2012.

  1. Mostonian

    Mostonian Member

    A friend's Dad served on this ship during the war, but other than telling her he was on Atlantic convoys she knows nothing. She looked into it herself but couldn't find anything. I think she was looking for HMS, rather than MV/RMMV.
    I've found the following voyages/convoys from various websites, but would be grateful if any of your expertise could flesh the story out with more convoys or sailings and any hostile encounters the ship encountered. Thanks in advance.

    1941
    14th of January arrived at Durban, South Africa, left for Britain on the 23rd of January via Capetown.



    Convoy WS.7: Departed Britain (Stirling Castle left from the Clyde) 24th of March arriving in Capetown on the 19th of April. This convoy had heavy protection as it comprised of Stirling Castle and 20 other troop ships full of men sent to Africa. RN ships included the battleships HMS Nelson and HMS Revenge, along with HMS Bedouin, HMS Matabele, HMS Somali, HMS Newcastle, HMS Legion, HMS Broadwater, HMS Cairo, HMS Edinburgh and the Polish destroyer Orp Piorun.


    1942
    Convoy WS.24B: Departed Durban on December the 6th arrived Bombay December the 17th.
    Stirling Castle, Athlone Castle, HMS Frobisher, HMS Mauritius


    1944
    Departed New York on the 29th of September arriving in Liverpool on the 9th of October. Carrying the 335th Infantry Regiment of the 84th US Infantry Division (The Railsplitters)


    1945
    Departed Capetown on (approximately) the 21st of May arriving in Southampton in late August after stops in St. Helena and Freetown.


    Departed Sydney on the 29th of July arrived in Liverpool on the 10th of September via Freemantle and Madras.
     
  2. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

  3. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

  4. Attached her detailed movements.

    Roger
     

    Attached Files:

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  5. PeteT

    PeteT Senior Member

    The best information I have found on the convoys is on the following site:

    WS (Winston Special) Convoys in WW2 - Routes and Ships

    Coincidentally, on one of the other forums that I subscribe to, one of the veterans has just described his time on the Stirling Castle whilst travelling with the RAF to India.

    Regards

    Pete
     
  6. Jon Horley

    Jon Horley Member

    Stirling Castle was in service as a passenger liner in the 1950s with the Union Castle group - some of their ships had Scottish names, as my family and I sailed on the Edinburgh Castle in 1952 to Port Elizabeth, SA. They were building them into the 1960s as we sailed also on the Windsor Castle in 1963 - a "hotel class" ship rather than one designated by A-E decks. I wasn't aware that the previous history of the older ones was ferrying troops - how very interesting.
     
  7. cally

    cally Picture Prince.

    Here is a rare shot of Stirling Castle ready to carry troops from Liverpool to the middle east during WW2.
     
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  8. richardbanyard

    richardbanyard Junior Member

    My father died recently and in his archives is a record that as a junior RAF officer he was shipped by MV Stirling Castle from Liverpool on 18 June 1942 and arrived at Durban in South Africa on 20th July 1942 (after a stop-over in Freetown. Sierra Leone between 2nd July and 6th July). Hope that helps. Richard Banyard






    A friend's Dad served on this ship during the war, but other than telling her he was on Atlantic convoys she knows nothing. She looked into it herself but couldn't find anything. I think she was looking for HMS, rather than MV/RMMV.
    I've found the following voyages/convoys from various websites, but would be grateful if any of your expertise could flesh the story out with more convoys or sailings and any hostile encounters the ship encountered. Thanks in advance.

    1941
    14th of January arrived at Durban, South Africa, left for Britain on the 23rd of January via Capetown.



    Convoy WS.7: Departed Britain (Stirling Castle left from the Clyde) 24th of March arriving in Capetown on the 19th of April. This convoy had heavy protection as it comprised of Stirling Castle and 20 other troop ships full of men sent to Africa. RN ships included the battleships HMS Nelson and HMS Revenge, along with HMS Bedouin, HMS Matabele, HMS Somali, HMS Newcastle, HMS Legion, HMS Broadwater, HMS Cairo, HMS Edinburgh and the Polish destroyer Orp Piorun.


    1942
    Convoy WS.24B: Departed Durban on December the 6th arrived Bombay December the 17th.
    Stirling Castle, Athlone Castle, HMS Frobisher, HMS Mauritius


    1944
    Departed New York on the 29th of September arriving in Liverpool on the 9th of October. Carrying the 335th Infantry Regiment of the 84th US Infantry Division (The Railsplitters)


    1945
    Departed Capetown on (approximately) the 21st of May arriving in Southampton in late August after stops in St. Helena and Freetown.


    Departed Sydney on the 29th of July arrived in Liverpool on the 10th of September via Freemantle and Madras.
     
  9. pepperdog

    pepperdog New Member

    My father was on the Stirling Castle in 1944. He was in the Rail Splitters. They left NYC TWICE. Shortly after they left a tanker ran into the ship, punching a hole just above the water line. The seas were calm and the ship came back to New York for repairs. When the arrived they were met by citizens greeting them thinking they were troops coming home. My father got a 24 hour pass and went home to Arlington VA and visited his parents. When he got back, a bit late, the barracks were empty. Fortunately he linked up with the rest of his team and made the crossing.
    He recalls that on the first trip he was able to secure a one bed cabin for himself, complete with sink. On the second trip, officers had secured the cabin and he had to make other arrangements. But whatever he found sounds better than my father in-law who was on the Queen Mary, where troops took turns sleeping in the pool (empty of course). Anyone know if there are deck plans available for the Stirling Castle? I would love to try to find the cabin.
     
  10. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Hi Pepperdog, try a search of the Scottish National Archives website. You never know what they might hold. If they don't hold anything on the Stirling Castle they might be able to put you in touch with others that can help. Cheers - Maria
     
  11. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Can I also suggest contacting Harland and Woolff, Belfast the builders of the ship, perhaps they have a museum or archives section that have kept records or at least they may be able to tell you where those records are now kept.

    TD
     
  12. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    You could try Glasgow University Archive. A friend found a lot of Scottish dockyard files including ship drawings there, I think most of the dockyards records are with the University now.
    Link to the Uni catalogue seach page:
    http://cheshire.cent.gla.ac.uk/ead/search/?operation=full&recid=gb248gua

    They have some Harland & Woolfe records, try using the seach function.
     
  13. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member

    I can add some information re the Athlone Castle's voyage when she left Liverpool on 26th November 1942 packed with troops bound for India and the campaign against the Japanese. The shortest route via the Med and the Suez Canal was not an option owing to ongoing enemy action in that area. There was also great fears that such troop ships would attract the attention of the U boats which prowled around in the Atlantic. These fears were well justified because on 12th September, The Laconia had been sunk there with a loss of 1,400 men. Consequently, the Athlone Castle sailed far out into the Atlantic on a rather zig zag course as she headed south, with the first port of call being Bahia in Brazil. The men were tightly packed on board this former luxury liner, and my father who was on board, related how his sea sickness put him totally out of action for weeks. The brief stay in Bahia ( 15th - 19th Nov) with a swift march up a hill for exercise, along a route lined with military police ( presumably to prevent escape?) was a relief. With rising temperatures, water was rationed and my father recalled how he had to supervise its distribution to ensure it was shared out fairly. To pass the time, numerous card schools sprang up, but Durban with the "Lady in White" singing her greeting to the troops was ready with a welcome. Local families invited the soldiers to their homes. From there the voyage continued and Bombay was reached before Christmas, and the soldiers were then sent off by train to various camps around India, in preparation for the next phase of their war. Hope this adds a more personal note to some of the facts discovered above.
     
  14. kohare

    kohare Member

    Stirling Castle movement card.jpg
    This is a photo I took in the NRA at Kew of part of the Movement Card for STIRLING CASTLE when I made a visit there to research the emigration of a relative of mine to New Zealand in 1946.

    And does anyone know what is meant by the abbreviation E.D.C used in entries on the card when the ship was undergoing repairs in Soton (presumably Southampton)?

    Kevin
     
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  15. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Hi Kevin,

    EDC = Estimate Date of Completion.

    Regards
    Hugh
     
  16. robbennie

    robbennie New Member

    my mom sailed on the Stirling Castle out of Halifax to Gourock on june 21, 1941 as part of the No. 14 Canadian General Hospital. Did this ship always travel in convoy or, like some fast liners, did it also travel on its own. I am writing a biography of my mom so would like to know the convoy number if it was part of a convoy. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  17. PeteT

    PeteT Senior Member

    Convoyweb shows the following for the Stirling Castle:

    Convoy TC.11

    Depart Halifax on 21 June 1941.
    Arrive Clyde on 30 June 1941.
     
  18. robbennie

    robbennie New Member

    thanks very much. Shortly after I made this post I found Convoyweb's site. A great resource and thanks for your prompt reply.
     
  19. Peter.Roach

    Peter.Roach New Member

    My grandfather captained the Stirling Castle from Jan 1942 tell Jan 1947. If anyone has info concerning his time while on board the ship, I would love to hear them. I do have his notes detailing particulars for each voyage, these are of the Jan/1942 Liverpool to South Africa, Auckland and back to Liverpool.[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  20. Peter.Roach

    Peter.Roach New Member

    Page 1a.jpg Page 2a.jpg
    Photos of his notes
     
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