On This Day

11 September

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1919 Arundel Castle


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The passenger ship Arundel Castle (Yard No. 455) was launched today for the Union-Castle Mail Steamship Co. The 19,500-ton vessel was originally laid down as Amroth Castle, but during construction the name was changed to Arundel Castle.

Arundel Castle was the fourth and last four funneled liner built by Harland & Wolff and the largest vessel to date built for the mail and passenger service between Southampton and South African ports.

The launch of the ship featured in advertisements for Harland & Wolff in the 1920s
(See Advert Archive - 1920s)

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1916 Brecknockshire

The cargo ship Brecknockshire (Yard No. 453) was launched today for the Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. The 8,422-ton vessel was laid down on 9 February 1914, but following the outbreak of war in August work was suspended. In 1916 work commenced again due to the urgent need for tonnage to replace vessels sunk by U-boats. She left on her maiden voyage to South America on 11 January 1917 but on 15 February was captured by the German surface raider Moewe and sunk.

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1924 Statendam


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The passenger ship Statendam (Yard No. 612) was launched today for the Holland-America Line. The 28,130-ton vessel was a virtual replacement for Statendam (Yard No. 436), completed by Harland & Wolff as Justicia for White Star and lost through enemy action off the north coast of Ireland in 1918 while serving as a troop transport.

Laid down in 1921, the new vessel was the largest launched from a British yard since the war and the largest on any stocks in the world at that time with accommodation for 3,000 passengers and fitted with the latest type of propelling equipment, two sets of Brown-Curtis single reduction geared turbines.

Soon after her launch the United States immigration limitations dramatically reduced the numbers allowed to enter the country and as a consequence ships like Statendam were practically made redundant in this trade. After her launch work stopped completely and she was moored at the Deep Water Wharf laying idle for more than two years. Finally, in April 1927, after the Dutch Government provided Holland-America with a loan to finish construction. Statendam was towed to Schiedam, where she was completed by Wilton Fijenoord. On 11 April 1929, after eight years, Statendam made her long-delayed maiden voyage, on Holland-America's Rotterdam-New York service.

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1930 San Francisco

The 5,984-ton cargo ship San Francisco (Yard No. 890) was launched today today for Compagnie Générale Transatlantic (French Line).