H.M.S EDINBURGH CASTLE

Picture kindly supplied by www.simplonpc.co.uk

EDINBURGH CASTLE (2) was built in 1910 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 13362grt, a length of 570ft, a beam of 64ft 5in and a service speed of 14 knots. Sister of the Balmoral Castle she was the last of a group of almost identical ships and replaced the Norman.

On 14th August 1914 sailed from Cape Town with mail and government only passengers to Gibraltar where she embarked troops before being escorted to England by HMS Minerva. She was then taken over as an auxiliary cruiser for the South Atlantic patrol and in January 1915 sailed from Devonport for South Africa with White Star's Ceramic to hunt for the German ships Karlsruhe and Kronprins Wilhelm. In 1918 served in the North Atlantic on convoy work.

She resumed commercial operations in 1919 after a refit and during that year carried General Smuts back to South Africa. She was withdrawn from service in 1938 and laid up at Netley until August 1939, when she was requisitioned  by the Admiralty, to stop her being scrapped, and used her for an accommodation ship in Freetown, Sierra Leone for Naval personnel and survivors of sunken ships.

She was released from service in September 1945, but by then so much growth had accumulated on her hull during her years at Freetown that she could not be economically returned to Britain for refitting, so she was towed 60 miles out to sea by the tug Empire Lawn and sunk by gunfire and depth charges from the armed trawler Cape Warwick, HMS Porchester Castle and HMS Launceston Castle.



Some Information & Images are Courtesy of Malcolm W Pickhaver