HMS Athlone Castle
The ship that transported Lt. Charles Gumm to England in 1943



ATHLONE CASTLE was built in 1936 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 25564grt , a length of 696ft, a beam of 82ft 5in and a service speed of 20 knots. Sister of the Stirling Castle, she was launched by the Princess Alice, wife of the Earl of Athlone, a former Governor General of South Africa, on 28th November 1935. On 5th November 1937 she was the first mail ship to call at Buffalo Harbour at East London and on 22nd December 1938 inaugurated the 14 days or under 'Accelerated' schedule as stipulated in the 1936 mail contract. In 1940 she was the commodore ship of a Union-Castle convoy made up of the Arundel Castle, the Windsor Castle, the Winchester Castle, the Durban Castle and the Capetown Castle to carry South African troops to Suez following the outbreak of fighting in North Africa. During 1943, together with her sister, she trooped between the USA and UK carrying some 150,000 troops without any serious incident. In 1946 she underwent a refit and continued in service until 6th August 1965 when she concluded her 141st voyage at Southampton. Her sale had already been negotiated and ten days later she sailed for Kaohsuing in Taiwan where she arrived on 13th September for breaking up by the China Steel Corporation.
grt: Gross Registered Ton. A measure of the internal volume, or closed in spaces, of a vessel. One gross registered ton is equal to one hundred cubic feet (28.3 cu.m.).


US soldiers cheer and give the V sign as
their ship, Athlone Castle, berths in Liverpool.


The original 13th century Athlone Castle situated in Roscommon, Ireland, from which the ship took her