Walmer Castle
Ship Number
Vessel Type
Cargo Ship
Slip Number
Queen's Yard - No1
Launch Date
September 17, 1936
November 30, 1936
Union-Castle Mail Steamship Co.
905 grt
BP Length
230 feet
39 feet
No. of Screws
Speed (approx)
14 knots
Single Acting (S.A.) Diesel 8 Cylinder, 2 Stroke, 539 NHP
Official No.
 Walmer Castle

[Harland and Wolff Collection]

She was delivered on 30th November 1936 to replace the Eider on the Southampton - Bremen - Hamburg feeder service.
In 1940 she was requisitioned for use as an armed supply ship based at Scapa Flow and in June 1941 was converted into a convoy rescue ship. She became operational on 12th September 1941, replacing the Hontestroom which had unsatisfactory accommodation.
On 19th September she began her first tour of duty with OG 75 and rescued 23 crew members of the City of Waterford. On the following day she rescued 30 seamen from the Empire Moat and 28 from the Baltallin. During the next day, 21st September, and well astern of the convoy, she was attacked out of the sun by a Focke Wulf Kondor of I/KG 40 from Bordeaux, some 700 miles west of Ushant. She managed to dodge two bombs but a third scored a direct hit killing the captain, 10 of the crew and 2 of the rescued seamen. The remaining 12 crew members and 52 rescued survivors were picked up by HMS Marigold and HMS Deptford and the derelict hulk was sunk by gunfire.
The keels for Lairdswood, Lairdscrest and Lairdsbank were all laid 12-12-1935 on No.1 slip, Queen's Yard. On 01-02-1936, the keel of the Walmer Castle was laid on the same slip.