Saxon (IV) Fact File
Owner: Union-Castle Mail Steamship Co. Ltd.
Vessel Type: Passenger ship
Official No: 112713
Builder: Harland & Wolff Ltd, Queen's Island, Belfast
Yard No: 326
Laid down: 11 May 1898
Launched: 21 December 1899
Handed over: 9 June 1900
Port & Date of Registry: Southampton, June 1900
Managing Owner & Address: Sir Donald Currie, KCMG and Sir Francis Evans, KCMG, 3 & 4 Fenchurch Street, London
Number of Decks: 3
Number of Masts: 2
Framework & Description of Vessel: Steel
Number of Bulkheads: n/r
Number of water ballast tanks: n/r
Length: 570.5 feet
Breadth: 64.4 feet
Depth: 38.6 feet
Gross Registered Tonnage: 12,385 tons
Engine Builder: Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast
Engine Type: 2 X quadruple expansion inverted direct acting surface condensing
Cylinders: 2 X 32; 2 X 46; 2 X 66; 2 X 96 inches
Stroke: 60 inches
Nominal Horse Power: 1,396
Description: Elliptical multi-tubular
Iron or Steel: Steel
Pressure when loaded: n/r
Speed: 17 knots
Signal Letters: R. Q. N. T.
The beautiful Saxon, and her sister ship Walmer Castle (Yard No. 342), formed the backbone of the combined Union and Castle Line fleets. Her maiden voyage took place on Saturday, 16 June; the local newspaper was enthusiastic about the new vessel and the significance of another link with Empire;
'Saxon, on her maiden voyage to the Cape, occurs an event, of Imperial interest as well as of local importance. This latest greyhound on the African route will draw our South African possessions closer to the Mother country by several days, and will tend to strengthen, by means of swift inter-communication, the band which binds England and her vast colony.'
Saxon was a three class ship, carrying 310 1st, 203 2nd and 286* 3rd Class passengers. She served as a Mail ship until 1931 on the run to South Africa from Southampton and apart from a bunker fire in August 1921, on a voyage to Cape Town which delayed her arrival by one week, she had a long, perfect and profitable operational record. She was eventually sold for breaking up at Blyth in 1935.
*On her maiden voyage she carried over 500 in 3rd Class.