Saxon (IV) Fact File

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Saxon (IV) Fact File

Owner: Union-Castle Mail Steamship Co. Ltd.

Ship Details


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

Rigged: Schooner

Stern: Elliptical

Build: Clencher

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

Number: n/r

Iron or Steel: Steel

Pressure when loaded: n/r

Screw: Twin

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.

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