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Galway Castle

The Galway Castle was a passenger ship of the Union Castle line. She was built in Belfast in 1911 and had a mass of 7,988 tons.

She caused a stir at East London on 12 October 1917 when she ran aground on the Orient Beach at the entrance to the harbour. Unlike the Orient which was wrecked at the same spot in July 1907, the Galway Castle was refloated after five days.

On 12 September 1918 -- less than a year later -- she was en route from Plymouth to South Africa when she was struck by a torpedo from a German u-boat. The single explosion broke her back but she floundered for three days before sinking.

She had at the time 749 persons on board, of whom143 lost their lives.

Keith Tankard
14 October 2009

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