SS Saxon

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SS Saxon
SS Saxon.jpg
SS Saxon 1.jpg
Name SS Saxon
Owner Union Castle Steamship Co.
Builder Harland & Wolff, Belfast
Yard number 326
Launched 21 Dec 1899
Completed 9 Jun 1900
In service 16 Jun 1900
Out of service 1935
Fate scrapped at Blyth 1935
General characteristics
Type Passenger / cargo
Tonnage 12,385 tons
Length 570.5 ft (173.74m)
Beam 64.4 ft (19.51m)
Depth 38.6 ft
Propulsion twin screw
Speed 17.5 knots (32.41 km/h)
Capacity 310 x 1st; 203 x 2nd; 132 x 3rd; & 154 steerage


Originally ordered by the Union Steam Shipping Co, she was sold while being fitted out to the Union-Castle Mail Steam Shipping Co. and Used on the UK-South Africa route. In August 1902 she arrived at Southampton with three Boer Generals, Botha, de la Ray and de Wet, the Boer War having ended on 31st May with the establishment of three Boer republics within the British Empire.

During World War I Saxon remained on commercial service, although her third-class was devoted to troop-carrying on occasion. (Since Southampton had become a military port when the war began, Saxon's British terminus was moved to London.) From 1917 on, she was used full-time for trooping, primarily in the Mediterranean, ferrying troops between Alexandria and Marseilles. After the Armistice she repatriated Australian troops before being refitted for passenger service again.

Saxon resumed her Union-Castle service in 1919, and remained on the mail service through 1930. She made her final sailing on the intermediate service in January 1931 and was then laid up as a "reserve" ship. She was scrapped at Blyth in 1935, the last survivor of the Union Line fleet.

Soldiers carried

England to Port Melbourne 11 December 1918 - 31 January 1919