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Postby aukepalmhof » Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:25 pm

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A new set of stamps issued by British Indian Ocean Territory depict the WINDSOR CASTLE a steam ship, on which I found the following story:
In 1884 a sailing ship (other source give ship) WINDSOR CASTLE under command of Captain Raymond arrived at Diego Garcia, on board she had a cargo of several 100 tons of coal.
24 February she came at anchor off East Point.
Whilst under the influence of alcohol the captain landed at East Point with sixteen of his crew, armed with muskets, had the Union Jack hoisted to the top of a tree in front of the manager’s house, which was at the time occupied, and he informed the manager that he had taken possession of the island in the name of the British Government.
He also appointed M.Le Conte de Head Manager and signed the document ‘Lieutenant Governor’.
After this escapade Captain Raymond returned to his ship and sailed the next day, relinquished his temporary gain.

Taken from Two Flags, page 35.

On the stamp sheet is given that she did belong to W Lund & Sons Ltd., W Lund & Son was manager of the Blue Anchor Line, but did not have a vessel under the name WINDSOR CASTLE in his fleet.

There are a few British sailing-ships under the name WINDSOR CASTLE, but the stamp clearly depict a steamer, why they have chosen this design I don’t know, I can not find any connection between the ship depict on the stamp and the island group, maybe she has made a call there? At that time Diego Garcia was an important coaling station for British vessels.
Also the year given by the stamp as 1884, the vessel depict was already lost.

The American Lloyd’s Register of American and Foreign Shipping of 1883 have a ship rigged sailing vessel under the name WINDSOR CASTLE and commanded by Captain C.D. Raymond.

Built as a wooden ship in 1857 at Sunderland, U.K. by William Pile for Richard Green.
Launched as the WINDSOR CASTLE.
Tonnage 1075 gross, 1.075net, 860 tons under deck. Dim. 195.5 x 36.2 x 22.5ft.
Ship rigged.

She was built for the London to India service.

Lloyds Register 1876/77 gives that she is owned by R & H Green, London, at that time she was under command of Captain Harrison.
1882 Sold to E. Cox, Bridport, the WINDSOR CASTLE was still registered in London.
1884 She foundered to the southward of Algoa Bay.

The Scotsman of 13 September 1884 has:
Intelligence from St Helena, telegraphed from Madeira 12th September, reports:- The WINDSOR CASTLE, bound from Cochin for London, has been abandoned at sea. All the crew were saved and landed at St Helena.
The WINDSOR CASTLE was a wooden ship of 1075 tons gross built in Sunderland in 1857, and owned by Mr. E. Cox, of London.

Anyhow she is not depict on the stamp.
An image of the ship is given: ... ID=PAH9321

The vessel depict on the stamp must be the WINDSOR CASTLE of Donald Currie & Co., London.
Built as a passenger/cargo vessel under yard No 310 by Robert Napier & Sons, Glasgow.
25 April 1872 launched as the WINDSOR CASTLE (I)
Tonnage 2.672 gross, 1.732 net, dim. 334.7 x 37.7 x 28.2ft.
One 2-cyl compound steam engine, manufactured by builder, 270 hp, speed 10 knots.
Accommodation for first and second class passengers.
19 August 1872 registered.

She was built for the U.K to India service, on her maiden voyage broke the Southampton to Calcutta record.
After two voyages to India she was transferred to the U.K. to the Cape Mail service.
16 May 1873 arrived at Cape Town having broken the Cape southbound record in 23 days and 15 minutes.
October 1874 on a voyage to South Africa she caught fire, but managed to arrive in La Coruna, Spain.
1876 The company was renamed in Castle Mail Packet Company, London.

19 October 1876 under command of Captain William Hewitt on a voyage from Dartmouth to Cape Town she was wrecked near the Triangles to the west of Dassen Island.
No lives were lost.

The Scotsman of Tuesday 21st November 1876 has the following on the loss of the WINDSOR CASTLE.
She left 23d September 1876 from Dartmouth with mails, her voyage was unusually protracted, owning to the prevalence of head winds and gales, with generally bad weather. The morning of the 19th October, when she struck a reef off Dassen Island, 35 miles from Table Bay was the first fine one she had experienced for a fortnight. On the previous night the passengers retired to rest congratulating themselves that they should be in Table Bay on the following morning. At midnight the course was set in the usual manner, and the second officer, Mr. Grey, was in charge on the bridge. Shortly after 2 o’clock A.M. with a calm sea and very little wind the steamer suddenly struck ground with tremendous force. The shock caused the greatest alarm on board, and for several minutes a scene of confusion prevailed. Order was however restored and the vessel remained securely fixed in her position, steps were immediately taken for launching the boats preparatory to leaving her.
There were about 300 souls on board. At daylight it was discovered that the vessel had struck upon a reef of rocks to the west of Dassen Island, and the boats were immediately employed to remove the passengers to the island.
Lieutenant Melville, of the 24th Regiment, and Mr Searle volunteered to carry the news to Cape Town overland. They were landed on the coast, and reached Cape Town at ten o’clock the same night.
The FLORENCE steamship and other assistance were forwarded to the wreck, and the passengers with their luggage and the mails were forwarded to Cape Town, where all had arrived the day before the FLAMINGO left Table Bay (The FLAMINGO brought the news of the loss of the WINDSOR CASTLE to the U.K) .
The officers and crew left behind on board the WINDSOR CASTLE were used for recovering the cargo, and most of the cargo was salvaged., but the vessel was a total loss.

The company:

Formed in 1862 by Donald Currie as Donald Currie & Co., to run a regular sailing ship service to India and familiarly know as “Currie’s Calcutta Castles”. The first steamships entered service on the India route in 1872 and the same year, a passenger and private mail service from the U.K. to South Africa was inaugurated.
In 1876 the company became Castle Mail Packet Co. Ltd and a joint mail contract was awarded together with the Union SS Co.
Call at Vlissingen (Flushing), Netherlands began in 1889 resulting in the grant of a contract to carry the Dutch mails to South Africa.
1900 Castle Line merged with the Union SS Co. to form Union-Castle Mail SS Co.

British Indian Ocean Territory 2009 54p sg?, scott?

Source: Merchant Fleets in profile volume 3 by Haws. Union Castle Line A Fleet History by Peter Newall. Shipwrecks & Salvage in South Africa by Malcolm Turner. Some web-sites. Info received from Mr. John Stevenson.
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