Friday, 18 May 2012

S.S. Bowes Castle

Originally named Solfels built by J C Tecklenburg AG, Wesermünde as yard number 255 and launched on 8 April 1913, being completed the following month. She entered service with the Hansa Line, Bremen on 22 May 1913 and served with them for six years until taken as a war prize on 25 May 1919, passing to the British Shipping Controller under the management of H. Hogarth & Sons. In 1920, Solfels was sold to the Lancashire Shipping Company, who renamed her Bowes Castle, under the management of Chambers & Co.

In August 1921, forty Mongolian stowaways were discovered aboard Bowes Castle at New York. John Thomas, an engineer on Bowes Castle was charged with conspiracy to violate the United States immigration laws.

Bowes Castle was sold to Achille Lauro, Naples in October 1932, being renamed Angelina Lauro. On 10 June 1940, Angelina Lauro was interned at Liverpool and taken into Ministry of War Transport ownership on 23 July 1940 under the management of Galbraith, Pembroke & Company, London and renamed Empire Advocate. She served for five years and was sold for scrapping on 16 February 1945 to P. & W. Maclellan Ltd, Bo'ness.

Lowry refers to the ship in his novel Ultramarine; "I was third mate, son, once; lost my ticket through the booze - on an old Chambers tramp out of Liverpool S.S. Bowes Castle." (Pg. 59)

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