SS Drakensburg Castle

The Empire Allenby was a 9,904 ton cargo liner which was built in 1944. She was renamed Drakenburg Castle in 1946, and scrapped in 1959.

  • Empire Allenby (1944-46)
  • Drakensburg Castle (1946-59)
  • Ministry of War Transport (1944-46)
  • Union Castle Mail Steamship Co Ltd (1946-59)
  • Owner operated except:-
  • Prince Line Ltd (1944-46)
Port of registry:
  • Sunderland (1945-47)
  • South Africa (1947-57)
  • South Africa (1957-59)
Builder: J L Thompson & Sons Ltd, Sunderland
Yard number: 633
Launched: 18 October 1944
Completed: June 1945
Out of service: 5 August 1959
  • UK Official Number 180157 (1945-47)
  • Code letters GJTM
  • (1945-47)
Fate: Scrapped in Hong Kong September 1959
General characteristics
Tonnage: 9,904 GRT
Length: 475 ft 4 in (144.88 m)
Beam: 64 ft 1 in (19.53 m)
Depth: 40 ft (12.19 m)
Propulsion: 2 x steam turbines double reduction geared driving one screw
Speed: 14.5 knots (26.9 km/h)


Empire Allenby was built by J L Thompson & Sons Ltd, Sunderland[1] as yard number 633. She was launched on 18 October 1944 and completed in June 1945.[2] Empire Allenby was built for the Ministry of War Transport and operated under the management of Furness, Withy & Co Ltd, who traded as Prince Line Ltd.[1]

In 1946, Empire Allenby was sold to the Union Castle Mail Steamship Co Ltd, who traded as the Union-Castle Line. She was renamed Drakensburg Castle.[3] On 22 July 1947, she was transferred to the South African registry. Although Drakensburg Castle was a fast ship compared to others in the Union-Castle Line fleet, she was expensive to operate and not suitable for use as a tramp. She was sold for scrap to the Hong Kong Salvage & Towage Co and arrived for scrapping in Hong Kong on 5 August 1959. Drakensburg Castle was scrapped in September 1959.[4]

Official number and code letters

Official Numbers were a forerunner to IMO Numbers.

Empire Allenby had the UK Official Number 180157 and used the Code Letters GJTM.[1]


  1. "LLOYD'S REGISTER, STEAMERS & MOTORSHIPS" (PDF). Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 24 December 2008.
  2. "1180157". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 24 December 2008.
  3. "Empire-A". Mariners-L. Retrieved 24 December 2008.
  4. "INDUSTRIAL SUNDERLAND - PAGE 32, SHIPBUILDERS - PAGE 10". Rogers. Archived from the original on 25 October 2009. Retrieved 24 December 2008.
  • Photo of Drakensburg Castle.
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