|The CASTILIAN was
originally built as a 'C' Type Standard Ship for use in the First
World War and was to have been called the WAR OCEAN II. But by the
time she was launched in June 1919 the war was over and she was
renamed. She was a single screw vessel with a set of three engines
that gave her a speed of 11.75 knots.
On the 11th February 1943 under
Royal Naval control, the Master's orders were that she should leave
Eastam Docks that afternoon, and that if he could not make Holyhead in
daylight, he was to anchor in Church Bay, a small inlet on the
Anglesey coast some four miles to the North of Holyhead. She was then
to join a convoy leaving Holyhead on the following afternoon.
As she steamed along the North
coast of Anglesey she encountered a South Westerly gale, and as
instructed, the Master decided to anchor. The Master had said before
leaving Eastham, that contrary to Naval Orders, he was not prepared to
anchor in Church Bay and would choose instead to anchor off Holyhead
Breakwater. Having dropped both anchors at 1.45 a.m., by 2.10 a.m.
they had started to drag. It was decided to lift them and to take the
ship further out to sea. But this proved difficult and this procedure
was not completed until 2.53 a.m. when the vessel moved forward at
full speed. A course was set, the Master went below, and twenty seven
minutes later, at 2.20 a.m., the ship struck on the starboard side.
She was lodged on the East Platters, an outcrop of rocks half a mile
to the South East of the Skerries rock.