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Volume Eleven - Pre-Victorian to the Present Day - some more aspects - Random Rants, Notes and Articles No. 1 . . .

During research for this Penarth Dock website I stumbled across many news and other interesting items which alone do not warrant inclusion as a chapter or section in their own right, hence, I have compiled a selection of them into this random chapter, for review, perhaps over a pint or two of Brains Red Dragon! If you have any similar items of interest please email me.



• 1940 - s.s. 'Arabistan' and Penarth Dock

A fine book by Bernard Edwards entitled Beware Raiders! German Surface Raiders in the Second World War [969] has reference to the 'Arabistan' and Penarth Dock. The following account relates to Christmas Day 1940 and convoy WS 5A in the North Atlantic when about 650 miles due west of Cape Finisterre:

Immediately ahead of the Empire Trooper and her escort was another straggler, the 5,874-ton Arabistan, owned by Frank C. Strick and Company of London and commanded by Captain Metcalfe. She was far from her usual trading grounds, the warm benign waters of the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, and was making very heavy weather of it.

Some three weeks earlier, conscripted by the necessities of war, she had gingerly negotiated the narrow locks of the near-defunct South Wales port of Penarth and berthed alongside a wharf that had once been a resting place for tall-masted Cape Horners.

In these unfamiliar surroundings, the Arabistan loaded with a cargo of bombs, shells and military stores and equipment, topping off with a large invasion barge - one of the first of its kind - lashed down on the deck in two sections. And to complete her contribution to the war in the Middle East, the Arabistan also carried a small contingent of New Zealand Maori troops, on route to rejoin their unit after training in Britain.


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