Arandora Star

On 2 July 1940 the Arandora Star was hit by a German torpedo and sunk off the coast of Donegal, Ireland. The ship was transporting 1,500 German and Italian men to interment camps in Canada. Over 800 people died in the sinking, a figure exacerbated by inadequate lifeboat provision.

The Arandora Star was built in 1927 and intially sailed under the name Arandora. The Arandora’s maiden voyage was on 22 June 1927 to Buenos Aires, and can be found in the exclusive Passenger Lists on ancestorsonboard.com.

Passenger Lists - Arandora maiden voyage

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Rebuilt and renamed in 1929, the Arandora Star continued to sail as a luxury cruise ship. Records from it can be seen in our Passenger Lists, by searching under ship name.

Search the Passenger Lists

An example of the journies undertaken in peacetime by the Arandora Star can be seen below, from a cruise made in March 1939:

Passenger Lists - Arandora Star Cruise

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The captain of the fateful journey in July 1940 was Edgar Wallace Moulton. He can be seen sailing her in 1939, in the Passenger Lists on ancestorsonboard:

Passenger Lists - Edgar Wallace Moulton

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A Canadian destroyer, HMCS Laurent, arrived to attempt a rescue mission, but it proved largely fruitless. Some of the scant lifeboats on board had been damaged by the torpedo, whilst others were unusable. Those internees that survived the sinking were still deported, sent on other ships as soon as possible to Australia.

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2 Responses to Arandora Star

  1. Debra D'Annunzio says:

    My name is Debra D’Annunzio and I have just completed my first book entitled Liverpool’s Italian families. My own family were part of the pioneering immigrants that came to Liverpool from Atina in the Comino Valley and developed the slum area to the rear of William Brown Street into a thriving cultural melting pot of ice cream vendors, mosaic layers and musicians.

    Even though there isn’t an area dedicated to the Italians as such any more I feel its my duty to bring the vibrancy back and encourage all the descendants of the Italian immigrants to be aware of their families struggles during the 19th century and become a part of the Italian culture once more through gatherings, festivals and of course literature.
    The book contains a chapter dedicated to the sinking of the Arandora star, a relative of mine Antonio D’Annunzio lost his life onboard aged 35

    Hon. Italian Consul Nunzia Bertali and Deputy Council Leader Flo Clucas are presenting the book to the Italian President in October; the book will also be donated to the Athenaeum Club. The launch will take place in November and the book will be available throughout Liverpool and online.

    The links below give a more varied account of my journey as a local historian and writer.

    Daily Post link:- http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-life-features/liverpool-special-features/2008/09/27/the-italians-jobs-64375-21911087/

    Daily Post link:- http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-life-features/liverpool-special-features/2008/10/07/new-book-reveals-italian-connection-in-liverpool-64375-21978672/

    Scottie Press:- http://www.scottiepress.org/projects/litaly.htm

    Yours Debra D’Annunzio

  2. Archie says:

    The rescue by HMCS St Laurence was far from being fruitless! In fact she picked up more than half of those on board, an amazing feat for a relatively small vessel. But not even the Canadians could help the many victims who were trapped in the Arandora Star when she went down, or the men who died from exhaustion in the Atlantic waters.
    Most of the bodies were washed up in Ireland and buried there. For a half-hour video in both English and Italian about this grim legacy, go to Youtube and search Arandora Star.

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