Exhibition launches

The Wellington Trust’s Abandon Ship! exhibition officially launches today.

Free and open to the public on board the HQS Wellington on Sundays & Monday, the exhibition features the stories of the SS Otaki and the MV Richmond Castle.

The Richmond Castle was a Harland & Wolff ship, launched in Belfast in 1939. The crew came from many places including Belfast, Barbados, and across the UK.

The 16-year old cadet Malcolm Chisholm was the youngest crew member. He shared a cabin with his fellow cadet, 17-year old John Elvin. John died a few days after the ship was sunk. Malcolm survived the sinking and many days at sea in a lifeboat before being rescued. His memoirs have been used to create a short performance that will feature at special events during the Abandon Ship! exhibition including today’s launch, 21 May, and again on 23 July, and 3 September – Merchant Navy Day.

Photo of a hand-written envelop
John Lester wrote home to his family when his ship stopped in South Africa, a few months before the sinking.

A talented professional actor, Jonathan Lloyd, is performing the piece. As well as having many years experience on stage, Jonathan is the step grandson of one of the Richmond Castle survivors, John Lester.

Written by SNiF

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