By late-June 1940, internees had begun to be moved out of Warth Mills. Most had been transferred to camps on the Isle of Man and, when a new list of names arrived from the Foreign Office, many of the Italians believed they would share the same fate.
On 30 June 1940, hundreds of Italian internees – and some German prisoners of war – were brought to Liverpool from Warth Mills and other smaller camps. Seeing the 15,200 ton ship that they were about to board, the Italian men realised they were bound for somewhere much further away than the Isle of Man.
SS Arandora Star
The SS Arandora Star began life as a refrigerated cargo ship. Originally known as the Arandora, its maiden voyage was on 4 January 1927. Two years later, the ship underwent a full and costly refit, transforming it into a luxury cruise liner. It was also renamed the Arandora Star.
In 1939, the Arandora Star was requisitioned by the British government and converted into a troop carrier. She was painted grey and gun placements added.
Before docking in Liverpool, the SS Arandora Star had rescued Polish refugees trapped by the Germans in the South of France.