THE VOLTURNO SITE GUESTBOOK
Back to my Volturno site.
To search for specific text on this page:- Hit Control F. Enter your search term & all should be well.
68) Hi, it seems we have a large coloured document/award + small silver medal (set original old framed) of the "Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Rettung Schiffbrüchiger" for an able seaman of SS "Großer Kurfürst" (North German Lloyd) dated Oct. 1913 (must be re the Volturno disaster) in the archive. Photos available. Best regards. Mike.
Michael Buschow, Germany, Feb. 11, 2017 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: Thank you for your message, Michael. I would be most happy to receive your images & include the data within the Grosser Kurfürst pages, the first of which is here. I will safely receive images sent to this address. The material that Michael later provided, which material related to a brave seaman named Richard Tschirschnitz, can now be seen here.
67) I have an amazing book, which from the main page appears to have been self published by one of the crew from one of the many rescue ships that circled the burning ship for a week, not able to launch a lifeboat to get to her, or tried and sunk. The few photos are quite amazing of this forgotten disaster and I think could be the only copy to survive. I think I got into a eBay bidding war too but was long ago. Sorry can not scan some photos and attach. Best wishes as we preserve our maritime past of the famous and those not so for their service to humanity. My website hosting has been a mess so may take a while to connect or try later.
Charles Sachs, U.S.A. perhaps? Feb. 6, 2017 firstname.lastname@example.org Charles provided his website address but I do not include it at this time since the site is not presently operative.
Webmasters Comment: Thank you for your most interesting message, Charles. You would seem to possess a unique book with content of great interest re the history of Volturno. I do hope that it will prove to be possible to provide the book's content on site in the near future. I (Peter Searle) can be reached here.
66) I have a newspaper cutting about a relative of mine who was second steward on the Narragansett, namely William Edward Kisby. I will scan and post if you can give me where to send it. Wondering why he is not listed as a crew member and if he was awarded a medal. Cheers.
Julia Durham, Feb. 2, 2017 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: I would be delighted to receive your newspaper cutting, Julia. You might attach it to an e-mail sent to me (Peter Searle) at firstname.lastname@example.org. Narragansett is covered on site here. Unfortunately the available data about the Narragansett crew is modest - the only crew member names I have are those who manned boats to try to reach the burning Volturno & were later awarded Sea Gallantry medals. Perhaps the article will indicate what role William Kisby played that day. In due course, I will add the detail into the Narragansett page.
65) My great uncle was Walter Seddon, the Marconi operator. Sadly he died very young, as your website suggests, so I never met him. I know he was awarded a gold watch which I think was presented by Marconi, in view of this being one of the first successful uses of the 'new' technology. I can find no press details about the presentation though. I assume Christopher Pennington was also presented with similar?
Julie Chadwick, U.K., Jan. 1, 2017 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: Thanks for this, Julie. It is clear that the Volturno disaster was very big news back in 1913. And that those involved were often considered to be heroic figures whose service merited recognition. I have added your words into the brief section re Walter Seddon here.
64) My great great grandfather was on the Carmania just before the war and I have the original menu from the ship. I would be happy to try and copy it for you to put in your records. If you are interested, send me a message.
David, U.S.A., Dec. 23, 2016 Newsteadgdnman@aol.com
Webmasters Comment: I would be pleased, David, to accept your kind offer. You might attach it to an e-mail sent to me (Peter Searle) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
63) Hello. I live in le Havre in Normandie. There are no more walls around our city. Documents about ships such as La Touraine are owned by association French Lines (I give you the link). Thank you for your website.
Jean-Michel Harel, Le Havre, France, Dec. 10, 2016 email@example.com Jean-Michel's link to the French Lines website is here.
Webmasters Comment: There are 5 pages on site about La Touraine, the first page being here. Thank you for your link, Jean-Michel. A lot of interest has been expressed over the years in La Touraine & not only from citizens of France. The reference to the city walls arises from my comments about a most beautiful map/print which showed the Le Havre city walls in 1759. Which merits your interest & can be seen here.
62) I have a photo of a ship on fire, produced by the photographer C. Nieuwland, 27 Sumatraweg, Rotterdam. This may be the image that you are looking for re the Volturno? Please let me know where to send a scan.
Cliff Thornton, U.K., Jul. 14, 2016 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: As I update this page, in Feb. 2017, I find this kind message from last July. Which I see, alas, for the first time. If it is still possible, Cliff, to provide a scan of your photograph, I would love to see it. You can attach it to an e-mail sent to email@example.com.
61) Have just read a book about the sinking of Lusitania. Interested to read that Narragansett was 1st to the (Volturno) sinking site but Harwood thought it was a trap and turned tail. Volturno is mentioned and the Marconi man messaged for the 1st time ever 'will come with the milk in the morning'.
Geoffrey Grayson, Jun. 8, 2016 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: A famous quote, indeed! Narragansett is covered on site here. Charles E. Harwood was the captain of Narragansett at the time of the Volturno fire in 1913 & also in May 15, 1917 when both Lusitania & Narragansett were sunk. It would be good to know the title of the book that Geoffrey refers to. To clarify the words 'Harwood thought it was a trap and turned tail'.
60) Just a quick update, my Grand Father was the Patrick Levins from Crooked Street, Clogherhead. His parents were Peter Levins and Mary (nee Moore). The family tree gets very confusing as my branch alternated Peter and Patrick for generations as did some of the other Levins families in Clogher! It's highly likely that there were 2 Patrick Levins' from Clogher on board!
Ailish Evans, Jun. 1, 2016 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: Ailish is referring to the many Clogherhead, County Louth, Ireland, fishermen who were called up during WW1 & served aboard Carmania when it fought Cap Trafalgar in Sep. 1914. Seventeen of them, no less. I have added your comments, Ailish, into the on site text which covers the whole subject.
59) My grandfather, George Cron, sailed aboard La Touraine in 1905, when he immigrated to the United States. I have looked for more information for years. What you have on pages 80, 81, 82, 83 & 84 for me is nothing short of wonderful. I wish I could put the information together so my children and their families could read about their ancestor. Thank you for what you have researched and shared here. It means so much to me, late in my life.
Robert Cron, Apl. 4, 2016 Fpslug33@Aol.com
Webmasters Comment: I am delighted, Robert, to know that the La Touraine material on site has proved to be of value to you.
58) I have in my possession a Waltham pocket watch with the inscription 'Presented to Brother Rubin for bravery on Steamship Volturno, Thursday October 9th, 1913 by Max and Freda.' Since the manifest was destroyed with the ship would anyone reading this know who any of these people were?
Terry Twist, Dec. 1, 2015 No e-mail address provided.
Webmasters Comment: Most of the passengers would not have been English speaking. And one would really not expect a passenger to have his bravery acknowledged in such a way. So I wondered whether Rubin might have been a Volturno crew member. Now most (but not all) of Volturno's crew are known & are listed here. But there seems to be no person in the list named Rubin or with R. as his initial. I wish that I could solve your puzzle, Terry. But I must admit that I cannot.
57) re: Carmania crew member Dickens, G F. He survived and was appointed acting lieutenant (RNR) on board HMS M33 from 25 August 1916 to 24th October 1918. HMS M33 belongs to the National Museum of the Royal Navy and is open to visitors, it being in dry dock, in Portsmouth, U.K. It is a monitor or shallow draft shore bombardment vessel, built in 7 weeks in 1915.
Jo Lawler, Oct. 29, 2015 No e-mail address provided. Jo's website
Webmasters Comment: Thank you Jo. I have added your response into page 58 where his receipt of the Distinguished Service Cross is referenced.
56) On page 71 you asked questions about Rosalia Jablonetka (Jablonecki). She was my great grandmother who was reunited with her husband and five children. All of the family lived to adulthood in Minneapolis. My grandmother, Helen the oldest, married, had five children, 12 grandchildren & lived to see several of her great-grandchildren. She did not relate much of her experience on the Volturno, so this information is a gem. Thank you.
Barbara Towler, Apl. 6, 2015 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: Glad to hear from you, Barbara! I have added your response into page 71 so the data is now all together.
55) Peter, Kath (a couple of entries below) had contacted me, concerned for your well being, so I am happy to see our fears were unfounded! In her guestbook entry she linked to the British Pathe clip. I posted about that on my site, where I discuss why I think those are survivors rescued by SS Devonian. Thanks!
Andy Baker, U.K., Apl. 2, 2015 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: All is well. I thank you for your video clip link. Alas, it is now 2017 & that link no longer seems to work so I have cut both the reference & also your website link. The video is, however, visible here.
54) We live in la Touraine, an old name for the area now called Indre-et-Loire. We found a scrap of newsprint under plaster when renovating our chimney. It turned out to be from April 1915 and mentions the steamship La Touraine. 100 years ago Raymond Swoboda was in prison, accused of setting the fire and of espionage. I wanted to know what became of him and one of the first sites I hit was this one. What an exciting life the old ship led!
We found a photograph of a ship called Touraine, described as a 3-masted French barque, leaving Sydney harbour under tow with sails set. "This photo is part of the Australian National Maritime Museum’s Samuel J. Hood Studio collection. Sam Hood (1872-1953) was a Sydney photographer with a passion for ships. His 60-year career spanned the romantic age of sail and two world wars. The photos in the collection were taken mainly in Sydney and Newcastle during the first half of the 20th century." I don't have the URL but there's a catalogue number 52007743607. Is it or isn't it?
La Touraine, or a full-size model of her, also featured as the star of the Marearum, an early reality experience of an Atlantic crossing, in the Paris exhibition of 1888.
We are going to publish some of our research findings on our internet site "Following others' footsteps" before 4th April, the 100th anniversary of the publication date of our newspaper (tbc by Bibliotheque Nationale de France). Best wishes.
Pauline McAdam, Le Grand-Pressigny, Indre-et-Loire, France, Mar. 14, 2015 firstname.lastname@example.org Pauline's website reference is http://le-moulin-de-la-forge.com/
Webmasters Comment: I am glad that you have written in, Pauline. I have happy memories of Tours & of the Loire Valley. As a young man, I cycled through the valley & visited many of its beautiful chateaux - surely treasures of the French nation.
I was not previously aware of details surrounding the Mar. 1915 fire aboard La Touraine, & that Raymond Swoboda was charged re the setting of that fire. I will try, soon, to expand the La Touraine coverage to include the whole subject.
There certainly was a barque by the name of Touraine, of 2064 tons & built in 1899 by 'Dubigeon' at Nantes-Chantenay, France. It was later broken up in the 4th quarter of 1927. I was able to track the existence of the extensive collection of images by Samuel J. Hood, Pauline, & have located what likely is the image that you saw (1 & 2).
La Touraine (Miramar reference only one vessel of the name), was built in 1891. Could it be that the model that was shown in 1888 was created from plans of the then unbuilt La Touraine?
53) Peter, have you seen this? http://www.britishpathe.com/video/volturno-o...
I did email you. Have you been O.K.? Kathryn in Sheffield.
Kathryn Atkin, Sheffield, U.K., Feb. 25, 2015 email@example.com Kathryn's website reference is http://www.royaledward.net/
Webmasters Comment: Thanks for this Kathryn. No, I had not seen that most interesting video of passengers aboard Volturno. I am not sure yet where exactly on site I might best include it permanently.
All is well this end, Kathryn. I have had, & really continue to have, problems with e-mail. For many years I had used Eudora but cannot use it today - as a result of changes said to have been made for reasons of security. But ... the e-mail address at the top of this page, i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org still reaches me. Will write to you directly.
52) Peter I just read the report of the disaster & like always was fascinated by it. It is too bad they didn't have more input from the passengers. I truly hope you can finish the rest of the report.
I don't get to go to the web (your web page) very often and though I have said it before, I thank you and Jan very much for doing the great job that you both did.
Arnold (Arnie) Graboyes, Vallejo, California, U.S.A., Feb. 25, 2015 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: Arnie, you are quite correct - that report, i.e. the official report of the Board of Trade Court of Inquiry into the Volturno disaster, does need to be completely transcribed & available. But .... The transcription process is now complete. The report can now be read in its entirety via site page 18.
51) Hello, regarding last post am sorry for the confusion. I am living in Ireland, and was referring to the large number of Potters in the Liverpool area from research I have done. William Potter had 5 sons (all deceased) and one daughter, still living. William's son Desmond, was my father. I would be interested in hearing more details about William's life before he came to live in Skerries, Co. Dublin. Many thanks again.
Martin Potter, Ireland, Dec. 10, 2014 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: See the previous post, i.e. #50 next below. Have added a few words at the end of the section about William's children.
50) Have just read this article this morning, a fascinating read. I am William Potter's grandson, and have a vague memory of the certificate hanging on the wall of his house. Seems to be a lot of Potters in the Merseyside area of England. Once again thanks for a fascinating read.
Martin Potter, Merseyside I presume, U.K., Dec. 9, 2014 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: I presume that Martin is referring to the detail on site here about William Potter, a seaman aboard Devonian at the time of the Volturno disaster. A brave seaman indeed! He volunteered to help man a Devonian lifeboat sent in mountainous seas to rescue passengers & crew from the burning Volturno. And, for his actions & bravery, was awarded some most prestigious medals, including the Sea Gallantry Medal.
49) My family is not linked with the Volturno, but .... I love the shape - most often the beauty - of ships. I am interested in maritime affairs they were involved in, and I learn of people whose hope or fate they were. So I thank you for this magnificent site.
On page 64 of the Volturno chapter, you already doubted the identity of the 2 ships in picture 2. You were right; the ship on the right is a Cunard Liner, the Campania from 1893. Best regards.
'kochsmolli', of Germany, Nov. 19, 2014 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: Thank you for your kind words. I have now noted the correct identity of the ship in that image on page 64.
48) I was given my great grandfather's medal today. It is The Life Saving Benevolent Association of NY medal, given to August Kempf, October 10, 1913, still in the Tiffany Box. The back of the medal reads - Awarded to August Kempf for Saving Human Life in Peril. I noticed his name included on your site here. Any other information that you might have on August Kempf would be greatly appreciated.
Rhonda Schoonover, residence location unknown, Jun. 15, 2014 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: Rhonda, many folks over the years have asked similar sorts of questions. Alas, all of the data that I have available about Volturno generally is on the web site in your case on this page - I have nothing additional to be able to offer you. I would presume that August was a crew member of one of the Grosser Kurfust's lifeboats which saved so many Volturno passenger & crew lives (105) back in 1913. Should you so wish we might add a section to the page providing any biographical data you would care to provide about August Kempf, ideally with an image of his well earned medal. You can contact me via the link at the top of the page.
47) Great Story and Pictures. Is there a copyright associated with the picture of the rescue? We are looking for a picture to use for our 2014 Theme of To The Rescue. Thanks and have a great evening/day.
Douglas Drake, Valley View Stake Clerk, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Layton, Utah, U.S.A., Nov. 5, 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: Douglas does not indicate which particular image or images interest him. But ... I am not aware of any copyright issues re images taken at the time of the disaster. Whether a copyright exists or not re any particular image would depend, however, on the specifics - who created it and when & if or when that creator passed on.
46) I've been checking this site on and off for years but have never taken the time to sign the guest book. I am happy to do so today on the 100th anniversary of the SS Volturno Disaster. My grandfather, Kirile Krilenki (later Carl Krivenki), was on the ship, age 17. He settled in Cleveland and worked for the Fisher Body division of General Motors for many years. My mother tells me that he said little about it, only noting that the ship caught fire and he was lucky to survive it. He died in 1974. Picture of him is at ssvolturno.wordpress.com Thanks for all your work over the years. Well done.
Jerry Stevens, Simpsonville, South Carolina, U.S.A., Oct. 9, 2013 email@example.com Jerry's website reference is http://ssvolturno.wordpress.com/
Webmasters Comment: Thank you, Jerry for your message. It is a fitting message indeed, since it reminds us all that 100 years have elapsed since the Volturno disaster of 1913.
Kirile Krilenki was rescued, taken aboard Seydlitz & landed at Philadelphia. He was listed in the Ellis Island manifest as Kirilo Krilenki, a farmer of 17 years. A brief section about him can be found here.
45) I'm interested in the ship Rappahannock because of its role as a rescue ship in 1910.
In January of 1910 a blizzard struck the Northeast tip of Nova Scotia. A small town (Canso) and two villages, White Head and Dover, were home to many fishermen, including my Grandfathers. In spite of being blown offshore all except three fishermen survived. There would have been more casualties had it not been for the rescue by the Rappahannock of the fishermen from the small fishing schooner, Trilby, of Dover.
The Rappahannock was headed for Halifax, Nova Scotia, from England and by luck, sighted the tiny fishing vessel, & under difficult circumstances rescued the men. Within minutes of the men being taken aboard the Rappahannock, the Trilby sank.
The Captain took the men to Halifax and paid for their train tickets back to their homes in Dover.
Archie Munroe, Canada, Aug. 2, 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: Thank you, so much, Archie. The history is entirely new to me. I have now added your words into Rappahannock page 91, so folks who access that page can read the story. Specifically here.
44) My grandfather John Gemmell, was gunner aboard RMS Carmania in battle with Cap Trafalgar. He too had the picture of the battle on the wall. He got 1 of 5, and one is hanging on the wall of CALZEAN CASTLE.
William Gemmell Carlton, U.K., Apl. 10, 2013 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: Thank you, William, for your advice. I have added the name of your grandfather into my now modest list of those who served aboard Carmania at the time of the famous battle - here. Calzean (or Culzean) Castle, owned by the National Trust for Scotland, is a castle near Maybole, Carrick, on the Ayrshire coast of Scotland. If, William, you would care to provide some details about your grandfather, we will gladly expand the brief reference. I tried twice to send a reply to your e-mail address as above, but neither message could be delivered.
43) My grandfather - William James O'NEILL - served in this HMS Carmania action. He was amongst those M I D in London Gazette in 1921.
Tim O'Neill, U.K., Apl. 1, 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: Thank you for letting us know - he was a witness to one of the most extraordinary scenes in maritime history. If you would care to provide some details about your grandfather, we will gladly better include him in the now modest list of those who served aboard Carmania at the time of the famous battle - here.
42) Hello, I found this info very interesting. I am researching my genealogy and discovered my grandfather Wilhelm Freiderich Bodmer came out to Adelaide, Australia, in the Seydlitz in 1914. I was told he left Zurich, Switzerland, with two of his siblings and they emigrated to America. Have never known the reason they all left their homeland together.
Judy Toye, Australia, Dec. 05, 2012 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: My father served in the trenches in WW1. He gave me the impression, years ago, that there was a long period prior to WW1 during which war seemed increasingly likely. We cannot speculate about your grandfather's specific reasons, if your family history does not record them. It may however be that he felt that war was inevitable & felt compelled to seek a life elsewhere while he was able to do so. The first of three pages about the Seydlitz is here.
41) Thank you for your work and this site. My grandmother survived the Volturno coming to America - she was rescued by the crew of the Rappahannock.
Alisa Shackelford, Oct. 09, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: I am sure, Alisa, that your grandmother was so very glad to see terra firma again & set foot, for the very first time, upon North American soil. Her voyage had a little more 'excitement' than she had expected. The first of two pages about the Rappahannock is here.
40) William Henry Donking, my great great grandfather, was awarded a bronze medal. I would like to say thank you for the picture and information provided. I had previously given a wrong email and have only come across your message today.
In response to your questions, I have no clue as to how the medal isn't with members of my family. I mentioned this to my grandmother who remembers him and him being awarded this. She said 'not long after he was awarded this he died of a heart attack' which is rather sad. However I am immensely proud of his great efforts and his name and recognition for his bravery remains a part of history.
Lauren Morgan, Oct. 07, 2012 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: You can read Lauren's earlier message in the guestbook here. Where you will find links to Donking's actions & medals. William Henry Donking was decorated for his service as one of the crew of a Carmania lifeboat, which went to rescue the passengers & crew of Volturno.
39) Thank you for this fine website. I do appreciate wireless stories, being a former wirelessman. Is it possible to obtain crew lists of the Volturno or her rescuing craft?
Pat Kelly, Sidney, British Columbia, Canada. Aug. 01, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: That is a very big question indeed, Pat. Such data as I have located about the entire crew of Volturno on its final voyage can be found here - a comprehensive page but surely incomplete & likely to remain so. Re the many vessels of the rescue fleet, I generally have data only about the crews that were specifically involved in the Volturno rescue efforts, i.e. those whose bravery in the manning of the rescue boats resulted in the issue to them of medals & other recognitions. But ... I really did not try to locate full crew lists of all of the many vessels. So ... such crew data as I have about Carmania can be found here. Data about the Devonian crew is on this & also the following pages. Crew names re the other many fleet vessels can be found via the site index here, commencing at page 54. Should you wish to locate crew lists for each of the rescue vessels, the best place to start would probably be to read about the subject at the Memorial University site in St. John's, Newfoundland. They acquired a major portion of the crew lists many years ago, & make them available for a fee.
38) This is, indeed, a great website. While doing research into my maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Milner Bilderback Shields, it appears she was aboard the Carmania on the date of the rescue. She was traveling with 'Barky' Milner and both arrived at Fishguard. I have one question, on the manifest, the original disembarkation port would have been, Liverpool. Would this have been after arriving at Queenstown? Thanks very much.
R. W. Clemens, Jul. 17, 2012 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: My understanding of Carmania's eastbound routing was that it was typically New York, Queenstown (Cobh for Cork, SW Ireland), Fishguard (SW Wales) & Liverpool. But due to adverse weather conditions, the ship did not stop at Queenstown on the voyage in question, & went straight on to Fishguard.
37) Hi there. I suspect that the 'Rolls Royce Amburland' was actually an ambulance, as it was commonly the practice to use good quality vehicles for this purpose as they had to be reliable. A Rolls Royce Silver Ghost would have been the most likely candidate as they were to prove their worth as armoured cars later. Regards
Ted Sinclair, Jul. 07, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: Thank you, Ted, for answering a question that was asked here, a few years back now.
36) I learned only today that my Great-Grandmother traveled aboard the La Touraine from Le Havre to New York City, arriving on 23 Sept 1899 after a voyage of seven days. I was delighted to find your site. Thank you!
Richard Miller, U.S.A., Jun. 04, 2012 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: I am glad to hear, Richard, that you found the La Touraine pages to be of interest. A distinguished ship indeed. There are, in fact, 5 La Touraine pages, the first being here.
35) Hi, sadly the information you have on Arthur Hazlewood is sadly incorrect as can be verified by the late man's daughter who holds her late father's memories and memorabilia. There were many AB seamen with the name Arthur Hazlewood but clearly only one was aboard the Devonian at that time. The person you show was a ships cook, his father was a sails maker I have all details of both and details of the man decorated for his actions. I regret to inform you that Arthur Stanley Hazlewood was not onboard this vessel on this day. Please contact me for verification and details.
Sally Montgomery, U.K., Apl. 29, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: Sally Montgomery is referring to a Devonian able seaman by the name of 'Arthur Hazlewood', much decorated for his actions in the rescue of Volturno survivors. Sally's research indicates i) that there were, at the time, a number of Liverpool seamen named 'Arthur Hazlewood' & ii) that data provided in good faith 7 1/2 years ago referenced the wrong 'Arthur Hazlewood'. The data at that link has now been modified based upon Sally's preliminary data. Hopefully additional data will hopefully one day be received to document my apparently 'sad' errors & provide data ex the unidentified lady who is 'the late man's daughter' - however no such additional data has been received as this page is updated on Sep. 03, 2013. If & when new data is received, the site will be gladly modified to reflect it.
34) My great grandmother & family immigrated to Canada aboard the S.S. Canada on August 13, 1921. I have a picture of the original passenger list, which was thrilling to find. I was happy to find this website, in which I am able to see what the ship looked like & to find out the history of it. I have noticed that this and other great ships were scrapped when they weren't very old. Can you tell me how long the average ship was used for? It seems like such an expense to build such large ships if they didn't last, well, like 100 years (haha).
Charlotte Giles, Apl. 18, 2012 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: You are, Charlotte, one of the few to be in touch about that particular site page (97), with a number of vessels referenced, including Canada. Now I have never seen any statistics about how long a cargo or a passenger ship typically lasts. But as time passed by, ships got bigger & faster and better able to handle their 'cargo', be it people or goods. Under such a scenario, a ship would rapidly become uneconomical to operate in competition with the latest & fastest vessels. I maintain a sister site about the city of Sunderland in North East England, and the many ships that were built there, & have the impression that the average life of a ship steadily declined until 20 years & sometimes less became the norm. At first glance it does, indeed, seem to be 'wasteful' but others may well call it 'progress'.
33) Thanks for your Site. My Grandmother Maria Hack, Age 18, was immigrating from Hungary to NYC aboard the rescue ship Grosser Kurfurst. The Grosser Kurfurst rescued 105 passengers from the Volturno and reached NYC on October 16. She retold the story of watching the burning ship and the rescue.
Kevin Babis, Feb. 20, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: Thanks for your message. Your grandmother had a memorable journey - a witness to history in the making! The first of four Grosser Kurfürst pages is here.
32) I collect ocean liner postcards and a recent card of the Carmania posted Paquebot 15th dec 1907 mentions the ship being delayed 2 days due to being stuck on a sandbank near New York. I thought it may be of interest to mention it, as I found great interest in the info I found on your website. Many thanks.
Paul Ritchens Alves, Feb. 14, 2012 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: I am glad to hear, Paul, that you found that 1907 newspaper reference about Carmania to be of interest. And that it confirms the data on your postcard.
31) What a brilliant link... when i started researching the Seydlitz years ago, i mistakenly assumed that there was only the one - a battleship, which really confused me as my family had emigrated to Australia on the Seydlitz in 1911. Now i have some lovely images to help imagine their journey here. What a tremendous job you have done researching these ships!
Donna Chapman, Australia, Feb. 1, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: A satisfied customer, no less! Am glad to hear that you found the Seydlitz pages to be of interest. The first of two pages about Seydlitz is here.
30) Came upon your web site when following up on the Carmania. Was interested in the chronometer on that vessel (Sewills # 4233) and if any further information regarding this is known and passed on it would be very much appreciated. (This chronometer I believe was in use before the Carmania was even built; I think further used on the Scythia after the Carmania and still 'alive' today. It dates from about 1878/1879. Such fine craftmanship). Looking at its pages, the site itself seems to have grown over the years and hope it continues - I have much more reading to do here. My thanks for a great source of information. Some very surprising info too - like the Carmania crew members from Clogherhead (Ireland) - where I spent some of my summer holidays all too many years ago when life was simple. Best regards.
Brendan Kinch, Jan. 24, 2012 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: I was not aware of such a chronometer before, Brendan, & thank you for bringing the subject to my attention & via the website to others also. The chronometer that Brendan refers to is featured in an advertisement here ex this web site. 'Joseph Sewills & Sons', of Liverpool, 'Maker to the Admiralty', & established in or about 1800, apparently went out of business in 2001. They were the makers of the chronometer which was used on the bridge of the Carmania. And made other instruments also, including, I believe, sextants. A group of ex 'Sewills' employees continue to provide a repair service, I see. Some commemorative watches, are available, it would seem.
29) My grandfather J Keane was a fireman on the Carmania when she sunk the Cap Trafalger, he was in the mercantile fleet auxilliary as he was in the merchant navy serving on the large ocean liners when war broke out. His discharge papers show that he received a prize fund for being a Carmania crew member, but the only medals we have are the British War medal and the 1914-15 star. He was originally from County Mayo in southern Ireland.
Mary Byrne, Jan. 11, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: Thank you for your message, Mary. There are three pages on site about the famous 1914 battle between passenger liners Carmania & Cap Trafalgar, the first of such pages being here.
28) Edward Heighway was my great uncle, brother to my Grandfather Ernest Walter Heighway, my mother was Marjorie Isabel Heighway. Enjoyed reading everything on your site. Thanks.
Robert Churchill, Australia, Jan. 8, 2012 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: Edward J. Heighway was a brave man indeed. A seaman aboard Carmania, he was lowered on a rope, late at night, to try to rescue a man seen in the raging water in the beam of the ship's searchlight. Heighway let go of his safety line, & swam out to grab hold of the man. He was able to return to the ship's side & both men were successfully taken aboard Carmania. As you can read here & see here.
27) I came across your site via a search for "War on the Waters" and I see your entry "Well Done, Carmania" and you have mentioned that you don't know the artists name, we have a copy of the full book here at work and the water colour drawings are by Sam J. M. Brown. His signature appears bottom left on each print. Most interesting site, congratulations
Maryann, Ashburton, New Zealand, Jan. 5, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: Thanks so much, Maryann, for your most appreciated input. I have amended the page accordingly.
26) Peter, I e-mailed last in Jan. 2011 re my great uncle Charles Hogger. I now have exciting news about him and his connection with the Volturno. Please may I have an e-mail address to forward it to you. Thank you.
Liz Marchbank, U.K., Dec. 27, 2011 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: The webmaster's address is at the top of this page. Liz has now provided her most interesting data & images, & a section about Charles Hogger has now been added to the Czar page. Here.
25) Hello. Thank you so much for all of your research and hard work putting this together. Many thanks.
Philip Potter, Ireland, Dec. 20, 2011 Philip.firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: Philip Potter is the grandson of William Potter, a seaman aboard Devonian back in Oct. 1913. William Potter risked his life in a Devonian lifeboat which battled the seas for two hours attempting to rescue Volturno survivors. The lifeboat rescued just one survivor. William was much honoured for his rescue service - you can read about him & see some of his awards here.
24) You may be interested to know that Arthur Rubinstein, the Polish pianist, did his first Atlantic crossing, a rough one, aboard La Touraine in 1905 or 1906. He relates in vivid colours his trip in his autobiography 'My young years', Chapter 32, pp. 170-177. Cordially,
André-Pierre Benguerel, France, Nov. 26, 2011 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: I was not aware of that association & am so glad that you were in touch. I have added a brief section about Arthur Rubinstein (1887/1982) & about that La Touraine voyage here. He was then 18 years old, I learn, & he lost $400 on the voyage playing his first poker game!
23) Hello - an excellent and informative site. My husbands grand aunt (Letha Hugo) was married to Capt. Inch and had 3 children with him. Unfortunately we do not know what became of her as Capt. Inch appears to have married again later in life to a Georgette Henriette. Regards.
Eillean Hugo, U.K., Nov. 6, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: Thank you for your most interesting information, Eillean. I am glad to learn more about Captain Inch, the brave captain, back in 1913, of Volturno. I have added some words to the Captain Inch site page here. Hopefully, in due course, we may learn what happened to Letha.
22) I only recently found out that my grandfather, Thomas Titchen, was aboard the Carmania and received a medal for the rescue attempts that fateful day. I don't know much of my grandad as he passed away before I was born, but if anyone has any information on my grandad I would love to hear. My cousin has his medal although I have never seen it.
Jeffrey Gore, U.K., Oct. 13, 2011 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: Thank you so much for your message, Jeffrey. Thomas Titchen received a number of medals for his service in the Carmania lifeboat back in 1913. He was awarded the most prestigious 'Sea Gallantry Medal' (page 44) for his efforts & also, amongst other recognitions, was awarded the bronze medal of both the Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society, & The Life-Saving Benevolent Association of New York. Should you or your cousin wish to provide, via the e-mail address at the top of this page, such biographical data as you have about Thomas, with such imagery as is available, (an image of the medal still in the family's possession, perhaps, whichever it is), I will gladly add a section to the site to honour his memory.
21) Thank you for a wonderful history page. My fathers onkel, Horst von Carlsburg, was in the Grosser Kurfurst, and i have seen the ancor he got for rescuing people the 10 of okt 1913. Thanks again.
Per von Carlsburg, Sweden, Sep. 24, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: Horst von Carlsburg's name is listed on page 71, as 2nd officer (senior) of Grosser Kurfurst, in 1913. He was awarded the prestigious 'Sea Gallantry Medal' (page 44) for his efforts & also, amongst other recognitions, was awarded the gold medal of 'Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Rettung Schiffsbrüchiger (DGzRS)', a long established German lifesaving society. Should you wish, Per, to provide, via the e-mail address at the top of this page, such biographical data as you have about your ancestor, with such images of him as are available, I will gladly add a section to the site to honour his contribution & memory. An award with an 'anchor' is, I think, a new award to these pages?
20) Thanks for all your hard work. I believe my Great-Grandmother, great-uncle & grandmother were all passengers on the Volturno based on stories that have been passed down thru our family. However, they are not listed on the manifest, but after reading your comments, I see that a lot of the info on passengers are incorrect.
Leslie Gilman, U.S.A. perhaps, Aug. 08, 2011 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: I have learned that there is so very often a basic truth in such family 'stories', Leslie. It is true, indeed, that the Volturno passenger names were all 'over the map' in the newspaper reports of the time. Due, I suspect, to the natural difficulties of reporters in understanding & in translating unfamiliar names in unfamiliar languages, in the rush of press deadlines. But the data on page 21 is amazingly detailed. While the report from which that page was derived is I know still in my house, I have been unable to find it again, despite extensive searches. It was certainly not thrown out. If you would like to give me, via the e-mail address at the top of this page, such data as you have, as to the names, ages & origins of your ancestors, when that report is again located, as one day it surely will be, I will check it to see whether any item in it may 'match' with your family circumstances.
19) Great website. My mother arrived in NY on the Volturno on the trip just before its last one, probably in the summer of 1913.
Ben Bederson, New York, U.S.A., Jul. 23, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: Thanks for your message. That was most fortunate, Ben.
18) Hi there. This is an amazing website and I am so glad to have found it as I've been trying to find out more about my ancestry.
I believe (actually am pretty positive) that my grandfather (my father's father) is the person described as "William the Silent" in your writing about the Volturno fire. His name was Frank Grossman (he passed away in 2004), and had three sisters - Annie, Dora and Fay. His mother's name, I believe, was Brucha, and his father, my great grandfather, was named Uscher (which was said as Oscar in the writing). The family ended up staying in Philadelphia, and Frank (William the Silent) had two children - my father Leonard, who is now a physician, and my Aunt Elaine, who is a teacher. He was a beloved grandfather and father, and, appropriate to his unknown nickname, was never one to waste words. So, thank you so very much for sharing your research and knowledge - it really meant a lot to my family to have clarity on what happened! Karly
Karly Grossman, U.S.A. north-east perhaps, Mar. 05, 2011 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: It is a pleasure to have the identity of 'William the Silent' at last confirmed. He became separated from the rest of his family & was plucked from the sea by lifeboat crews from the Kroonland. An un-talkative little boy back in 1913 it would appear! It is particularly interesting to learn that in his adult life he 'was never one to waste words'. His remarkable story can be read here (1, 2) & we even have a 1913 photograph of him, with two other children, at left in the image that can be seen here (3).
17) Hello. I believe William Potter was my grandfather as I remember being told that he was awarded medals for saving life at sea. I was shown a gold watch engraved to this effect. He moved from Liverpool to live in Skerries, County Dublin, Ireland. He married a woman called McGuinness. They had 4 sons and 1 daughter. He lived into his eighties.
Breffni Potter, of Ireland perhaps, Feb. 24, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: I am so glad to learn more about William Potter, a crew member of a Devonian lifeboat which battled immense seas to save lives from the burning Volturno. He was awarded the most prestigious 'Sea Gallantry Medal' for his service, & other medals also. As you can read here. A brave man indeed.
16) Peter, it has been a long time since I have checked out your Volturno site and I can't say enough about what a wonderful job you have done. What started out as a interpretation request via Jan Daaman and later picked up by you is so much more than I could have done on my own. I can now rest assured that the Volturno burning will remain in history for ever with the names of all the people concerned. You and Jan deserve so much credit for what has developed.
Arnold Graboyes, California, U.S.A., Feb. 18, 2011 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: Thanks for your kind words, Arnie. The site has indeed blossomed over the years - with your steady encouragement & support throughout.
15) Hello. I understand that my great uncle Charles Hogger received a gold watch from the Government of the Czar of Russia for some brave action connected with the sinking of the Volturno. I gather he was a radio operator but do not know on which ship. I would be most grateful if anyone could give me any further information about him or his ship.
Liz Marchbank, U.K., Jan. 15, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: Liz, I should first say that I did not recall the name of Charles Hogger, nor do I recall reading of gold watches being awarded by the Russian Czar re Volturno. But I now see that he was a famous radio man indeed & certainly was involved in the Volturno disaster, as Chief Radio Officer of one of the rescue ships, as you can read in the data 'snippet' available here. The Journal from which that snippet is derived most certainly named the ship upon which he served in 1913. It would seem also that he was honoured by the Czar of Russia as you can read here (near page bottom), in the following words 'Honor scrolls went to ... and to Charles Hogger, a much-honored operator once personally decorated by the Czar of Russia. Mr. Hogger, his lapel heavy with medals, was a guest.' I am puzzled, however. Volturno awards were most frequently granted to the crews & commanding officers of lifeboats & an award to a radio operator, however well he did his job, would I suspect be unusual. Could it be that your great uncle, as a young man, volunteered for service in a lifeboat? The most likely rescue ship would be the Czar, owned by Russian American Line, & operated out of Libau, Latvia. The Czar launched 5 lifeboats, each with new crews, & rescued an amazing 102 Volturno survivors. Such limited data as I have re Czar, is here. And a summary of the known medals awarded re the Czar can be read here.
Let us hope, Liz, that you can identify the ship (which may prove not to be the Czar) via that 'Journal'. Let us hope also that a site visitor will see these pages, & add to the story. Perhaps a whole new section will result - the Russian Volturno awards.
14) Hi! A family member forwarded me a link to your page and after reading it I discovered that my great great grandfather, William Henry Donking, received the SGM Bronze medal. Sadly it was sold on eBay in 2005 which I would have appreciated this info many years back in order to buy it. However I hope the owner has great pride and honour with it. Regards
Lauren Morgan, Dec. 31, 2010 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: Lauren, inscribed medals, often war related, are available from time to time via e-Bay & at auction houses. I always have wondered just why that is so. I find it hard to fathom why a recipient or his family would not wish to retain such treasures within the family archives. The reasons? Probably most varied & certainly lost to time. Such limited detail as I have about the 'Donking' medals, granted for his brave service as one of the crew of a Carmania lifeboat, is here, & his medals are referenced also on these pages (1 & 2). But ... the medal that was sold in 2005 was not the 'Sea Gallantry Medal'. Rather it was the bronze medal of the 'Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society', beautiful indeed (an image at right here) but not the more prestigious 'Sea Gallantry Medal'. That medal may yet surface & be reunited with the family. Keep your eyes peeled! Should you have any biographical data about your great great grandfather or images of him, I would welcome them for inclusion in the site.
13) Hallo. Fantastic Site!! I've just send you an detailed Email from Germany about my Grandfather Karl Möcker. He was a steward on SS Seydlitz and on some others also. Kdly Reg. from Germany
Karl-heinz Möcker, Goslar, Germany, Oct. 29, 2010 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: For many years, we have shown on site, right here, a splendid image of three medals awarded to Karl Möcker, of Seydlitz, for his part in the Volturno rescue of 1913. Karl Möcker was Karl-heinz Möcker's grandfather. We have now added into the page some extensive material about Karl, who died, I learn, in 1975 - including data about Columbus, a liner on which Karl later served, which liner was burned & scuttled on Dec. 19, 1939.
12) I am reading (and still am) your website regarding SS Carmania. I have in my possession a ships bell with 'SS Carmania 1905-1932' engraved on it. The bell is mounted on a wooden frame. The frame also has a small plaque saying 'made entirely from material taken from the Cunard liner S.S. Carmania. By the Hughes Bocklow Shipbreaking Co. Ltd., Blyth, Northumberland....' The bell has been in my possession for approx. 40 yrs and was my Grandfather's before me. He was a keen collector of ships clocks and artefacts and I am in possession of a few of these. I am now going back to read more of the fascinating history of this excellent article. Kind regards.
Mervyn Ward, U.K., Oct. 29, 2010 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: It is a pleasure to learn that a part of Carmania still exists today, in the form of your interesting bell. Made of brass perhaps? I guess we should thank the folks unnamed at Hughes Bocklow for preserving the vessel's history in this way. The site pages re Carmania are many - there are in fact six pages devoted to the vessel - the first of which can be seen here.
11) I was reading with interest your article a propos the SS Florizel. If you will allow me, there are a couple of amendments that ought to be made: The 'Blue Puttees' were also known as the 'First Five Hundred' (in fact, 537) who were assigned naval puttees because no army ones were available to them. All subsequent recruits to the Newfoundland Regiment - it became 'Royal' in late 1917 - wore khaki ones.
The Florizel became the smallest vessel of the convoy transporting the first troops of the Canadian Expeditionary Force to Great Britain in October of 1914, joining it en route, BUT, the fact is that Newfoundland was an independent Dominion of the British Empire at the time and the Regiment was never a part of the C.E.F. The Regiment became a part of a division of the British Army - of the 29th in 1915 and the 9th (Scottish) in 1918.
As for running aground on that October 4, 1914, I have never heard any reference to it. She was finally wrecked, however, in February of 1918, with a loss - sources differ - of ninety-four out of one hundred thirty-eight.
Slob ice, or slobice, is, according to my Dictionary of Newfoundland English 'ice ground up by the action of the waves and covered with snow, sometimes mistaken for hard ice'. It can at times have the consistency of porridge and is not easy to navigate. Cheers
Alistair Rice, Canada, Sep. 3, 2010 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: Thank you so much for your message, Alistair, about Florizel, referred to on site here. I have extensively fixed the detail at that page based upon your kind message & hope that I now have it all correctly. But .. it is most difficult, Alistair, to write in such a clear way that words or sentences cannot possibly be misconstrued. So re 'October 4, 1914', I have added the words 'still' & 'later' to better clarify the meaning of that sentence.
10) I found the information about the Quiver magazine and, in particular the Quiver Heroes medal, very interesting and helpful. My Great Grandfather, Benjamin Wall, was awarded such a medal in October 1885 for saving a woman from being killed by a train at Truro (Cornwall, England) Great Western Railway Station. In August 1899 the Quiver published an illustration commemorating the event. If anyone has a copy of the Quiver from either years I would be very interested. Thank you very much.
Susan Coney, U.K., Jun. 25, 2010 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: That is most interesting, Susan. As time passes by, more and more books are being made available by 'Google Books'. It would seem however, that the volumes that you seek, i.e. those of 1885 & 1899, are not yet available. I hope that copies will soon 'emerge' for you. The single on site page about Quiver magazine & its 'Heroes' awards is here.
9) A most professional and commendable site. I am very grateful for the assistance provided in including the information about my ancestors.
David Cain, Australia, Apl. 21, 2010 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: Thanks for your message, David. I am glad that the site helped in some modest way.
8) Congratulations for your site. I saw the Seydlitz Page and was very special for me, because my grandfather traveled in this date. He arrived in Mar 11th 1924 in Santos, Brazil.
Walter Mewes, Brazil, Mar. 5, 2010 email@example.com
Webmasters Comment: I am glad that you found the Seydlitz material to be of interest, Walter. Just 2 pages re that vessel, the first of which pages is here.
7) I have a 15-page description of a voyage aboard La Touraine from New York to Havre in September 1891 written by my grandfather. Would you like to have a copy? Best wishes.
Ted W. Pietsch, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., Dec. 26, 2009. e-mail & website
Webmasters Comment: Thank you, Ted, for writing in. That is most interesting. La Touraine, an elegant ship indeed, is quite well covered on site, but there is always room for more information. So I would be most happy to receive your grandfather's account.
Text from the above account is now on site. Here.
6) My grandfather 'Norman Grant' was one of the casualties on the Carmania in Sep. 1914 during the engagement with Cap Trafalgar. My grandmother, who had seven children to bring up, was kindly sent a food parcel every Christmas by the Captain's wife until she died. Enjoyed the web site. Thanks.
Angus Macleod, U.K., Wed. Feb. 22, 2006.
Angus's 2006 e-mail was firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmasters Comment: Angus, the site can, in a very modest way, honour your grandfather's memory. Norman Grant has now been included 60% down on this site page. So glad that you wrote in!
5) I have the engraved silver presentation plaque that was originally attached to the painting of the S. S. Missouri rescuing the passengers and crew of the Danmark. I've been trying to track down the painting for a long time.
Thomas H. Broome, U.S.A., Wed. Nov. 02, 2005.
Thomas's 2005 e-mail was email@example.com
Webmaster's Comment: Thomas, the silver presentation plaque that you have in your possession (now visible at about 75% down this page) is truly a puzzle as these words are written in Jan. 2006. It had seemed most likely to be from the Lewis Muller painting of the Danmark/Missouri disaster, which painting (horizontal in format) was in the possession of the Murrell family in England but was shipped in the late 1950s to Alan Murrell (a famous public defender, since deceased) of Baltimore. BUT it is not - which fact is confirmed by Sally Lloyd of Wales & her sister, who both remember the Muller painting & its plaque very well. (Sally is the great grand daughter of Captain Hamilton Murrell). So the whereabouts today (Jan. 2006) of the Thomas Hemy work is still unknown & the same can be said of the Lewis Muller work also. But, Sally & her sister state that an old (in the 1950s) book on sea rescues or disasters, of title unknown, had an image of the Muller work. We will both continue, Tom, I am sure, to try to find that volume & to resolve exactly what you have. And further establish where both of the paintings are today & locate an image at least of the Lewis Muller painting. Possibly others, who read these words, can help in the search?
4) I am the grand daughter of James Clayton Barr and have his personal account of the battle of the Carmania and Cap Trafalgar - it was used as the basis of the book "The Ship That Hunted Itself." Thank you for an interesting website.
Audrey Barr Barnell, U.S.A., Thu. Apl 07, 2005.
Audrey's 2005 e-mail was firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's Comment: Audrey, I am so pleased to hear from you. That sea battle - between two giant passenger liners - remains unique to this very day. In words which I continue to enjoy 'it had never been known before that a floating hotel fitted with miniature artillery should meet and engage on the high seas a similar adversary similarly armed.' For those who wish to read about that most interesting of sea battles, it is covered on this & the next succeeding pages.
3) I found this site as I was looking up information re my great grandfather who was John Henry James Barker, the Boatswain on the SS Rappahannock. He received medals for gallantry which the family still have in their possession together with the original certificate.
Gill Georgeson, England, Thu. Feb. 17, 2005.
Gill's 2005 e-mail was email@example.com
Webmaster's Comment: Gill, thank you for your message. Your great grandfather (whose data is now on site right here) indeed received the 'Sea Gallantry Medal' in the silver version plus £3, surely a lot of money in 1913. A most prestigious medal by all accounts. He also received other awards as set out on this awards summary page (look under Rappahannock of course).
2) Hi, Arlene Evans is my sister. No, we do not have any more information on our Grandmother, Leokadia Wojciak. Any tidbit of information will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Lorraine Valenta, U.S.A., Mon. Jan. 31, 2005.
Lorraine's e-mail in 2005 was firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's Comment: Glad to receive your message, Lorraine. Leokadia's most interesting (but confusing) data is here, as best I have it today. Text corrections are both invited & welcomed.
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