THE BURNING OF THE 'VOLTURNO' - PAGE 28
'VOLTURNO' RELATED IMAGES - PAGE 2 OF 4
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As I said on the earlier image page, images related to the Volturno disaster are not easy to find, But this is page 2, & pages three and four are on site now. The other image pages are here. i.e. pages 27, 29 and 30.
To start this second page, I offer a portion, a small portion in fact, of a two page spread that appeared in The Graphic - in the issue of Oct. 25, 1913. The full image is truly enormous, about 19 1/2" wide by almost 12" deep while the section I show is about 12 1/2" wide & 6 1/2" deep. The whole image is entitled "The Triumph of Wireless Telegraphy : Marvels of Marconi in Mid-Ocean", all in capital letters in fact. It depicts ocean disasters where Marconi's Wireless System had saved many lives; the Republic on Jan. 23, 1909, & the Slavonia also that same year. The Delhi on Dec. 13, 1911, the Titanic on Aug. 15, 1912, the Veronese on Jan. 16, 1913, the Templemore on Sep. 30, 1913 and, the subject of these pages, of course, the Volturno on Oct. 10, 1913. A 'Pictorial Diagram by G. F. Morrell', the print states in the bottom left corner.
Now I am not particularly slick with a digital camera, so I scanned the Volturno area of the print in two sections & put them together. You can see where I overlaid the two scanned images at the vertical line to the right. I could blend the colours in, I guess, but the image gives a fine impression of the print just as it is. The dark stain across the Minneapolis at left is the result of the rusting of the lower centre staple. There is a related full page illustrated article about 'Cav. Marconi'.
The image is a dramatic presentation of what must have been a quite incredible scene, with Volturno burning in the night & ringed by all of the members of the assembled rescue fleet.
Next is a truly wonderful image of Volturno.
It originates with a postcard that sold via e-Bay in late Aug. 2004. A most interesting image of the vessel indeed, in fact the very best image I have yet seen of the vessel. And not a cheap postcard! It sold on Aug. 29, 2004 for GBP 142 or approximately U.S. $258.28. The image is shown here with the express permission of the 'Kathryn Atkin Collection'. Kathryn purchased the postcard with a view to a future book on Royal Lines. But has kindly permitted it's use on this site. Thank you, Kathryn, so very much! Kathryn advises me that the back of the postcard states that the image dates from 1906 & was from a photograph by M. Lindenborn, of 60 Lange Achterweg, Lekkerkerk, Holland - specifically negative number 2291. It is a beauty!
Thanks to site visitor Mark Mudge, I can now tell you that 'Lekkerkerk' is just east of Rotterdam. You may be interested to know that Kathryn has a family interest in Royal Line. Which line, as Canadian Northern Steamship Company, had leased Volturno to Uranium Line at the time of the disaster. Her grandfather, Richard Henry Polglase, a Cornish volunteer in the 18th Labour Company, A.S.C., (Army Service Corps.) was aboard the S. S. Royal Edward, also of Royal Line, when it was torpedoed & sank in the Mediterranean in 1915 with major loss of life. You can see & read about Richard Henry Polglase here. A distinguished looking gentleman indeed, in his uniform!
And next a contemporary glass slide that comes to us thanks to Cary Ginell of Thousand Oaks, California. Cary tells us that the slide itself measures 3 1/2" x 4" with the image dimensions being 1 5/8" x 2 3/4". The photo was developed by Edward H. Kemp, Lantern Slides, of 833 Market St., San Francisco, California with Edward H. Kemp being solely the name of the shop that processed the photograph. The name of the photographer is not mentioned & the slide is not dated. On the back is the notation "The Volturno burning - mid-Atlantic."
Creating this image from the slide was most difficult, Cary advises. The photograph was intended for newspaper publication & was most difficult to enlarge without enhancing the half-tone dots. The result as we now have it is, however, quite splendid. Thanks, Cary!
Now I have debated with myself whether I should feature the next image, which is of an original 1989 drawing which was available in late Aug. 2004 on e-Bay. So should the vendor wish the image to be removed from these pages, I will, of course, do so. I reduced its size for these pages, so the work can be seen in its entirety, without scrolling.
It is of an original black ink drawing by Pierre Alechinsky (1927 - ), (biography here), entitled 'le Volturno 2'. It was offered at EUR 5,000 (approx. U.S. $6,215) by 'popartgallery' of Belgium, which would seem to be 'Michael-Hex Art-Kunst.be', whose web site is here. Pierre's work, this work & generally, is, I learn, exhibited literally all over the world.
I have tried to locate more information about the work via the WWW, but with only limited success; to ensure that it for sure does relate to 'our' Volturno. There would however appear to have been a number of works with titles that include the word Volturno including 'le Volturno' a lithograph also dated 1989, a print of which last sold (that I could see many years ago now) for 4,000 DK (U.S. $603) in Mar. 1994.
The following image (cropped for presentation without scrolling) is said to be of an immigrant family rescued by the Seydlitz & photographed aboard that vessel. The image appeared in 'Sea Classics' as advised on page 6 of this site, with image attributed to UPI. The identical image below came, however, from another source with the same UPI attribution. To me it does not look, however, like a single family. Though the grouping with the crew member? behind with the cigarette, surely does look like a single family unit. I did think that with the data now on this site, I may just be able to deduce the family name of that family. But I think not. There was no rescued family unit aboard the Seydlitz which fits the image & particularly no pair of young children of appropriate ages. Somewhere along the way, maybe back in 1913, the image may have been wrongly identified. You can see for yourself the ages of those Volturno survivors who were landed by the Seydlitz via the links on page 19 of this site. I think you will agree with my reluctant assessment.
BUT we now have an explanation for this anomaly. The photograph was surely taken on the Kroonland rather than on the Seydlitz. And the entire DeGroot / Groeneveld party aboard the Kroonland (mother, daughter & three of the daughter's four children) can be identified in the image. See site page 77.
Another image of the Volturno, attributed to UPI. But I think it is the very same image that is low on page 01 of this site. But perhaps this version of the image is a little more detailed.
THE URANIUM STEAMSHIP COMPANY LIMITED
It would be good to have some images here that relate to The Uranium Steamship Company, Ltd., but none have come to the webmaster's attention. Except for one item sold on e-Bay in Jan. 2006, a billfold that, it would seem, originated with Michael J. P. Klouda, a travel agent (presumably) of 131 AVE. B., New York City, whose business card, written in Czech, was included. Since it was ALL I had re Uranium Line at that time, here is the shipping related portion of that billfold. It sold for U.S. $28.87.
But we now have more data. In Nov. 2006, a first class passenger list of the S.S. Uranium came up for sale on e-Bay. A most rare item, indeed & I am so glad to have found it. It sold for U.S. $24.99. It would seem that Dura Brokaw Cockrell & her husband Dr. Egbert R. Cockrell, travelled from New York to Rotterdam on the Uranium on Jul. 6, 1911. They returned to North America on May 1, 1912, (Liverpool to Philadelphia), aboard the S.S. Merion of the American Line. Both were on the faculty of Texas Christian University, of Fort Worth, Texas, it would appear - through 1922. Dura was head of the art department there while Dr. Cockrell was once the mayor of Forth Worth, Texas. The passenger list is 4 3/4 x 6 3/4 inches in size. It included a deck plan, 6 inches wide x 12 1/4 inches long, of the first class accommodation.
I show you first the deck plan. With the cabin that the Cockrells occupied circled. And perhaps the ticket prices marked also? And then a composite image of the cover & of two of the passenger list pages, including the page that refers to the Cockrells.
As the listing indicates, the Uranium was sold to Cunard & renamed Feltia & was torpedoed & sunk in May 1917 when 8 miles off Mine Head, County Waterford, Ireland. 45 lives were lost. But the Uranium story is much more complicated than that. I refer you to the bottom of site page 97 for such information as I have about the vessel.
In Oct. 2008, a passenger list similar to that shown above, was sold via e-Bay, re a voyage from New York to Rotterdam on May 21, 1914. The item sold for U.S. $12.29. The Captain was, I believe, T. R. Agassiz, R.N.R., but the name was too indistinct to be sure that I have recorded the name perfectly. it contained a small image of the vessel.
As I have indicated, ephemera relating to Uranium or to the Uranium Steamship Co. Ltd. is scarce indeed. But a most beautiful postcard was sold in Nov. 2008 via e-Bay. It was not cheap! It sold for GBP 79.60 or approx. U.S. $122.18. The vendor did not indicate the postcard size, so it probably is of a normal size. The vessel depicted is not Uranium since it had a single funnel. Nor was it Campanello or Volturno both of which also had but a single funnel. Artistic licence, perhaps!
And 2 more items that relate to the company, both ex e-Bay items now long expired. The image at left is of Uranium going ashore near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, on Jan. 12, 1913, as you can read here. The right image was said to date from c.1910.
The hotel at right above (not a 5-star hotel, it would appear!) looks as though it might be in a dock area & perhaps used to accommodate crew members of Uranium Line before & after their trans Atlantic voyages. I am advised by Dr. Nick Hiley, of Canterbury, U.K., that the hotel was almost certainly located in Rotterdam, but played a rather more interesting role in history than merely accommodating ships' crews.
I should indicate that Dr. Hiley is a historian of the early history of the British secret service. And has an especial interest in the history of Uranium Steamship Company Limited. From Aug. 1914, when shipping activities ceased with the sale of the company fleet to Cunard, the Uranium company offices in Rotterdam & also the hotel shown above, were the main focus of British espionage & counter-espionage against Germany. Known as the Uranium Bureau. The approx. 28 person bureau, with a photographic studio etc., was run by Richard B. (Bolton) Tinsley, a director of the prewar Uranium Company. His WW1 services were later recognised by his appointment, in 1919, as a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). Dr. Hiley has provided this link, about Tinsley's & related espionage activities, which readers may find to be of interest.
The linked website refers to the above hotel as being 'a hotel for emigrants', then run by Mr. and Mrs Huber.
Dr. Hiley seeks an image of the head offices of Uranium Steamship Company Limited in Rotterdam, located at Boompjes 76a. If you can help in such regard, or can add anything to this most interesting history, do please be in touch.
If any reader can provide material to add to the page, or provide more information about any of the images already on the page, do please write to me.
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