THE BURNING OF THE 'VOLTURNO' - PAGE 32
OTHER INFORMATION OF INTEREST
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1) Board of Trade Gallantry Medals
A document available here lists the recipients of the 'Board of Trade Medals for Gallantry in Saving Life at Sea' - known as Sea Gallantry Medals (SGM), re Gallantry at Sea in Great Britain and the Empire. And lo and behold they list a number of crew members of many of the ships involved in the Volturno rescue as receiving SGM medals re the incident. The names are all in capital letters and that means that they received the silver medal, the highest medal, in fact of the two medals available, the other medal being a bronze. A most significant medal indeed. Recipients were permitted to append SGM after their names!
A. HALL, chief mate, M. RIORDAN, bo'sun, G. LINNGVIST, bo'sun's mate, J. ALLEN, F.W. BARLOW, J. McALLISTER, OS, R. HUNT, apprentice, of Asian (see page 54).
F.J.R. GARDNER, 1st officer, J. WISE, H. PAYNE, G.O. THOMPSON, stewards, J. DONOGHUE, S. SMITH, W. TURTON, M. MURRAY, W.H. DONKING, T. TITCHEN, E.J. HEIGHWAY, ABs, of Carmania (see page 56).
T. STEELE, chief mate, T.B. KNIGHT, 1st mate, W.H. BAKER, 2nd mate, J. SOUTER, 5th engineer, J. NAVARRO, bo'sun, F.J. BAILEY, bo'sun's mate, W.H. FLETCHER, J. BROWN, J. ROSSITER, L. O'NEILL, QMs, W. WALSH, lamp-trimmer, A. HAZLEWOOD, W.A. REED, E.D. CUNNINGHAM, W. BROWN, W. POTTER, C. WOODS, ABs, J.H. PRICE, OS, of Devonian (see page 65).
W. ROBISON, 1st officer, P.J. LEWIS, 3rd officer, J.M.COATES, 4th officer, T. GARVEY, WALTER ELSE, G.W. MADAMS, F.W. STEPHENS, G. LEONARD, W. LIESEN, W. CRAWLEY, G.J. HORTON, S. GASKELL, F.R. PITTS, J.A. ROGERS, J.C. LAWRENCE, W.H. COWARD, J. KENDALL, W. HONEYMAN, G. SHAW, V. BOTTERILL, R. POTTER, ABs, of Minneapolis (see page 85).
J.B. JOHNSON, chief officer, J.E. NOTON, 2nd officer, W.E. CLEMENTS, bo'sun, F. WINTERFIELD, M. JOLLIVET , F. STAGG, F. THOMPSON, W. WILSON, A. CIVILL, H.C.P. GIBSON, ABs, T. MACKENZIE, C.L. COOPER, apprentices, of Narragansett (see page 88).
J.O. DAVIES, chief officer, J. BARKER, bo'sun, G. OLAFSEN, carpenter, H. HARGAN, W. BLACK, A. WAYGOOD, A. STEWART, J. BELL, OS, W. PYNE, donkeyman, of Rappahannock (see page 91).
How very interesting! We thank, for all of that data, Bernard De Neumann, of The City University in London, England.
2) U.S. Medals
On page 75, lower down on the page, is a little data concerning the issue of medals to crew members of the Kroonland.
Really unrelated to this item, I was surprised to read in the Toronto Star, of Jul. 10, 2003, that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a three month 'sting operation' & as a result have charged Edward Fedora, a Canadian citizen from Mississauga, Ontario, with unlawfully selling a Congressional Medal of Honor via e-Bay & with conspiracy to commit the unlawful sale. The medal in question was issued over a hundred years ago - in 1898 to Navy Seaman Robert Blume. Apparently U.S. law provides that such medals can only legally stay in the hands of the recipient, the recipient's immediate family or the U.S. military. Most people would probably think on reading this that the U.S. authorities would have more pressing priorities to attend to in this day & age! Mr. Fedora faces a possible two year prison sentence & a U.S. $250,000 fine. A little more data is here, & I have just read, in a news article that is no longer archived, that he pleaded not guilty. He sold one medal to the U.S. undercover authorities, in Canada, it would seem.
3) Captain Inch
In the Jan. 10, 1914 issue of CHUM's (No. 1,113 Vol XXII) was an introduction to a series of articles in later CHUM issues about the life experiences of Captain Inch. Now I hoped that those later articles would have contained the Captain's description of the Volturno incident. But they do not. What the words did say was "It is difficult to get him to talk of those dreadful hours when the Volturno was burning beneath his feet, and he was responsible for the lives of hundreds of passengers; but from what he has told me I have gathered that he had a remarkably bad time of it. I asked him once what it felt like to be a hero, and he told me that he did not consider doing your duty was being heroic. For all that, Captain Inch is a hero, and one which the British nation is proud of."
I read that Captain Inch was awarded the Lloyd's Silver Medal & 'The Quiver' Heroes Gold Medal (a little data on page 51), & a gold watch. The latter, together with a diamond pendant & a silver tea service, were subscribed for by passengers on the Carmania.
4) What the fare cost in 1912 and 1914
Ellen Karp advises me, that in Jun. 2001, on e-Bay, an Uranium Steamship brochure dating from 1912 was listed for sale. No image of it however available. That brochure/booklet stated that "the steamers of the Uranium Line are built for Cabin and Third Class passengers. The Cabin service being only One Class, and entirely separated from the Third Class." It also stated that 'The Volturno is a twin-screw steamer of smaller dimensions, and accommodates only twenty-four cabin passengers.' So this means that it took mostly third class passengers. It contained a diagram of the floor plan of the Volturno, & a separate list of the 1912 sailings from March to November.
The rates on the Volturno were:
4 in a room: $45 winter rate; $50 summer rate
2 in a room: $55 winter rate; $65 summer rate.
I presume (correct?) that the rates stated are for cabin class passengers. And the stated rates are accordingly not what an immigrant in steerage would have paid. A lot of money regardless, to a traveller in 1912, but probably cheap compared to the ticket prices of the luxury liners.
URANIUM STEAMSHIP CO. LTD. i.e. URANIUM LINE
It has taken a while for additional fare data to come to the webmaster's attention! But now, in late Feb. 2007, a 1914 rate card of Uranium Steamship Co. Limited of 13 Broadway, New York, came up for sale via e-Bay.
Approx. 7 3/4 X 5 1/4 inches in size. The vendor indicated that the liner illustrated was Principello. A rare item indeed. Which sold, in fact, for the most modest price of U.S. $9.99.
I show it to you here, though I have reduced the size of the fine listing image so the entire card can be viewed without scrolling.
In Aug. 2013, a piece of 'Uranium Steamship Co. Ltd.' of New York letterhead was offered for sale on e-Bay. It was offered on three occasions, but did not sell. The letterhead, which bears the date of Jan. 24, 1913, was last offered here by e-Bay vendor 'godrules60' of U.S.A., whose e-Bay store is here. The item included also a letterhead of 'Old Dominion Steamship Co.', also of New York. Any site visitor interested in acquiring the letterhead is invited to contact the e-Bay vendor via the above link as to its current availability. I show a reduced version of one of the many listing images - of the top section of the letterhead.
David Asprey has kindly brought to my attention the following beautiful image of a 'Uranium Line' cigar tin. The image is available in many sizes, thanks to Alf van Beem, via this Wikipedia Commons web page.
5) Canadian Film Documentary
I understand that a Canadian documentary series featured the Volturno in one of its episodes. The series, produced by Partners in Motion Inc., of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, is called 'Disasters of the Century' - 13 episodes in all. Episode 2, entitled 'Black Week' covers the week of October 9 through 15, 1913 when disaster struck in many places in the world & the total death toll exceeded 550.
The Webmaster has now been able to view the episode. About fifteen minutes of it are devoted to the Volturno disaster. I will continue to watch for it in the television listings, most likely on History Television and hope to see it again there soon. There is minimal information here. I understood, in the past, that one could contact Adam Holmes at Partners in Motion to obtain a video tape copy. But Adam Holmes seems no longer to be at the company in 2009. I could not spot the price on their website. If anybody knows, and can tell me, I will add it in here for interest.
6) A simple list of where the rescue ships landed (I think)
Name of ship Port of Landing and date # of survivors landed Carmania Fishguard, (Wales), Oct 13, 1913 1 Czar Rotterdam (Netherlands), Oct 14, 1913 102 Devonian Liverpool (U.K.), Oct 14, 1913 59 Grosser Kurfürst New York (U.S.A.), Oct 16, 1913 106 Kroonland New York (U.S.A.), Oct 16, 1913 89 La Touraine Le Havre (France), Oct 14, 1913 40 Minneapolis Gravesend (U.K.), Oct 14, 1913 30 Narragansett Gravesend (U.K.), Oct 16,1913 29 Rappahannock Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada), Oct 14, 1913 19 Seydlitz Philadelphia (U.S.A.), Oct 16, 1913 46 ---- 521 Total persons aboard Volturno
564 passengers and 93 crew
---- Lives lost 136 ----
I read here that there was an attempt made to place the majority of survivors on westbound rescuers. It would seem, however, that it was almost exactly 50/50 in that regard, if you add up the numbers.
If any visitor can clarify (or correct) or provide more information about any of these matters, I would truly welcome their help.
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