May I suggest you navigate the pages via the site index on page 01. PRIOR PAGE / NEXT PAGE

To search for specific text on this page, just press 'CTRL + F' & then enter your search term. Test.

This page is, as is true with other pages, in progress! It will offer the data I presently have available as to the crew of the Volturno. But there will be giant gaps in the data! If you can help me fill in any of those gaps, I would surely welcome the help.

In completing this page, I have drawn extensively from and thank Jan Daamen for his detailed Volturno crew web page. That page was clearly was prepared using other data sources. Most valuable data indeed. One of his pages states that the true Volturno manifests and crew list went down with the ship. So where Jan has indicated that that particular crew member was rescued or not, I have generally indicated 'Yes' or 'No' as is appropriate, except where I have data which seems otherwise conclusive. And acted similarly with other detail.

I should particularly mention the interesting text that appears on Jan's site (on this page) from 'Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant' on Oct. 13, 1913, text that relates to the matter of the Volturno crew. Jan translated that text essentially as follows - but what I provide does contain some corrections which are the result of seeing Jan's image of the actual text:

'The board of the Uranium Steamship Company also informs us of the following: On the muster-roll the following Dutch names appear: Lindberg, sailor; Dobbelaar, ordinary seaman; Stegmeijer, 5th engineer (the latter one was saved by S. S. Kroonland); Kaling, carpenter; Kipkens, stoker; Liebrecht, also a boilerman; De Bruin, first baker; Mennema, second cook; Keller, first baker; De Wachter, second baker; Hoefkens, butcher; Muller, Blitz and Ballor, assistant stewards (latter three were saved by the Kroonland); Kraan, Berkemeyer, Kunst, Arends, De Groot (latter one saved by the Kroonland); Koster, Huiser, Dijkstra, den Exter, all waiters.'

In attempting to reconcile the names, the Webmaster is hampered by a lack of knowledge about the likely procedures at Ellis Island in 1913. Why, as one example of the Webmaster's dilemma, would Ellis Island manifests list Captain Inch and 13 members of his crew, as they clearly did. They surely were not immigrating to the United States. So why are they listed? And if they were listed for a good reason, as I presume must be so, why was 2nd officer Lloyd, who surely was landed by the Grosser Kurfürst and also in New York, not similarly listed? And many other Volturno crew members also landed by that vessel. Can anybody help the Webmaster understand the likely procedures of Ellis Island in 1913?

As more and more data becomes available, it gets harder and harder to link within the site and provide sources for the data. So I have commenced to introduce a simple code, , which means that on this page the name exactly as indicated is as was set out in the London Times relative to the Board of Trade Inquiry or a similarly authoritative purpose. On the assumption that the Inquiry would have recorded the name perfectly and the London Times would have done so also. You should be able to find the site page sources by using the site search engine at the foot of this page and every page.

But please note, that this is a page in progress and the London Times articles are many. So the absence of that red code should not be interpreted as there being no reference to that crew member's name in the Board of Trade related articles. Maybe, instead, that I have not yet transcribed a particular London Times page, which does have a reference.

I have now chosen in the column 'Rank' to use the terminology contained in the Board of Trade Report. Despite the fact that they do not, as an example, list the position of quartermaster. And the whole list is in the sequence as in that Report, a sequence I find to be quite strange.

If any of the links do not work, or work incorrectly, please let me know.

Name Rank Age Rescued? & manifest line # Landed by Comments etc.
Inch, Francis J. D. (U.K.) Master 36 485 - 1 Kroonland  
Miller, Harry Pitt, (U.S.A.) Chief mate 33 No   Lost with #2 lifeboat (1st)
Lloyd, Edward L. (U.K.) 2nd mate 40 Yes Grosser Kurfürst See page 72. Jan Daamen has a name of Hoey
Düsselmann 3rd mate ? Yes Grosser Kurfürst See page 72. Quoted by Spurgeon in New York and see below
Langsell or maybe Langyel 4th mate ? No   Lost with #6 lifeboat (2nd)
Dewar, Robert (U.K.) Chief engineer 58 485 - 2 Kroonland Jan Daamen has name as Docker, but Dewar is correct. (Ellis Island transcribed it as Dever)
Malcolmson, F. D. (Frank) (U.K.) 2nd engineer (3rd in B.of T. report) 29 485 - 3 Kroonland  
Pinch, A. E. (Alfred) 3rd engineer ? Yes Grosser Kurfürst See page 72 as 'Pintsch'.
Belfield, James (U.K.) 4th engineer 23 485 - 4 Kroonland Jan Daamen has name as Bailey, and vessel as Grosser Kurfürst
Stegmeier, Martin (Netherlands) 5th engineer 36 485 - 5 Kroonland  
Schonstein, A, (Arie) (Hungary) 6th engineer ? Yes Seydlitz below as 'Schoenstein'
Carter, Harry B. (U.K. Manchester) Surgeon ? Yes Czar See page 63 - described as the surgeon
Seddon, Walter (U.K.) Marconi operator 20 485 - 6 Kroonland  
Pennington, Christopher John (U.K.) 2nd Marconi operator 22 485 - 7 Kroonland  
Kalving, A. (August) Carpenter ? Yes Grosser Kurfürst  See page 72.
Arends. J. (Netherlands) Carpenter's mate ? Yes Seydlitz below as 'Ahrens' a carpenter
Soderstrom, V. (Viktor) Boatswain ? Yes Grosser Kurfürst  See page 72 as Sodorstroem
? Boatswain's mate ?      
? Six A.B.'s and Six Sailors      
Gunderson, O (Ole) (Norway) A.B. or sailor 50 485 - 9 Kroonland  
Saarinen, A. (August) (Finland) A.B. or sailor 23 485 -10 Kroonland  
Keller, Paul A.B. or sailor ? Not sure   Probably rescued by Narragansett but listed above (italics) as being first baker
Mognousky, Hans A.B. or sailor ? Yes La Touraine Name may be 'Magnovoski, Frank'
Hearty A.B. or sailor 60 No   Jumped overboard per testimony at Board of Trade Inquiry
Ohlsen, Sigurd A.B. or sailor ? Yes Grosser Kurfürst  See page 72.
Lyngquist, A. (Albert) A.B. or sailor ? Yes Grosser Kurfürst  See page 72 As Albert Jungquirt.
Lindberg (maybe Netherlands) A.B. or sailor ? No   Per Captain Inch testimony burned in the forecastle. See page 17
Gunner E. (U.K. Wimbledon) A.B. or sailor ? No   Per Captain Inch testimony burned in the forecastle. See page 17
  1 more A.B. or sailor ?      
  1 more A.B. or sailor ?      
  1 more A.B. or sailor ?      
Dobbelaar, Abraham (Netherlands) Boy (forecastle) 16 Yes Seydlitz below as 'Dobbelahr' as 'boy'
Matthews Boy ? No   Per Captain Inch testimony burned in the forecastle. See page 17
Neil, John Engine-room Storekeeper ? Yes Seydlitz  below as 'Nell' and 'storekeeper'. At Inquiry said to be engine-room storekeeper
Holl, Charles Greaser ? Yes Czar  
Karlsen, J. Greaser ? Yes Seydlitz below as 'oiler'
  Greaser ?      
Klusmeier, Paul (Germany) Fireman 30 452 - 3 Grosser Kurfürst Name is confusing
Wabell, W. Fireman ? Yes Seydlitz below as 'Abilli' a 'stoker'
Mitchell Fireman ? Yes Seydlitz below as 'Mitchell' a 'stoker'
Hipkins, James (U.K.) Fireman ? Unknown    
Paul, C. S., (U.K. Madras?) Fireman ? Not sure   Jan Daamen lists Paul as rescued by the Czar.
Rudoll, Sam (U.S.A.?) Fireman ? Yes Grosser Kurfürst  See page 72.
  Fireman ?      
  Fireman ?      
Reidy, Michael (U.K. Cork) Trimmer ? Yes Unknown  
Burns, Joseph (U.S.A.) Trimmer 27 452 - 4 Grosser Kurfürst  
Graun, Alfred Trimmer ? Yes Grosser Kurfürst  See page 72.
Kipkens (maybe Netherlands) Trimmer ? Unknown    
Lebrecht, Paul  Trimmer ? Yes Grosser Kurfürst  See page 72.
Pershon, Ferdinand  Trimmer ? Yes Grosser Kurfürst  See page 72.
Brown, W.D. (U.K.) Purser ? Yes Czar See page 63
Lang, Herman G. Assistant  Purser ? Unknown    
? Chief Steward ? No   Lost with #2 Lifeboat (1st)
Feierhahn, Henri (Germany) 2nd Steward 46 485 - 8 Kroonland  
Funken/Funben  J. or K. (Netherlands) Storekeeper 26 Yes Grosser Kurfürst  See page 72 as 'Frank Funken'.
Kraan Pantryman ? Yes Seydlitz below.
Graauw, Neeltje (Netherlands) Stewardess ? No   Surely lost with #2 Lifeboat (1st). See page 17 & the following text. See also this page.
De Bruin, or De Bruine, Adam (Netherlands) Chief Cook ? Yes La Touraine Name may be De Bruine. See Dutch newspaper extracts here. under date of October 15, 1913.
Meunema, Hendrik (Netherlands?) Second Cook ? Yes La Touraine Name may be Mennema. See Dutch newspaper extracts here. under date of October 15, 1913.
  Steam cook ?      
  Steam cook ?      
Baller, Kurt (Germany) Baker 25 485 -14 Kroonland Above (italics)
De Wachter (maybe Netherlands) Baker ? Unknown    
Hoefkens (maybe Netherlands) Butcher ? Unknown    
Heberle, Friedrich Sculleryman ? Yes Grosser Kurfürst  See page 72.
Fischer, Maximilian Sculleryman ? Yes Grosser Kurfürst  See page 72.
Kwasniewski, Wladislaw (Germany) Assistant Steward 22 452 - 1 Grosser Kurfürst See page 72.
Stelbig, Otto (Germany) Assistant Steward 20 452 - 2 Grosser Kurfürst  
Reisewitz, W. (William) (Germany) Assistant Steward 23 456 Grosser Kurfürst See page 72 as 'Robert Reisewitz', a 'steamcook'.
Berkemeyer, Hans Assistant Steward ? Yes Seydlitz  below
Terlbig Assistant Steward ? Yes Seydlitz  below
Hause E. (Netherlands) Assistant Steward ? Yes Seydlitz Gave testimony at the Board of Trade Inquiry. Below as 'Haus'.
  Hospital Steward ?      
Unger, Otto Chief Steerage Steward ? Yes unknown Gave testimony at the Board of Trade Inquiry. May have been saved by Narragansett, which vessel, per The Liverpool Echo, saved 2 crew including a steerage steward.
  Second Steerage Steward ?      
  18 General Servants - those who I cannot fit above follow on next ?      
Williams 5th Officer ? Not sure   Maybe rescued by vessel unknown
Underwood, William (U.K. Lincs.) Steward/Purser
2nd Deck
? Yes Czar  
Oller Quartermaster ? No   Burnt in forecastle. Lost with #2 lifeboat (1st)
Linster Quartermaster ? No   Lost with #6 lifeboat (2nd)
Schmidt, G. Quartermaster ? Yes Seydlitz  below
Nugent Quartermaster, I deduce ? No   Per Captain Inch testimony burned in the forecastle. See page 17
Blitz, Otto (Germany) Mess Room Steward 25 485 -11 Kroonland  
Muller, Hans (Austria) Officers' steward 26 485 -12 Kroonland  
De Groot, Marinus (Netherlands) Waiter 19 485 -13 Kroonland  
Dunexter (maybe Netherlands) Waiter ? Yes Grosser Kurfürst  See page 72. Maybe 'den Exter'.
Jacobus, Jan Waiter ? Yes Grosser Kurfürst  See page 72.
Koster (maybe Netherlands) Waiter ? Unknown    
Kunst (maybe Netherlands) Waiter ? Unknown    
Willekens, G. (Netherlands) Barber ? Yes Grosser Kurfürst  See page 72 as 'Williges, Jacobus'.
Kalbsch, J. Trimmer ? Yes Seydlitz below as 'Kalbeck'
Ply Trimmer ? Yes Seydlitz below
Dijkstra, K. H. or I. (Netherlands) Cabin Boy ? Yes Seydlitz  below as 'Derkster' a steward
Huizer, B. (Netherlands) Cabin Boy ? Yes Seydlitz  below as 'Hilxer' as 'steward'
Number in above list (named)   82      
Number in above list (not named)   11      
    ------ ------    
Total crew number/ (63 crew saved per number saved Tinsley) 93  61   19 surely Ellis Island manifested.
    ------ ------    

A list of the names of the Volturno passengers rescued by the Seydlitz appeared in the New York Times on Oct. 15, 1913. 28 names. As on page 9. Also included, was a list of Volturno crew members similarly rescued. No initials or ages are available and the spelling of the names and ranks may be less that perfect. But I will use that data until I have more definitive data perhaps from another source. So here is that crew list from the New York Times. None of the names would seem so far at least to have been manifested.

Name in New York Times list Rank  
Schoenstein engineer  
Ahrens carpenter  
Schmidt Quartermaster  
Karlsen oiler  
Nell storekeeper  
Abilli stoker  
Mitchell stoker  
Ply trimmer  
Kalbeck trimmer  
Kraan pantry-man  
Berkemier steward  
Teribig steward  
Haus steward  
Derkster steward  
Hilxer steward  
Dobbelahr boy  

The London Times listed some of the names of the British members of the Volturno crew on Oct. 17, 1913, page 5. As follows:

'The following names of the British members of the crew of the Volturno are supplied by the Board of Trade:-

Francis Inch, aged 35, Greenfield-road, Tottenham.
H. P. Miller, 33, chief officer.
E. Lloyd, 40, second officer.
W. Seddon, 20, Marconi operator.
C. J. Pennington, Marconi operator.
H. Carter, Manchester, surgeon.
W. D. Brown, purser.
James Hipkins, fireman.
M. Reidy, fireman, Cork.
C. S. Paul, fireman, Madras.
E. Gunner, sailor, Wimbledon.
William Underwood, steward, Lincs.

There were 87 in the crew, 12 being British, one American, one Russian, two Danes and the rest divided between Dutch and Germans.'

Before providing data about individual crew members, I might usefully show you here two images:

An image of the Volturno crew members taken at the Seamen's Church Institute in New York City in 1913. Captain Inch would not be in the photo, since he and Chief Engineer Robert Dewar stayed elsewhere. The image may prove to have some relevance to those today listed below, and to those that may be listed on this page in the future.

And a fine image, taken aboard Kroonland, of most of the crew members that Kroonland rescued. There were 14 Volturno crew members rescued by Kroonland, including Francis Inch, the Captain, Robert Dewar, the Chief Engineer and Frank Malcolmson, the 2nd or 3rd Engineer, as you can read above, and also here (485) & here (484). 10 (I think) of the 14 are in the image that follows. I say that thinking that the tall man at the back might have been a Kroonland and not a Volturno crew member. Which may, however, be quite wrong.

I should tell you that in Mar. 2008, a collection of press images were offered for sale on e-Bay. From the files of the 'San Francisco Examiner'. Included was the following fine 1913 image of Volturno crew members on the deck of Kroonland, which vessel had rescued them. It would seem clear that Captain Inch is not in the image, so it may well prove to be possible to identify some at least of the others.

I should also advise that I have not sought the approval of the e-Bay vendor, 'sfxarchive', for the use of the following image. I do hope that its use on this non-profit and informational site will be considered to be in order. It is only fair to note, however, that the vendor's e-Bay store is available here, and you are invited to drop by!

Let me also tell you that the press image had the following words, (the italics are mine) recorded on its rear. Surviving members of the crew of the Steamer Volturno.

Here is the image. Adjusted in size, and both cleaned up and sharpened just a little.

My best effort so far at identifying who is who would be to say that Kurt Baller, the baker is at right. That Walter Sedden, the radio operator has his arms around Martinus De-Groot the waiter. And that Christopher John Pennington, the 2nd radio operator, is the one without a cap. The man who stands with his arms at his side? He looks to be a man of position and authority. Could that be Robert Dewar, the Chief Engineer?

Am I right about Martinus De-Groot? The young man's face does look different from his image recorded, I believe, lower on this page. And I may be quite wrong. But if it is not De-Groot who else could it possibly be? He was both the youngest and the shortest in the group of 14, and 'fits the bill' on both of those counts. Any thoughts?

Such data as I have re individual Volturno crew members follows, excluding Captain Inch who now has his very own page, page 37. Crew members in an alphabetic name sequence.


A link to an obituary of James Belfield, an Australian & Volturno's 4th engineer. He died of a fever in Bombay, India, on Apl. 24, 1919, at the young age of 29. Link thanks to this Andy Baker page.


The Toronto Star of October 16, 1913, referred to Joe Burns, a Volturno stoker, in an article by H. B. Gordon, a Toronto Star reporter in New York. Burns was said to be 'a Pennsylvanian, a sturdy, straightforward fellow, with steady eyes and open face that give an instant impression of frankness and honesty'.

I try not to repeat data within these pages any more than is necessary. So I direct you to page 33 for that interesting text.


A link to the gravesite of Harry B. Carter, the surgeon aboard Volturno in 1913.  The link is thanks to this Andy Baker page. Andy advises us that Dr. Carter
suffered a nervous breakdown shortly after the Volturno disaster & never recovered. He died in 1916 & was buried at East Cemetery, Manchester. But not the Manchester I had expected! Rather Manchester in Hartford County, Connecticut, U.S.A.


It would seem that De Bruin (or maybe De Bruine), chief cook of the Volturno and Dutch by nationality, was rescued by La Touraine. He was reported as being nursed back to good health in Le Havre suffering from several bruised ribs and pneumonia. It would seem that he descended a rope from the deck of Volturno, dropped into the sea, lost consciousness, and revived only much later when he was aboard La Touraine. For that limited data, I thank Jan Daamen, on whose site the translated text of a contemporary Dutch newspaper (Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant) can be read, under the third references to the date of October 15, 1913. And I believe, an image can be found there of the actual newspaper text, in Dutch of course.


It is fascinating, (to the webmaster, at least!), that with all of the data now available on this site, we can identify with some degree of certainty a fine image of an unidentified young man, whose image was available, as this page is amended in March 2008, via e-Bay. From a collection of press images ex the 'San Francisco Examiner'.

A contemporary, i.e. 1910s image clearly, a press photograph of the time, with an interesting story indeed, recorded on its rear, in the following words:

A REAL WAIF OF THE SEA. Young un-named boy who thirteen months ago was picked out of the sea in an open boat by Captain Inch of the Volturno. The heroic commander of the vessel took a liking to the plucky little chap and, presenting him with a shining uniform, made him one of the ship's cabin boys. As Captain Inch, the last man to leave the Volturno, was about to drop into the last life boat, he remembered that he had not seen the boy leave the ship. Hurrying to the upper deck, he found him huddled in an old and useless life-boat. The boy explained that his life had once been saved by stowing himself in a life boat and he thought of the same method again.

The above is not exactly what was written on the rear of the photograph. I have corrected the modest typing errors it contained, for better clarity here.

A larger image is here, but still a portion only of the original.

Can it be possible, from such scanty data, to identify who exactly he was? I believe the answer to that question is 'Yes'. But you be the judge!

The facts. We do not know when the image was taken. But it must have been in Sep. 1912 or later. Nor do we know from what vessel he was saved in Sep. 1912. We know that Francis Inch became the Captain of Campanello in the spring of 1912, but the webmaster, at least, does not know that that was still true in Sep. 1912. Perhaps the words mean that Captain Inch was, in fact, captain of the Volturno in Sep. 1912? Not sure. Nor do we know from the image, his name. But we do know clearly that he was aboard the final life-boat, the boat which rescued Captain Inch. Now Captain Inch was rescued by a lifeboat from Kroonland, and the Volturno crew members who were rescued by Kroonland were manifested quite separately by Ellis Island. There were 14 of them as you can see here (485) & here (484). Per the NY Times, those 14 were left in care of the steamship officials in New York. We also know that he could not have been British, see data above.

The youngest in the list of fourteen, by far, is Martinus De Groot, 19 years of age and a waiter. A likely role, perhaps, (a waiter), for such a young person. Two cabin boys are listed above. He may well have been promoted in the interval. The next youngest in that lifeboat were Seddon & Pennington, both radio operators, stated to be 21 & 22 years of age, respectively. We have, lower on this very page, definite images & limited data about each of them. Both of them, because of their roles, figured prominently in the total story. The image is not of either of them, most certainly.

I believe the image is of Martinus De Groot, taken 13 months prior. While he had probably matured in the interval, I rather doubt that he in fact was 19 in Oct. 1913 as per the Ellis Island manifest. Just maybe there was a reason for his being listed as being older than he truly was? The webmaster believes that Martinus is in the crew image higher on this page, taken at the Seamen's Church Institute in New York City, 4th from the left in the 2nd row up. Very young indeed. He was from Rotterdam. As you can read via the links.

I would be most interested in receiving site visitor comments, i.e. confirmation (or maybe not!) about my identification.


We thank Jennifer Cole, of Vange, Essex, U.K., for the information about Robert Mitchell Dewar which follows, information which was provided by Jennifer's grandmother who passed away in 1994 at age 99. He was, I learn, Jennifer's great grandfather.

Robert Dewar (undated thumbnail at left) was Chief Engineer on Volturno and was 58 years of age at the time of the Volturno disaster. He was born on December 10, 1856, and died on Jan. 19, 1927 at 71 years of age. A most capable Chief Engineer by all accounts!

The Dewar family, a family with a long maritime history and tradition, came originally from Perth, Scotland. James Dewar, Robert’s grandfather, was born in Dunfermline & worked, we believe, as a marine engineer on very early steamships. He was employed by the City of Edinburgh Steamship Company, eventually becoming Captain of the Patch, believed to be an early paddle steamer, probably trading between Edinburgh & London. Indeed one of his sons (Alexander Mitchell) was born aboard Patch at Blackwall, London, in 1822. By Jan. 1, 1824, when his next son was born (James Arthur Masterton, Robert Mitchell’s father) James Dewar had moved south & settled in the east end of London, close to the docks - on Manchester Road in Poplar, on the Isle of Dogs. James Arthur Masterton would appear to have followed the family’s maritime tradition. Census returns detail his profession as ‘engineer’, & on one occasion he is absent from the return, his wife listed as ‘head of household’ & ‘engineer’s wife’, suggesting that he was away at sea at the time. Robert, his son, 'our' Robert Dewar if you wish, spent over 40 years as a Chief Engineer - aboard Volturno as we know, & aboard Campanello also, & presumably aboard many other vessels over those many years. His name, I learn, is correctly Robert Mitchell Dewar. He also served aboard vessels that traded into Demerara (now part of Guyana) & presumably returned to U.K. with shipments of sugar.

Our 'Robert Dewar' served in WW1, &, on a troop transport in the Mediterranean, met his eldest son Robert Arthur in Port Said just a few weeks before his son went missing. Robert Arthur had been 11 years in Australia, had joined the Australian Expeditionary Force, and was on his way to Greece and then to France. He was killed on Jul. 20, 1916 at Fromelles, France.

Robert had four sons. Lionel, Robert Arthur, Maurice (from left to right back in the fine left image that follows) & (below) Victor Alexander (Jennifer Cole's grandfather), all born in Poplar, London. Two of the sons, including Victor Alexander, became in turn Chief Marine Engineers. A long maritime tradition indeed!  The lady is Kate, Robert Mitchell Dewar's wife. Is it not a splendid photograph! Robert Mitchell Dewar himself at right, of course.

All fine information. Thanks to Jennifer Cole.


The image at left is a part of an image published in the Oct. 30, 1913 issue of Leslie's Weekly Illustrated Newspaper. The whole image is low on site page 12.

At the link just provided, and in the text from the Liverpool Echo that is below, some most complimentary words can be found about the conduct of 3rd Officer Düsselmann during the course of the disaster. The webmaster must point out that the Lloyd's Inquiry was rather less supportive as you can read on site page 17.

Ex Liverpool Echo, Oct. 18, 1913 - '3rd officers narrative. Mr DISSELMAN, 3rd officer of the VOLTURNO, arrived at New York on Wednesday on board the GROSSER KURFURST with 104 other survivors. - The cause of the fire he said was the explosion of a drum containing oil or chemicals in the forepart of the vessel. The VOLTURNO trembled as if she had been struck by a heavy shell, and almost immediately other drums began to explode in rapid succession, giving the impression of a severe cannonade.' And also (same source) - 'Mr DISSELMAN effected his own escape by sliding down a rope to a lifeboat alongside, and he gave a most vivid account of the other rescues.'

He was named 'Waldron Disselmann' in the Oct. 16, 1913 edition of the 'Edmonton Daily Bulletin' of Edmonton, Canada.

Now, thanks to some most interesting but fragmentary data provided by Dr. Michael Gross of Oxford, U.K., I have learned that Walter was born on Dec. 22, 1882, at Krefeld in the Lower Rhine, to parents August Düsselmann & Anna Josephine Hagermes. In 1904 he served as a steward on Elfrieda on one voyage at least - from Rotterdam to Portland, Oregon. In 1916, three years after the Volturno disaster, Walter Düsselmann served as 2nd officer on the German ship Libau, which vessel, camouflaged as a Norwegian fishing boat, tried to smuggle weapons into Ireland for the Easter Revolution. The expedition of the Libau was the subject of a (most rare) 1921 book, entitled perhaps 'Gun running for Casement in the Easter Rebellion, 1916', (the English title) by its captain, Captain Karl Spindler (1886/?). Walter Düsselmann died during WW2, on Oct. 17, 1943, but exactly where he died & the circumstances are unknown. Dr. Gross's great grandfather was Julius Düsselmann. And Walter was a first cousin of Julius.

I understand that a Düsselmann family member has a German language copy of the Spindler book (German title 'Das geheimnisvolle Schiff. Die Fahrt der Libau zur irischen Revolution'), given to Josephine Bender (1881-1966), his cousin, at Christmas 1921. And that it contains Walter Düsselmann's signature & dedication. The family were, I am advised, silk weavers from Krefeld in the Lower Rhine. Most interesting!


I have no data on this site about Neeltje Graauw, believed to be the Stewardess on the Volturno on its fateful final voyage. But Jan Daamen does have data, including a crew photograph that it is believed may depict Neeltje (just a portion of that large crew image is at left). And much family information including her dates of birth, marriage and divorce. She had three children I read. Jan's extensive data can be seen here.

While there is uncertainty, Jan advises - 'We only know that Neeltje Graauw died on board the S.S. Volturno on its fateful journey across the Atlantic Ocean (9 October 1913) and was ex officio pronounced dead on 5 June 1914 by the registrars office of Rotterdam.'

If Neeltje was the Stewardess who was aboard #2 lifeboat, the first lifeboat launched, as suggested by Arthur Spurgeon, she surely was lost. Another image of her may well be below.


The image that follows appears here thanks to Susan Harrison of the U.K. Whose grandfather, August Kalnin, was the Volturno's ship's carpenter. The dates of his service aboard Volturno are unclear, but, it should be noted, there is an 'August Kalving' listed as ship's carpenter in the 1913 crew list above. The name also referred to elsewhere as 'Kalwing' & 'Kaling'. Names were so often incorrectly spelled in the 1913 newspaper articles & documents & it is most likely that that was him. August was from Riga, Latvia, & ran away to sea at age 16 to serve on his uncle's sailing ship. He met Susan's grandmother in Liverpool. The couple married & August became a naturalised British citizen. He lived to age 72. Susan knew him as a child.

August is standing at right in the undated image below, while the name of the seaman holding the Volturno lifebelt is not known. The Captain's name? Susan's grandmother was a great joker, Susan advises, & she used to call that captain 'Captain Fish'. For reasons unknown. Maybe there was a Volturno captain of that name? If so I have not so far seen references to him. But probably it was rather a 'play on words' of some sort. It may yet be possible that a site visitor who sees this page may be able to identify the Captain.

We thank David Robinson too, for this image. The original is too large to fit on David's scanner & it was therefore photographed for this page.


It is hoped that very soon it will be possible to include on this page, data about Paul Klusmeier, of Dusseldorf, Germany. Who was a stoker aboard Volturno in 1913, with the intention, it would seem, of immigrating to the United States. He wrote a diary, in German, after the event, & Horst Klusmeier, Paul's grandson, has it is his possession along with images of Volturno survivors.

So check back, in the future, for new data. When the material is translated by Jan Daamen & available for inclusion here.


The image at left, of 2nd Officer Lloyd, is a part of an image published in the Oct. 30, 1913 issue of Leslie's Weekly Illustrated Newspaper. The whole image and the related text is low on site page 12. A very tall man, it would seem.

There are a great many references throughout the site to Lloyd, a very brave and dedicated officer indeed. May I suggest that you use the site search engine at the foot of this and every page to find those extensive references.

This 'space' was intended to be where personal or family data would be recorded. But alas, to the best of my knowledge none is yet available to present about 2nd Officer Lloyd.

But a little information is now available, in Aug. 2008, thanks to Ineke ter Haar Verheij of Capelle aan de IJssel, near Rotterdam, Holland. Ineke advises me that Edward Lloyd married Arina Verheij (1882/?) of Rotterdam, & that due to WW1 they lived in Wales. The couple had 5 children, some of whom were born in Wales & others in Rotterdam. Three of the five children are still going strong in 2008, all living in Wales. The oldest, Gwen, presumably born the year of the Volturno disaster, was to be 95 in Sep. 2008. Dirk is another of the children. A 'youngster' in his 80s today, or maybe, in fact, 90 years of age. Hopefully we will have more data soon. Including the names of the other three children.

Now there were, I understand, some related photographs & presumably an article, in the Nov. 11, 1969 edition of 'Cambrian News' published in Aberystwyth, Wales. It would seem that the 'Cambrian News' electronic archive section, under maintenance as these words are written, commences only in 2000. So hopefully the content of that newspaper will come to hand in another way.

Ineke, we thank you! More later perhaps. I should mention that Edward Lloyd was Ineke's great uncle.


As for De Bruin above, and from the same source, Hendrik Mennema or maybe Mermena, second cook of the Volturno, was rescued by La Touraine. He was reported as having suffered a broken leg. And is quoted as saying 'the cause of the fire is due to throwing a cigarette in the hold where it fell into the food supplies and spread fast.' For that limited data, I thank Jan Daamen, on whose site the translated text of a contemporary Dutch newspaper (Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant) can be read, under the third reference to the date of October 15, 1913, almost at the bottom of the page. And I believe, an image can be found there of the actual newspaper text, in Dutch of course.


We can read about the conclusion of an insurance related court hearing as set out in the London Times of Dec. 16, 1913, where the court concluded that Chief Officer Harry Pitt Miller had died in the Volturno disaster. I try not to repeat data within these pages. So you can read the full published text on site page 39.

Mrs. Miller was, in fact, in mid Atlantic herself and returning to the U.S. aboard the Kroonland at the time of the death of her husband, as you can read at the first 'Miller' reference on page 09.

The image at left above is a part of an image published in the October 30, 1913 issue of Leslie's Weekly Illustrated Newspaper. Not a particularly good image, but I am glad to have any image at all! The whole image is low on site page 12. The identity of the child is not known.


In matters such as these, some guesswork is, alas, necessary. In the New York Times of Oct. 14, 1913, a Franz Magnovoski was listed as being saved by La Touraine. And no such person would seem to have been Ellis Island manifested. Is it too much of a stretch to think that  Magnovoski and Mognousky might be the very same person? I personally think that makes good sense even though there is inconsistency in the first names also (Frank and Hans). And being a crew member of Volturno, the fact that he was not manifested in the U.S. surely does make sense.


I already have quite a lot of data on site about 2nd Radio Operator Christopher John Pennington, mainly, however, as it relates to his 'dream'. Rather that duplicate the data which is already on site, you can read about that 'disputed' dream here on page 04. That data originated from the New York Times, and there are other references to him in that newspaper. See page 09 for each of those links. Probably more text to come from the New York Times, however.

But personal data about Pennington? From the Ellis Island manifest we know he was 22 years old, single, 5' 7" tall and living in St. Helens, U.K. (near Liverpool).  I cannot read his place of birth.

Perhaps one day we will have more! But we do have two images now. The image at left above is from the Oct. 18, 1913 issue of Illustrated London News. The image at right above is, I believe, of 2nd Radio Operator Pennington - part of an image entitled 'THE WIRELESS MEN', published in the Oct. 30, 1913 issue of Leslie's Weekly Illustrated Newspaper. The entire image is low on site page 12.

Pennington's service was most likely recognised by Marconi, perhaps with a gold watch, as per Julie Chadwick's words here.


Alfred E. Pinch (at left with the tie in the thumbnail image) was the 3rd Engineer aboard Volturno at the time of the disaster. We have an extensive 'Pinch' quotation from the New York Times, available on site page 09. And we have also his testimony at the Board of Trade inquiry as it was reported in the London Times in 1913. It would seem that he had to draw his revolver to force one of his firemen back to work under circumstances set out on site page 17.

But now, thanks to Mrs. Barbara Bignold of the U.K., Alfred Pinch's daughter, we have a little more detail.

Barbara tells us that her father had a most adventurous early life. By 1913 he had already been at sea for about four years and had travelled up the River Amazon and as far eastwards as India. He left the Merchant Navy soon after the Volturno disaster, and in 1915 he joined the Inland Water Transport Division of the Royal Engineers and spent four years in Basra, now in Iraq but then in Mesopotamia (called 'Messpot' by the troops). It would seem that he fortunately was not involved in the fighting. Alfred lived to the age of 82. He apparently never mentioned the Volturno Board of Trade Inquiry to his daughter.

Barbara has also provided a pair of images, both believed to be Volturno related. In the left image below, Alfred is in the foreground with his arm around the shoulders of the man with the pipe. That is the man seated with the pipe, not the officer with the distinguished 'Sherlock Holmes' pipe second from the right! Barbara believes the crew depicted are all Volturno engineers. In the other image, the one at the right, Alfred is at the extreme left of the image. While Barbara is not absolutely sure, she believes the others in that image are also Volturno crew members. Alas the pictures are not dated.

Now while I may be quite wrong, and from this distance in time we may never be sure, the woman in the image at left below could very well be Neeltje Graauw, the stewardess who lost her life on the last trip of the Volturno. Scroll up and down this page & compare the woman in the image below with Neeltje's image a little higher on this page. It seems to me that there are strong facial similarities.  Do you agree?

Now both Arnie Graboyes and Dawn Long agree that there is almost certainly a 'match' with Neeltje Graauw. So inspired by that support, I wondered whether any other faces in the images might be tentatively identified. And just possibly there is one more. Look closely at the face of the officer at the extreme right of the left image. The one looking down with the pipe. And then take a look at the Walter Seddon images lower on this page and particularly the right hand image of the pair. Again there seem to me to be facial similarities. Seddon? Quite possibly it is. Thoughts anyone? Does anyone have the knowledge to identify the roles by the uniforms and hats? It might help. An update! The image available via the next paragraph confirms that the two outside figures in the image (the left of the two) were radio operators. So it must be Seddon at the extreme right of the image & Pennington at extreme left.

But it would seem that the identity of the woman in the image is known, from a Daily Mirror group image, published in 1913 & 'taken before the vessel left on her ill-starred voyage'. And it is not Neeltje Graauw. The Daily Mirror stated that the woman is the wife of Chief Officer Miller. Specifically they stated - 'the woman is Mrs. Miller, the wife of Chief Officer Miller (wearing straw hat)' - behind & to the right of her in the image below. We thank Senan Molony for this most interesting new data.


The Toronto Star of Oct. 16, 1913, referred to Sam Rudoll, a Volturno stoker, in an article by H. B. Gordon, a Toronto Star reporter in New York. Rudoll was said to be 'a negro, now living in Brooklyn, but with a noticeable English accent derived from years spent in the East End of London'.

I try not to repeat data within these pages any more than is necessary. So I direct you to page 33 for all of that interesting text.


While we have little data about Walter Seddon of a biographical nature, we do have a number of quotations from the New York Times under both 'Seddon' and 'Seddons'. See page 09 for each of those links. Probably more text to come from the New York Times, however.

But personal data about Seddon? I do not have any. Other than the limited data on the Ellis Island 1913 manifest - 21 years old, single, 5' 6" tall, born at Pendleton, U.K. I could not read his city of residence. He was, of course, the chief radio operator aboard Volturno. The left image of the pair is from the Oct. 18, 1913 issue of Illustrated London News.

The image at right above is, I believe, of Chief Radio Operator Seddon - part of an image entitled 'THE WIRELESS MEN', published in the Oct. 30, 1913 issue of Leslie's Weekly Illustrated Newspaper. The entire image is low on site page 12.

But I do now know that Walter Seddon died very young indeed. The London Times reported on Jun. 21, 1923, that he had died at age 31 at his home at Gathurst, near Wigan. The exact date of his death was not stated. The Liverpool Echo, in a report in Oct. 1913, advised that he was the son of Mr. Joseph Seddon, stationmaster at Gathurst.

Julie Chadwick has been in touch via the guestbook. Walter Seddon was Julie's great uncle. She advises:- 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?

If any visitor can clarify (or correct) or provide more information about any of these matters, I would truly welcome their help.

May I suggest you navigate the pages via the site index on page 01. PRIOR PAGE / NEXT PAGE

To the Special Pages Index.

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