THE BURNING OF THE 'VOLTURNO' - PAGE 77
THE S. S. KROONLAND - 3RD PAGE
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Other pages devoted to the Kroonland, can be found 75, 76, 78 & 79.
But first a part only of a postcard image of the Kroonland leaving New York Harbour. I am rather disappointed in my scanner. The postcard is quite detailed & the e-Bay vendor who listed the item for sale did a rather better scanning job than I have done! An appropriate image for this page, however, since the Volturno survivors listed below were landed in New York from this vessel. A copy of this postcard was for sale as this page was updated in early Nov. 2005 - at an opening bid of U.S. $8.00.
VOLTURNO SURVIVORS RESCUED BY KROONLAND
In the table that follows, I list in the first column the names that were reported as being saved by Kroonland in the New York Times of Oct. 17, 1913 (there was an earlier such list on Oct. 14, 1913). But I have listed those names in a way that hopefully a visitor may today track.
The names are listed not in the sequence in the New York Times, but rather in the sequence that those persons were manifested on Ellis Island, at the indicated manifest pages. The names at times defy reason, but I think the overall result makes some sense. There are 88 persons listed.
Name in New York Times Age Line # The manifested name as I read it MANIFEST PAGES 460 & 459 Drajevic, T. 18 1 Dragogevik, Janser Proytsche, K. 26 2 Troytsche, Krestistoch Bjelivuk, Stevan 23 3 Bjelivick, Stevan Alesowitch, S. 37 4 Alexowitsch, Stevan Filak, Parwall 26 5 Filak, Parvel Lovri, Milovan 17 6 Lovric, Milovan Gruenfeld, Anne 24 7 Gruneveld, Anne Gruenfeld, Floret 4 8 Gruneveld, Floret Gruenfeld, Cheret 1 1/2 9 Gruneveld, Cheret Gruenfeld, Johan 6m 10 Gruneveld, Johan Knotel, Heinrich 24 11 Kuvtel, Heinrich Bokavslausky, R. 17 12 Bokawslowsky, Ruchel Bokavslausky, M. 20 13 Bokawslowsky, Mendel Fischpeck, Gene 16 14 Fischbein, Gene Maslin, Ewa 19 15 Mascin, Eva Ruvin, Esther 19 16 Ruvin, Ester Muschka, Anna 28 17 Murschka, Anna Muschka, Antonia 8m 18 Murschka, Antomina De Groot, Anna 54 19 De Groot, Anna Stake, Ian 46 20 Stochon, Jan Lactasiec, Gjuiv (2 years) 25 21 Lactoirie, Gjinv Geilic, Blaz 36 22 Svilie, Blaz Padlovac, Iovan 21 23 Podlvac, Jovan Vaskovic, Rade 18 24 Vuckovic, Rade Vaskovic, M. 25 25 Vuckovic, Moihailo Kosiszek, Katuse 18 26 Kosiszek, Katuse MANIFEST PAGES 464 & 463 Kaschniski, Ruchel 18 1 Kaschinski, Ruchel Nusushukut, Maria 25 2 Tucsy?na, Maria Schubert, G. 34 3 Schubert, Gustav Koenig, Paul 39 4 Kvinig, Paul Bakaric, F. 19 5 Bakaric, Ferdinand Rutkewitz, Siderka 18 6 Kutkewitz, Sidorka Tairncan, Angel 24 7 Tourneur, Angel Tairncan, Victor 10m 8 Tourneur, Victor Binant Bertch 23 9 Binant, Borsche Binant Bertch 6 10 Binant, Bertch Badirowa, Hanke 25 11 Badowa, Hanke Badirowa, Stefan 3 12 Badowa, Stevan Badirowa, Stasch 1 1/2 13 Badowa, Stasch Bvagugneau, H. 23 14 Bvagugnean, Hewu MANIFEST PAGES 469 & 468 Steinberg, Lobel 20 1 Steinberg, Libi Singer, Emma 20 2 Singer, Heme Riftec Shilt, Key 11 3 Shut, Chaie Shilt, Yossel 16 4 Shut, Jossel Leuzutzky, Abe 16 5 Lenzutzky, Abel Loster, Anton 24 6 Joster, Anton Voossel, Ivan 45 7 Voovssl, Ivan Lawitzsch, Spiro 26 8 Sarvitasch, Spiro Louster, W. 44 9 Louder, Welwel Verezewska, Luca 17 10 Berezowska, Sara Fuhrsman, B. 25 11 Fuhrman, Bornch Krizanic, Tinbre 24 12 Krizance, Tinbro Bernan, Liebe 24 13 Berman, Liebe Weinermann, F. 18 14 Weinerman, Feige Weinermann, L. 16 15 Weinerman, Leibe Lasewieck, M. 19 16 Lasenznick, Molke Lajonc, Magdalena 42 17 Tajvnc, Magdalena Lajonc, Lajonc (4) 10 18 Tajvnc, Iusef Lajonc, Mariana 7 19 Tajvnc, Mariana Lajonc, B. 4 20 Tajvnc, Bronislaw Dimitriewitsch, H. 24 21 Dimitriewitysch, Stajan Poliak, Milka 13 23 Poliak, Milka Poliak, Golde 9 24 Poliak, Golde Poliak, Gune 7 25 Poliak, Gune Spanwie, Stevan 20 26 Spanovic, Stevan Coetkories, M. 18 27 Cvetkories, Mark? Balterkse, C. 20 28 Baltokse, Chaike Kurmir, Chaim 18 29 Kuzmir, Chaim Kanlzac, Migo (28) 25 30 Kazinac, Mujo MANIFEST PAGES 489 & 488 Cliodalz, Karolina 21 1 Clivdalz, Karvlina Yucsyna, Maria (15) 18 2 Brzygyt, Mariano Three unidentified children (image below) Wijek, Ludwige (or something close!) 8 Girl of 3 Drabik, Geneviva (it would seem) 9 Girl of 4 Family name is Grossman. 10 Boy of 3 VOLTURNO CREW 485 & 484 Tuch, Francis, master 36 1 Inch, Francis Diver, Robert, chief engineer 58 2 Diver, Robert Malcomson, Frank, 2nd engineer 29 3 Malcomson, Frank Belfield, James, 4th Engineer 23 4 Belfield, James Stegmeier, Martin, 5th Engineer 25 5 Stegmeier, Martin Seddon, Walter, 1st Marconi operator 21 6 Sedden, Walter Remington, C. J., 2nd Marconi operator 22 7 Pennington, Ch. John Feirerhahn, Henri, 2nd steward 46 8 Feierhahn, Henri Gonderson, Ole, seaman 50 9 Gonderson, Ole Saranen, August, seaman 23 10 Saarnen, August Blitz, Otto, mess steward 25 11 Blitz, Otto Muller, Hans, waiter 26 12 Muller, Hans De Groot, Marinus, waiter 19 13 De Groot, Marinus Baller, Kurt, 3rd baker 25 14 Baller, Kurt
SOME SPECIFIC VOLTURNO PASSENGERS RESCUED BY THE KROONLAND
Melissa Groeneveld of White Lake, near Pontiac, Michigan, advises me that six members of her family were aboard the Volturno & gratefully all survived the experience. Melissa's great great grandmother Anna DeGroot (died 1919) was on that trip - accompanied by her daughter Anna Groeneveld (Aug. 15, 1888/Oct. 6, 1947) and her four children, all sons, and named Floris (Mar. 23, 1909/Apr. 6, 1950) William (May 24, 1910/Aug. 10, 1971), Garrett (Jan. 23, 1912/Dec. 11, 1940) and John (Mar. 12, 1913/Jan. 19, 1914). All, except for William, were rescued by the Kroonland and arrived in New York on Oct. 16, 1913. William, then almost 3 1/2 years old, had a mind of his own & took a bit of a detour! He was apparently rescued by La Touraine & was landed in Le Havre, France. (I do not know that for sure, but Melissa's family records say that he was landed in France - & that can only be La Touraine). He later arrived in New York, on Nov. 1, 1913 it would seem from his listing at Ellis Island, but not by La Touraine. The manifest page for most of the family can be found on manifest page 460 (Anna DeGroot on line 19 & the others on lines 7 through 10) but I am sure that you need to be registered at Ellis Island to access that page. Easy to register however. And William (Willem) would seem to have in fact arrived (manifest page 418 line 4) in New York, aboard the Uranium on Nov. 1, 1913 ex Rotterdam. All were bound for Health Town, a settlement at Norway, near Escanaba, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, to join Anna Groeneveld's husband Floris Groeneveld, who had immigrated to the U.S. earlier that year.
I see that William was drowned in the disaster, if, that is, you read only the words in the New York Times on Oct. 17, 1913. It described the family being lowered over the side of the Volturno, 'after the deck of the vessel had become so heated that it was almost impossible to stand in one place for any length of time.' The five were lowered with ropes fastened around their waists in the form of nooses. 'William, the three-year-old son of Mrs. Gruneweld, was drowned. The rope which had been placed around his waist slipped and he fell into the water. Sailors jumped to his rescue but he did not reappear'. Melissa Groeneveld has advised me that William, born May 24, 1910 in fact died rather later indeed - on Aug. 10, 1971. And survived the Volturno disaster having been rescued by La Touraine as you can read above under exact circumstances that we can only imagine. (The family was listed as being Mrs. Anna De Groote, Anna Grunewald, Floortje, 4 years old; Gerrit, 1 year old, and Johann, 6 months old. Plus William, of course.)
It is a pleasure now to be able to present, below, a photograph of the DeGroot/Groeneveld family, believed to date from 1913, but the exact dating is not known. The image came to me via Melissa Groeneveld but originates, I understand, from the family archives of Ann, daughter of William Groeneveld. Amazingly all of the six family members who travelled on the Volturno are in the image. In the enlarged left section & also in the main picture, is Anna deGroot with Garrett Groeneveld on her lap. Anna Groeneveld is seen holding John Groeneveld, the baby of the family. In the middle are (top) William & bottom Floris Groeneveld. We thank Ann and Melissa for making this family treasure available for presentation on this page.
It is gratifying now to say that we are quite sure that an image of the Groeneveld family was widely published in 1913. As they arrived in New York aboard the Kroonland. Compare the lady with the baby above, with the lady in the white hat below. And compare also the face of the older lady above with the older lady below. I think they are surely one & the same family.
The Webmaster does not claim to have made that connection, since the second image, by UPI, was stated to have been taken aboard Seydlitz. But Melissa Groeneveld has cleverly made that connection & I think that she is quite correct. That second image was surely taken aboard Kroonland, hence my total inability to find a family which matched the image amongst those who were landed by Seydlitz - as explained in detail on site page 28. How wonderful!
And confirmation on that conclusion is now in hand - an image that was published in the Oct. 30, 1913 edition of Leslie's Illustrated Weekly Newspaper. The section in which it appears can be seen low on site page 12. Clearly the image was of the very same group of Volturno survivors & it WAS aboard Kroonland. That Leslie's image is next:
I have now added to this site an additional page with text from the report of the Relief Committee of the American Red Cross which looked after Volturno survivors who arrived in New York. That report does not use names re 99% of the cases it discusses, and in the few cases where it does use names, those names are stated to be fictitious. But the following text, Case No. 86. (Dutch) in that report, with no names stated, fictitious or not, clearly refers to this exact family: The sum in brackets at the end is the sum expended by the Relief Committee re this particular case.
A mother of 24 years with her four children came to join her husband who had been in this country eight months. With her was her mother who has two sons living in the same western town. The eldest child was thought to have been injured at the time of rescue and was placed in a hospital, the family accompanying him. It was found that there was no injury but the child immediately developed a contagious disease and was transferred to a hospital for contagious diseases where he remained for several weeks. The next child, a three-year-old boy, was separated from the family at the time of rescue and taken on another steamer voyaging east. The mother did not care to go west until she had her family with her and so was provided for in a temporary home while awaiting the recovery of one child and the arrival of the other. Her husband is a miner earning $2.30 a day. He secured and furnished a log cabin for his family. His mother-in-law will live with them. The child who arrived from Europe had received a contribution of $20 from a European relief fund and had an abundant supply of clothing. The family's clothing, household goods and money were lost to the amount of about $300; $250 was divided between the wife and her mother, their board was paid during their stay in New York, and clothing was purchased by this Committee. ($336.44)
Three young children were rescued by Kroonland, & being unaccompanied, their names were quite unknown at the time. One little child, a boy of 3 years, became known as 'William the Silent', because he was not prepared to talk after the ordeal & separation from the rest of his family. We do know now his family name was Grossman but we do not know his first name. BUT ... In Mar. 2011, we learned that his first name was Frank. See here. We also know much of the names of the two young girls - Ludwige Wijek, (or a name very close to that!) & Geneviva Drabik, ages 3 & 4 respectively, per the Ellis Island manifests (but presumably guesstimates). There are links above to their individual stories.
In Mar. 2008, a collection of press images were offered for sale on e-Bay. From the files of the 'San Francisco Examiner". Were they published by that newspaper in 1913? That I cannot tell you but it would be interesting to know the answer. All of this to introduce none other than a superb 1913 image of these very three children. How truly amazing!
I should advise that I have not sought the approval of the e-Bay vendor, 'sfxarchive', for the use of the image, so relevant to this page's subject matter. I hope that its use on this non-profit & informational site will be considered to be in order. I would like to advise however, that the vendor's e-Bay store is available here, and, as this page was first updated, he had almost 900 press images available for sale on subjects of great variety. Do drop by!
Let me also tell you that the press image had the following words, (the italics are mine) recorded on its rear.
ORPHANED BY SEA DISASTER. Three waifs of the ocean, all of whose parents perished during the burning of Uranium liner Volturno. The little fellow on the left is wearing a suit made by one of the Passengers of the Kroonland out of a blue flag. The lad's own clothes had been torn to shreds when he was pulled out of the sea.
So here is the image. Adjusted in size to permit viewing without scrolling. And carefully cleaned up a little & sharpened. 'William the Silent' is at left. The two girls at right I cannot individually identify as to who is who. Now I was able to contact the first bidder on the item in the hope that she might possibly be a distant relative of one of the three children & could clarify the history. (Cannot do that any more, except for a winner, it would seem! For 'privacy' reasons, courtesy of e-Bay.) A good try but the bidder was, alas, unable to provide any identification assistance.
Is the image not splendid!
TOURNEUR - ANGELE & VICTOR
It is a most interesting exercise for the webmaster to try to determine the exact identities of the Volturno survivors from the fragmentary data which is available 96 years after the event. And gratifying indeed to find that the facts deduced from piecing together those tiny pieces of information can prove to be fully accurate. Such has been true re one family, as became apparent when Charles Tourneur of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, kindly wrote the following:
'I have been looking for information about this disaster for many years and what you have provided for me is beyond what I had ever hoped to know. Growing up, I had heard small pieces of information from my grand-father but obviously he was too young to remember and I doubt very much that his mother talked about it. Within minutes I was now able to determine exactly what had happened, where they had landed, and I can verify that the stories I heard are in fact true, because what you described in this article is exactly how it was relayed to me. Again I want to thank you for providing me with this part of my family history.'
The Volturno family in question was the Tourneur family, comprising a 24 year-old young woman from Wanfersee, a community west of Charleroi, Belgium, Angele Tourneur (1889 / ?) manifest page 464 on line 7 as Angel, travelling with her two young children to join her husband Auguste or August Tourneur, a miner, living in Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. The oldest of her children was named Germaine (& not Angele, see here), & was 3 years old. The youngest was Victor, (1912 / ?) an infant & just 10 4. months of age.
When the Kroonland's boats came alongside to take survivors off the Volturno the mother had a major problem. How could she get herself & both children safely off the burning ship. What she decided to do was to take the infant herself & ask a fellow countryman to strap the 3 year old to his back when he jumped into the sea. Anticipating, of course, that they would both be picked up by the lifeboat & that the family would be safely later reunited. Angele herself was to follow in the next lifeboat. But that is not, alas, what happened. The fellow countryman (Henri Bonquegneau, it would seem), a young married man of 23 or 24 years of age, agreed to jump into the water with the 3 year old on his back, & did so. But when he bobbed to the surface of the sea, the child's head hit the pitching Volturno, & the child's grip went limp. Henri was unable to find a lifeboat, & was 25 minutes in the raging waters trying to reach the Kroonland. To save his own life he had to free himself of the weight from his back, & he let the dead child go.
All of this, and the words of Henri Bonquegneau as they were reported in the New York Times, is set out on site page 21.
While it is still to be proven, the webmaster believes that Angele and her infant son Victor are the family unit at the right hand side of the two images immediately above. And in the image at left, a part of one of the above images. But, as I say, that is still to be confirmed and I may yet prove to be wrong in that identification.
Tourneur family data is emerging. It would seem that Angele went to live in Sydney but that she and her husband were later divorced. Angele chose to stay in Cape Breton and did not remarry. Auguste, the husband, went to live in Charleroi, south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, did remarry but had no more children. Victor, the son that survived the Volturno disaster, became a miner but for just three weeks. He married Germaine Dewapenaere (? / 2005) & the couple had five children, two of whom (Victor Jr. and Victor II), died in infancy. John, the oldest of Victor's children today lives in Montreal. Charles, the youngest child, today lives in Cape Breton. And as does his sister Angele.
Charles Tourneur, who wrote to the webmaster, is the son of Charles. Germaine and Victor were his grandparents. And Auguste and Angele Tourneur was his great grand-parents.
Some new data, thanks to Charles Tourneur Senior of Cape Breton. Here is part of his kind words:
'You have been corresponding with my son Charles re the sinking of the Volturno. My grandmother Angele had a daughter but her name was Germaine not Angele. My father worked in the coal mines only for about 3 weeks. My grand mother and grand father settled in a coal mining town called New Waterford, near Sydney, Cape Breton. My grandfather Auguste moved to Charleroi just south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he remarried and worked as the caretaker of the Charleroi cemetery until he died. He didn't work in the mines after the first world war. My wife and I travelled to Charleroi this past summer and after a long day of trying to find some information we located his grave site and that of his wife and her family. We were fortunate to speak with an 86 year old woman who remembered him when she was growing up as a child and he lived just behind her home. Bruna (the lady's name) would be the last person who knew anything about him as neither my mother nor my siblings nor my father knew him or anything about him. My grandmother was supposed to travel on the Titanic but couldn't get on board because she was pregnant with my father. What a twist of fate! Thank you for this valuable information and the picture of my grandmother because we don't have an early picture of her nor of my father.'
It would seem that Charles Tourneur Senior, cannot advise me if my identification of Angele & Victor Tourneur in that image above is correct. But maybe confirmation may yet come from another source!
This page will, hopefully, track additional data about the Kroonland as it comes to hand, hopefully as it specifically relates to the Volturno tragedy.
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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