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Hartlepools - a general history

Official No. 81507: Code Letters TGDL.

Masters: 1880-82 John W Straughan: 1882 J Parker: 1883 John W Straughan: 1884-86 Beavan: 1887-88 J Race.

Voyages: Arrived West Hartlepool 9 January 1881 from Carthagena; left West Hartlepool 22 January 1881 for Aden; left Malta 5 February 1881 for Aden left Port Said 10 February 1881 for Aden; arrived Aden 19/219 February 1881; left Aden 24 February 1881 for Elephant Point, Rangoon.

Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail 13th May, 1887:
HARTLEPOOL STEAMER IN PERIL. COLLISION WITH AN IMMIGRANT SHIP. NARROW ESCAPE OF 1000 PASSENGERS. Reports reached New York early on Thursday morning of a terrible shipping disaster said to have taken place in the lower harbour during the night. The reports prove, however, to be much exaggerated, although awful calamity was narrowly averted. The Antwerp liner Belgenland, 3,692 tons, with over a thousand passengers on board, chiefly emigrants, was passing off the quarantine station late Wednesday night when she collided with the steamer Hartlepools, of West Hartlepool. The shock is described as so tremendous that it a wonder that either vessel remained afloat. Both were seriously damaged. The bowplates and the upper works of the Hartlepools torn bodily away. The Belgenland had her plates the port side aft the mizen stove in, and was other ways badly damaged. The collision created fearful panic on board the Belgenland. Most of her passengers were below at the time and rushed on deck pell-mell, the majority them half-naked. For a moment it seemed though a rush, which must have proved disastrous, would be made for the boats. But the exertions of the officers, and the fact, which soon became evident, that the vessel was not sinking, recalled everybody to reason.

Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough 7th December, 1888:
WRECK OF A HARTLEPOOL STEAMER. SEVENTEEN LIVES LOST. LIST OF THE DROWNED. About six o'clock last night the Hudson Shipping Company, West Hartlepool, received a brief message from Captain Race, of the steamer Hartlepools, announcing the loss of that vessel with seventeen of her crew. The Hartlepools was bound from the Danube with grain for Bergen, and went on the rocks yesterday at Egersund, on the coast of Norway, within a few miles of her destination. Full particulars of the disaster are not yet to hand, but there seems to be no doubt but that seventeen of the crew of the ill-fated vessel have found a watery grave. Captain Race's message gives the names of the drowned, and the following is a complete list obtained this morning from the offices of the Hudson Shipping Company : — DROWNED. J. McDonic, mate, Wesley-street, West Hartlepool, married and family; J. Muirhead, second mate, 397, Scotswood Road, Newcastle; W. King, cook; S. Boynton, boatswain, Newport. Mon.; W. Coul. A.B.; E. ?u?sell, A.B.; J. Murray, A.B.; M. Regan. A.B.; W. L. Hogg, first engineer. 34, Milton Street, West Hartlepool, widow and six children; H. Wright, second engineer, Swansea; J. E. Ayes, third engineer, Alma Street, West Hartlepool; J. Doyle, donkeyman; S. Comes, fireman, Berkenhead; G. Brown, fireman; S. McDonald, fireman; J. Connor, engineers' steward; W. Pragnell, steward;
SAVED. John Race, master, Upper Alma Street, West Hartlepool; P. Johnman, carpenter; J. Martin, A.B. Dublin; J. Caghlero, fireman.
A melancholy circumstance in connection with the disaster is the fact that three of the drowned —namely, S. Boynton, A. H. Wright, and J. McDonic, were rescued from the steamer Hughenden, belonging to the same Company, which was lost with several of her crew in September last. The third engineer, Mr J. E. Ares, of Alma-street, is a son of Mr. Ares, late manager of the Liberal Club, West Hartlepool, and this was his first voyage. The Hartlepools was built in 1880 by Messrs Gray and Co., West Hartlepool. She was 1,131 tons net register, and carried 2,400 tons dead-weight. Her engines were 150 h.p , by Messrs Richardson and Sons, Hartlepool. It was intended to put triple expansion engines into her next year.

Daily Mail 28 December 1888:
“Mr Aves, the third engineer, who was among those drowned, was, as we have already reported a son of Mr T Aves, of Alma Street, West Hartlepool, late member of the Liberal Club, & he was himself a member of the club. He was a promising young fellow & the ill, fated voyage was his first & last one. When the lifeboat went down he clung to the tackle & Captain Race grasped him, but at that moment the vessel settled down, Captain Race lost his grasp & the unfortunate young fellow was washed away & drowned. Northern

Survivors December 1888:
Coghlen, John, fireman; Johnman, P, carpenter; Morton, John, able seaman, Newfoundland St., Dublin; Race, J, master, Alma St., West Hartlepool.

Hartlepool & Stockton Herald, December 29th, 1888:
Captain Race Interviewed. “Captain race and the three other survivors of the ill-fated steamer ‘Hartlepools’ which was wrecked on the coast of Norway in the early part of the present month, has now arrived home, and in the hope of hearing a few details with respect to the catastrophe, I visited that gentleman at his residence, Alma Street, West Hartlepool. He welcomed me, and judging from his demeanour, was decidedly averse to recapitulate the sad details of the disaster.

“I have told it so often” he remarked, “I feel as if I would like to say nothing more about it. I have made a deposition at the Custom House and you can get all that you’ll need there.” He then became silent on the subject, evidently in the hope that I would take my leave. But as I had comfortably ensconsed myself before the fire, and when he saw I had no intention of “shifting”, he at length relented and exclaimed “Well then, what can I tell you”.

“The whole story if you please” I replied. “First of all, what kind of a boat was the ‘Hartlepools’ and when was she built?”
“She was 1,131 tons register and was about eight years old; but you had better get that sort of information from the owners.”
“Alright then” I replied, “tell me the history of the wreck”.
“We left the Danube”, began the captain, “about the 14th of November, bound for Bergen with a cargo of rye and oats. The weather, when we left, was moderately good, and it was not until we had been twenty days on the passage that the accident occurred. It was the 6th of December, and a few minutes after two o’clock in the morning. I myself was on deck, and though the sea was perfectly clear and yet the land was obscured in thick fog. We ran right ashore among the rocks, and I soon found the vessel was sinking. The ship’s boat was ordered out, and the greater portion of the crew entered it before she was lowered. Meanwhile, I had let off several blue lights, and I discerned the rocks right ahead. I called to those lowering the boat not to be in a hurry to leave, and several of the crew remained on the deck. The boat on being lowered sank, and all its occupants drowned at the vessel’s side. My own impression is that it entered the water head and thus sank.

“Was that a fault in the lowering apparatus or in the manner in which it was lowered?” I interrupted.
“No” he replied, “it may possibly have been a fault in the boat”.
“We did our best to save them”, he continued, “but we couldn’t manage it. An hour later the vessel sank and two of us swam from the pole compass to the fore-mast, to which we clung. Two others also managed to reach it, but I think the remainder must have gone down in making the attempt. We remained there until nine o’clock, when we were rescued by fishermen and taken to a fisherman’s cottage, where we received the most kindly treatment. From there we walked to Egersund the same day, a distance of about four miles, and at that place the Consul took charge of us.”
“Is the vessel a complete wreck now?”
“Complete; she lies in about twenty fathoms of water and has been salved, but I can’t say what they have got for her.”
“Have any of the bodies washed up” I next enquired.
“Yes, two of them. The diver was down examining the wreck and I got him to bring two bodies up. But they were both unrecognisable, and were buried at Egersund.”
“Was there much of a sea running at the time?”
“No, not a great deal: and had the men made for the rigging they would all have been saved.” But as is only too well-known, seventeen were drowned and four rescued.
“Has the ‘Hartlepools’ been in many mishaps?”
“Yes, a few; but not during the ten months I have been in her.”
“Are mists common along the Norwegian coast?” I enquired in conclusion.
“They have been most extraordinary during the past winter, and have been almost unprecedented in number.”

Mr. Aves, the third engineer, who was among those drowned, was, as we have already reported, a son of Mr. T. Aves, of Alma Street, West Hartlepool, late manager of the Liberal Club, and was himself a member of the Club. He was a promising young fellow, and the ill-fated voyage was his first and last one. When the lifeboat went down he clung to the tackle and Captain Race grasped him, but at that moment the vessel settled down, Captain Race lost his grasp, and the unfortunate young fellow was washed away and drowned.

South Wales Daily News 10th January, 1889:
THE LOSS OF THE S.S. THE HARTLEPOOLS. HOW NORWEGIANS BURY ENGLISH SAILORS. AN IMPRESSIVE CEREMONIAL. When the British steamer The Hartlepools was wrecked on the Norwegian coast some few weeks ago, much interest was taken in the event from the fact that her crew was shipped at Cardiff. The following- description of the funeral at Ekersund, a small seaport on the West Coast of Norway, of two members of the crew will be read with great appreciation by those who are aiready acquainted with the particulars of the disaster. It is translated from the Slavanger Amts, a popular Norwegian newspaper :—
"To-day (December 13th) two seamen, whose bodies had been taken from the stranded English steamship The Hartlepools, were interred in the town cemetery. The corpses were quite unrecognizable, but the captain, who still remains here, believes that they were the cook and one of the crew. Let them be who they may, the poor fellows were accorded such a funeral as no one has ever had before in this town. So many mourners have never, perhaps, been seen together here, although the funeral was not publicly advertised. Among the followers were 20 young ladies, each of whom carried a wreath. At the grave the Rev Magelssen spoke, and few of the by-standers could restrain their tears. The male choir sang in the first instance, and after the address by the pastor, the young ladies sang a specially-selected beautiful English hymn. The captain, who during the ceremonial was very much affected and sorrowful, utterly broke down when he unexpectedly heard the ladies sing in his own mother tongue."

South Durham Herald, 12th January, 1889:
Judgement of the Court.
On Saturday, judgement was given in the Board of Trade enquiry at Middlesbrough respecting the stranding of the steamer Hartlepools and the loss of 17 lives. The Court found the loss of 13 lives was caused by the rush to the lifeboat, which upset, and the washing off the ship and out of the jollyboat of the others. Captain Race was alone in default for the stranding, and his certificate would be suspended for three months.

Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail, 6th January, 1890:
HONOUR THE BRAVE. The Board of Trade have awarded gold medal to Claus Berntson Lodre, a Norwegian pilot, and a silver medal Clans l'ederson Lodre, his grandson, together with sums of money to both persons, in recognition their services in rescuing the survivors ol the screw-steamer Hartlepools, of West Hartlepool, which stranded near Egersund, Norway, on the 6th December, 1888.

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