Hmmm...according to Thompson's obituary in The New York Times, 15 November 1944, he was Olympic's assistant commander during the war. And there's an article in The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 October 1916, identifying Hickson as Afric's commander when she arrived there the day before.
Hi Mark, Thats strange as I have a seaman's discharge that lists the seaman being on the SS Afric when it was torpedoed and sunk. On the master's signature it looks like the last name is Thompson, I just couldn't confirm it for sure.
Mark and Ioannis, thanks for all your help and information on this. So in fact would it be that Thompson was the captain of the Afric when she was torpedoed and sunk? Like I said in the Discharge Book I have it shows the last name being Thompson in the master's signature box. I would tend to agree that somebody but have got something mixed to cause the confusion. Thanks
I would tend to think that it was really Thompson who was in command.
Is there a date in the discharge book? If it was Hickson, then why is not his name there? Why did the newspapers mention that Thompson was there and spend about 12 hours in a lifeboat? On the other side, there are the newspaper reports mentioned by Mark. Sadly I haven't find anything about Hickson in my stuff yet. [I think the Afric was warned of an possible U-boat in the area and the warning was adressed to Captain Thompson. Will need time to find it.
Unfortunately even with the most famous ships, like Majestic (II) we don't know every Captain! So regarding Afric possibly it was planned to be Hickson to be the captain for that voyage but was then changed for some reason. Would be interesting to find out!
It was Thompson.
I recently became aware that White Star's officer records are available online, at White Star Line Officers Books 1868-1934 | Findmypast.co.uk. Getting a subscription has been on my "to do" list, but until today there was no pressing need for me to do it.
Anyway, I bought some credits tonight and checked Hickson's and Thompson's records. Apparently, Hickson was Afric's commander during her last completed trip to Australia, but was replaced by Thompson for the next trip from Liverpool, during which she was sunk. He was her commander for all of seven days, from 6 to 12 February 1917, and then went to Olympic in March.
Time to note a revision to my White Star History, I guess.