Afric


Gary Watson

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Feb 17, 2008
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Feb. 1917 the Afric was torpedoed while enroute to Plymouth from Liverpool by UC-66 12 nautical miles S.S.W. of Eddystone Lighthouse.
Can anyone tell me where this lighthouse is located?
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Me father was the keeper of the Eddystone Light...
and he slept with a mermaid one fine night.
From this union there came three, a porpoise and a porgie, and the other was me.

Yo-ho-ho, the wind blows free
All for the life on the rolling sea!

One night as I was a trimmin' of the glimm...
an singin' a song from the evening hymn...
Heard a voice shouting out "Ahoy."
There was me mother just a sittin' on a buoy.

Yo-ho-ho, etc.

Oh what has become of my children three?
Me mother then she asked of me.
One was exhibited as a talking fish,
The other was served in a chafing dish.

Yo-ho-ho, etc.

Oh, the phosphorus geamed in her seaweed hair...
I looked again and my mother was na' there.
Heard a voice echoing out of the night..
to Hell with the keeper of the Eddystone light.

Yo-ho-ho, the wind blows free...
All for the life on the rolling sea.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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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, thanks for this!
I was having a closer look though my stuff. It seems that it possibly was really Hickson in command when the Afric was sunk. However Thompson was also captain of the Afric. Possibly before Hickson. In one of the newspaper reports about his death (don't know which newspaper) it is stated that he was in command of the Afric when she survived a torpedo attack.
I am not sure were I had the information taken that Thompson was in command when she sunk. (I first thought it was in the New York Times 14. February 1914, but there is no name mentioned.) Possibly someone confused the two story's.

P.S.: Correction, after reading the report for the 3rd time, it was Thomspon who survived the torpedo attack and not the Afric!
 
Mar 18, 2008
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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.
Ok, in my reply to Mark (post No. 10) I wrote that I did not know were I have the information that it was Thomspon who was on the Afric when she sunk. (I must keep in mind to add the source into my notes!) I must have been blind as it is in another newspaper report I have. Unfortunately I don't know which newspaper as it I have only that cutting. However there it is stated that Thompson was in command of the Afric when she was sunk and that he had spend nearly 12 hours in a boat before he was rescued.
It seems that your discharge book would speak for this version.
 
Jan 27, 2011
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Cincinnati, Ohio
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

Michael
 
Mar 18, 2008
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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

Michael
Hi Michael,
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!
 
Jan 27, 2011
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Hi Michael,
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!

Thanks Ioannis, I would agree that it must have been Thompson in command. So far he is the only source I have found too. I had never heard that the Afric was warned, that would be interesting to find more out about that. That could be true that at one time Hickson was meant to be captain, so many questions concerning some of these ships. I appreciate all the help.

Michael
 

Mark Baber

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Dec 29, 2000
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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.

Thanks, gentlemen.
 
Jan 27, 2011
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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.

Thanks, gentlemen.


Thank you both for all the detailed information and taking the time to look into this for me. I checked the discharge book last night and the date of discharge is 12 February 1917 again signed by James Thompson. This clears everything up then, I appreciate all the help. By the way Mark is there anyway you could use the site you listed above to confirm who the captain was with the SS Justicia was torpedoed and sunk? I think you lead me in the right direction on this a few days ago but I just wanted to confirm this since you have access to the records. Believe this or not but the same discharge book I have with the Afric sinking has the seaman's next voyage on the SS Justicia and discharged on 20th of July 1918 which of course is when it finally sank. The description of the voyage just says Admiralty Transport Service which from what I have researched would think that he got off the ship with some of the other crew before it sank and was taken back to Liverpool where he was discharge according to the discharge book. The book says the master was Hambelton but again I just wanted to confirm this. Thanks.



Michael



Michael
 

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