Australian Run

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Jane Dzik

Guest
Hello-

Can anyone tell me how long it would have taken to get from England to Australia on either the Seuvic or the Medic? Or, how long it would have been in port before returning home? Thank You.

Jane
 
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Susan Markowitz

Guest
Hi, Jane! This is an interim-message; I just discovered it's after 1 a.m. and I've no time to check. But tomorrow, I'll look into it for you (assuming no kind soul's gotten there first! :)) I KNOW I read something about it in the past few weeks; if I can just remember where...

All the best -- Susan
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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Hallo, Jane -

Generally approximately 3 - 4 months, give or take. I have the log here for one WSL voyage from the 20s which took exactly three months and three days. A Medic voyage (taking a specific example from the early 1910s) might last a bit longer - this one was two days short of four months. Harold Lowe's son told us that when his father was on the Australia run, his voyages might take him away from home for 'several months' at a time.

Regards,

Inger
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
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Hello, Jane, Suze and Ing---

Ing, is that 3 or 4 months just for the outward leg, or for the roundtrip? According to Anderson's White Star and Haws' Merchant Fleets, the five ships of the Jubilee Class---Afric, Medic, Persic, Runic and Suevic---were built to provide a monthly service fom Liverpool to Australia; in order for that to work, each ship would have to leave Liverpool every five months.

MAB
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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Hallo, Mark -

I have made an error in the three months (posting early morning, I grabbed a copy of a log that was sitting next to me on the desk thinking it was one of Lowe's 1920s vessels I'd been working with a couple of days previously- it was actually from his days on the West African run. Bet that inspires confidence in my ability to use primary sources ;-) ). Looking at them again, I'd go with a 4 month average for the entire voyage. Some specific departure/arrival dates include a voyage from 2 August - 9 December, and an example from the Medic has a 3 August departure and a 1 December return to Liverpool.

All the best -

Ing
(Who is close to giving up posting altogether, as my language malaise has apparently also spread to simple facts...)
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
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Thanks, Ing. Those examples fit quite nicely into the five-month schedule that these ships were designed for.

By the 1920's, here would have been one change in the lineup of ships serving Australia. Afric was torpedoed and sunk by UC-66 in the Channel on 2 February 1917, 12 miles off Eddystone Light, but Ceramic entered service in 1913. By war's end, then, there were still five ships on the Australia service, but one was far newer, larger and faster than the other four.

MAB
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Dear Inger,

I do a lot of writing in my profession but you could not tell that from these silly posts of mine at times.

You are your own greatest critic. I think that your posts are informative and you catch yourself and state that here. That takes guts. I see errors in spelling or making no sense and I am very grateful to Phil for adding that edit feature. Email is not a perfect media, but it is ceratinly a great media for communicating back and forth about stuff.

Dont; get down on yourself, don;t stop posting. Guess you never ever thought you;d hear that from me did you? (giggles)

Maureen.
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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Thank you, Maureen. I'm not really into self flagellation, but I can become as irritated with myself as I do with anyone else, and in this case it was a silly and avoidable error. I'd noted in the past how regular the arrival/departure dates for these voyages were, and had even written about the four months when discussing Lowe's time on the Australia run ships. Then to just incorporate a set of dates because they were in a log that happened to be to hand...! Too many papers around this desk, as my flatmates are wont to tell me. I'm also rather miffed because I wanted to transcribe part of an article from a 1950s Seabreezes which went into very interesting and quite succinctly phrased detail about the inception and history of the WSL service to Australia, including ships and run times, and those interesting early voyages when they were used to carry troops to the Boer War (which has me wondering if perhaps this is the origin of the stories that circulated later claiming Murdoch served on a Boer War troop ship - if he was, as the evidence suggests, on the Medic in her early days, or even one of the other Oz run ships, it might be the explanation). I can't find it anywhere, and am hoping I've left it at work where batches of documents seem to live semi-permanently.

At any rate, I was looking at a few more pre-WWI Medic logs yesterday (am trying to establish which Australia run ship Boxhall served in in the post-Titanic, pre-War period). Found a curious set of dates for the Medic that suggest a longer voyage, but am going to go with caution for once and not hypothesise on the reasons until I have more data and a better chance to look at it again. Also have another set of dates that fit in with the four month voyage - 11/Sept - 13/Jan.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Dear Inger,

My desk at work is like that. Everyone smiles and says, she knows where everything is....ummmmm. Yeah!

You are truly great and this is just a sign of genius, that's all. Flatmates oftentimes do not understand genius.

If all else fails try thinking of what it was that you were doing last time you had it in your hand. That sometimes works for me. But I have full confidence that you will find it.

Enjoy your day.
Maureen.