Ernest Gill


Sep 20, 2000
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Hi, all:

I've started a bit of research, but wanted to ask around, to prevent spinning my wheels needlessly.

Does anyone know of *any* possible source of information for the after-whereabouts of a certain Ernest Gill? He's not referenced in the "Where are They Now?" sections of any of my books -- even Reade's 1993 study has him vanishing into total obscurity after the British Inquiry. Encyclopedia Titanica has nothing, as far as I know.

I've started doing some genealogical searching, and have a "possible" match on birth records -- right town, right shire, and maybe the right birth year, but it's pretty skimpy so far!

Alternately, does anyone know of a web site that might include the post-Lord history of the Californian or Leyland line in general where I might find crew lists, or of any type of "seaman's almanac online" type of search engine for tracing career movements?

Much obliged for any assistance provided!

John M. Feeney
 
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Jonathon Jedd

Guest
John: I've done some research along similar lines, and managed to locate a family tree that may ultimately bear fruit.

However, I've not heard back from the family yet, so I really can't provide you any information. (And since I've promised confidentiality, if desired, I may not be free to divulge further anyway.)

Apparently, like you, I find the man a fascinating character in this drama.

Regards,
JJ
 

Tracy Smith

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Nov 5, 2000
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I'd be curious to know what happened to Gill, too. I would imagine he probably did not go back to sea for whatever reason; perhaps no one wished to sign him or perhaps he did this of his own accord.

The Californian was sunk during WWI in the Mediterranean, I believe. The Leyland Line was absorbed into another shipping line in the 1930s.
 
J

Jonathon Jedd

Guest
Hi, Tracy: I agree entirely with your thoughts on Gill's possible career "re-direction". Of course it's only conjecture, but one might readily presume, since he'd achieved a good deal of notoriety from his revelations, that he might have been viewed as a bit of a pariah by would-be maritime employers.

Do you happen to know who eventually acquired the Leyland Line?

My best,
JJ
 
J

Jonathon Jedd

Guest
Interesting, Tracy! Of course here I'm wondering if there's a family connection with the author. I'd never heard of the "Harrison Line" either, but it does cause one to wonder if someone in Leslie Harrison's family was also a steamship "magnate". (He certainly did have nautical background.)

Thanks,
JJ
 

Noel F. Jones

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May 14, 2002
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The Harrison Line [Thos & Jas Harrison Ltd] is a well-known Liverpool liner company, still in existence -just - and still based in their original building near the waterfront. In their heyday they traded W.Europe to Caribbean and Spanish Main, frequently loading homewards via gulf ports. Presumably they inherited Leyland's cotton trade. They also had a run to India.

They may well have a website although latterly they have been reduced to charterers-out of a quartet of bulkers and I understand even these have now been sold.

Their naming policy was 'trades and professions' [the ss.Politician of "Whisky Galore" was one of Harrisons] and any naming holdover from the Leyland absorption was long gone before WWII.
 

Paul Lee

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Aug 11, 2003
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Regardless of what happened to Ernest Gill - and I have a couple of leads I'm chasing up - the address listed on ET for him (Newsom Street) is completely wrong. Liverpool City Council inform me that no street existed in 1912.
 
Mar 7, 2006
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Assuming he died in the UK all the records are there.

He was born in 1896, so spread for his death is 1912 to say 1985.

In the st caths there 174 records of death (1837 to 1983), that's are best bet where to find him.

There are another 115 (1984 to 2005).

I will ask some one with access to the records to find out if we have match for him.

Let you know what I find.
 

Tracy Smith

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Some time ago, I was looking through the Ellis Island online site, where I found several entries for Stanley Lord in his post-Californian career, and thought I'd look up Gill, too.

I found a Gill of about the right age entering New York as a crew member on a ship named Orbita in the early 1920s. Not sure if this is our Ernie, though. It's been quite some time since I looked it up and don't have the details accessible right now, but this is what I remember.
 

Paul Lee

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Aug 11, 2003
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Hi James,
Did you find anything out about Ernest?

By the way, a word for the wary: his stated age to Senator Smith, and on his sworn affidavit was an exaggeration.

Tracy,
I've just done some searching and found out about the Ernest Gill on the Orbita:

Hamburg to New York, arrival 31/7/1922
Ernest Gill, Trimmer, age 41, height 5.6 weight 154
Distinguishing marks: anchor on left arm.
Shipped from Southampton 9/6/1922

(Most of the information is repeated in successive entries, I'll only note if there are discrepancies or differences)

Hamburg to NY, Trimmer arrived 11/12/22
Height 5.6 Weight 166
No distinguishing marks
Shipped from Soton 14/11/22

Hamburg to NY, Trimmer arrived 4/9/22
Joined ship Soton 9/6/22
Trimmer
5.6 height; weight 154; anchor on left arm

??? to NY, arrived 19/6/22
Joined ship Soton 9/6/22
Height 5.6 weight 154
Tattoo on left arm
Trimmer

Hamburg to New York arrived 21/1/23
Signed on at Soton
height 5.6 weight 166

Hamburg to NY arrive 6/3/23
Joined at Soton 14 (?)/11/22
height 5.6 weight 166
(NB: his entry is crossed out)

And I found this on the Mauretania:
arrived in NY 26/10/23
Gill signed on as a trimmer on 20/10/23 in Soton
Age 42 height 5.8 weight 140

The only other gill of that age that I found signed on as an assistant cook!

I'm not sure this is the same Gill. His age is too far off, and Captains could easily check the truth in a discharge book. Still, you never know

Best wishes

Paul
 

Paul Lee

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Aug 11, 2003
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By the way, regarding Harrison's Shipping Line. A certain Herbert Stone worked for them until 1933/4. He left the company after his captain gave him a bad report, and he had a "sort of" nervous breakdown, disappearing for a while until he was found sitting on a wharf in Devon.
 

Tracy Smith

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Nov 5, 2000
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Yes, that is the same info I'd found on our Ernie.

And I was familiar with the information about Stone, which I consider a further indication that he had psychological problems.

Stone had had a very strict, if not abusive father, and it seems he might have gone to sea to get away from him. Stanley Lord's no-nonsense manner might have reminded him, rightly or wrongly, of his father.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Tracy, just to let you know, the e-mail I sent you bounced back and I don't knowif the PM I sent off ever got to you. I'm wondering if maybe you need a new e-mail client since the one you have appears to be letting you down.

Earnest Gill certainly looks like he got around, but I wonder if his speaking out against Lord hurt his employment prospects along the line. Corperate entities don't like "snitches" and shipping lines are no different.
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,620
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>>I sent another PM with another email address I have <<

I got it. I'll send off a reply when I get a chance. Unfortunately, Private Messages don't go anywhere specific other then a members e-mail address. It might be handier if there was something here on the forum, but apparantly, the software doesn't allow for that.

About Earnst Gill now...any idea how his career went after all of this? He appears to have dropped off the face of the Earth after this affair.
 
Mar 7, 2006
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Sorry,

Just forgot to mention for both to be true he would have had to have been born between the 27th April 1882 and the 25-May-1882.

If someone could check my calculations I would be grateful.

James.
 

Paul Lee

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Aug 11, 2003
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The signing on sheet for the Californian says he was born in Sheffield. It also gives his true age-26. He lied in his affidavit and before Senator Smith when he said he was 29.
 

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