Hesperian 1915


Mike Poirier

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Where there any books written on the sinking of the Hesperian? I've only seen one survivor account.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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If there were, I strongly doubt that any are in print. I've been through the lists of both Amazon and Barnes&Noble and the name doesn't come up in any cotext or heading.

There's a breif mention of the ship in Wartime Disasters at Sea on page 25. Interestingly enough, she was torpedoed by the same U-boat (U-20) under the command of the same officer (Schweiger) who sank the Lusitania. 32 people died in the attack.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Mike Poirier

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Hi Michael
I already knew there none in print. I was thinking more of a memorial edition circa 1915.
Or some sort.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Hi Mike, as this was a wartime casualty, I'm not sure that anyone would even bother with such. My book lists a lot of such with 20 in 1915 alone, to say nothing of freighter losses to U-boats and surface raiders. (The notorious Californian was sunk this year as well, on 9 November 1915) With so many going into Davy Jones locker, the loss of a reletively minor vessel probably wouldn't appeal to a wide market. Still, if you find out about any such, I'd be interested in finding out about it.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Hmmm, don't know if this counts, but I wonder if the Navy would have publications through their Navy Museums regarding Vessels and war. Just food for thought. At times the US Government publishes all kinds of "public service" documents on stuff. There could be something there. And it would not have a copy right date no doubt.

Just a thought. Have a great day to both Michaels.
Maureen.
 
Dec 8, 2000
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Hello Mike,

Sorry, not a book - and I couldn't find one for you - but I did remember I'd tripped over something on Hesperian recently in the Memorial University of Newfoundland archives web site. It's a biographical article on Ellen Carbury, poet and Newfoundland business woman (in the rag trade, but not in the same league as 'Lucile' by any means!
wink.gif
) who was on Hesperian. The article is by Bert Riggs, Archivist, Centre for Newfoundland Studies Archives.

Here's the bit I thought you'd find interesting (if you haven't already tripped over it yourself):

Despite the outbreak of the First World War, and the sinking of the Lusitania with great loss of life earlier in the year, on July 15, 1915, Carbery left St. John's aboard the Pomeranian on her regular summer buying trip to England. She spent the summer there, visiting soldiers from Newfoundland and sending news of their experiences home to relatives. Her buying completed, she left Liverpool aboard the Hesperian on the morning of Sept 4. By 8:30 that evening the ship was 70 miles off the coast of Ireland when it was hit broadside by a torpedo from the German submarine U-20, coincidentally the same submarine that had sunk the Lusitania. The Hesperian did not sink immediately, which gave the crew time to get most of the passengers into lifeboats. Ellen Carbery was in one of the first lifeboats to leave the ship, but she was 70 and the incident took its toll on her. She died before daybreak of shock and exhaustion. Her body was brought back to Newfoundland and she was buried in Harbour Grace.

(Bert Riggs, Carbery pushed the envelope for Newfoundland women, MUN Gazette, 30 May 1996)​
The whole article is at: http://www.mun.ca/univrel/gazette/1995-96/May.30/m09-bert.html

Only stuff I've been able to find on Hesperian in books is the basic stuff: Bonsor, Haws, etc. Nothing particularly helpful to you. Maybe Mark Baber would have some more info?

Cheers, F
 

Mike Poirier

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Fiona:
You are an angel for typing that out. But I've already seen the info on Ellen Carbery.
Just recently I have seen mention of the Hesperian. Not much on her or the Arabic. I tend to think the Arabic was a little more popular due to it's cargo and that it was a White Star Liner.
Seems they recovered a small deposit of diamonds on the wreck.
Mike
 

Mark Baber

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Dec 29, 2000
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>Maybe Mark Baber would have some more info?

Hello, Fi---

Not this time; all I can find on Hesperian are the brief passage in Wartime Disasters at Sea already mentioned by Michael Standart, and the standard Bonsor/Haws bios which you mentioned.

MAB
 

Pam Watson

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May 10, 2009
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Did anyone ever find a crew list of the Hesperian's last voyage in Sept 1915? I am trying to trace my grandfather, steward Percy Watson. Apparently he spent time in the water, then was rescued and lived at least another year, but there is no trace of him since. I would appreciate any info, thank you.