News from 1908-1909: Mersey's First Round-the-World Trip


Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
6,283
291
353
The Times (London), 25 May 1909

THE CADET SHIP MERSEY
---
The White Star Line cadet ship Mersey completed her first voyage round
the world yesterday, and was berthed last evening in the London Dock.
She was fitted out by Messrs. Ismay, Imrie, and Co. last year for the
purpose of their scheme of educating cadets as apprentices in a
first-class sailing ship under their own flag. She left Liverpool on
August 20 last with 40 cadets on board, bound for Sydney with a general
cargo, under the command of Lieutenant F. W. Corner, R. N. R.

The Mersey is a fast sailing clipper ship of 1,829 tons, and she made
the voyage round the Cape to Sydney in two days under three months.
Favourable weather was experienced during the greater part of the
outward voyage. On the early morning of October 19, in 38 53' S., 62
30' E., the Mersey was caught in a moderate gale, and while rolling in a
heavy sea one of the cadets, a lad of 16 named Ward, who was on the poop
heaving the log, was carried overboard and lost. The ship was brought
to, but it was impossible to lower a boat in the dangerous breaking sea,
and the unfortunate boy was not seen again. In the Australian Bight,
also, heavy seas were encountered, but Sydney was reached without
further mishap. In Sydney the boys were well received and entertained,
and were given a liberal allowance of leave. The homeward voyage round
the Horn, which was begun on January 16, was uneventful. Head winds and
calms delayed the Mersey considerable, and about a month was passed in
the Doldrums. Shark fishing was one of the amusements of the cadets,
some of whom tried shark as food and declared it to be excellent. The
conduct of the cadets has been exemplary, and their health has been
excellent.

In addition to obtaining practical experience in working a ship at sea,
the boys have been instructed in navigation and the other branches of
seamanship under the mastership of Lieutenant F. C. Cross, R. N. R., who
possesses high scientific and scholastic attainments in navigation and
allied subjects. The progress made has been remarkable. At the
entrance examination the average of marks obtained was only 24 ½ per
cent. In a severe examination held during the last three weeks of the
voyage the average of marks obtained was 69 per cent., several of the
boys obtaining 94 per cent. The Board of Trade will hold an examination
of the cadets in London, and the boys will then be allowed to proceed to
their homes. The Mersey. after discharging part of her cargo in the
London Dock, will proceed to Liverpool.

-30-
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
6,283
291
353
The Times (London), 21 August 1908

THE CADET SHIP MERSEY
---
Yesterday morning, the Mersey, the White Star Line training ship for
officers in the mercantile marine, sailed from Liverpool for Sydney. She
has been acquired by Messrs. Ismay, Imrie, and Co. (managers of the
White Star Line), at a cost of £7,000, for the purposes of the scheme
which they have devised of educating cadets as apprentices in a
first-class sailing ship under their own flag. She carries about 40
cadets, of whom about 18 are boys from the Conway and four are from the
Worcester.

The Board of Trade has granted special regulations to provide that
cadets who have had four years' instruction (three years if they have
served satisfactorily in the Conway or the Worcester for two years
previously) in an approved training ship may sit for examination for a
certificate as second mate, and, after obtaining this certificate and
serving in vessels satisfying certain requirements, may be allowed to sit
for examination for certificates as first mate or master. Continuation
of service with the company concerned is thus provided for. This special
regulation is regarded as of the utmost importance to British shipping.
The White Star Line are the first company to avail themselves of it, and
to offer to young men the opportunity of thoroughly fitting themselves
for the quarter-deck of great liners. On the expiration of their
apprenticeship and on obtaining the second mate's certificate, the
cadets trained in the Mersey will be qualified and will have preference
for appointment as junior officers in the steamers of the White Star,
Leyland, Dominion, and Atlantic transport [sic] lines. Promotion will be
granted thereafter according to conduit and ability, the intention being
that cadets shall remain in the service, passing through the various
grades until they obtain their master's square-rigged certificate,
according to the Board of Trade special regulations, when they will be
eligible for promotion to senior officers of the watch. The system under
which the cadets will be trained has been drawn up with the greatest
care, and with a view to fitting the officers passing through it to be
capable to fulfil the requirements of their positions in a modern liner.

Built in the Clyde, the Mersey ways originally designed for carrying
passengers. Her dimensions are---length, 271ft.; beam, 39ft.; tonnage,
1,829; and she is classed 100 A at Lloyd's. She is one of the finest
type of British built sailing ships, and in rig she is an ideal craft
for the purpose of training sailors, for she carries everything to stern
sails. She has been specially fitted and altered to meet the
requirements in view. There is excellent living accommodation for the
cadets 'tween decks, and the school room is a spacious cabin on the main
deck. In addition to obtaining practical experience in working a ship
at sea, the boys will continue their general education, and will receive
instruction in navigation, nautical astronomy, compass deviation,
meteorology, marine surveying, charts, ship construction, stowage and
assortment of cargo, care and management of boats, naval
architecture,outfit and measurement of boats, charter parties, rudiments
of marine engineering, and other branches of seamanship. The commander
is Lieutenant F. W. Corner. R.N.R., who has been in command of vessels
carrying large numbers of boys, and is thus specially qualified for
looking after the boys in the Mersey. Sub-Lieutenant F. C. Cross,
R.N.R., an officer of the White Star Line, has been appointed nautical
master. He possesses high scientific and scholastic attainments in
navigation and allied subjects.

-30-
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
6,283
291
353
The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 November 1908
Retrieved from the National Library of Australia web site,
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper


ANOTHER TRAINING SHIP
---
MERSEY DUE THIS MORNING
---
SCHEME OF THE WHITE STAR LINE

---
The clipper ship Mersey, recently acquired by the White Star line for the
purpose of training officers, and now on her first voyage of instruction,
was taken in tow off Jervis Bay yesterday afternoon, and is expected to
reach Sydney early this morning.

The Mersey made a run of 80 days from Liverpool to Wilson's Promontory, but
for the past nine or ten days she has experienced a continuation of baffling
winds on the coast of this State. It was not until the strong southerly gale
of Monday night that she was able to make any appreciable headway.

Captain F. W. Corner, R.N.R., who is in charge, was commander of Devitt and
Moore's former training ships Harbinger and Macquarie under Lord Brassey's
scheme. More recently he went into steam, and was master of the Federal
liner Norfolk.

For the first time in the history of Sydney there will to-day be two British
training ships in port---Devitt and Moore's famous ship Port Jackson, and
the White Star clipper Mersey.

-30-
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
6,283
291
353
The Sydney Morning Herald, 19 November 1908
Retrieved from the National Library of Australia web site,
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper


TRAINING SHIP MERSEY
---
ARRIVAL AT SYDNEY
---
CADET LOST AT SEA

---
The clipper ship Mersey, recently acquired by the proprietors of the White
Star line at a cost of £7000 for the purpose of training officers, arrived
yesterday, and anchored in Neutral Bay.

"Taking the voyage as a whole," Captain Corner, the commander, remarked,
"the weather was fine. Only one really heavy gale was encountered, but this
storm brought up a tremendous sea, which threatened to poop the ship. A
liberal use of oil, however, safely brought the Mersey through her trying
ordeal."

It was in this tempest on October 19 that one of the young
midshipmen---Cadet Ward---was lost overboard. The Mersey rolled excessively
in the heavy seaway, and while young Ward was heaving the log he fell over
the side, and was never seen again.

"We brought the ship to the wind immediately," Captain Corner explained,
"but a terrific gale was blowing, with tremendous seas, and we could do
nothing. To have attempted to launch the boats in such a tempest would have
meant the sacrificing of other lives without saving the lost lad. Young Ward
was standing on the poop at the time using the hand log, when the ship gave
a tremendous roll, and he went over."

Cadet Ward, who was the son of a banker at Ilkley, Yorkshire, was a very
promising lad, and his loss was much deplored by the entire ship's company.

SOME SMART SAILING FEATS

"As we had such a large number of first voyagers on board we did not attempt
to make a rapid passage," Captain Corner remarked, "but nevertheless we made
a creditable run of 79 days from Liverpool to Wilson's Promontory, or 87
days from the time of casting off the English tugs until picking up the
Sydney tug. We shortened sail practically every night during the voyage, and
tacked and wore ship without any need on scores of occasions to show the
cadets how it was done. Despite all our exercises, however, we could not
keep the ship back "

NO AUSTRALIAN CADETS

Owing to the great number of applications made from all parts of England,
the original proposal to take Australian cadets has been abandoned. The
vessel has accommodation for 60 lads in the 'tween decks aft, and the
school-room is on deck. Captain Corner speaks in the highest terms of the
conduct of the lads.

-30-
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
6,283
291
353
The Sydney Morning Herald, 16 January 1909
Retrieved from the National Library of Australia web site,
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper


DEPARTURE OF THE TRAINING SHIP MERSEY
---
The ship Mersey, which was recently acquired by the White Star line for the
training of cadets, will leave for London and Liverpool early to-day. During
her stay in Sydney she has been the object of much interest, and she will
leave with a valuable cargo, which comprises 3900 bales of wool, 400 tons
alunite, 2000 cases meats, 1200 bags wheat, 950 casks tallow, 20 bales
skins, and sundries.

In the present day sailing vessels are much less frequent visitors to these
shores than in the old days, owing to the large increase in steam tonnage,
but it is recognised that for the early training of officers for the
merchant service the clipper still has no equal, and it was with this object
in view that the White Star line added the Mersey to its fleet.

-30-
 

Similar threads

Similar threads