Ships Logs, Californian etc

Julian Atkins

Julian Atkins

I have done quite a bit of online research recently to try and ascertain what became of relevant ships logs to the 'Californian Incident'.

The Met Office Archive in Exeter have only the ships logs for the Minia and Marengo. Despite what they described as having a 'significant collection' of ships logs, they have nothing of the ships relating to the 'Californian Incident'; provisionally the Parisian, Carpathia, Antillian, Mount Temple, Virginian etc and of course The Californian.

Now, I am no mariner and know nothing of what sea going ships were required to keep other from what I know of the legal requirements in 1912 going back to legislation before 1912.

From what I have seen, as actual ships logs, they appear to be of 3 types; a ships log proper detailing day by day, watch by watch the course and much else besides. I think you are all familiar with this type of log.

Then I have seen examples of a meteorological log book.

And then there is a apparently a 3rd example of a ships log that records everything relating to the crew, and their misdemeanors.

Were these usually 3 separate logs? Were they combined? What was the practice in 1912, because for 1912 I have evidence of all 3 examples.

Then, more importantly, what happened to these ships logs? Where did they end up usually for the British Merchant Navy?

As an example, Tim Maltin found The Almerian's ships log or Meteorological Log in Europe. The Met Office Archive at Exeter have only the Marengo and Minia ships logs relevant to the Titanic disaster. The UK Public Record Office at Kew apparently have the ships log from The Californian, but I suspect this is only the crew agreements and misdemeanors etc, not the ships log proper. Inger Shiel quoted it on here some 18 years ago from her own research at Kew.

So, what happened to all these ships logs? We know The Californian's ships log has been missing since the British Inquiry when it was last referenced and quoted from, as was it's Marconi PV. That does not explain the missing ships log of Cunard Carpathia, and Allan Lines' Virginian and Parisian, or other Leyland Line ships such as the Antillian. Canadian Pacific the Mount Temple similarly.

What would ordinarily have happened to these ships logs? Where would they have ended up?

I do hope someone can help with all this! Please!