Shuffling of positions in the White Star Line 1906


Borge Solem

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The Register, Wednesday 16 May 1906:
The fact of losing three captains within the space of a little over a fortnight has been responsible for a good deal of shuffling of positions in the White Star line. Capt. A. E. S. Hambleton, R.N.R., of the Romanic, succeeds Commander Walter S. Atkin, R.N.R., in the Arabic. Capt F. E. Beadnell, R.N.R., who has been running between Liverpool and Australia in the Persic, is promoted to the Cymric. Capt. Ditchburn, R.N.R., late of the Armenian, is advanced to the Persic, which arrived at Sydney in charge of her new Commander on Sunday last. Capt. C. A. Bartlet, R.N.R., of the Canopic, which has been running between the States and the Mediterranean, takes the place of Capt. Kidley, who has retired, in the R.M.S. Gothic, running under the Shaw, Savill, and Albion flag, between London and New Zealand. The Canopic is now commanded by Capt. Inman Sealby. There are two promotions to command to record – for Mr. Phillip Taw (?), R.N.R., chief officer of the Majestic, now takes charge of the Cufic, which has paid many visits to Sydney, and the chief officer of the Cedric, Mr. Crosby Roberts, takes command of the Armenian.
 

Mark Baber

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Hello, Borge---

Nice find. Where was the Register published? Sounds like Australia.

I've done a bit of work on White Star's commanders, and based on what I've already compiled it seems that not all of the information in this article is accurate. The regular commander of Arabic II from 1904 to 1908, for example, was T. P. Thompson (although Hambelton, Romanic's commander until some time in 1907, did make at least one trip on her in early 1907), not Atkin (a name I'm not familiar with). Beadnell remained on the Australia service until the end of 1906, when he became the Marine Superintendent at Genoa for about six months. Ditchburn and Taw are also not names I recognizance.

On the other hand, what is reported about Gothic and about Roberts is correct, based on the material I have at hand.

Once I have a chance to look into all of the ships and captains referred to here, I'll post a more complete analysis.
 

Borge Solem

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Hello Mark..

Yes, the info is from an Australian newspaper.
I was also confused about the Arabic (2) information, as I also have noted in my records Thomas Paskett Thompson as master of the Arabic in 1906.
I think the mentioned Walter S. Atkin is the same mentioned as fourth officer on the Doric in 1901:

S.S. Doric, October 1891:
Captain J. H., Jennings, R.N.R., commander; Mr. W. Sowdon. chief officer; Mr. J. Breen, second do.; Mr. J. Thornton, third do.; Mr. W. S. Atkin, fourth do.; Mr. R. Reid, chief engineer; Mr. C. Harris, purser; Dr. H. C. Gordon, Surgeon.

I know Capt. Kidley died in 1906, but who are the other two lost commanders spoken of?
 

Mark Baber

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Not "a significant difference" in terms of its effect on the command line-up, but certainly significant to Kidley himself.

;-)

One of the other two referred to might be G. J. Caven, Medic's commander, who resigned in May 1906. The other might be Atkin, who was Cymric's commander when he resigned in February 1906. (I'm not sure the "fortnight" reference should be taken literally; it likely just means that the three departures became known in Australia at around the same time. Kidley's actual last trip to New Zealand, for example, was in late 1905, and by May 1906 Gothic had already returned to New Zealand with Bartlett in command.)
 
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