Sailor stories

This week I am delighted to introduce my guest bloggers Roshni Hirani, Endeavour Community Participation Producer, and Kris Martin, Exhibitions Interpretation Curator at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Here they give us an exclusive insight into the work that has gone into selecting objects from the London, a designated wreck which sank in 1665. Thank you both for showing how the story of the London continues!

Sailor Stories: a National Maritime Museum co-curation project themed around the wreck of the London

2018 is an exciting year for the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. In the autumn we will open our new Exploration Wing, a Heritage Lottery funded project consisting of four new permanent galleries which will bring the theme of exploration alive for people of all ages. One of these new galleries will be Tudor and Stuart Seafarers, which will tell a compelling story of exploration, encounter, adventure, power, wealth and conflict during the 16th and 17th centuries. Among the 100 objects from the Museum’s collection, we are delighted to be displaying a small assemblage of artefacts recently recovered from the wreck of the Stuart warship London which sank in the Thames estuary in 1665.

While the Museum has a rich and significant collection of objects from this period, one of the challenges we identified from an early stage was how to represent the lives of ordinary sailors in the Tudor and Stuart navies in the gallery. Members of the project team were already avidly following the progress of the excavation of the London wreck and were fascinated by finds that were being brought to the surface by Steve Ellis and his team. With this in mind, in 2016 we approached Historic England and Southend Museums, the receiving custodian of the excavated material, about the possibility of collaborating on a co-curation project themed around the London, with the outcome being the selection and display of 5 or 6 objects from the wreck in our new gallery.

We were aware of the importance of the London to the Southend community and from the outset, wanted to work with them to help us explore, select and interpret objects from their ‘local wreck’. Through Southend Museums we approached Jessica Russell, Community Outreach, and Patricia North, Head of Art, at Southend Adult Community College and invited them to take part in our Sailor Stories co-curation project. The response from their students was fantastic: 12 adult learners, with different skills, abilities and backgrounds, but with a common interest in heritage and the London wreck, signed up to take part. Encouragingly most of the group stayed with us until the end of the project and we were also delighted to later welcome 2 A-Level students interested in history and museums from nearby Chase High School.

Pencil and wash portrait of a wooden warship in broadside view, bows to the left, stern to the right. From the stern a naval ensign flutters, and the lower portions of three masts are drawn. At top left is a separate drawing of a Union Jack.
Portrait of the London by Willem van de Velde the Elder, circa 1660. © National Maritime Museum

Historic England’s involvement in the excavation, temporary storage and conservation of the London finds meant that it was wonderful that the team at Fort Cumberland, with HE Archaeological Conservator Angela Middleton leading, agreed to come on board as a project partner. A fruitful kick-off meeting there between Southend Museums, Southend Adult Community College, Historic England and the National Maritime Museum laid the foundations for a rich and varied 5-week programme at various sites over the summer of 2017.

The Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth was the destination for our first Sailor Stories session. Here, Mary Kinoulty, Head of Learning, and Curator and diver Chris Dobbs introduced the Mary Rose, the museum and its new displays. This was the ideal place to give the group a taster of the processes, techniques, challenges and opportunities associated with the selection, interpretation and display of shipwreck material. Moreover this was a chance to enthuse and engage the Southend team with the subject matter and encourage further participation through a well-known wreck and the spectacular interactive displays at the museum.

Group of people clustered from bottom right to centre listening to guided talk in museum. At centre is a glass display case with a ship model inside, paintings occupy the walls in the upper register of the image.
Nick Ball talks to Sailor Stories participants about 17th century ships (author’s photograph)

The second session took place at the National Maritime Museum where our co-curators learnt about the museum, its collection and displays, and the planned new galleries. They were given time to explore the museum with Curator Aaron Jaffer, and together considered the different ways objects can be displayed and interpreted. We introduced the London through an original drawing of the ship by Willem van de Velde, the Elder, in the museum’s collection and looked at ships of the time through paintings and models in the company of Nick Ball, the Museum’s Assistant Curator of Ship Models.

The following week at Southend Museum’s store, participants went ‘behind the scenes’ for a session that considered the excavation, storage, handling and conservation of wreck material. Led by Conservator Claire Reed and Curator Ciara Phipps, this included a hands-on session where the team relished the opportunity to work in small groups to assess and repack waterlogged organic objects excavated from the local area.

Group of people standing in a semi-circle and all wearing blue conservation gloves,watching conservators working with object on table at right. Background is shelves of museum storage boxes.
Participants learning about the safe storage of waterlogged organic objects with Claire Reed and Ciara Phipps (author’s photograph)

Back in Portsmouth for the fourth session, we joined Angela Middleton and the Archaeological Conservation team at Fort Cumberland. This was the first opportunity for the group to see actual objects from the London wreck. As the objects were at various stages of conservation, the participants gained an understanding of the processes and challenges involved, and learnt more about what the work at Fort Cumberland is revealing about the objects and the London.

Participants standing around table in museum store listening to conservator speaking at right, with her arm stretched out across the table, which is covered with boxes and objects sitting on white conservation tissue.
Angela Middleton gives participants an insight into the conservation of objects from the London (author’s photograph)

The group was then split into two and was presented with a preselected assemblage of 25 London objects, taken from over 750 that had been recovered. Without any interpretation they looked at the objects closely thinking about what they could have been used for, what they were made from, what questions they would want to ask about them and what they could tell us, before presenting to the other group a selection of five objects that they would initially pick for public display. After learning more about each object, participants created their ‘final’ selection which had invariably changed from their first choice. Choosing the final selection was challenging given the short amount of time and it was important for participants to have some time to reflect on their choice.

For the final session all participants returned to the National Maritime Museum where the four new galleries will open next year. This session concentrated on museum audiences and interpretation. We asked participants to write their own museum label about something that belonged to them or a piece of clothing they were wearing. They learnt about the importance of ordering information and the difficult decision-making involved in choosing material relevant to their target audience. These were then discussed as a group. The session ended with a review of the London artefacts selected, which includes a leather shoe, a clay pipe, a pewter pot and a broken candle, and a discussion of how they would be interpreted at the National Maritime Museum. We then celebrated the success of the project with a preview of our brand new temporary exhibition, and tea and cake!

The Sailor Stories co-curation project was a great triumph and a mutually enriching and inspiring experience for all involved. Feedback from the participants was universally positive: the group enjoyed ‘seeing and handling artefacts – feeling involved and working in a group’ and ‘meeting the team behind the scenes’. They also loved seeing how museums work, engaging with heritage and conservation professionals and creatively contributing and responding to the project. Southend Adult Community College has produced a short film to commemorate their experience:

 

(This video has no voiceover)

it appears that the project has inspired at least one participant to seriously consider a career in museums or heritage. The experience opened our eyes to the different perspectives, discussions and debates surrounding the wreck and how members of Southend’s community felt it should be displayed and represented in a national museum. This co-curation model is one that we are keen to follow in future gallery development. We look forward to seeing the outcome of Sailor Stories on display next year.

We would like to thank everyone from Southend Adult Community College, Chase High School, Southend Museums, Historic England, the Mary Rose Trust and Royal Museums Greenwich who took part in the Sailor Stories co-curation project.

Glossary: Co-curation describes community participation and collaboration in creating exhibitions together with professional museum curators.

@RMGreenwich

@SouthendMuseums

@SouthendACC

@HE_Archaeology

@HE_Maritime

#SailorStories

#LondonWreck1665

Roshni Hirani, Endeavour Community Participation Producer (@RoshHirani) and

Kris Martin, Exhibitions Interpretation Curator at the National Maritime Museum (@kristianjmartin)

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For previous blogs on the London:

The London blows up, 7 March 1665 on the 350th anniversary of the wreck

The London wreck today on the wreck site as she now lies

The London: A conservator’s tool-kit, by Angela Middleton, on the challenges of conserving objects from the wreck site

Conservation of artefacts from the wreck of the London, by Eric Nordgren, continuing the theme of conserving further objects from the London

 

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Diary of the War

SS Belém

I am pleased to welcome as my guest blogger for this month my colleague Stuart Churchley, Marine Planning Archaeological Officer at Historic England. Although this month’s wreck was not lost to war causes, she nevertheless illustrates a little-known aspect of the First World War in the English-speaking world, that of Portugal’s involvement in the war. Stuart writes:

The name of a wrecked vessel can often hold clues not only to its origin, but also the historical context in which it served: today’s wreck, lost 100 years ago on 20th November 1917, is just such a wreck with the potential for a far larger story.

At around the same time as the British Army famously used their tanks on the western front at Cambrai on 20th November 1917, a little-known merchant vessel, the SS Belém, was wrecked at Menachurch Point, just north of Northcott Mouth, Bude.

When I first started researching the SS Belém, my first thought was that this vessel must have been inadvertently lost: an isolated wrecking case on the very periphery of the war action, participating in no known convoy for the area, miscalculating a notorious stretch of coastline like so many others had previously, whilst avoiding the threats of unrestricted U-boat attacks and mines alike.

Locally it is well known and has captured the imagination of visitors and artists, becoming a recognisable feature of the landscape. The wreck itself was photographed at the time of its loss oriented facing south, running parallel to the coastline overlooking to the east.

Black and white photograph of stranded ship, seen in profile broadside on to the beach, with rocks and stones visible in the lower half of the image. The ship is dry with the tide at the top of the image just lapping at the bottom of the vessel.
Contemporary photograph of the Belém ashore, 1917, seen from the overlooking cliffs.

A brilliant eyewitness account of the ship’s stranding from the perspective of Arthur Madge, can be found within an online pdf produced by a local historian, Audrey Aylmer, which also includes photographs of the site in 1997, 80 years after the Belém came ashore. (1) As an eight year old boy in 1917, Arthur had been awoken at his boarding school by the sound of the distress signals in fog from the stranded Belém (so she had certainly not been lost to war causes).

Today, when tides and wind work in tandem, a mixture of metal features can be revealed on the beach. It’s easy to see that the coastline of shale and sandstone known as the ‘Bude Formation’ and heavy westerly winds has caused the ship to become severely disarticulated, mangled and a little bit hazardous underfoot. The intertidal sand has formed a protective layer over what remains of the wreck, comprising a long subtly curved hull structure, a boiler cracked open like a an eggshell, large elements with rivet patterns and flanges, and the propeller itself sitting serenely within a bowl of scoured sand. The site is very clearly seen from above by drone in some excellent 2015 images published by Martin Busby online. (2)

 

Three groups of dark metal elements of a wreck sitting in pools of water on a sandy beach, against a backdrop of grey mist.
Boiler and propeller shaft of wreck, Menachurch Point in mist, 2007. CC-BY-SA/2.0 – © David Hawgood – geograph.org.uk/p/411088

Tracing back why a vessel owned by the Portuguese government came to be here is not easy. However, looking at the wider historical background can be a fruitful and interesting undertaking.

Portugal was pretty much neutral for the first half of the war, but was faced with a challenging period due to the limiting – and almost total loss – of trade with its pre-war European neighbours to the Atlantic north and within the Mediterranean. As relations gradually soured, Imperial Germany declared war on Portugal on 9th March 1916, as a result of a multitude of factors, most notably the capture and confiscation on 23rd February 1916 of the 72 German ships interned in Portuguese ports on or since the outbreak of war. (3)

These seized vessels comprised roughly 10% of all German vessels holding out in neutral ports at this time, and equated to a tonnage double the Portuguese merchant navy before the war. (4) Such a scenario therefore would have proved tempting to both the Portuguese and British authorities, during an ever-growing shipping crisis, with the potential for some form of agreement along the lines of those made with other nations as the ripples of the war spread ever outwards. (5)

What is all the more interesting is that the British had made just such a secret agreement with the Portuguese high command in Belém Palace, Lisbon, on 5th February 1916, leading up to the capture of the 23rd. In doing so the captured vessels would be divided between Britain and Portugal, with 80% of these ships sent to British war effort, and 20% being retained by the Portuguese. (6) (In previous posts we have looked at the fate of interned German vessels in British service; German shipping company property in England, and the secret Tonnage Agreements with Scandinavian countries.)

This decision to seize the German ships in Lisbon would also have far-reaching consequences for Portugal, with the German Navy laying mines in and around the mouth of the Tagus, and the subsequent arrangements for the Portuguese army to be transported to Brest, whence they would advance to the Flanders fields to support the British army. (7)

Could it then be that the SS Belém was one of the 14 vessels transferred to Portugal out of the original 72 internees?

To know this conclusively would take much greater research than has been undertaken here, but from what we know about the Belém, it would seem likely that she was one of that group. Previously named Rhodos, the ship was built in Flensburg in 1890 by Flensburger Schiffsbau Gesellschaft. The Rhodos was possibly very familiar with Portuguese ports, given her original owner, the Deutsche Levante Linie A.G.

However, records document that she came into the ownership of the Transportes Maritimos Do Estado (Portuguese State Steamship Line), in 1916, consistent with the events leading up to the famous prize capture, while other vessels similarly seized by Portugal are known to have ended up in the same ownership, suggesting that the company was formed to account for these ships. (8)

This certainly tallies with the source from Audrey Aylmer which details that the Rhodos, which she suggests was seized in Lisbon in 1916, and later loaned to Italy to bring coal from England, while her return cargo would generally be sulphur from Sicily to England for munitions. In other words, she would work a reasonably familiar route.

Furthermore Audrey Aylmer’s narrativegoes on to say that there was no sulphur ready on the Belém’s final voyage so the vessel came back to Benjaffa, Oran, North Africa, to load 2500 tons of iron ore for Cardiff.

After she was wrecked, holes were cut in her sides to throw out the cargo, and the swell caused large holes in the ballast tanks. The Belém is believed to have been later sold to the shipbreakers, with what remained of the cargo salvaged. (9) This would suggest that the remains represent possibly a combination of natural and human factors, but are no less fascinating for that.

The Belém is a rare archaeological witness in English waters to this pivotal event in Portugal’s involvement in the First World War. Strangely, there is another not far away, another ship also belonging to the Transportes Maritimos do Estados, the Brava (ex-German Togo) torpedoed off Trevose Head in 1918, while inbound to Cardiff with pit props.

What became of some of the other 71 vessels is unclear: many are thought to have been destroyed by German submarines in route to British ports, certainly the fate of Tungue (ex German Zieten), which was torpedoed by UB-51, another Transportes Maritimos do Estado vessel, which was chartered by Britain on her final voyage.  (10) Given the Belém‘s destination of Cardiff with iron ore, chartering to Britain might well explain why she was said to have had two Royal Navy gunners aboard, who were rescued along with the other crew. (11)

However, it has been pointed out that one of the minor successes of this decision to bring about formal entry into the conflict was the agreed return of the surviving captured German ships from Britain and France, which would form the basis of Portugal’s post-war merchant fleet in the 1920s. (12) The Belém is an excellent illustration of how profoundly the First World War changed shipping around the globe, and with what long-term effects.

Aerial view of a brown seashore with items of wreckage showing as darker areas standing proud of the sand, particularly towards the lower right of the image.
Aerial photograph of the Belém site in 2013, by kind permission of the Coastal Offshore and Archaeological Research Services (COARS), University of Southampton. The site is dynamic: previous views in 2006 and 2010 have shown less wreckage.

Thank you very much to Stuart for writing this fascinating post!

 

(1) Aylmer, A. date unknown (after 2011); The Demise of the SS Belém

(2) Busby, M. 2015 http://budeandbeyond.co.uk/ss-Belém-by-drone/

(3) de Oliveira Marques, A. H. 1986, História de Portugal. Lisboa: Palas Editora, p.235.

(4) Brandão, M. C., 2016. German Submarine war in Portuguese Waters: Esposende – a Smuggling Network. University of Oporto, Portugal

(5) Marder, A. J., 2014, From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow: Volume IV 1917, Year of Crisis. Barnsley: Seaforth Publishing.

(6) Brandão, M. C., 2016. German Submarine war in Portuguese Waters: Esposende – a Smuggling Network. University of Oporto, Portugal.

(7) Salgado, A. 2016. “British Naval Aid to Portugal During the First World War”, The Mariner’s Mirror, 102:2, 191-202.

(8) National Record of the Historic Environment, Mon No: 1585637, https://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1585637; http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/lines/portstate.shtml

(9) Aylmer, A. date unknown, (after 2011), The Demise of the SS Belém

(10) https://uboat.net/wwi/ships_hit/6158.html; http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/lines/portstate.shtml

(11) Aylmer, A. date unknown (after 2011), The Demise of the SS Belém

(12) Brandão, M. C., 2016. German Submarine war in Portuguese Waters: Esposende – a Smuggling Network. University of Oporto, Portugal.

 

A mysterious cargo

With this week (31 October 2017) seeing the commemoration of #Reformation500 I decided to have a look at records of German vessels wrecked in England around the time that Martin Luther published his 95 Theses that led to the Protestant Reformation, a legacy which still resonates today.

Black and white print of man with dark hair and dressed in black, facing left and holding a hat in one hand. A badge is in the background beside his head to the right, text to the left, stating his age in Latin, and further text below the image.
Martin Luther, after Lucas Cranach the Elder, etching (1525). NPG D47378. © National Portrait Gallery, London. Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND

Records for this period tend to be rather vague. We don’t actually have any wrecks we can firmly date to 1517 itself, although there is a series of records for wrecks 1516-18 in Cornwall, based on eyewitness evidence given to officials, mostly by very old men, which conjures up a wonderful picture and says a great deal about their powers of recollection.

There are many gaps in the record, which is nothing to do with the seas being safer or the weather being calmer in those years, and everything to do with the lack of record survival. The Reformation unleashed by Martin Luther had much to do with that from the English point of view, as records were destroyed in the Dissolution of the Monasteries which characterised the English Reformation – while the passage of time is another factor.

However, we do have a German vessel wrecked on these shores in 1524, so not too long after the 95 Theses that shook Europe. It’s a single standalone reference, lacking the ‘before’ and ‘after’, the background and the ‘what happened next?’, and key details of the ship and her voyage: all of which is completely typical of wreck records until well into the early modern period. It is actually a letter of complaint from Hamburg officials on behalf of certain merchants of that city to Henry VIII himself.

‘The Burgomasters of Hamburg to Henry VIII.

Ask for the restitution of a ship laden with resin, “oszemundt”, wax, ale etc., belonging to Fred. Ostra, Peter Rode, John Hesterberch, Conrad Meyricke, Hen. Statius and Joachim Schernewkouw, citizens of Hamburg, which went on shore on the coast of Norfolk, on the way to London. Hamburg, 16 May 1524.’ (1)

We don’t know the name of the ship, but we can tell that she must have been wrecked some time before 16 May 1524, allowing time at least for the news to reach Hamburg and for the letter to go out again. Communications at the time were, of course, ship-borne, with none of the media or information technology at our fingertips today, nor had newspapers yet been invented.

The vessel came ashore on the North Sea coast short of her destination of London, so it is reasonable to suppose that her voyage was from the eastward, which appears to be corroborated by the involvement of Hamburg merchants.

Ale is a fairly standard product which could originate anywhere. Wax was also widely imported into England, but the cargoes and voyage details of wrecked vessels tend to mirror the ebb and flow of trade routes pretty well. In the Elizabethan period the Baltic was a key source of wax for English buyers, while another wreck of 1582 laden with deals, wax, and copper, also suggests a common Baltic origin for all three cargoes, since deals and copper were characteristic Swedish exports. This suggests that the Baltic may well also have been the origin of the wax aboard the 1524 wreck. (2) Resin may similarly refer to Baltic amber.

This suggests that Baltic goods are in question, either transhipped via Hamburg as an entrepôt, or originating directly from the Baltic, almost certainly from Sweden. It is in this context that we must set the mysterious oszemundt which is not otherwise attested in the wreck record in England, and which the original editor of the Letters and Papers Foreign and Domestic had not explained in a footnote (presumably he was unable to do so!) We find references to this under various spellings in documents from mercantile contexts: one of 1494 (in Swedish) and another of 1532 (in German), suggesting that it was possible, for example, to settle payment of debt for an inbound cargo with osemund as an exchange or return cargo. (3)

A number of sources suggested that it was some form of iron, specifically ‘Swedish iron’, which is certainly consistent with known Swedish exports at that time and with the wrecks in our database laden with Swedish iron. (4) But what form did that iron take? Was it ore, bar, cast or wrought, or pyrites? I finally tracked down a reference explaining that osemund referred to iron cast in balls or spheres, for which Scotland was apparently the principal export market in the Elizabethan period: it was a relatively unusual import for England. (5) No wonder, therefore, it was very difficult to find out what it actually was!

Lump of grey iron on a stand in a museum display, against a brown wooden background.
Lump of osemund, Burg Altena museum. Photographed by Frank Vincentz. Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 3.0

This one mysterious word has illuminated a rare cargo from the past. It also illustrates the reach of the shipping networks of the North Sea, including the Hanseatic League, which at this time traded across the Baltic and North Sea with King’s Lynn and London, and which had a key port at Hamburg. (To this day Hamburg is Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg.) I suspect, therefore, that it is very likely the complainants in the letter were Hanse merchants. So this wreck record is the rarest of the rare: surviving documentation for medieval wrecks in England is sparse, and of these there are only a dozen records with clearly demonstrable links to the Hanse over the period 1377-1546. (6)

Bust-length portrait of a bearded man dressed in black, with white collar and cuffs, facing left, with his hands crossed in the lower register of the image. He is set against a dark green background.
Portrait of a Hanseatic Merchant, Hans Holbein, 1538. Yale University Art Gallery. The German artist Holbein, who spent two extended periods in England, was commissioned to paint portraits of Hanseatic merchants at their London Steelyard guildhall (and indeed also painted the iconic portraits of Henry VIII, with whom the English Reformation is indelibly associated). The artist and subject together suggest the rich cultural and economic connections at this time between England and Germany, a milieu receptive to the exchange of new religious ideas.

It is also a reminder that ideas and texts, as well as cargo and people, were circulated by ship.

One of the most far-reaching changes of the Reformation was the idea that any Christian should be able to access the Bible in their own language, rather than filtered through the traditional language of Latin, which had been the common language of the Christian Roman Empire but had long been accessible only to the educated elite. Vernacular translations were not a new idea, but previous examples, such as the late 14th century Wycliffite Bible, were suppressed and banned. It was in that same year as our wreck from Germany, 1524, that the latest scholar to espouse an English translation, William Tyndale, was forced to set sail for Germany, and produced a translation of the New Testament within the orbit of Martin Luther. Copies of Tyndale’s translation were smuggled into England on board ship, in casks of wine and bales of wool. (7) 

These clandestine consignments must have added the fear of discovery to the constant dread of shipwreck. Did any ever miscarry on their way to England, I wonder? There’s a contemporary parallel for this: it is traditionally held that the rarity of the Complutensian Polyglot Bible is partly owing to many copies perishing in a shipwreck while en route to Pope Leo X in Italy in 1521. (8) So a single wreck in England can be set against the backdrop of an entire cultural, economic, and religious milieu, and its record enhanced, and all because I was intrigued by an unidentified cargo.

I would like to thank my colleagues at Historic England for their help with this article: Angela Middleton, Conservator, and Tanja Watson, Knowledge Organisation Specialist.

Painted image of seated man in black against a dark background. His name, in Latin, is painted in gold to the right of his arm, which holds a Bible. His left hand points to the Bible above a white text. Below the portrait is an inscription in gold lettering, also in Latin..
Called William Tyndale, by unknown artist, late 17th or early 18th century. NPG 1592. © National Portrait Gallery, London Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0

(1) Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 4, 1524-1530, ed. J S Brewer (London, 1875), pp. 139, No.339. British History Online [accessed 1 November 2017].

(2)  Zins, H (translated Stevens, H). 1972 England and the Baltic in the Elizabethan Era. Manchester: University Press

(3) Swedish: Styffe, C. 1875 Bidrag till Skandinaviens Historia ur utländska arkiver. Stockholm: P A Norstedt & Söner. German: Ebel, W (ed.) 1968 Lübecker Ratsurteile, Band III, 1526-1550. Göttingen: Musterschmid Verlag

(4) Heß, C, Link, C, and Sarnowsky, J, 2008. Schüldbücher und Rechnungen der Großschäffer und Lieger des Deutschen Ordens in Preussen. Köln: Böhlau Verlag. For the wrecks in the database: National Record of the Historic Environment, Historic England, as accessed on 1 November 2017.

(5) Zins, H. 1967 “Znaczenie Strefy Bałtyckiej dla angielskiego budownictwa okrętowego w drugiej połowie XVI wieku“, Rocznik Lubelski 10, 125-137; Zins, H. (trans Stevens H) 1972 England and the Baltic in the Elizabethan Era. Manchester: University Press

(6) Source: National Record of the Historic Environment, Historic England, as accessed on 1 November 2017.

(7) There were other, partial, English translations earlier than Wycliffe, including the 10th century Old English interlinear gloss in the Latin of the Lindisfarne Gospels, but its purpose was to assist the reader in their understanding of the Latin text, not act as a substitute for it. For more on Tyndale and his smuggled Bibles: “Melvyn Bragg on William Tyndale: his genius matched that of Shakespeare”, Daily Telegraph, 6 June 2013

(8) García Pinilla, I. n.d. “Reconsidering the relationship between the Complutensian Polyglot Bible and Erasmus’ Novum Testamentum” in Basel 1516: Erasmus’ Edition of the New Testament

Diary of the War: October 1917

The Annie F Conlon

This war diary has almost taken on a life of its own: all the events selected for the diary have been chosen for their intrinsic interest, but when it comes to writing each post, a theme linking consecutive posts sometimes reveals itself.

So it is this month: last month I wrote of how the First World War contributed to the demise of the schooner as Merseyside and Deeside schooners took on the task of running coal to France for the war effort. This month’s wreck is also a schooner, the Annie F Conlon of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She left New York on August 27, also for France:  her cargo of lubricating oil suggests that it too might have been destined for the front.

Black and white photograph of two ships in harbour, with water and reflections on the ripples in the foreground, and the black shapes of two ships and their masts without sails in the centre of the image: the one in the foreground is two-masted, with a three-masted ship in the background. The masts are silhouetted against the sky.
Two schooners in harbour: the Jesse Hart lies in the foreground, while in the centre background is the Annie F Conlon. PK5195, courtesy of the Mariners’ Museum, Newport News, VA

It had therefore taken her just over a month to reach a point 12 to 15 miles south-east of St. Mary’s, Isles of Scilly, by 3 October 1917. On that day she was stopped and shelled by UC-47, under the command of Paul Hundius, a prolific U-boat commander who sank many vessels in English waters in UB-16, UC-47 and UB-103.

The Annie F. Conlon was attacked by Hundius on  his last patrol in command of UC-47, since Guenther Wigankow assumed command on 9 October. (Wigankow and his crew would all be lost when UC-47 was rammed by a patrol vessel on 18 November 1917 off Flamborough Head.)

From Hundius’ point of view, that was the end of the matter, and he left Annie F Conlon to sink. She did not sink immediately, however, but was towed a couple of days later into Crow Sound, between St. Mary’s and the Eastern Isles of Scilly. She collapsed onto her beam ends near Guther’s Island, where she was salvaged, then moved to Lower Town, St. Martin’s, then was finally beached where she now lies, 130 metres west of West Broad Ledge, on the western side of St. Martin’s, where further salvage took place. She was then abandoned as a constructive total loss.

It is probably partly for this reason, as well as wartime censorship, that the Annie F Conlon did not make any ripples in British newspapers of the time – because she did not meet a dramatic end as such. Perhaps, too, another American schooner had stolen the limelight – British newspapers were making much of the dramatic arrival in an open boat at Samoa of the master of another American schooner, the C Slade. His ship had been sunk by the commerce raider Seeadler, but he brought the no doubt welcome news to the Allies that the Seeadler had herself been wrecked (although her crew simply seized other vessels to carry out further attacks on shipping).

The first account of the Annie F Conlon in a regional British newspaper actually appears some 20 years after the event, giving details of a lecture at Plymouth by the then American consul at Falmouth on the work of his predecessors. The wartime incumbent was a Cornish-born naturalised American citizen, Joseph G Stephens, who was ‘kept busy repatriating shipwrecked sailors, attending to the burials of sailors, and administering relief to “stranded” Americans’, including those of the Annie F Conlon. (2)

The Annie F Conlon also turns up in a legal journal of 1926, detailing the successful claim of shipowners against the German government. The owners of the Annie F Conlon were awarded $41,514.29. (3)

However, the American press in 1917 did offer some sparse details over the wreck: confirming the general location of the Isles of Scilly, the name of the master and number of the crew, and that all hands had been safely landed – so at least on this occasion Consul Stephens had not had to bury anyone!

Each schooner which was attacked hastened the demise not only of the sailing vessel in general and of a way of life, but also of the schooner particular vessel type. Yet each sinking also reveals another story of the profound social change triggered worldwide by the First World War.

The news of the Annie F Conlon shared the front page of Der Deutsche Correspondent of Baltimore, Maryland, with a banner above its masthead proclaiming: “THIS IS AN AMERICAN NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED IN THE GERMAN LANGUAGE: Its function is to acquaint the immigrated Germans with the social and political conditions in the United States, and to familiarize them with their duties toward their adopted country and with the rights conferred upon them by the Constitution.” (4)

In this case the long heritage of German-language newspapers in the United States was also under threat: by the end of the war the Deutsche Correspondent had folded, after 77 years of publication. I never know where this blog will end up – not only do I find links between wrecks which I had chosen months earlier for the blog, but I also discover something new about the global effects of the war through the prism of a single shipwreck in English waters.

Black and white photograph of ships with masts and furled sails in harbour. three vessels are discernible in the lower centre of the photograph, with their masts standing talll against the roofs of two buildings, with a grey sky over.
Albert S Stearns, Charles E Balch, and Annie F Conlon in 1892. PK1950, courtesy of the Mariners Museum, Newport News, VA.

 

(1) Manchester Evening News, 5 October 1917, No.15,138, p2

(2) Western Morning News, 5 March 1937, No.24,082, p6

(3) American Journal of International LawVol. 20, Issue 4, October 1926, p794

(4) Der Deutsche Correspondent, 5 October 1917, Vol. 77, No.278, p1

Diary of the War: September 1917

The Schooners’ Last Stand

It is easy to say with the benefit of hindsight that shipping losses could have been considerably reduced had coal been circulated at home by rail during the First World War, instead of being sent out into a North Sea full of minefields and lurking U-boats (although what would have been done with all the colliers lying idle in port is a moot point – doubtless sent to replace shipping on other routes – but this is all hypothetical.) The capacity for destruction from the air was less developed than in the Second World War, so, on paper, the railways appear an obvious route that was unaccountably not taken.

Matters were not quite that simple. Focusing on the seaward end for this blog (discussing the railway end would be a blog post or three in its own right), the infrastructure of coal supply was geared to despatch by sea, even for the internal market. It had traditionally been so before the coming of the railways and continued to be so thereafter, the Industrial Revolution making it easier to link coalfields to the ports, rather than make use of the new-fangled railways to circulate coal inland.

Steam trains thus ran the extracted coal from the large Durham coalfield the short distances to Blyth, Shields, Sunderland, and Hartlepool, whence the steam colliers took over and carried the coal to London and elsewhere, a seamless chain from mine to depot or power plant.

But this regular supply route was not only being disrupted by the war, it was being decimated, as steam collier after steam collier sank in the North Sea. Over the course of the war other measures were taken to spread the risk: output from other coalfields increased and shipping movements accordingly transferred to other ports on the other side of the country. For example, as production shifted towards the mines of north-west England and Wales, Liverpool and Barry in Wales saw a rise in collier traffic.

The sourcing of supplies from elsewhere and the re-routing of traffic through other ports had its parallel in the deployment of a more diverse collier fleet. Small sailing schooners already handled coal as ’round Britain’ coasters or shuttling between Great Britain and Ireland on an exchange cargo basis, but now they were deployed to supplement the steamers in ensuring coal reached France by the relatively less ‘exposed’ west coast route which was at least less heavily mined (but was still dangerous as the focus of considerable U-boat activity).

A diverse group of sailing vessels accordingly left various ports in Liverpool Bay for Cherbourg and Dieppe in September 1917. They were redolent of an era fifty years earlier: the Mary Seymour, schooner of Portsmouth, 150 tons gross, built 1865; Mary Orr, ketch of Glasgow, 91 tons gross, built 1868; the Jane Williamson, Irish schooner, also described as a brigantine, 197 tons, built 1870; the Water Lily, schooner of Barnstaple, 111 tons, built 1876, and the Moss Rose, schooner of Chester, 161 tons, built 1888. Such ages were not uncommon in the coasting trade, but nevertheless it was a fairly elderly set of small coasters that set out in the hope of a passage free of encounters with the enemy. All were outward-bound in company from the Mersey for Dieppe and Cherbourg with at least one other ship, carrying much-needed coal for the French market.

The Moss Rose was the first to be attacked and sunk by gunfire from UC-51 at 10.30am, 7 miles NNE of Pendeen Lighthouse. The master of the Mary Orr watched events unfold, and bowed to the inevitable without attempting to escape. He gave the order to abandon ship and the crew waited then watched the ensuing destruction of the Mary Seymour, around 11.15 to 11.30am. It is said that the crew of the Moss Rose and the Mary Seymour then rowed to, and were picked up by ‘the schooner Mary of Glasgow’, (1) and transferred to the Padstow lifeboat. This introduces some confusion, since the Mary Orr also belonged to Glasgow, but there was probably yet another ship named Mary involved.

The abandoned Mary Orr was then literally next in the firing line: scuttling charges were placed aboard, and she sank 8 miles NE of Pendeen Lighthouse. The Mary Orr‘s boat was then used to carry more charges over to the Water Lily, which was likewise sunk 8 miles NE of Pendeen Lighthouse some time after noon. These crews, however, were both picked up by the Belgian SS Adour.

It seems unlikely, therefore, that the crews of the Moss Rose and Mary Seymour rowed over to a vessel which had been abandoned by her own crew, and much more likely that there was another Mary in the little convoy of sailing ships. It was common in attacks on small sailing vessels for one ship in the group to be spared, to enable survivors to escape. (2)

The last ship to be sunk that day was the Jane Williamson, 20 miles NNE of St. Ives, at around 4pm. The attacking submarine was also UC-51, and it was this particular sinking that attracted the attention of the press, because there was apparently no such care for the survival of the crew. It was widely reported that not only was she shelled on approach, but also the crew as they escaped in their open boat, with only two men being left alive to tell the tale.

The inquest upon the dead at Penzance returned a verdict of ‘wilful and diabolical murder’. At the funerals of two of the dead men, wreaths were donated by a grieving couple, each inscribed ‘in tenderest memory of a stranger from Capt. and Mrs Henry Row, who are sorrowing over their own two murdered boys.’ (3)

With the same hindsight with which I started this blog, it is also easy to say that pitting small schooners against U-boats was a forlorn hope. They were generally unarmed and unable to outrun a fast-moving submarine (hence the skipper of the Mary Orr giving up any hope of escape as a bad job), and, small and constructed of timber as they were, they stood little chance against shelling and were easily despatched by scuttling charges.

Such was the pressure on shipping, however, that it was imperative to try to spread the risk by any means possible, and perhaps it was easier to sacrifice small sailing vessels approaching the end of their careers, than the more modern and much larger steamers which took up huge resources in materials and manpower to build. Also, as prey, they were far less significant than the grand ocean liners and the everyday steamers, which were a more tempting prey, accounting for a higher tonnage and a greater commercial impact and disruption to trade when sunk. The personal cost to the schooner crews, though, must have been immense: death, injury and the destruction of their livelihoods.

Nevertheless, the experiment in circulating coal by ‘acting sail colliers’ would be abandoned by November 1917 after further losses: that same month the submarine responsible for sinking the little fleet (UC-51) would also meet her end in English waters.

Not all such vessels perished in the war, however: the Kathleen and May schooner, built in 1900 in Liverpool, gives a very good impression of what the schooners lost a century ago looked like, not least in her longevity. She survived the First World War (and the Second). Her wartime logbooks for 1915 also survive and reveal regular boat drills and testing of lifesaving appliances, given the risks she was running during the war. (4)

She is now part of the National Historic Fleet.

A ship in the centre of the image sits against a blue sky, the sea occupying the bottom third of the image. The ship has three masts, with three square red sails spread, and four triangular sails between the foremast and bowsprit, which faces to the right of the image.
The three-masted schooner Kathleen and May (1900) is a contemporary of the five sailing ships lost on 10 September 1917, most of which were also schooners. Like the Jane Williamson, she was originally built in north-west England and was in Irish ownership during the First World War. © and by kind permission of National Historic Ships UK

(1) Larn, R & Larn, B 1995. Shipwreck Index of the British Isles, Vol.1: Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset. London. Lloyd’s of London Press (based on ADM/137 reports, The National Archives)

(2) This modus operandi is attested, for example, in an incident off the East Anglian coast on 30 July 1915, when the survivors of eight fishing smacks sunk by the same U-boat, boarded a ninth which had been spared, and other similar incidents. Cant, S 2013. England’s Shipwreck Heritage: from logboats to U-boats. Swindon: Historic England (p166)

(3) See, for example, Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail, 17 September 1917, No.12,231, p3

(4) ‘Kathleen and May‘, entry in WW1: Britain’s surviving vessels, a microsite of National Historic Ships UK

 

Diary of the War: August 1917

The Azira

Many years ago, while working on ships of the First World War, I became intrigued by a large number of wrecks with names unusual for British ships, among them Eidsiva, Gefion, Herdis, Nordstrand, Reidar, Rinda, Slaattero,  and Sten. All appeared in British Vessels Lost at Sea 1914-1918 and 1939-45, and further research revealed that they were all managed by the Shipping Controller, the British ministry responsible for shipping from late 1916. (1)

I realised that here was a tale to be told.

The Azira is part of that tale, and is commemorated today, a century after she was lost. She is part of a thread that has woven itself into this summer’s War Diary commemorations. June 1917‘s post looked at the diverse composition of crews aboard British merchantmen sunk in that month and at other times, including many sailors from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. July’s post concentrated on the loss of the Vanland and the problems that neutral vessels were facing in English waters. These two themes are brought together in this month’s post, for there was another way for seamen from Scandinavia to join the British mercantile marine . . .

As we have seen so often during the War Diary, the Azira was yet another example of the pressures faced by the collier lines, claimed by a U-boat in the North Sea. She was torpedoed on 4 August 1917, only five miles out from her departure port of Sunderland, bound for Cherbourg with coal.

During the course of the war, Britain negotiated separate “Tonnage Agreements” with the governments of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. These agreements fulfilled mutually pressing needs: Britain required the tonnage urgently – her ships were still being sunk faster than she could build replacements – while on the other side the ability to import vital supplies or to export goods in the face of blockade was of paramount importance. Each country had differing needs, on which the negotiations were based, and agreements reached at different dates, that with Sweden being the last, in 1918. (2)

As part of these Tonnage Agreements, ships were requisitioned by the British Shipping Controller, a specific ministry created for wartime needs. Where placed into collier roles, as many of these requisitioned ships were, they were managed by specialist collier fleet management firms based in the key coal ports such as Cardiff, Newcastle, Sunderland or Swansea. Generally these ships retained their own crews and skippers and were intended to revert back to their country of origin on the cessation of the war.

There were practical matters of ship preservation too – under the British flag they could be armed, with British gunners, and could join convoy, neither of which they could do as neutrals without compromising their position. Not that this necessarily saved them from loss to war causes: either way, as undefended neutrals without escort provision trading with or passing through the waters of a belligerent nation, or as ships armed and under the flag and the convoy of the same belligerent, they were very vulnerable.

Nevertheless, to all intents and purposes, these ships became temporary British merchantmen and their crews part of the British mercantile marine. They were hidden in plain sight and continue to be so today, as their story is little-known, so this post is part of redressing that balance.

The Azira was among them, a Norwegian ship under the British flag, and acknowledged as such in contemporary records. (3)  Many were ships belonging to companies still well-known today: the Norwegian Fred. Olsen (which then was a cargo carrier, not a cruise specialist) and the Danish DFDS, for example Fred. Olsen’s Bamse, torpedoed in the Channel in 1918. (4)

One man among the Azira‘s 18-strong crew was killed. He is commemorated on the Tower Hill memorial. He was Andrew Lehtman, carpenter, aged 28, born in Russia. (5) As discussed in previous posts, at this time a birthplace or homeport of one larger state current in the 19th or early 20th centuries may mask a diversity of nationalities associated with subsequent nation-states (indexing the former and current nationalities of a lost vessel is an excellent way to understand historical geopolitical changes).

So it proved in this instance. Andrew Lehtman was born in the then Russian ‘Governorate of Estonia’. Things were changing fast in 1917, a pivotal year for both Russia and Estonia. Following the February Revolution of 1917 in Russia, Estonia and Livonia were united to form an autonomous governorate. Full Estonian independence would not be achieved until 1920, for the October Revolution of 1917 intervened. Estonia then saw several years of struggle with Bolshevik usurpation, German occupation and Russian invasion.

So it is perhaps unsurprising that the lists of Estonian seamen who died in British waters or in British hospitals were not published until November 1920, presumably when the situation had become sufficiently politically stable to do so. Lehtman’s name appears in a list furnished by the British police which was published across several newspapers so that they could be traced by relatives. It is likely that his name is somewhat garbled: his first name looks as if it has been anglicised, and there are variant spellings of the name Lehtman. (6)

Labelled a ‘Russian’, an Estonian by nationality and probably by birth, his surname suggests a ‘Baltic German’ affiliation (in common with other seamen on the list), while he died as part of the crew of a Norwegian steamer taken into British service. Was he ever traced, I wonder?

This remains of this shipwreck near Sunderland are not only a tangible link to the Anglo-German conflict of the First World War, but also connect with Anglo-Norwegian diplomacy and the struggles of Estonia for self-determination.

(1)  Four separate HMSO publications collated and republished as facsimile reprints under the title of British Vessels Lost at Sea 1914-18 and 1939-45, Patrick Stephens Ltd., Cambridge, 1988, (BVLS). For the First World War the relevant publications were Navy Losses (1919) and Merchant Shipping (Losses) (1919), reprinted as Section I and Section II in BVLS.

(2) For a fuller overview of requisitioned wrecks from Denmark and Norway in English waters, please see Cant, Serena, England’s Shipwreck Heritage: from logboats to U-boats, Historic England, Swindon, 2013, pp 81-91. For the economic background, see also: Haug, Karl Erik, Norway , in: 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, ed. by Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, and Bill Nasson, Freie Universität Berlin; Riste, Olav, The Neutral Ally: Norway’s relations with belligerent powers in the First World War, Universitetsforlaget, Oslo, 1965; Salmon, Patrick, Scandinavia and the Great Powers 1890-1940, Cambridge, 1997

(3) BVLS, Section II, p62; Lloyd’s War Losses: Casualties to Shipping through Enemy Causes, 1914-1918, Lloyd’s of London, facsimile reprint, 1990, p161

(4) Cant 2013, based on research in the Fred. Olsen archives, expanding on information in Historic England’s shipwreck records of the National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) for both Fred. Olsen and DFDS. Brief company histories, including their wartime service, are available for both Fred. Olsen and DFDS.

(5) Commonwealth War Graves Commission record for Andrew Lehtman

(6) Sakala (in Estonian), 19 November 1920, No.134, p7

 

 

 

 

Diary of the War: July 1917

The Vanland

July 1917 saw the loss on the 9th of the unique battleship HMS Vanguard in Scapa Flow in an explosion with 843 lives lost, now a Controlled Site under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.

This month’s War Diary looks at a wreck in English waters with a not dissimilar name, the SS Vanland, a story of a valiant attempt to evade attack and salvage cargo. On 16 July Vanland left her home port of Gothenburg, bound for London, under the command of a temporary captain, one Grönvall, since her usual master was on leave. (1)

She was laden with characteristic exports from her resource-rich and forest-dense homeland: iron goods, paper, boxwood and undipped matches. An uneventful voyage led to a call at the Tyne: thence she commenced an unescorted journey through the East Coast War Channels. (2)

It might be thought that the ships belonging to the belligerent nations had the worst of it – but this was not necessarily the case. Those of neutral nations were hard-pressed, particularly those from Scandinavian countries which had to traverse the North Sea with its extensive minefields, submarines lurking beneath the sea, and search patrols blockading trade with the enemy. Mines were no respecter of nationality, but at least the swept War Channels provided some protection from that particular danger.

Neutrals, however, had no protection against torpedoes, and in British waters ships trading with Britain were considered legitimate targets for attack by Germany regardless of their belligerent status (or otherwise). By this point in 1917, the convoy system was under way, but it was difficult for neutrals to join convoy, since by doing so, they were de facto aligning themselves with the escorting power. Nor could they carry armament for self-defence, since their home nations were neutral, unlike British cargo vessels, which were routinely armed with at least a stern-mounted quick-firing gun and dedicated crew to operate them. Either way, neutrals were very vulnerable. In English waters alone, dozens of Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish ships fell victim to U-boat torpedoes, and dozens more to minefields.

In desperation, from as early as 1915, neutral ships from the Nordic countries adopted a generic livery as their best hope of self-defence. They had no guns, but they had paint. Their national flags were painted fore and aft, sometimes amidships as well, and the ship’s name and nationality, NORGE or SVERIGE, were painted amidships in bold white capitals, emphasizing their neutral status, that could be easily read from a distance through a periscope. Indeed the Vanland was painted in such a livery, as in this image from 1915. Yet the torpedoes kept coming. (3)

Thus all Vanland could do was steam south unescorted and hope for the best. On 23 July a periscope was sighted off Kettleness Point (or Kettle Ness) and evasive zig-zagging action was taken to keep the U-boat astern.

The U-boat, however (believed to be UB-21), was not to be so easily shaken off. She surfaced and began to shell the Vanland, so the next evasive manoeuvre was to try to run her ashore in Runswick Bay. Unfortunately she then struck on Kettleness Point, leaving her still long enough to be vulnerable to a torpedo. The subsequent explosion killed six men, although 18 other crew escaped and were rescued by the Runswick lifeboat. They were then taken to a local inn to recover, an incident recalled years later by the then landlords’ son, John ‘Jazzer’ Johnson. (4)

It seems that the vessel was shelled again, probably while the escape and rescue were taking place, since the International Conference of Merchant Seamen in 1917, which took place not long afterwards, named the Vanland as an example of survivors of U-boat attack being fired upon in their boats, accusations which refused to go away. (5)

The Vanland then burned for a week before sliding beneath the waves, inevitably assisted by her combustible cargo of boxwood, greaseproof paper, and matches. Astonishingly, some of it must have escaped the flames, for a few weeks later, some boxwood and rolls of paper were salved and offered for sale by auction. (6)

Portrait format photograph showing all that remains of the burnt-out Falcon, with the bottom ribs infilled with stones and green seaweed, sea lapping at the upper right-hand edge of the photograph.
Wreck of the Falcon, Langdon Steps, Dover, lost when her cargo of jute and matches caught fire in 1926. DP114192 © Historic England

Over half a century later, the Vanland‘s bell was also recovered and presented to representatives of her owners: and the little boy who had seen the rescued men in his parents’ hostelry was chosen to make the presentation. (7)

The remains of the wreck site are known locally and are well dispersed and broken, consistent with the circumstances of her loss, although, with the recovery of the bell, little remains to conclusively identify the site, and a nearby site is charted with another name, that of the Onslow of 1911, so there is some confusion. (8)

The wrecks in the Historic England National Record of the Historic Environment are indexed according to their manner of loss, often with a cause and an effect (e.g. torpedoed and foundered), so that vessels can be searched for or statistically interpreted by cause of loss. It is not enough to state that a ship was torpedoed, and assume that she then foundered: not all torpedoed vessels were lost, while others managed to limp in to the nearest friendly harbour and were then abandoned as a constructive total loss.

The Vanland was shelled (gun action), then grounded on Kettleness Point, was then torpedoed, caught fire (burnt), and finally she capsized and foundered after the space of a week: quite an eventful end, even by wartime standards.

(1) Kalmar, 27 July 1916, No.118, p5, and 28 July 1916, No.119, p6 (in Swedish)

(2) Carl Racey, East Coast Shipwreck Research, 2009, published on http://wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?10921

(3) For more on this subject, please see Cant, England’s Shipwreck Heritage: from logboats to U-boats, Historic England, 2013, pp89-91. In undertaking the research for that volume, I was very kindly given access to Fred. Olsen’s archive of ship photographs, showing many in such wartime livery, one of which is published in the above book.

(4) Racey, 2009; “War on Shore”, untraced newspaper clipping of 1997,  published on http://wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?10921; Jazzer Johnson, The Nagars of Runswick Bay, Runswick

(5) Times, 20 August 1917, No.41,561, p4; People’s Journal, 26 October 1918, No.3,174, p3

(6) Whitby Gazette, 10 August 1917 [issue number illegible as digitized], p1

(7) Receiver of Wreck droits, NHRE record for Vanland; “War on Shore”, 1997.

(8) UKHO 6026; Video footage of the wreck of the Vanland, 2008