The Russell Family
An historical and photographic perspective

Index of Official Parish Registries and Statutory Registries for Births, Marriages and Deaths

Agnes Effie F. Hunter and Robert Russell
Agnes (Ethel) & Robert Russell c 1910

Robert Russell &

Agnes Effie Fortune Hunter
Born: December 9, 1882 Born: May 18, 1884
Place: Dundee, Scotland Place: Bishopton, Scotland
Married: April 12, 1909
Place: Dundee, Scotland
Died: March 1, 1944 Died: February 7, 1976
Place: Powell River, BC, Canada Place: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Ashes scattered at sea Cremated

Winifred Russell & Jock Waugh | Joy Russell & Jock Waugh

The Russell Family in London, England, Post World War I
The Russell Family in Powell River, British Columbia, Canada
The Russell Family During World War II

Agnes Effie Fortune Hunter's great-great-grandparents (on her mother's side) were Andrew Jardine and Elizabeth Johnstone and her great-grandparents were Andrew Bell and Margaret Angus. Robert Russell's great grandparent's were George Aimer and Margaret Scott and David Smith and Ann Milne.

Robert (Bob) Russell married Agnes (Ethel) Effie Fortune Hunter on April 12, 1909, at the St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Dundee, Scotland. They had three children: Ronald (born November 27, 1910), Winifred (born April 7, 1913), and Violet Joyce (aka Joy / Bunty) (born August 8, 1922).

Children Born Place Died Place
Ronald Robert Russell Nov 27, 1910 Surrey, England May 8, 1963 Powell River, BC
WINIFRED JOYCE RUSSELL April 7, 1913 London, England Nov 1, 1950 Oakland, California
VIOLET JOYCE (Joy) RUSSELL Aug 8, 1922 London, England April 24, 1954 Santa Rosa, California

Robert Russell began his merchant marine sailing career aboard the Renee Rickmers in 1900-1901. He boarded the Falls of Halladale on October 4, 1901, sailing from Portland, Oregon (via San Francisco and Valparaiso, Chile and around Cape Horn), to Grimsby, England (arriving April 9, 1902).  He also served aboard the SY Aurora, the Baron Dalmeny, the Tregantle, Glenisla, Gloamin, SS Melmore, SS Lynx, SS Ibex, Sir Arthur, War Dart, Dresden, Newquay, Sir Francis, New Pelton, Harberton, Deptford (he survived the sinking of the Deptford  by a German mine on February 24, 1915), SS Sir Arthur (in Admiralty Service from 1916-1918), as First Mate aboard the Maidenhead (ex-Newquay) from 1924-1929, and as Captain of the SS Fairriver for Paterson Steamships, Ltd. in 1929. His travels included ports of call such as  Calcutta, Bombay, Colombo, Port Said, Greece, Alexandria, Mariupol, Ukraine, Algiers, Mozambique, the Canary Islands, River Platte (Argentina), Norway, Italy, Rotterdam, Baltimore, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Montreal, Quebec and Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Robert Russell's Mercantile Marine Continuous Certificate of Discharge
See some other historical documents of
Captain Robert Russell.

For more on Robert Russell's pre-marriage voyages, see the The Russell Family
 

 

1909 ..........

Robert Russell & Agnes Hunter

Robert Russell and Agnes Hunter were married on April 12, 1909, in the Saint Paul's Episcopal Church in Dundee, Scotland.

Agnes "Ethel" Hunter

Agnes (Ethel) Hunter, c 1910
Agnes (Ethel) Hunter, c 1908
Agnes married Robert on April 12, 1909
in the St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Dundee

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Dundee, c 1909
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Dundee, c 1909
Photograph by Alexander Wilson

Jean & Agnes Hunter

Jean & Agnes Hunter c 1909
Jean (?) & Agnes (Ethel) Hunter c 1909
Jean married Jack Drury

 

Robert's certificates of discharge indicate that he disembarked from the Gloamin on April 10, 1909, and boarded the ship again on April 13, 1909. Not much time for a honeymoon!

Dundee Harbour with St. Paul's in distance
Dundee Harbour with St. Paul's in distance
Photograph by Alexander Wilson

The Gloamin was in Cardiff on April 28, 1909, and had passed through the Suez Canal to arrive in Kakinada (Cocanada) Andhra Pradesh, India, on June 18, 1909. The ship would have passed back through the Suez Canal and arrived in Marseilles, France, on July 27, and was in Mariupol, Ukraine (via Constantinople and through the Bosphorus and into the Black Sea) on August 11, 1909. The ship continued back through the Suez Canal and on to Laurenco Marquez (Maputo), Mozambique, arriving there on Oct 18, 1909. Their next port-of-call was Mormugao, India (near Goa), arriving there on December 3, 1909.

British Registered Steam Vessels, 1904, S.S. Gloamin

Certificates or Indorsements made by Consuls or by Officers in British Possessions Abroad

March 31, 1908 Sunderland, England
April 9 Middlesbrough, England
May 1-25 Suakin, Sudan
June 4-16 Bombay, India
July 22-29 Middlesbrough, England
Oct 12-29 Calcutta, India
Nov 8-19 Mormugao, India
Dec 23-29 Antwerp, Belgium
Jan 11, 1909 Cardiff, Wales
Feb 14 Djibouti, Somailia
Feb 22 Bombay, India
April 9 Cardiff, Wales
April 10 Barrow-in-Furness, England
April 28 Cardiff, Wales
May 13-24 Alexandria, Egypt
June 18-26 Cocanada, India
July 27-30 Marseilles, France
Aug 11-30 Mariupol, Ukraine
Sept 2-17 Novorossiysk, Russia
Oct 18-Nov 13 Maputo, Mozambique
Dec 3-14 Mormugao, India
Jan 16-22, 1910 Antwerp, Belgium
Jan 28 South Shields, England

Agreement and Account of Crew, Foreign-Going Ship, Gloamin, 1908
Agreement and Account of Crew, Foreign-Going Ship, Gloamin, 1908-1909

Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff docks c 1910
Cardiff Docks

Mariupol, Ukraine

British Vice Consulate, Mariupol, Ukraine, August 11, 1909
British Vice Consulate, Mariupol, Ukraine, August 11, 1909
See Agreement and Account of Crew, Foreign-Going Ship, Gloamin, 1908-1909

Mariupol, Ukraine c 1909
Mariupol, Ukraine c 1909

Port Said, Egypt

Port Said, Egypt, and the entrance to the Suez Canal c 1905
Port Said, Egypt, and the entrance to the Suez Canal c 1905

Laurenco Marquez, Mozambique


British Consulate, Laurenco Marquez, Mozambique, October 18, 1909
See Agreement and Account of Crew, Foreign-Going Ship, Gloamin, 1908-1909

Steamers receiving coal in a port in Mozambique c 1909
Steamers receiving coal in a port in Mozambique c 1909

Mormugao, India

Acting British Consulate, Mormugao, India, December 3, 1909
Acting British Consulate, Mormugao, India, December 3, 1909
See Agreement and Account of Crew, Foreign-Going Ship, Gloamin, 1908-1909

Government of India Ten Rupees, 26 August 1910
Government of India Ten Rupees, 26 August 1910

Map showing Bombay, Goa, Calcutta and Colombo c 1910
Map showing Bombay, Goa, Calcutta and Colombo c 1910
From India in the 19th Century, British Expansion 1805-1910

Map showing ports visited by the Gloamin during 1909
Map showing ports visited by the Gloamin during 1909
From The World, Colonial Possessions and Commercial Highways, 1910

 

1910 ..........

Antwerp, Belgium

SS Gloamin 1910

"This picture of the Gloamin' was painted by Corpuz in Antwerp in 1910 for Capt Robert Russell, who was the first mate of the Gloamin' out of Dundee Scotland. The Gloamin' made short commercial hauls between Scotland and the continent. Capt Russell had just received his captain's license when he sailed on the Gloamin'. Someone (Daddy?) told me that the Capt was having breakfast in a cafe in Antwerp and drew pictures on the napkin to get bacon and eggs for breakfast. Mr. Corpoz approached him and offered to paint the Gloamin' for him." - Glenda Waugh

The S.S. Gloamin arrived in Antwerp on Jan 16, 1910, after visiting ports of call in Sudan, India, Somalia, Egypt, France, Ukraine, and Russia. Robert Russell was working as 2nd Mate on all of these voyages. Robert Russell was discharged from service aboard the Gloamin on Jan 27, 1910, in South Shields, England.

 

Certificate of Competency As Master

Robert Russell received his Certificate of Competency As Master For Foreign-Going Steamships Only on April 8, 1910.

Certificate of Competency As Master
Certificate of Competency As Master
See original document

He was aboard the SS Melmore from June 15 to July 4, the SS Lynx from July 25 to Aug 8 and the Ibex from Aug 8 to Aug 14, (all to and from Weymouth or Plymouth to Nantes, France). The Melmore, Lynx and Ibex were ships belonging to the Great Western Railway Company.

The Great Western Railway's ships operated in connection with the company's trains to provide services to Ireland, the Channel Islands and France. Powers were granted by Act of Parliament for the Great Western Railway (GWR) to operate ships in 1871. The following year the company took over the ships operated by Ford and Jackson on the route between Wales and Ireland. Services were operated between Weymouth, the Channel Islands and France on the former Weymouth and Channel Islands Steam Packet Company routes. Smaller GWR vessels were also used as tenders at Plymouth and on ferry routes on the River Severn and River Dart. The railway also operated tugs and other craft at their docks in Wales and South West England.

Melmore (1905-1912) 412 tons
A 13-year old Scottish single-screw cargo ship acquired for services between Weymouth and the Channel islands, and also from Plymouth to Nantes. Her next owner intended to use her for a treasure hunt in the Cocos Islands and she was later registered in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

Mercantile Navy List and Maritime Directory, 1904 - S.S. Melmore

GWR

SS Melmore

SS Melmore

Last Name: CONDESTABLE CELENDON (1936)
Previous Names: SANTA ELENA (1917)
Propulsion: Steam Triple expansion 3cy 96nhp 1scr.
Launched: Friday, 07/1892
Built: 1892
Ship Type: Passenger Cargo Vessel
Tonnage: 424 grt | 180 Net
Length: 156.2 feet
Breadth: 25.8 feet
Owner History:
Trustees of the late Earl of Leitrim
1905 Great Western Railway Co, London
1912 Charles Forbes
1912 Harry Whitworth, London
1914 Melmore Steam Ship Co (Union Steamship Co of British Columbia), Vancouver BC
1916 Milne & Co., Vancouver
1917 Tampion W B London, Vancouver BC
192x German E.Leith, Callao
1936 Ministry of Marine, Peru
Status: Dead - 1947

Remarks: Robert Bermingham Clements, 4th Earl of Leitrim died in 5/4/1892, aged 45 leaving widow and minor children; in commercial service Glasgow/Northern Ireland. Ran GWR cargo services from Weymouth to Channel Islands and Nantes. Charles Forbes intended using for aborted treasure seeking expedition in Cocos Islands. Purchased by Union SS Co of BC as temporary tender to sealing fleets, only used in 1914. Converted by Peruvian Government to lighthouse tender.

- from Clydesite

Lynx (1889-1925) 596 tons
One of three ships built by Lairds of Birkenhead in 1889 for the GWR's newly acquired Channel Island services. Most of the passenger accommodation was removed in 1910 after which she was operated as a cargo vessel. She served as minesweeper HMS Lynx in the Mediterranean during World War I and was finally broken up after 36 years service.

Mercantile Navy List and Maritime Directory, 1904 - S.S. Lynx

Ibex (1891-1925) 1,160 tons
An enlarged version of the three ships launched in 1889, Ibex joined them at Weymouth. She struck the Noirmontaise rocks off Jersey on 16 April 1897 and was beached in Portlet Bay. Less than three years later, on 5 January 1900, struck a reef at St Peter Port, Guernsey, and sunk. One passenger and one crewman died. She was raised on 21 July 1900 and returned to service the following April after repairs. In 1916 a 12 pound gun was mounted on her stern; on 18 April 1918 she fired on and sunk a U-boat for which the crew received a £500 reward. She was cut up at Sharpness.

- from Great Western Railway Ships from Wikipedia

Mercantile Navy List and Maritime Directory, 1904 - S.S. Ibex (# 98375)

S.S. Ibex

S.S. Ibex
S.S. Ibex

Ibex was built in 1897 for the GWR's Weymouth-Channel Islands services. She was one of three similar ships, the others being Reindeer and Roebuck. Ibex was scrapped in 1925. She was 1,062 gross tons.

 Robert Russell was aboard the SS Sir Francis from Aug 17 to Sept 29.

Cory Colliers

S.S. Sir Francis

S.S. Sir Francis
S.S. Sir Francis

Built for W. Cory & Son Ltd, London; Yard No 254; Launch Date 25/05/1910; Fitted with 1 x 3pdr Mk V stern gun; Vessel torpedoed by UB.21 whilst under the command of Franz Walther (later of UB.75); Two explosions, the first abreast of No 3 hatch on the starboard side, the second on the starboard side destroying the bridge and chart room, sank by the stern within half a minute; 22 crew. 10 lives lost including master.

The SIR FRANCIS was proceeding on a course following the War buoys for the Tyne to collect a cargo of coal and making 10 knots, an explosion occurred under No 3 hold on the starboard side at 4.40 a.m., throwing up the hatches and other wreckage. The vessel began to settle fast by the stern. Before the ship's lifeboats could be lowered a second torpedo stuck under the bridge on the starboard side and she sank about half a minute afterwards. Twelve of the crew were picked up by passing ships s.s. DRYADE and s.s. VERNON, and were later landed at South Shields. The master and the rest of the crew were not found and presumed drown.

A report from the master of the DRYADE said that he saw the submarine fairly close which fired the first torpedo which struck the SIR FRANCIS, and the second torpedo, intended for the DRYADE, passed under the stern of his ship and hit the SIR FRANCIS, which sunk in a minute and a half. The ship?s confidential papers went down with the vessel. Two crewmen were picked up by the DRYADE and handed them over to the lifeboat of the VERNON. The VERNON we are informed picked up 10, several lives appear to have been lost.

Masthead Lamps recovered from the Sir Arthur wreck
Masthead Lamps recovered from the Sir Arthur wreck

Wm. Cory & Son Ltd. 52 Mark Lane, London EC
Wm. Cory & Son Ltd. 52 Mark Lane, London EC
Lamp name plate recovered from the wreck

The UB-21 became the most successful submarine that operated along the Yorkshire coast of England. In February 1917 the UB-21 sank the LADY ANN off Scarborough. In the following 15 months she was responsible for the JOHN MILES, BYWELL, VICTORIA, RIKARD NORDRAAK, EDITH CAVELL, SNA II, SIR FRANCIS, TRELYON, GLOW, VANLAND, SPRINGHILL, AMSTELDAM, GEMMA, OCEAN, PATRIA, HERCULES (Whitby), HERCULES (Filey Bay), CONSTANTIA, ANBOTO MENDI, GOTHIA (off Hartlepool), HASLINGDEN (off Seaham), the sailing vessel MENTOR (off Hartlepool) and finally the PAUL in Sept 1918.

A total of 23 vessels where sunk by UB-21 off the Yorkshire Coast, and at least another 9 vessels sank or damaged along the east coast of England and 4 vessels taken as a prize of war. Also, under the comm and of Franz Walther, UB-21 sank the fishing vessel EXCEL 18/02/1917 and the Swedish steamer HAROLD on 06/05/1917, both NE of the Tyne

See Wreck Site - S.S. Sir Francis

Mercantile Navy List and Maritime Directory, 1913 - S.S. Sir Francis
Crew Agreements for the Sir Francis for 1910 are available from National Archives in Kew, reference number BT 99/2755

Letter of recommendation from Captain of S.S. Lynx, Port of Plymouth, Sept 1, 1910

 

Ron Russell

Ronald Robert Russell was born on Nov 27, 1910, in London, England.

The Terrace, Houses of Parliament, London c 1910
The Terrace, Houses of Parliament, London c 1910

Victoria Station, London, England c 1910
Victoria Station, London, England c 1910

Funeral Procession for King Edward VII, London, May 20, 1910
Funeral Procession for King Edward VII, London, May 20, 1910

 

Between 1910 and 1913, Robert served aboard the S.S. New Pelton (1910) and the S.S. Harberton (1910-1913). The New Pelton was built in Howdon in 1865 and registered in Newcastle in 1878. In 1904, it was owned by William Cory & Sons.

See the Mercantile Navy List and Maritime Directory for 1904 - S.S. New Pelton

 

 

1911 ..........

1911 Census - England and Wales - S.S. Harberton

Robert Russell, Crew, 28, Married, 2nd Mate
Robert Russell, Crew, 28, Married, 2nd Mate aboard the S.S. Harberton
See original document

Bathgate Dunbar, Master, S.S. Harberton
Bathgate Dunbar, Master, S.S. Harberton

Half-Yearly Agreement and Account of Voyages and Crew, Home Trade, S.S. Harberton, 1911

See the Mercantile Navy List and Maritime Directory for 1904 - S.S. Harberton

Cory Colliers

S. S. Harberton

SS Harberton was a 1,443 GRT collier built by S.P. Austin & Co. in 1894 for J.& C. Harrison of London.On 29 March 1917 she left Blyth for London laden with coal.[16] Neither she nor her master and 15 crew were seen again. She is presumed to have been either torpedoed by an enemy submarine or sunk by an enemy mine. Her date of loss is recorded as 30 March but this is conjectural and her wreck has not yet been found.

The HARBERTON left Blyth on Thursday 29th March 1917 bound for London with a cargo of coal. The ship was never seen or heard of again and it is presumed to have struck a mine laid by a German U-boat with the loss of all 15 crew. Estimated position of loss: Off Robin Hood's Bay; North Sea, Shipping Lane South of Blyth.

One of ten Cory Colliers involved in the London coal trade, lost off the Yorkshire coast to German U-boats or mines they had laid during WWI, the others were: Brentwood, Hurstwood, Ocean, Vernon, Sir Francis, Harrow, Corsham and Highgate. The Deptford was also mined off Scarborough in 1915.

See Wreck Site - S.S. Harberton, 1917

 

1911 Census - England and Wales - Lydenberg, Butter Hill, Carshalton Parish

Ethel Agnes Russell and Ronald Robert Russell
Ethel Agnes Russell and Ronald Robert Russell
See original document

Ethel Agnes Russell, Lydenberg, Butterhill, Carshalton
Ethel Agnes Russell, Lydenberg, Butter Hill, Carshalton

Mary Creighton Bell Hunter was living next door to her daughter Agnes
Mary Creighton Bell Hunter and three daughters were living next door to Agnes Russell
Mary was a "housekeeper" and the girls were "Chocolate Coverers" in a Confectionary.
See original document

High Street, Carshalton c 1911
High Street, Carshalton c 1911

Railway Arch, Butter Hill, Carshalton c 1911
Railway Arch, Butter Hill, Carshalton c 1911

 

1913 ..........

Winifred Joyce Russell

Winifred Joyce Russell was born on April 7, 1913, in London England.

 

Half-Yearly Agreement and Account of Voyages and Crew, Home Trade, S.S. Harberton, 1913

Robert Russell boarded the SS Deptford (of William Cory & Sons) on July 3, 1913, at Burntisland, Fife, Scotland, as First Mate. Robert Russell's certificates of discharge indicate that he was aboard the SS Deptford for Home Trade from July 3, 1913 to at least January 1, 1914. He was also aboard the Deptford when it struck a mine and sunk off the coast of Scarborough on Feb 24, 1915.

Cory Colliers

S.S. Deptford

SS Deptford

Built as the Deptford for William Cory & Son Ltd, London; Yard No 164; Launch Date December 14, 1911; On February 24, 1915 the Deptford was caught in the Scarborough mine fields while carrying Navel coal from Granthan to Chatham; 1 life lost. A side plate with the CORY flag was recovered from the wreck of the DEPTFORD and later the Engine Makers Plate was recovered inscribed G. Clark Ltd. Sunderland No 954, (Southwick Engine Works). This confirmed her identity.

The Board of Trade Enquiry was held on August 5, 1914 and with little evidence it was concluded that the Deptford was destroyed by the enemy, it was unable to conclude whether the agent of destruction was a mine or a torpedo. She was sunk at 2.55 a.m., one man was lost and the rest of the crew were picked up by the s.s. FULGENS and landed at North Shields. The records do not say how many men formed the crew. In recent years it has been established that the light cruiser S.M.S Kolberg laid the mine that sank her.

At least nine other Cory Colliers involved in the London coal trade where lost off the Yorkshire coast, during WWI, to German U-boats or mines they had laid, these are: Hurstwood, Brentwood, Ocean, Harberton, Vernon, Sir Francis, Harrow, Corsham and Highgate.

See Wreck Site - S.S. Deptford, 1915

Mercantile Navy List and Maritime Directory, 1913 - S.S. Deptford

All life saving appliances afterwards overhauled & found in good order & correct in number. Water breakers refilled.
At Sea, Oct 29th, Lifeboats hoisted and swung out.
All life saving appliances afterwards overhauled & found in good order & correct in number. Water breakers refilled.
Jas A. Firth, Master. R. Russell, Mate.

Half-Yearly Agreement and Account of Voyages and Crew, Home Trade, S.S. Deptford, 1913
Half-Yearly Agreement and Account of Voyages and Crew, Home Trade, S.S. Deptford, 1914

 

1914 ..........

First World War
1914 - 1918

 

S.S. Deptford

London, April 29, 1914, This is to certify that I Robert Russell have taken command of the above named steamer.
London, April 29, 1914, This is to certify that I Robert Russell have taken command of the above named steamer.
James A. Frith, Master, resumed command on June 9, 1914
See original document

 

Austrian Heir and His Wife Murdered
Austrian Heir and His Wife Murdered
From New York Times, page 8, June 29, 1914

The assassination on 28 June 1914 of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, was the proximate trigger of the Great War. Long-term causes, such as imperialistic foreign policies of the great powers of Europe, such as the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire, the British Empire, France, and Italy, played a major role. Ferdinand's assassination by a Yugoslav nationalist resulted in a Habsburg ultimatum against the Kingdom of Serbia. Several alliances formed over the past decades were invoked, so within weeks the major powers were at war; via their colonies, the conflict soon spread around the world. - From Wikipedia

Coastguard Station, Scarborough, Dec 16th, 1914
Coastguard Station, Scarborough, Dec 16th, 1914

During the First World War, nothing outraged the people of Yorkshire more than the bombardment of Scarborough by a fleet of German ships in December 1914. Nineteen people were killed and a further eighty were injured. The cry "Remember Scarborough!" was used in recruitment posters, so great was the anger felt. What was not so clear at the time was that the bombardment was nothing more than a cover for an even greater threat. While the German battle-cruisers Derfflinger and Von de Tann were firing their shells at the town, the light cruiser Kolberg was engaged in laying, what proved to be, the densest minefield ever known in the history of naval warfare just off Scarborough. - from Wreck Site - Deptford

 

1915 ..........

Folkestone, England

Ron and Winifred Russell
Ron & Winnie Russell c. 1915
Valentine's Studios, Folkestone, England
Ron and Winnie's aunt Katherine Hunter was living at Folkestone at the time

 

SS Deptford

The SS Deptford (sailing Granton to Chatham with coal) was sunk after running into the German minefields (laid by the German cruiser Kolberg) off Scarborough at 2:55 a.m. on Feb 24, 1915. According to family sources, Robert Russell and the other surviving crew (there was one fatality) floated in their lifeboat for almost 24 hours before being rescued (by the SS Fulgens) and taken to South Shields. - See Wreck Site - Deptford

Two British Vessels Blown Up and Sunk

Two British Vessels Blown Up and Sunk
The Deptford Hit Without Warning Off Scarborough - Western Coast Lost in Channel
See the full article

Two More Victims of Piracy
Two More Victims of Piracy
The London Standard, Feb 26, 1915

Engine Plate from SS Deptford

The Engine makers plate was recovered inscribed GEORGE CLARK Ltd. No 954 SUNDERLAND (Southwick Engine Works) - by a Filey SAA diver. From A Century of Steamship Losses, Carl Racey. From Wreck Site - Deptford

 

SS Sir Arthur

Robert Russell's certificates of discharge indicate that he was aboard the SS Sir Arthur (later known as the SS Pendennis) for Home Trade and the Admiralty Service (Royal Navy) from March 13, 1915 to March, 1919. The S.S. Sir Arthur was also owned by William Cory & Sons.

Cory Colliers

S.S. Sir Arthur


S.S. Pendennis

The Pendennis SS, official number 129164, was built at Sunderland in 1911 by Messrs. S. P. Austin and Son, Ltd. She was then known as the S.S. "Sir Arthur." She was a steel single screw steamship of gross tonnage 2,001.23, net 1,161.33; length 280 ft., beam 40.5 ft., depth 21.5 ft. She was fitted with triple expansion engines of 207 horse power nominal. She had a single deck, large hatches, and was what is called a self-trimmer.

She had six hatches which fed four holds. No. 1 hatch led into No. 1 hold. Nos. 2 and 3 hatches into No. 2 hold. Nos. 4 and 5 hatches into No. 3 hold. No. 6 hatch into No. 4 hold. Her steering gear was of the rod and chain type. At the time of her loss she was owned by the Pendennis Steamship Co., Ltd., who purchased her in 1929 for £15,200 and renamed her "Pendennis." She had been known by a number of different names during her career.

See Wreck Site - S.S. Pendennis 1935

Mercantile Navy List and Maritime Directory, 1913 - S.S. Sir Arthur

Half-Yearly Agreement and Account of Voyages and Crew, Home Trade, SS Sir Arthur, June 30, 1918
Agreement and Account of Crew, Foreign-Going Ship, SS Sir Arthur, Dec 14, 1918
Half-Yearly Agreement and Account of Voyages and Crew, Home Trade, SS Sir Arthur, Dec 31, 1918

See also Robert Russell's Certificates of Discharge for a Seaman Not Discharged Before a Superintendent

 

For Those in Peril on the Sea
The Royal Navy Hymm

Eternal Father, strong to save,
    Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
    Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
    Its own appointed limits keep;
    Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
    For those in peril on the sea!

    O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
    And hushed their raging at Thy word,
    Who walkedst on the foaming deep,
    And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
    Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
    For those in peril on the sea!

    Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
    Upon the chaos dark and rude,
    And bid its angry tumult cease,
    And give, for wild confusion, peace;
    Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
    For those in peril on the sea!

    O Trinity of love and power!
    Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
    From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
    Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
    Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
    Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

Robert Russell
- Served Royal Navy -
(excerpt from the Powell River News, March, 1944)

Captain Russell was born in Dundee, Scotland, December 9, 1881. He assumed his first command in 1910 as master of a ship of the Cory Steamship Line out of London. During the First Great War he was in command of the Merchant Marine auxiliary to the Royal Navy. He was aboard the S.S. Deptford when it was sunk by a torpedo in the North Sea on February 24, 1915. The ship went down in three minutes and Captain Russell spent several hours in a lifeboat before being rescued. He also served on ships carrying supplies to British warships in the Dardenelles.

The last moments of British battleship HMS Majestic,
The last moments of British battleship HMS Majestic,
torpedoed by the U-21 off Cape Helles, Dardanelles, on May 27, 1915
 

The unique and extraordinary feature in the Dardanelles campaign was that the Allies had no harbour, no base, nothing but open beaches on which to land the innumerable articles required by a great army engaged in siege operations. This distinguished the Dardanelles war from all others, and aggravated its difficulties and dangers. For days and, occasionally, for weeks, at certain seasons of the year, the weather in the Aegean is such that the landing of heavy stores and supplies on an open coast is impracticable. Thus between February 19th and 25th a veritable hurricane blew, and the British naval operations thereafter were constantly interrupted by storms and squalls. The situation was further complicated by the presence of enemy submarines. The German reports were to be treated with great suspicion, but doubtless contained same truth, and according to them there were seven of the largest German boats in the neighbourhood of the Dardanelles. One had been seen, according to French sources of information, bearing the number 51, which meant that she was a very recent and powerful vessel. Now it is possible to protect surface ships against submarines under two conditions: The first that there are plenty of destroyers or small fast craft to guard them on passage, and the second, that secure ports are available for them to ship and discharge cargo. The second condition was wanting at the Dardanelles. The enemy submarines had excellent bases at hand in Turkish waters. The British transports and supply ships had no point on the Gallipoli coast where they could lie secure from the weather and from the enemy. - From ‘the War Illustrated Deluxe’ volume IV page 1286, The Difficulties of the Dardanelles Campaign" by H. W. Wilson

 

Carnoustie, Scotland

Ron Russell, Mary Bell, Winifred Russell and Jack Pennycook, c 1912
Mary Bell and Grandchildren
Ron Russell, Mary Bell, Winifred Russell and Robert John (Jack) Pennycook
Jack was the son of Janet Hunter and Robert Pennycook
J. Jolly Studios, Carnoustie, Scotland, c 1915

Castle Building on the Sands, Carnoustie, Scotland
Castle Building on the Sands, Carnoustie

 

1916 ..........

Scapa Flow, Orkney Islands, Scotland

Robert Russell was serving for the Admiralty Service from Scapa Flow (the Base for the British Grand Fleet) in the Orkney Islands, Scotland, at the end of 1915 and beginning of 1916.


Certificate of Discharge, S/S Sir Arthur, Admiralty Service

See also Robert Russell's Certificates of Discharge for a Seaman Not Discharged Before a Superintendent

Historically, the main British naval bases were located near the English Channel to better face England's old enemies of France, Spain, and the Netherlands. In 1904, in response to the build-up of the German Kaiserliche Marine's High Seas Fleet, it was decided that a northern base was needed, to control the entrances to the North Sea. Originally, Rosyth was considered for the base, and then Invergordon at Cromarty Firth but construction in both places was delayed, leaving them largely unfortified by the time of the First World War. Scapa Flow was used many times for exercises in the years leading up to the War, and, when the time came for the fleet to move to a northern station, Scapa Flow was chosen for the main base of the British Grand Fleet, even though it was also unfortified. John Rushworth Jellicoe, admiral of the Grand Fleet, was constantly nervous about potential submarine or destroyer attacks on Scapa Flow, and the base was reinforced with minefields, artillery, and concrete barriers starting in 1914. No German U-boats were able to enter the harbour during the war, and only two attempts were made. The first, by U-18, took place in November 1914; but the sub was rammed by a trawler searching for submarines while it was trying to enter Scapa Flow, causing the submarine to flee and then sink. The second attack, by UB-116, in October 1918, encountered the sophisticated defences then in place, was detected by hydrophones and then destroyed by shore-triggered mines before the boat could enter the anchorage. - from Wikipedia

With the Grand Fleet based at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands, the Royal Navy imposed a tight blockade on the North Sea to halt trade to Germany. Though of dubious legality, Britain mined large tracts of the North Sea and stopped neutral vessels. Unwilling to risk the High Seas Fleet in battle with the British, the Germans began a program of submarine warfare using U-boats. Having scored some early successes against obsolete British warships, the U-boats were turned against merchant shipping with the goal of starving Britain into submission. - from World War I: A Stalemate Ensues, Kennedy Hickman

 

Mary Creighton Bell

Mary Creighton Bell died in Dundee, Sept 10, 1916, at the age of 60.

 

1917 ..........

"we have had instructions not to log any record of voyages while on Admiralty Service"

 


To the Marine Superintendent, Sir, I beg to inform you that I have deposited any articles at the first place the ship arrived at since 30th June. I may also state that we have had instructions not to log any record of voyages while on Admiralty Service. A. Woolgar, Master, S.S. Sir Arthur, Cardiff, 23 July, 1917 See original document

 

1918 ..........
 

Robert Russell joined the Free Mason's (Robertson's Lodge Cromarty No. 134) on April 6, 1918.

Free Mason's

Robertson's Lodge, Cromarty
Robertson's Lodge, Cromarty

Robertson's Lodge Cromarty, No. 134, Mason's Life Member, April 6, 1918 (pdf)

Robert Russell's Mercantile Marine Continuous Certificate of Discharge
See some other historical documents of
Captain Robert Russell.

November 11, 1918, the Armistice with Germany is signed to mark the end of the Great War.

New York Times, November 11, 1918
New York Times, November 11, 1918

The Russell Family in London, England, Post World War I

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