He Only Ever Went To Sea Pt.4

From a letter written in July:

“Of course it is a feather in my cap getting the new boat but I wish I was back on the old ‘Wanaka’, several of the crew followed me here and I have taken them back with me. I expect to leave for the East again in October and have asked to take Mary and the two youngest with me but have no answer yet…

What little time James had at home was shown in a letter in early 1900. From Newcastle he wrote:

I am going to run down to Sydney in the train tonight, it is a three and a half hour run and I will leave there again by boat at midnight and be back here at daylight tomorrow. That will give me about two hours at home after being away four and a half months, but it is good just to have a look at them all and Mary has been very poorly for a long time. Besides, I am anxious to see the new kid. I will call him Fred I think.

(Today, the train trip from Newcastle to Sydney takes about 90 minutes).

His last child born was Frederick Hamilton born on 4th February 1900 and was more likely named after James’s brother Frederick (Stanhope) who had died on April 3rd 1897 in Canada. He had been a farmer, a graduate of Gulphs Agricultural College in Ontario. Whilst ‘smoking hogs’ he had become asphyxiated and died. (The Canadian/US branch of the Courbarrons now spell the name ‘Coeur-Barron’, the original spelling was possibly altered by Stanhope after his arrival in Canada, an unwise thing for him to do really as the origins of the name do not relate to Stanhope’s ‘revised’ version).

In a letter to Helen de Veer in October 1901 he wrote:

Just a line to let you know I am going home. I have been appointed Marine Superintendent at Dumbarton for the Union Company to supervise the building of a large steamer of 8,500 tons and to take command when she is finished. I leave this ship in Calcutta at Xmas and go home a passenger. I have cabled the wife that she must go too, it will be very expensive but we will never have another chance. The Company have given me a free hand to spare no expense to get them a steamer….It is a great compliment to be picked out of a fleet of 65 ships for such a job….I will have the largest ship owned ‘South of the Line’.

He writes a last interesting sentence in that letter: “We were all very sorry to hear of your President getting killed.

The S.S Aparima was the largest vessel in the Union Company fleet and remained so for a number of years thereafter. The tonage of the Aparima was not as great as James had first stated, it was a vessel of 5,704 tons. The Aparima ended her life in tragic circumstances. Under requisition by the Admiralty she was torpedoed in the English Channel on the 19th November 1917 and went down within minutes with the sad loss of 54 lives out of a crew of 110.

Mary sailed with James to Calcutta as planned and from there returned home saloon class on the liner ‘Matrana’. The two elder children, Mildred and James, went to boarding school while little Molly and Freddie were cared for by their Irish servant Bridget (Biddie). James wrote of the voyage:

My people paid our passage – very good of them.

Copyright © 2007-2016 by Hamilton Family History. All rights reserved.
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