A PORT-HOLE SALVAGED FROM THE WRECK OF THE CUNARD CARGO STEAMER "THRACIA" TORPEDOED AND SUNK OFF THE COAST OF FRANCE IN 1917.

N/A


£250.00




Port-hole (without glass) dates from 1895. 33cm. + postcard-size photo of the ship. V.G. Cunard's cargo steamer THRACIA was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of France in 1917, ex. CONWAY cadet, Douglas Duff, aged 15, was the only survivor. This port-hole was salvaged by a French diver in 1990. S/S THRACIA was built by Sir Raylton Dixon & Co., Middlesbrough, in 1895, and completed as the ORONO for Gellatly Hankey's Plate S.S. Co., London. A vessel of 2,891 gross tons, she was purchased by Cunard and renamed in 1909 for their Mediterranean service. On March 27, 1917, bound for Glasgow, THRACIA was torpedoed by a German U-boat off Belle Isle carrying 4,000 tons of iron ore from Bilbao. She had just joined her first convoy ; previously sailing alone and trusting to her 12-pounder gun. Douglas Duff wrote a couple of books mentioning the affair, including May the Winds Blow ! (1948), and On Swallowing the Anchor (1954) in which he devotes a whole chapter to the sinking. Her wreck was discovered (or re-discovered as after the war a salvage company worked on the wreck for scrap and destroyed much of the ship by explosives) in 1990 by French diver, Jean-Pierre Cariou of Brest. He reported that "The wreck is now in poor condition under 40 meters of water. The two big boilers and the engine are the highest points. There is a twelve-pounder gun on the poop. The fore part is completely broken and not in line with the keel. We raised very few parts of the wreck: some port-holes, a chadburn, '." The port-hole of 1895 remained beneath the sea for 73 years until it was brought to the surface in 1990. A letter of provenance from M. Cariou, and a postcard-size photograph of the THRACIA, accompany this relic from an old Cunard steamer.


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