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1 FRED ENGLISH 1927 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT TRAVEL DIARY OF ONE BOSTON COUPLE'S CRUISE ABOARD AN ILL-FATED SHIP THAT WOULD ONE DAY SADLY BOAST THE COSTLIEST BRITISH LOSS AT SEA IN NAVAL HISTORY
ABOARD THE S.S. LANCASTRIA TO EUROPE 1927 Good+ 
On offer is a delightful original manuscript travel diary dated 1927 wherein Fred English, with his wife Cora writes of his adventures and observations while aboard the S.S. Lancastria, as well as his travels and adventures in England, France, Ireland, etc. He writes of going to Blarney Castle and other castles, seeing Lord Barrymore's estate and going to Killarney, Dublin, Brussels, and many many other places! He begins: "S.S. Lancastria at Sea" - These notes are written for my own use. I am mailing them home that others may perhaps enjoy some of our pleasures. Please read them and then mail them immediately to the next on the list (he then lists a lot of peoples names) Don't forget that I want to use them when I return. Please see that none are lost". Here are some snippets: "Saturday, August 27, 1927 - Embarked at East Boston at 4:50 p.m., 10th Calvary Band playing. Bon Voyage by official representative of city. Escorted down harbor by Fire Boat playing four streams hose. Many vessels saluted with whistles. Three women and a boy failed to get off and were taken off down a ladder to a tug. It has rained all day. Have dropped pilot and are proceeding to sea. Found we were both booked together in J4, so far no sign of sea sickness. Am now waiting for dinner, second sitting at 7 p.m., in to dinner at Table 3. Mr & Mrs Cain of N.Y. table companions. Enjoyed dinner, five courses, excellent service. Back on deck, sea not rough but fog has shut down, fog horn blows every minute. Watched sea and talked until 9:30 p.m., then seven times around deck equal one mile. Cora has taken a dose of Mothersill's pills as a prevention against sea sickness. Really doesn't need if no rougher than now. This day has been a big experience ..... It is as hot as it ever gets in Aroostook. The dining room is really too hot to eat in. We have a table stewart who tries hard to please but has a difficult time, he is always in his own way .... We had an impressive Memorial Service for sailors lost at sea, 8 gold star mothers strewed flowers on water. We lost our table companions, Mr & Mrs Cain. They moved to C deck - We had a good sing last night and a symphony concert by the ships orchestra. This morning wireless reports that Brock and Schlee had crossed the Atlantic in 23 hr. and 19 min. Had a wonderful day on deck. In the afternoon we played shuffleboard and ball on top deck. In the evening we danced a little ..... Now sailing directly towards Queenstown - Tonight the water has a larger swell and the ship is beginning to roll and pitch. So far the sensation is not bad. Some are beginning to feel sick again - There is to be dancing if the roll does not prevent. Saw a large school of flying fish, seemed to be either white or silver color. Sometimes they take a flight of perhaps a hundred yards. There is a very jolly crowd on board who are bent on enjoying themselves - We saw schools of porpoises yesterday, wish we might see a whale .... We have enjoyed life on the boat. Time passes rapidly - There are two or three real characters on board. One Greenly from Boston, a very fat good natural cuss from Boston. He brought aboard about 50 bottles of drink and a couple cases of oranges. He nearly missed the boat but arrived in time, a dress coat over his arm, part of which had been dropped in the mud. Neverless he was feeling glorious and has been ever since - Last night we sighted a passenger ship about five or six miles north sailing towards America. We have seen a number of freighters. They make the sea less lonely. - There are a small number aboard who are trying to drink the bar dry with fair success. We are in touch with land by wireless. We could radiogram home but would cost about four dollars. When we realize the expanse of ocean we feel that Lindberg had colossal nerve to attempt its passage all alone ...... It is fun to dance aboard except when the ship gives an extra roll, the dancers go crashing into the wall or into the rail ..... We have the run of the ship which is worth a good deal. Our room is fairly good though small. I believe I would rather have the cheapest room aboard with run of ship than a better room, say second class without run of the ship ..... Clancy our table steward is having a wonderful time telling us English customs. One of the cleverest jokes of last evening was a passenger who dressed as a steward. He had an English face, even to that dumb look they have when they do not understand. He went into the smoking room and about the deck taking orders from many people who were not wise to the joke, much to the amusement of those who were ..... Memorial for Lusitania in fore lounge, over or nearly over spot where she sank ..... We arrived in Paris about 10 a.m. - After breakfast we took a train or street car to Trocadeors Convention Hedges. The parade was to start at 1:30 so we found the place were Mainse (?) was to form. It was near Place D'lena which contains Geo Washingtons equestrian statue. While admiring the statue we noticed Hotel D'lena facing it. Then it occurred to Cora that the Mac Manuses were stopping at that hotel. We proceeded to find them. Crossing the square we heard our names called. Sure enough, there they were on an iron balcony watching the parade form. We went up, watched the parade form and pass until the ___ section came along, then we joined and paraded. Talk about thrills. Flying could not compare. Up Rue D'Iena to the Arc dr Triomphe where we threw flowers on the unknown soldiers tomb - It was a National French Holiday declared for the occasion. The Stars and Stripes flew from the Eiffel Tower for the first time in history. It seemed millions of people lined the streets, all cheering - No, not all, for it was reported that a few hissed. Both sides of the street were lined with soldiers with drawn bayonets. Every square had a troop of Calvalry or mounted guards. Every corner a squad of gendarmes ready to turn in any direction. It was expected that some demonstration would be made against Massachusetts but none came. There was a thrill to this parade that words cannot describe. It made me shiver and quiver. The Soldiers of a Nation parading the streets of the capital city of another cheered by its populace. One of the objects of this convention was to cement the two people together. I believe that it went a long way towards accomplishing its purpose." HISTORICAL NOTES: Originally named Tyrrhenia, the S.S. Lancastria was the sister of Cameronia (II) of the Anchor Line, which Cunard owned from 1911 until 1935. Built by Wm. Beardmore & Co. of Glasgow, the Tyrrhenia was launched in 1920 and made her maiden voyage (Glasgow-Quebec-Montreal) on June 13, 1922. She then ran from Liverpool to Canada, Boston or New York until placed on the Hamburg-New York route in 1923. Refitted and renamed Lancastria during the winter of 1923-34, she then served New York from Liverpool, Southampton or London until 1932, after which Lancastria was used mostly for cruising. Requisitioned for use as a troopship in 1940, Lancastria was bombed and sunk at St. Nazaire on 17 June 1940, during the evacuation of France. As many as 9,000 people (mostly British troops) were on board. At least 3000 (and perhaps as many as 5000) died in the costliest British merchant ship loss of the war. Winston Churchill felt the country's morale could not bear the burden of such terrible news and newspapers were ordered not to print the story. Survivors were forbidden under the King's Regulations to mention the disaster and people killed were listed as "missing in action". This led to the assumption by most bereaved relatives that they probably died during the bloody retreat through France. However, the story of the sinking finally broke in New York newspapers on July 26, 1940 and was soon afterwards taken up by the British press. The official report is still sealed until the year 2040 under the Official Secrets Act. If it could be proved that Sharpe was ordered by Ministry of Defense Officials to ignore his maximum load restriction, there could be considerable grounds for compensation claims against the British Government. Currently the evidence for this remains under lock and key for another 31 years. The diary has 50 pages filled with handwritten entries, plus there are an additional 12 pages with notations on his purchases, cost of the trip, etc. 4 1/2" x 7 1/4" and it is VG. 
Price: 1185.99 USD
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