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The story of the Garthpool

by Jess Fox

I am researching the story of the Garthpool, an old four masted square rigged barque that struck the reefs off the west coast of Africa, off the Cape Verde Islands on November the 11th 1929.

My great grandfather, Christopher Bedford Steel, was one of the passengers; I have discovered a lot of articles, information and photos so far but I am always looking for more information, clues leads and I'm hoping to contact descendants of the last crew.

If you think you can help, please reply to this post!

Here is a full list of the crew; you never know one of them might be related to you or you are connected through family friends.

Are you a descendent of a member of the last Garthpool crew?

Here is a full crew list;

David Thomson, 1866-1949, of Anstruther, Fife Scotland; Captain of the Garthpool 1926-29; AKA 'Old man' (I am in contact with his grandson)

Thomas William Loades, 1860-1933, of Kingsbridge Devon; Chief Mate; an old shell back
(Still working on his tree/story)

Stanley Butcher, 1905-(not sure exactly when he died), of Hull; 2nd Mate; son Anthony

Lester Newman, 1901-1977, not sure where from; 3rd Mate (I was in contact with a grandson of his)

William Chenoweth, 1884-?, of Aberdeen Scotland; Bo'sun (work in progress; he was on one of the Arctic voyages in 'Scott's Discovery in about the 1900's I think)

Emile Louis, 1861-1940, of Mauritius; Cook; Nick named 'Doe' (was married to English woman Rose A (surname unknown); they had a son, born in Hong Kong in 1917, Alfred Thomas Louis; they lived in Liverpool, Emile died in Liverpool but I don't know what became of Alfred and Rose...)

John McPherson, 1884-?, of Aberdeen; Shipwright/carpenter; nick name 'Chips' (I know very little about him)

Edward James Smith, 1912-?, of Port Adelaide; Sail maker, nick name Sails; son of Walter Thomas Smith, lighthouse keeper of Point Lowly, Spencer Gulf, Australia circa1890's-1903
(There are some great clues here so I'm hopeful an Aussie relative may get in touch?)

Stanley James Hugill, 1906-1993, of Hoylake, Cheshire; A.B. & shanty man; sons Martin and Philip

Christopher Bedford Steel, 1907-1943, of Farnborough, Hants; Passenger/Apprentice; nick named 'Scuppers' by the crew; I am his great grand daughter

Thomas Herbert Beveridge Oates, 1910-1941, b. South Africa, lived in Dover; Apprentice
(I have found some great details out about this romantic soul; he wrote at length to a sweet heart in the late 1930's, Elizabeth Eadie; I'd love to hear from Oates relatives; but he had no children)

Timothy James 'Toddy' O'Sullivan, 1907-after 1970, of Waterville, Co.Kerry, Ireland also lived in Co. Cork; Apprentice; went on to become a successful hotelier, running the Gresham in Dublin from the 1940's through the 1960's (I have been in contact with his grandson)

Robert G. B. Harrison, 1911-1942, of Newport, Mon, Wales; Apprentice; wife Enid Y Evans, daughter Pamela, born early 1943 (Some great clues/work in progress
((Work in progress/WIP)))

Henry Walsworth Kinney(2), 1910-1989, of Hawaii; Apprentice; son of HW Kinney, writer; His son is the 3rd HW Kinney, lawyer in New Orleans (I was in contact with his grandson; aiming to re connect)

Felix Rolph Mines, 1912-?, of Chesterton, Cambridge; Apprentice; emigrated to Australia
(I'm in contact with his niece)

William Norman Basson, 1912-1980, of Hemel Hempstead, Herts; Apprentice (WIP)

Edward Ernest Fenwick, 1914-?, of Hull; Apprentice (I have notes on his family tree; I know he ended up in Singapore by 1978, then Captain of the Rajah Brooke)

William Austin Willis, 1914-?, of Bangor, Co Down, Ireland; Apprentice (WIP)

George Collas Hocart, 1908-?, pf Guernsey, Channel Isles; Seaman (WIP)

Charles Dowman (possibly Charles Darby Allen Dowman); 1905-1997?; of Cork; Seaman; wife Rosemary (WIP)

James Alfred McBrearty, 1909-1977, of West Derby, Lanc; Seaman; later Captain and 'Cape Horner' (WIP)

Edward Vyvyan N Fuller, 1907-?, of Liskeard/lived at Withial Rectory House; Seaman; father Vicar of Withial early 20th century (WIP)

Charles McLelland, 1904-?, of Belfast; Seaman (I know very little)

Archibald McVeigh, 1907-1982, of Belfast; seaman (WIP)

Albert McMillan, 1887-?, of Argyle; seaman (Very little known)

William Joss, 1869-?, of Aberdeen; seaman (Very Little/WIP)

William Joseph Reeds, 1902-?, lived at Sailors Home Liverpool but I don't know where he was from; seaman (WIP)

Arthur Edward Pearson, 1908-?, of Hull; seaman; possibley one of the 'Hull Pilots' getting certificate (Also Fenwick/Allman possibley one of them Hull pilot too) (Great clues here...)

Charles Edward Allman, 1908-1972, of Sculcoates(I think born Hull); seaman (cluess....)

William Taylor, 1910-?, of Liverpool (grew up at 10 Neil Street); seaman (I am sketching his tree; he lived at 10 Neil Street, Liverpool with is family, who had lived there from at least 1911 or earlier through to 1929 and maybe onwards)

William McPherson Hutton, 1876-?, of Kinghorn, Fife, Scotland; Purser; enginner and later at 'Cape Horner' as he sailed on the Viking in 1934, kept a diary and wrote a book 'Cape Horn Passage' where he mentions runiting with fellow passenger, Pazolt...(No idea where he died but I don't think it was in the UK given his travels...great clues here...)

Peter Kerr Smiley, 1879-1943, born Paisley, Scotland but family Irish; Major in Boar War; MP for Antrim North circa 1908-1911; purser on Garthpool (I have met his grandson)

Alfred James Pazolt, 1876-1956, of Boston, USA; purser twice on Garthpool; Artist and wrote two articles on his Garthpool experiences (I have some great notes on Pazolts history but more most welcome)

Jean Gloro, 1898-?, French Canadian (not exactly sure); seaman; in Pazolt's account, 'the Frenchman' or 'Frenchy' was a thief; Captain Thomson found some money and other things were missing and they caught the Frenchman but he got away once and was chased and caught again; he appears separately from the crew on the return voyage, I reckon he was in the brig or something like that...(Tricky one this; any French researchers help most appreciated)

Any information or help most appreciated.


Jess Fox

Comments for The story of the Garthpool

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Jul 31, 2010
Searching in nooks & crannies, aren't you?
by: Han

Hi Jess,

This surely is superfluous, having seen the depth of your research: have you been on the genealogical sites? This one is about history of ships in general, not in particular; their crews are quite another field of exploration.
I think it's a long shot here but I wish you luck anyway,



Jul 31, 2010
by: Jess Fox

Dear Han,

Thanks for your comment. I have posted at various forums, including family history; I see what you mean but I just came across this site and my idea is to try all sorts of avenues.

You never know, someone connected to that story (through family or friends) might be a young sailor who uses this site. It's worth a shot.

I've also created a website, using a free template (with ad's that arn't too intrusive I find); it's basic at the moment, it's early days but here it is;

Thanks again,

Take care,

Bye for now,


Aug 01, 2010
Good luck to you!
by: Han

Hi Jess,

I do understand, and wish you all kinds of luck. With your drive you only need a bit of that.



Aug 01, 2010
crew member
by: Nigel Weysom

Hello Jess, George Collas Hocart was my God Father and i have just started researching his naval history , and this has brought me to this site , the only thing that i can tell you at the moment is that he was a sailor all his life he , was awarded the DSC during the war and he went on to captain passenger vessels running between Guernsey and England ,
Nigel Weysom

Aug 01, 2010
Thank you!
by: Jess Fox

Dear Nigel,

Thank you very much for your email. The wonders of the internet; in fact I can tell you a little bit more about George Hocart.

I have read his son is called Mike Smith; I have a contact who tends to be quite busy and I was hoping he would get back to me eventually with any contact details, as he did mention he had them but never included them in his reply. Anyway, I'll chase him up soon.

In the mean time, how interesting, I knew someone here would have a connection.

Well, you may well have simply googled 'George Hocart' and seen the Stan Hugill website, which is where I picked up on George Hocart's story about how his sea chest was found one day; and through a contact I got a lovely CD copy of photos from the Garthpool that were found in his sea chest.

I don't know much else beyond that and that tantilizing fact one of my contacts does have contact details for his son but he's understandably been busy so I'll see how he is and try him again!

And I was doing the same thing the other day, googling Hocart and reading about his time in WW2.

I know this is a public space so contact me through my website, to avoid the phishers/spammers, etc...!

I look forward to hearing from you,

All the best,

Bye for now,


Sep 29, 2010
James McBrearty
by: Michael McBrearty

James McBrearty was my uncle a true seaman.My Father said that a few of the crew came down with the dts after the long drinking binge they had when they landed on the island.

Sep 29, 2010
Thanks Michael!
by: Jess Fox

Dear Michael,

Thank you very much for your email. I'd love to learn more about your uncle and the Garthpool adventure; do contact me via my website (I'm trying to avoid phishers/spammers so the website is a great way to avoid all that!) and I can email you directly.

I love the whole story about the champagne cider or 'binge'; what is dts? I've just googled it and have I found the right description, do you mean 'delirium tremens', withdrawal after excess? Sounds like it; gosh. I wonder if my great grandfather suffered??

I look forward to hearing from you again,

All the best,

Take care,

Bye for now,


Sep 30, 2010
by: Michael McBrearty

Hi Jess no joy with your web site will try again later.Anything I can help you with please ask.James had another eventful event in his life,in the 1970s he was master of the Nelly M when it boarded by the IRA off the coast of Ireland.Think the ship was a total wreck.God bless Michael.

Sep 30, 2010
by: MichaelMcBrearty

Sorry Jess got it wrong on the Nelly M,it was his ship but the attack was after his time.Michael

Sep 30, 2010
by: Jess Fox

Dear Michael,

Thanks a lot for your email. I don't know what's wrong with the website.... do try again....& I do have a google listing; try 'Garthpool windjammer fox' and it should be fourth on the first page! Or it's on page 7 from just searching 'Garthpool.'

I'd love to learn as much as you can recall about your uncle and any details, notes or archives there might be your family related to the Garthpool adventure.

I look forward to hearing from you again,

All the best,

Bye for now,


Oct 19, 2010
Hello Michael, how are you? Garthpool Update
by: Jess Fox

Dear Michael,

How are you? I do hope you are well. I've been discovering some great new crew details lately, and there's lot's more yet to be discovered! If you're still having problems accessing my website, do email me at:: family dot tree dot researcher 2010 at google mail dot com (Just replace with dots / no spaces...I'm trying to avoid phishers, etc...)

I hope all's well & I look forward to learning more about your uncle,

All the best,
Take care,
Bye for now,

Dec 23, 2010
Amendments to Garthpool Crew List
by: Jess Fox

Hello,Just adding a few corrections/additions to posting; see Top for full version..Thanks,Jess

David 'old man/davey' Thomson;1866-1949,Scottish

William Loades,1860-1941;of Devon; Chief Mate

Stanley Butcher,1905-(?)of Hull;2nd Mate

Lester 'Hands'Newman,1901-1977;3rd Mate;later Captain with Bowater Steamship Co.

William Chenoweth,1884-?,ofAberdeen Scotland (or Cornish?); Bo'sun;on

Emile 'Doc' Louis,1861-1940,of Mauritius;Cook; Doc' lived/died in Liverpool

John 'Chips' McPherson,1884-?;Shipwright/carpenter

William Joseph 'Sails' Reeds,1902-?,Australian; Sail maker, lived Sailors Home Liverpool;seaman

Stanley James Hugill,1906-1993,of Hoylake, Cheshire;A.B. & shanty man

Christopher Bedford 'Scuppers' Steel,1907-1943, of Farnborough, Hants; Passenger/Apprentice;I am his great grand daughter

Thomas Herbert Beveridge Oates,1910-1941,b.South Africa, lived in Dover;Apprentice

Timothy James 'Toddy' O'Sullivan,1907-after1970, of Waterville, Co.Kerry, Ireland also lived Co. Cork; Apprentice; became a successful hotelier

Edward James Smith, 1912-?,Apprentice; of Port Adelaide; son of Walter Thomas Smith, lighthouse keeper Point Lowly, Spencer Gulf, Australia circa1890's-1903(& others post 1903)

Robert G. B. Harrison, 1911-1942,of Newport,Mon, Wales;Apprentice; (Work in progress/WIP))

Henry Walsworth Kinney(2), 1910-1989, of Hawaii; Apprentice; son of HW Kinney,writer

Felix Rolph Mines,1912-?,of Chesterton, Cambridge; Apprentice;emigrated to Australia

William Norman Basson,1912-1980,ofHemel Hempstead, Herts;Apprentice (WIP)

Edward Ernest Fenwick,1914-?;Apprentice (I know he ended up in Singapore,Captain of Rajah Brooke,78')

William Austin Willis,1914-?,of Bangor, Co Down, Ireland; Apprentice (WIP)

George Collas Hocart,1908-?,of Guernsey, Channel Isles;Seaman(WIP)

Charles Darby Allen Dowman;1905-1997; Seaman(WIP)

James Alfred McBrearty,1909-1977,of West Derby, Lanc;Seaman(WIP)

Edward Vyvyan Neull Fuller,1907-?;lived at Withial Rectory House;Seaman (WIP)

Charles McLelland,1904-?,of Belfast; Seaman

Archibald McVeigh,1907-1982,of Belfast; seaman

Albert McMillan,1887-?,of Argyle; seaman

William Joss,1869-?,of Aberdeen; seaman

Arthur Edward Pearson,1908-?; seaman; possibley one of the 'Hull Pilots' getting certificate

Charles Edward 'Ted' Allman,1908-1972,of Sculcoates;seaman

William Taylor,1910-?,of Liverpool(10 Neil Street circa 1911/29);seaman

William McPherson Hutton,1876-?,of Kinghorn, Fife, Scotland; Purser; enginner/Cape Horner' as he sailed on Viking 1934

Peter Kerr Smiley,1879-1943;ex Major/Ex MP; purser on Garthpool

Alfred James Pazolt,1876-1956,of Boston, USA; purser twice on Garthpool;Artist/article writer

Jean 'Frenchy/Frenchman' Gloro (perhaps full name 'Jean Marie Guillory, born 1898, Illes Et Villaines, Bretagne/Brittany, France??)1898-?, French Canadian(?);seaman; in Pazolt's account he was a thief

Apr 07, 2011
Chart print signed by all the crew.
by: Colin

I have been given a print of the Garthpool to sell. It was drawn on the back of a chart and signed by all the crew. From the first edition of 250 copies.

Jul 27, 2011
My Grandfather was David Thomson
by: Margaret Thomson

I am not sure if the grandson of David Thomson your refer to is either my brother Andy or one of mu cousins. I have a copy of his Master Mariner's Certificate which could bee scanned and sent if you wanted. Maggie

Jul 27, 2011
Thank you Margaret
by: Jess Fox

Dear Margaret,

Thank you for your message; yes I've been in touch with David Thomson (I'm not sure if his middle name is Andy, so he's most likely your cousin) we've emailed many times & he sent me several copies of old photos of Captain Thomson and some of the Garthpool too.

I would love to see a scan of your grandfathers certificate. Email me at garthpool(dot)project(at)gmail(dot)com

Thanks again,
All the best,
Bye for now,

Aug 20, 2011
4 masted barque Garthpool
by: Robert Carter

I have written about Garthpool in my book WINDJAMMERS The Final Story, having interviewed several crewmembers from her last voyages.
see my website for information

Jun 03, 2012
Crew member info
by: Tim S

Hi, Jess, Are you still collecting info? Ted Allman was my great uncle. I have some info but will check with my mother if you are interested. I'm sure she'll have more details.

Jun 03, 2012
Thanks very much; yes, I'm still collecting!
by: Jess Fox

Hello Tim,

Thanks very much for your message; yes indeed,
I am still researching and am very happy to hear from a relative of Ted Allman! I've been wondering about him for a while; I have a few bits of information (I'm currently re-newing my research & will need to re-fresh my knowledge a bit/remind myself of finer details, etc!) from various sources, some still to be chased up, but I hadn't got anywhere tracing his relatives yet.

Do email me at; garthpool(dot)project(at)gmail(dot)com ((trying to avoid phishing/junk mail stuff!))

Thanks again,
I look forward to hearing from you,
All the best,

Jan 28, 2013
Re; info on Ted Allman from Tim S
by: Jess Fox

Hello Tim,
I wonder if you'll see this? I hope you got my earlier reply but maybe you forgot or you never saw it if you didn't tick the 'email me when people comment' on the article bit?

As above, yes, I'm still interested in info on Ted Allman; I look forward to hearing from you.

All the best,
Jess Fox

Jan 28, 2013
Captain Thomson
by: Maggie Thomson

Jess, I have been very remiss in not sending you his Captains Certificate but it is too large to scan in. If you let me have your address I will send you a hard copy.
My email address is

PS My cousin David is doing a presentation about our Grandfather next month at our local sailing club

Jul 31, 2013
by: mike garthwaite

My address is 7,Rue des Princes,MONACO MC98000. I have an articles by A.Hurst on the last sailing of Garthpool. I have no computer,so will need a snail mail address to send it.

Mar 07, 2014
Felix Mines
by: John Mines

Hi I am the son of Felix Rolfe Mines who sailed on the Garthpool on her last voyage. Felix (Dad) emigrated to Australia in 1956 with his wife (Mum) Joan Margaret Mines. He lived in Western Australia and had 3 children, Judith, John & Felicity and passed away in 1990.

I hope this helps to close that out.


Mar 10, 2014
Thanks John! :)
by: Jess Fox

Hi John,

Thank you very much for your message! :) I was in touch with your dad's niece, Daphne Gadd, who told me a little bit about his story, (i.e. the flute he played on the ship & his travels) but I haven't heard from her in a while; & I've neglected some old correspondence too & have numerous things to chase up/look into/re-connect with!

I'd love to know more about your father, his character & life experiences, etc., as each of the crew will get a little bio each; I've found that the crew's stories are as compelling as the Garthpool's & form as important a part of my book as the main events of the last voyage.

And any details he may have recalled/told about his experience of the Garthpool adventure, or any archives/photos, etc, from that time (e.g. a diary?) would be most appreciated; do email me at gathpool(dot)project(at)gmail(dot)com :).

Thanks again,
I look forward to hearing from you,
All the best,
Bye for now,
Jess :)

Aug 11, 2014
It's a small world.
by: James Willis

William Austin Willis was my fathers brother.
George Collas Hocart lived just one mile from me from 1968 until he died.
My employee and friend was Hedley H Bougourd who sailed with George as first engineer for many years.

Aug 11, 2014
Hi James! A small world indeed!
by: Jess Fox

Hi James!

I'm in touch with your cousins then! Michael & Bridget! Got in touch with them a few years ago & Bridget kindly scanned in a great document, the artist, & passenger, Pazolt's Diary! Plus they sent me copies of many old photos, featuring the crew & more besides!

Do email me via >>
Garthpool(dot)project(at)gmail(dot)com :)

I'd love to learn more about Hocart indeed, as I know bits of his story but didn't get very far, as I recall; in-fact, I've left much of my research for a while as I've been very involved in the Vegan social scene in London for a while now; my 3 main passions! Creativity, Genealogy & Veganism! :)

I look forward to hearing from you again!
All the best,
Jess :)

Sep 04, 2014
May have found some documents.
by: James Willis

Whilst out for lunch with the local Probus Club this week, I met a person who specialises in local shipping 'then and now' as a hobby. I asked if he new George Hocart....not only did he know George, he imitated him!... and said he had a "half ship" of the Garthpool carved by George. Also, he had some fragile papers. We are to meet up soon, he only lives half a mile away!
I am excited. I will report back.
All the best:- James Willis.

Mar 15, 2015
son of sails NEW
by: Allan Reeds

I am the son of W J Reeds or Sails" of the Garthpool. Our Family lived in Padington Sydney Australia. Email,

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