Saturday, June 28, 2008

TRT Survivors

We still have work to do on crew lists and data from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (and elsehwere!) that said re-examining the documents we have, the following names from appear to be likely candidates for TRT survivors:-

1. J Daley (or Dailey) a Gunner from Newry
2. Alex Hardy Finnie an Apprentice born 1900 in Aberdeen
3. H Price an Able-Bodied Seaman
4. A Mahamed (or Mohammed)

Of course, records indicate that there were only THREE Survivors.

T R Thompson ~ Descriptive Data

Built in 1897 by Short Brothers Sunderland
Registered - Sunderland , Official Number 106417
Makers No. 258
Gross Tonnage 3538
Net Tonnage 2261
Length 360ft
Width 47.2ft
Draught 24.6ft
No of Decks 1
No of Masts 2
Schooner Rigged
Stern elliptical

Steel Single Screw
Length of engine room 47.7ft
Triple expansion engine, 3 boilers with diamteres of 24in,40in,66in.
301 NHP
Length of stroke 45ft
Engines built by John Dickinson & Sons , Sunderland
Built to carry a crew of 43
1st Captain - R Eggleton
Owned by J Westoll , 13 John Street, Sunderland
Signal Letters PQRN

Info via Andy N , some is shown elsewhere on this blog.

T R Thompson Shareholders

In May 1897 there were 64 shares in the TRT , these were held by:-

35 James Westoll
16 Thomas Roe Thompson
6 John Young Short (of Short Brothers)
2 James Addison
2 Cuthbert Hutchinson
2 George Alan (Minister of the Gospel)
1 Magnus Miles (Maritime Surveyor)

Info via Andy N - Source not recorded.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Kew Records

More info from Ray Buck:-

The Official Number for the "T R Thompson" is 106417, the last crew agreement ( If it has survived ) will be in the TNA Kew

Follow the request this link giving ships ON and details of what you require.

Ted Finch has drawn our attention to the following guide to using Kew, thank you Ted, :-

Canadian Records ~ Official Number 106417

I am gratfeul to Ray Buck who sent the following information:-

There is a reference to a crew agreement and ships log held in Canada for the same year (Not sure if this is the same log) usually if it is still in Kew then it will not have been sent to Canada) it may be worth enquiring at both.

This information may link with the series of Crew Agreements traced to Canada by Andy N

Thomas Lewis Hargest ~ Third Engineer


One of the Crew mentioned who died aboard the SS T R Thompson was the Third engineer Thomas Lewis Hargest.

I will be writing up a memorial soon on my Hargest/Hergest One Name Study to all Hargest's killed during World War I.

As I have been for the last few years been researching the Genealogical History of the Hargest & Hergest families since the 1400's.

Best regards

Adam Hargest
Hargest/Hergest One-Name Studies
Registered with the Guild of One Name Studies 4334

Thomas Towler ~ Marconi Marine Wireless Operator

I am grateful for the follwoing informaton from George V Monk :-

"My Colleague and I have produced a Memorial Register of all the Marconi Marine Wireless Operators who were killed in WWI.

I thought you would like to know of the entry we have for:-

TOWLER, Thomas, Aged 27"

Thomas Towler was a member of the crew who lost his life when the TRT sank. I will enquire with George to see if his register is on-line.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

TRT Bell

Photo of TRT Bell kindly donated by Paul and the Negligent Snail from The YD forum. Not sure if this is the same Bell that is pictured earlier on in the Blog as rumour has it there were 3 bells on the wreck. Perhaps someone could clarify this.
The TRT is the big one at the back in case you cant read it.

But what a nice collection

T.R.Thompson Dinner 22nd July

At the meeting last night I was asked to put a list on the blog for people wanting to come to the T.R.Thompson dinner on the evening of July 22nd

As discussed it looks like the Golden Galleon near Seaford will be the restaurant of choice plus the name has a nautical theme which is very appropriate.

The booking will need to be confirmed asap so I will need numbers pretty quickly. Please add a comment or contact me direct to be added.

The meal is open to all who wish to come along whether you have been involved in the project, past, present or not involved, or if you are just interested, it doesn't matter as it will be a great social and fun evening, all will be made very welcome so the more the merrier.

Lets make the evening a big success for the family

For the current list of people going see our sister blog

Friday, June 20, 2008

New Readers!

Please scroll down and use the 'Labels for quick reference' on the right-hand side of the blog to help navigate around the project nformation .

Part 2 Meridian Divers Dive T.R.Thompson 16th June

Part 2 of Mondays dive on the T.R.Thompson.
Heading fowards past the engines to the Bows which we didnt get to because we ran out of time. Not so much of the wreck intact here but still very scenic.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Meridian Divers on a Great Dive to the SS T.R.Thompson

Part 1 of video Highlights showing Meridian Divers diving the wreck of the T.R.Thompson 16th June 2008 in superb conditions although the video doesnt do the dive justice Video This clip shows the Engine Prop, Rudder, Gun, spare prop blade Bulkheads

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

T.R.Thompson Dive 16th June 2008

I had my week planned out for me but that all changed on Sunday when the phone rang. Steve from Channel Diving calling to say that he had just taken a group out to the T.R.T and the Viz was amazing, he had 5 places going for tomorrow(Monday) and thought it may be a good idea to get my backside down to Brighton nice and early and get some Video of the T.R.T in such good conditions. (Good marketing Steve)

After quick group text to other MD'ers it transpired that most couldn't get the time off at such short notice with the exception of Andy N and as I was owed sometime a quick buzz back to Steve saw 2 places booked.

A bright and early 6.30am start got me down to Brighton Marina with time to spare and was joined shortly after by Andy. Sarah also made an appearance as she had booked her annual Channel Diving jamboree this week.

Steve had obviously had success in filling the remaining places as the boat was now full ( doesn't anybody work) Soon it was ropes off and the journey out to the T.R.T began.We arrived at the wreck exactly on slack with everybody kitted up and ready to go. It never ceases to amaze me how organised it all is when diving from Steve's boat, everything runs like clockwork nice, simple, straight forward and no fuss.

On entering the water I was a little confused about where I was diving the water was clear and very blue not the normal green English Channel we all love. Divers descending 15m below could be clearly seen and i knew this was going to be a classic TRT dive.We were not disappointed,very soon the wreck appeared below us and we were still descending.Shoals of of bib & pollack covered the TRT like a living carpet, divers could be seen all over the wreck and it was almost like dives I had done on the Thistlegorm in the Red Sea, it was that good.

With the camera rolling Andy and I got to work capturing as much footage as possible.With the visibility so good it was possible to see large areas of the wreck for the first time in context and I was shocked at how much the T.R.T had deteriorated even over the past year.The stern is now collapsing at an alarming rate with a huge section on the port side now collapsed over the prop. The Gun has moved again and is now is a slightly different position to what it was last year.

The TRT is over a 100 years old and has been lying on the seabed for over 90 years so it is to be expected that the old girl is losing her looks a bit like an aging hollywood star, but far more interesting. I still find it very sad that within a short period of time I expect the stern will collapse totally.
We continued our dive across the wreck and even though she is crumbling fast I still find her very beautiful and still a fantastic dive. With our personal connections with the wreck through the N.A.S project and the relative we are now in contact with and the conditions we were diving in today made this dive on her even more special to me.

As the motto on Steves diver lift says" time and tide wait for no man or woman " it was soon time to head back to the surface and I must say I was very reluctant to do so but we had already incurred a small deco penalty, so with the now traditional wave goodbye to our old freind we started our ascent back to a very different, less tranquil world.

Back on board Channel Diver the decks were a buzz, every diver raving about the dive, with one couple saying it was the best dive they had ever done in UK waters. I also managed to get a call in to Mr Jack the T.R.T crew relative whilst over the site and talk to him about the dive. We will be seeing him on the 22nd July and weather permitting, he will be out on the boat himself.

Our second dive was on the Palace pier and even though that is a very pretty dive I would have still preferred to have been back down on the T.R.T.

I will start to edit the video footage over the next couple of days and post it on the Blog. Skipper Steve after previewing the footage wants a copy to have on Channel Diver to show groups he takes out to the wreck on his wheel house DVD player which is a nice touch and will hopefully raise the profile of the wreck even more.