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Captain Thomas Jones

14 November 2012 by Rebecca

ship model in museum display

RMS Haverford model

Ian Murphy, Curator of Martime History and Deputy Head of the Merseyside Maritime Museum reports:

Seafaring is a perilous occupation and this year the world has commemorated the lives lost in the sinking of Titanic. 10 years after this disaster however, another White Star ship was involved in dramatic events that had a much happier outcome.
90 year’s ago today, the White Star liner Pittsburgh under the command of Captain Thomas Jones was involved in the rescue of all 45 crew members of the Italian ship Monte Grappa in the mid Atlantic.

Monte Grappa had left Montreal for Venice carrying grain in November 1922 when a storm hit in mid-Atlantic. For two days the ship battled treacherous conditions, but eventually her SOS call was picked up by the Pittsburgh. Captain Jones and his crew responded immediately, fighting through the stricken waves to save all crew from the sinking ship.

Merseyside Maritime Museum has recreated Captain Thomas Jones’ cabin, along with some of his personal effects in the Life at Sea gallery. There’s another connection with Captain Jones at the museum in the shape of a model one of his later vessels, RMS Haverford, in our Art & the Sea gallery.

RMS Haverford was built in 1901 by John Brown and Company of Clydebank and had an eventful history. During the First World War she served as a cargo and troop transport. She carried British troops to the Dardanelles and American troops to Europe. She survived two torpedo attacks from U-boats. After the war she returned to the Liverpool-Philadelphia service. She helped repatriate thousands of American troops and carried many emigrants to the USA. She was scrapped in Italy in 1925.

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