ID ML2014_005_P61 / Ron Green

TitleSailing barges up the Rhine
AbstractWith this year, 2014, being the one hundreth anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, our museum is putting on an exhibition as part of our summer show.

One of the features is to record those who took part and were fortunate enough to return - some showing the signs of battle which would remain with them for the rest of their lives. One of the lists consulted for the purpose was the Absent Voters List for 1918 which was published while the war was still raging.

As well as those away in the armed forces there were others doing a very important job including the merchant seamen and in particular those on the sailing barges risking enemy attack taking supplies across the channel to France. One such was Capt William Green of West Mersea, master of the ketch rigged coasting barge ZENOBIA in 1918. He was very nearly interned in Germany for the duration of the war and escaped by the skin of his teeth.

In the spring of 1914 he was master of the Harwich sailing barge UNA trading way up the River Rhine to Remagen to collect cargoes of Appolinaris mineral water.
From shipping lists found in the Dutch newspapers at the time we find :-
9th March 1914 UNA, Green, Zierikzee departed Pruissen for England
23rd April 1914 UNA, Green, Zierikzee arrived London for Dusseldorf
20th May 1914 UNA, Green, Rijnvaart, London Dusseldorf
29th July 1914 UNA, Green, Zierikzee, Pruissen for England

William recorded a rough log of that voyage in a notebook in his retirement. He records - Left Remagen July 28th 1914, arrived Dordrecht July 30th. Left Dordrecht for London, becalmed 24 hours 5 miles from North Light Ship. August 1st came a nice breeze which carried us to Grays. Arrived London August 4th - lucky.

The next barge in turn to load at Remagen was manned by members of the Brightlingsea Norton family, They were interned for the duration of the war although the old man of the crew was sent home. William left UNA and took the ketch rigged barge ZENOBIA. After a few lightering jobs in the Thames he appears to have spent the rest of the war taking supplies across the English Channel to France.

Very few of the Thames sailing barges working at that time had engines. Certainly UNA and ZENOBIA relied entirely upon sails and, even at times, oars. Powerful paddle wheeled tugs towed the barges up the fast flowing River Rhine to Remagen which was a long way up into Germany.
Zierikzee is the small Dutch port where vessels going up the Rhine cleared customs. Pruissen is Dutch for Prussia and here refers to the modern-day Germany.

The picture above shows the Dover registered sailing barge GLADYS at Remagen about to load Appolinaris water. She was a very similar barge to UNA and slightly larger but would have looked much the same.

William Green carried on as skipper of ZENOBIA after the war and in 1922 was on a regular contract delivering barley from Hull to various ports around The Wash and the North Norfolk coast. He left ZENOBIA that year and took command of the barge yacht DAISIE with an all Mersea crew of Joe Farthing and 'Knotty' Layton.

Article published in Mersea Life May 2014, page 61, and in SSBR Mainsheet Magazine Autumn 2014.
The picture of GLADYS at Remagen is from Rob Hoogenbos.

AuthorRon Green
SourceMersea Museum
IDML2014_005_P61
Related Images:
 Thames barges ADSEY and ENTERPRISE on the Rhine river at Remagen to load Apollinaris mineral water.
The wicker covered 1000 liter containers on the shore are the earliest packaging form for Apollinaris to be exported to Britain. This is a fairly old and unique picture. 
 ENTERPRISE was built in Harwich in 1874. The export to Britain started around this time.
It is difficult to date the picture accurately. Broadly between 1874 and 1890 [Rob Hoogenbos].
 ADSEY registered Port of Faversham, the name on the stern is ADSEY MILTON.
 Photograph received from Rob Hoogenbos, who received it from someone in Remagen.
 <b>ADSEY </b> Official No. 47864 ADSEY of Faversham was built by Taylor at Sittingbourne in 1863. 64 tons Owned by Charles Wood of Milton in 1881 and by W.J.Mitchell of London in 1890 [The Big Barges]
 9 April 1887 The ship ADSEY - on its way from London to Remagen - has been towed into Dover with loss of anchor and chain, its deck ripped open. On 27 of September 1887 she is reported in shipmovements to be going up the Rhine again to Remagen. [Dutch newspapers via Rob Hoogenbos - ROB_004].
 The ADSEY under Walker & Howard's ownership was abandoned and lost 8 April 1891 10 miles SW of North Hinder L.V. on passage Remagen - London with Appolinaris water. Crew landed at Flushing. Master F. Lazell. [John White].
 'Nieuws van de Dag' (literally News of the day) April 9, 1891 translation:
 
Flushing, 9 April. The ship ADSEY, Captain Layzell, from Rotterdam destined for London, towed by tug SAMSON, abandoned by crew in a sinking state, crew brought ashore here by SAMSON [Dutch newspaper via Rob Hoogenbos - ROB_005.]
  <b>ENTERPRISE </b>
Official No. 67260, ENTERPRISE of Harwich was built by Vaux at Harwich in 1874 71 tons Owned 1881 - 1893 by G.Walker, London 1910 by G.T.Walker and 1919 (still as a ketch) by The London and Rochester Barge Co Ltd. Rochester. Out of register by 1934 [The Big Barges]  ROB_003
ImageID:   ROB_003
Title: Thames barges ADSEY and ENTERPRISE on the Rhine river at Remagen to load Apollinaris mineral water. The wicker covered 1000 liter containers on the shore are the earliest packaging form for Apollinaris to be exported to Britain. This is a fairly old and unique picture.
ENTERPRISE was built in Harwich in 1874. The export to Britain started around this time. It is difficult to date the picture accurately. Broadly between 1874 and 1890 [Rob Hoogenbos].
ADSEY registered Port of Faversham, the name on the stern is ADSEY MILTON.
Photograph received from Rob Hoogenbos, who received it from someone in Remagen.
ADSEY Official No. 47864 ADSEY of Faversham was built by Taylor at Sittingbourne in 1863. 64 tons Owned by Charles Wood of Milton in 1881 and by W.J.Mitchell of London in 1890 [The Big Barges]
9 April 1887 The ship ADSEY - on its way from London to Remagen - has been towed into Dover with loss of anchor and chain, its deck ripped open. On 27 of September 1887 she is reported in shipmovements to be going up the Rhine again to Remagen. [Dutch newspapers via Rob Hoogenbos - ROB_004].
The ADSEY under Walker & Howard's ownership was abandoned and lost 8 April 1891 10 miles SW of North Hinder L.V. on passage Remagen - London with Appolinaris water. Crew landed at Flushing. Master F. Lazell. [John White].
'Nieuws van de Dag' (literally News of the day) April 9, 1891 translation:
Flushing, 9 April. The ship ADSEY, Captain Layzell, from Rotterdam destined for London, towed by tug SAMSON, abandoned by crew in a sinking state, crew brought ashore here by SAMSON [Dutch newspaper via Rob Hoogenbos - ROB_005.]

ENTERPRISE Official No. 67260, ENTERPRISE of Harwich was built by Vaux at Harwich in 1874 71 tons Owned 1881 - 1893 by G.Walker, London 1910 by G.T.Walker and 1919 (still as a ketch) by The London and Rochester Barge Co Ltd. Rochester. Out of register by 1934 [The Big Barges]
Date:c1880
Source:Mersea Museum / Rob Hoogenbos
 Ketch barge at Remagen on the Rhine.  ROB_005
ImageID:   ROB_005
Title: Ketch barge at Remagen on the Rhine.
Source:Mersea Museum / Rob Hoogenbos
 Sailing barge GLADYS of Dover, at Remagen on the Rhine.
 GLADYS built 1900, Official No. 105558. 
Photograph <a href=mmphoto.php?typ=ID&hit=1&tot=1&ba=cke&bid=ROB_009>ROB_009 </a> probably shows H. Bond, skipper or mate of the GLADYS at the time.</notonweb>  ROB_007
ImageID:   ROB_007
Title: Sailing barge GLADYS of Dover, at Remagen on the Rhine.
GLADYS built 1900, Official No. 105558. Photograph ROB_009 probably shows H. Bond, skipper or mate of the GLADYS at the time.
Source:Mersea Museum / Rob Hoogenbos
 Remagen and Ludendorf Bridge on the Rhine, after 1919. Sailing barge alongside the staging.  ROB_013
ImageID:   ROB_013
Title: Remagen and Ludendorf Bridge on the Rhine, after 1919. Sailing barge alongside the staging.
Date:After 1919
Source:Mersea Museum / Rob Hoogenbos
 Ketch barge and paddle steamer on the Rhine at Remagen.  ROB_015
ImageID:   ROB_015
Title: Ketch barge and paddle steamer on the Rhine at Remagen.
Source:Mersea Museum / Rob Hoogenbos