Horseman D Whitton died 20-10-1916 aged 29 on SS Cabotia

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crwhitton
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Horseman D Whitton died 20-10-1916 aged 29 on SS Cabotia

Post by crwhitton » Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:36 pm

He lost his life when SS Cabitia was sunk by U69 on a voyage from Montreal to Manchester. He was stated to be 29 from Dundee and although I have examined the memorial at "Tower Hill" Memorial in London the WGC do not know his parents and he is not comemorated in any Dundee memorial.

I feel this should recified but I need to trace his parents. Any thoughts on how this could be progressed and why a Horeman would be on board a ship crossing the Atlantic?

LesleyB
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Post by LesleyB » Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:55 pm

Hi crwhitton
..and welcome to Talking Scot :D

Just wondering if you have maybe tried investigating local newspapers? Sometimes newspaper obituatires give parents' names and a bit more detail. The local paper for Dundee would be the Courier and also the evening Telegraph. The Courier would probably be the better bet.
http://www.thecourier.co.uk/output/2008/01/21/index.asp

He is mentioned at both www.cwgc.org and http://www.snwm.org/
but no further details appear to be given.

There is also a series of CD ROMs "Soldiers Died" which you may be able to view at a library. Sometiems this gives more info, but often not. Also worth trying in the forum http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/ where there are many very knowledgeable people who specialise in WW1 information.
Best wishes
Lesley

crwhitton
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Post by crwhitton » Mon Jan 21, 2008 11:10 pm

Thanks for that information. I have acertained that the Cabotia was carrying Paper pulp together with a shipment of horses presumably from Canada to the British Forces so I assume Horseman Whitton went to perhaps check their accepability and to look after them on the voyage over. Although there was mechanical transport horses were heavily used as well. It all fits in place as many of the Whittons from Dundee worked on farms so would be familiar with horses. I just need to work our who he was!!

Currie
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Post by Currie » Tue Jan 22, 2008 5:35 am

Hello crwhitton,

I guess that a ship such as the Cabotia would have been a specialised horse carrier and would have been fitted out with specially constructed stalls so that it could make many such voyages. The horses would not have lived long in a rough sea unless they were packed in much as eggs are in a carton. It looks like there were 300 horses and at least 15 horsemen on board, maybe in the vicinity of 30.

London Times. 28 Oct. 1916
No news has been received of two boats of the Donaldson liner Cabotia, which was reported on Monday to have been torpedoed. The Captain, 16 of the crew, and 15 Canadian horsemen are missing.

Los Angeles Times, 2 Nov 1916
(segments of article re Cabotia, no crew list included)
Montreal, Nov. 1
… “according to a list of the crew made public here today”…… “Advices received here indicate that thirteen men are missing, twelve of them Canadians” ……... “The vessel carried thirty-one men including a number of Canadian horsemen”…..

These reports might suggest that the horsemen weren’t part of the crew but came with the horses and were part of the cargo. It would be interesting to know the names of the other horsemen who died, where they were from, and how and where their names were commemorated. The Montreal newspapers of the time might also make interesting reading.

If the newspapers were correct about the horsemen’s nationality is there any chance there was an earlier immigration by Mr. Whitton from Scotland to Canada? Is there a Dundee in Canada? Where did the CVGC information come from that he was 29 and from Dundee?

If he really was a British seaman there may be records at the National Archives and this guide might be worth reading http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/cata ... fletID=128 also follow the link there to the Agreements and crew lists after 1861 page. On the SNWM site the entry has the number 111273 after the ship’s name, I’m assuming that’s the ship’s official number. If you search the catalogue http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/search.asp for 111273 the results will be a number of crew list documents. I’ve no idea whether this will get you any further in your quest.

I don’t know whether you’ve seen this but “The Merchant Seaman in War (1918)” is available as an eBook in several formats at
http://www.archive.org/details/merchant ... 00cornuoft
and contains a 6 page story of the last hours of the Cabotia - ”Heavy Weather” page 136. There’s no mention of Canadians there but then they weren’t always differentiated from “British.”

Hope that helps and hasn’t confused the issue too much,
Alan

Hugh MacLean
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Post by Hugh MacLean » Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:11 pm

Hello,
Just to add a little more about the ship.
ss CABOTIA official number 111273 built in 1900 as ONTARIAN for Allan Line S.S.Co Ltd, Glasgow. 1913 purchased by the Donaldson Line and renamed CABOTIA in 1914.

The Tower Hill memorial commemorates merchant seamen who have no known grave but the term Horseman is not one I am familiar with. I wonder if they were civillians who signed on ships articles for the voyage. If they had signed articles they would have been classed as members of the crew and that may be why they are listed on Tower Hill.

The last Crew Agreement for CABOTIA should be held at the National Archives under the ship's official number in file classification BT99/3213 and the link is here: http://tinyurl.com/2j5cve This should tell you all the names of the crew or all those who signed articles. Unfortanately the ship's official log would have gone down with the ship.

There were 15 casualties listed with the title Horseman, two of them marked down as "Assistant Foreman (Horseman)".

Alan, thanks for the link to the book - not seen that one before.
Regards
Hugh

Hugh MacLean
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Post by Hugh MacLean » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:55 pm

Here is the list of Horsemen (15) lost on CABOTIA

CASWELL W.F born Worcester
FRAZER J.W. born Canada
GARRITY J. born USA
HART H.W. born Canada
HUBBARD J. C. born Canada - Assistant Foreman Horseman
JAMES W. born Canada
LEWIS C. born Wales
MAYNARD J. born Canada – Assistant Foreman Horseman
MUCKLE H. born Co. Down
NICHOL R. born Edinburgh
ROBERTSON J.K born Edinburgh
ROY H. born Canada
SCOTT D. born Aberdeen
WHITTON D. born Dundee
WISE F. born Surrey
Regards
Hugh

SarahND
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Post by SarahND » Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:46 am

Hello,
There is a WWI enlistment record for a David Whitton, born Dundee, who was 18 years 8 months old in October 1902 and was already a member of the Royal Highlanders
There is a military record for him up until 25 Oct 1915
His father was Robert Whitton of 20 West Milne's Wynd, Dundee
He was married to Georgina M Logie on 6 Apr 1906 and had two children:
Georgina born 19 Mar 1907 and David born 3 Sept 1909, both in Dundee.

No indication that he was a horseman, or that he is your man... but maybe?

All the best,
Sarah

LesleyB
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Post by LesleyB » Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:01 am

Hi Sarah
Out of interest, where did you find the more detailed info on David Whittton?

Best wishes
Lesley

Currie
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Post by Currie » Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:42 pm

Hello All,

This fellow could well be a Canadian resident and a number of questions come to mind.

Looking at the list of Horsemen Hugh provided, the two supervisors are Canadian, half of the Horsemen are North American born and the rest from the U.K. Given that such an undertaking might attract a higher proportion of U.K. born Canadians because of the chance of visiting the land of their birth etc. would the number of UK born be consistent with this being a Canadian outfit comprised of Canadian residents as suggested by the newspaper reports?

Is it likely that someone signing up for such a job would also have to sign up for the return trip i.e. would the normal crew and/or the horsemen expect to be returning to Canada (home?) once the delivery had been made?

The L.A. Times article I posted segments from earlier was mainly about the American, described only as G. Garrity of Mauch Chunk, Pa. On the CWGC site about half of the 15 have full names and all are listed as UK nationality including Mr. Garrity. Would that be the normal thing for Merchant Mariners who died on British Ships no matter where they were from?

On the 1911 Canadian census there’s a David S. Whitton b.1884, living in Manitoba but I can’t see the birth place etc. He might be worth looking at and maybe also immigration records.

Alan

SarahND
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Post by SarahND » Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:47 pm

LesleyB wrote: Out of interest, where did you find the more detailed info on David Whittton?
Hi Lesley,
It was on Ancestry.com. Got to go now, but I'll look more later if no one has found the 1911 census yet.
Cheers,
Sarah

Later: I forgot to mention that it was the actual images (four pages) on ancestry, so not one of their fanciful indexes! :lol:

Alan, unfortunately, the one in Manitoba in 1911 was a salesman born in Ontario... :(

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