Archiver > MARINERS > 2001-07 > 0994873927

From: "John Ling" <>
Subject: [Mar] Madawaska (Thomas M Hemy - sailor, artist and author)
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2001 18:52:07 +0100

I am looking for information on the square-rigged ship MADAWASKA (named after the Canadian river).

We have three paintings by Thomas M Hemy dated late 1800s depicting marine scenes. He was younger brother of the better known (and probably better!) marine painter Charles Napier Hemy of Newcastle.

Tom Hemy's middle name was Madawaska. It suggested that his father had a sense of humour or history, as it was the name of the ship on which Tom was born in 1852 or 1852 when his family was en route to Australia. The Captain was Captain Pascoe, who baptised the child.

The family was in the process of emigrated to Australia =, where the men went to work in the opal mines (from whence they returned to Newcastle a few years later).

I have checked with Google Search - thanks for that tip from Ron Mapplebeck - and found a ship of that name, but she was a built in 1907 and was US troopship during WW2 - so no luck there.

Tom Hemy wrote "Deep Sea Days" (pub H F & G Witherby, London 1926) about his adventures before the mast as a young man in sailing ships . When he was 16 years old his ship called at Odessa (1866) where he saw a ship named "Madawaska" and wondered whether it was the same ship on which he was born. The writing style indicates quite a racy sense of humour and makes it a good read.

The best known of his paintings was "The wreck of the Birkenhead" (exhibited in Bristol in 1893). My father told me that it was purchased by the Officers' Mess in Kiel during the formative years of the Kaiser's navy. The picture hung in the Mess to imbue young officers and cadets with the example of courage epitomised by the "women & children first" principle established by the sailors and soldiers on the sinking "Birkenhead".

Any help in information on the ship Madawaska and the sailor Tom Hemy would be very gratefully received. Amongst my question is whether the ship in Odessa might have been the same one as was his birthplace?

John Ling (Norfolk, England)

PS - Thanks to Ken Jones, Eugene from Oregon and to Peter Monks for data on Herzon Cecile - my first quest to Listers - I was delighted to encounter such friendly and positive contacts - maybe I'll find others from this request!?

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