Pobl Aberteifi 24: Owen Roberts, Feidrfair, morwr, cogydd (1848–1904/05)

Nodyn byr yng Nghofnodion Capel Bethania a ddaeth a Owen Roberts i’m sylw:  O dan restr o farwolaethau ar gyfer 1905 nodwyd:
Owen Roberts, Feidrfair. Hwyliodd o China i Vladivostock Hydref 1904. Ni chlywyd dim oddi wrthynt drachefn yn yr SS Claverdale.

Dyma Googlo SS Claverdale a datgelu nifer o bethau diddorol.

O dan y pennawd ‘Fate of the Claverdale’ mae’r Evening Express yn cyhoeddi adroddiad ar 31 Ionawr 1905:

A boat belonging to the overdue British steamer Claverdale has been picked up and taken to Fukuyajna. None of the crew was on board. The Claverdale left Barry on September 1 for Manila, with a cargo of between 5,000 and 6,000 tons of coal on Russian account. On October 29 she was reported, at Sabang, and on November 23 left Hong Kong for Vladivostok. Nothing has been heard of her since, and it is presumed that in running the blockade she kept in too close to the land and struck a sunken rock. Captain Thomas, the master of the Claverdale, is a native of Cardigan, and is well known in Cardiff shipping circles.

Roedd y llong yn perthyn i Gwmni Llong ager Claverdale (cyf.). Y perchnogion oedd Messrs E. Hazelhurst a’r Cwmni. Hawlient mai hwn oedd y llong gyntaf iddynt golli. Adeiladwyd yr SS Claverdale yn 1899 gan Messrs. Graig, Taylor a’r Cwmni, Stockton-on-Tees, yn 330 tr. o hyd.

[Cywiriad gan Mr Reg Nash: “the Claverdale Steamship company, owned by E. Haslehust (not Hazelhurst) and Co., had two ships called the Claverdale.  The one you mention was sold in 1903 and replaced by a second, built by J. Priestman & Co. of Sunderland.  This new Claverdale was launched on May 31 1904.  She was 345 feet long and 48.8 feet in beam, with a draught of 20.9 feet; her nominal horsepower was 357 (National Archives BT 110/116/30).  I have a copy of the blueprint plans, courtesy of the National Maritime Museum.  It was her maiden voyage that ended so tragically.]

Erbyn 9 Medi 1905 adroddwyd yn y Cardiff Times fod telegram o Fladifostog dyddiedig 31 Awst yn adrodd mai’r agerlong yn sownd i’r gogledd o’r Olga oedd yr SS Claverdale ar goll ers hwylio o Gaerdydd i Fladifostog heibio Hong Kong. Ond wrth ymchwilio pellach cadarnahwyd nad oedd y stori yma’n gywir. Nid oedd newyddiadurwr y Cardiff Times yn hapus: ‘Dyma’r ail waith i hyn ddigwydd. Mae’n bwysig fod yr awdurdodau yn cadarnhau ffeithiau cyn anfon negeseuon o’r math.’

Erbyn Tachwedd 1905 roedd gobaith fod datrysiad i’r dirgelwch, yn ôl adroddiad yn y County Echo, gan ddifynnu’r Daily Chronicle:

Dispatches received in London reveal for the first time the identity of the wreck which has frequently been sighted to the south of Vladivostok, near the mouth of the Tandse River. The vessel turns out to be the British steamer Claverdale, which left a Chinese port last November with a full cargo of coal for the Russian cruisers at Vladivostok, and which has not since been heard of. As the result of a visit paid to the stranded steamer, it has been ascertained that the vessel has been pillaged by the natives in the neighbourhood, and every article of value taken away. The inhabitants residing in the vicinity, who were interrogated, declared that the crew of the Claverdale’ were removed shortly after the wreck by two boats presumed to be Japanese.

Ond roedd criw’r llong yn dal ar goll. Nid oedd neb wedi clywed gair oddi wrthynt.

Erbyn Tachwedd 1905 roedd pennawd yn y Weekly Mail yn darogan gwaeth i ddod:


Dyma enwau aelodau o’r criw a gollwyd:

H. H. Thomas, Aberteifi, comander;
D. Llewellyn, Llandudoch, mêt
James Reed, Abertawe, ail mêt
D. Jones, Caerdydd, saer
J. S Campbell, Sunderland, stiward
Owen Roberts, Aberteifi, cogydd
Watkin Evans, ail stiward
John Waddle, bosn
A. Tripolis, llongwr abl
R. Thomas, Lerpwl, llongwr abl
G. Marromatic, llongwr abl
Frederick Cooper, Sunderland, prif beiriannydd
Frederick Walker, ail beiriannydd
James Beadle, Sunderland, trydydd periannydd
Cornelius Gray, Sunderland, pedwerydd peiriannydd
Carl Lundin (o Sweden), donkeyman
Richard McGuire, Bootle, dyn tân
B. Mynes, Brumiskin, dyn tân
W. Flagg, dyn tân
Gus Langer, dyn tân
R. J. Jones, dyn tân
S. Ostovski, dyn tân
W. Howrie, prentis
G. B. McLaren, prentis
Reginald Turner, North-street, Lewes, prentis
G. A. Saunders, Kingston-road, Portsmouth, prentis
Yn ychwanegol roedd yna 2 arall, o dras Tseineaidd.

[Rhagor o fanylion gan Mr Reg Nash: Of the 27 to 30 men on board (sources differ) when she was lost four were from Cardigan:
Captain Thomas, aged 52, of Priory Street, Cardigan.  He had previously lived at Ovingham House, Llangoedmore. (His widow, Laura née Morris, was the long-time headmistress of Llangoedmore School; her obituary is on page 1 of the Cardigan and Tivyside Observer dated 23/10/1925).
D. Llewellyn, the mate, aged 47, was born in St. Dogmaels, which is also given as his address (no further details).
Owen Roberts, the cook, aged 56, was born in Holyhead, and his address is given as 26 Mary’s Crescent, Cardigan.
David Jones, the carpenter, aged 43, was also born in Cardigan, but his address is given as 172 Corporation Road, Cardiff.]

Honnwyd fod môr-ladron o Manchuria wedi ymosod ar y llong a thaflu’r criw i’r môr.

Yn Mawrth 1906 wele adroddiad yn y Cardiff Times o’r Llys Profeb ble honnwyd fod Edward Evan Thomas, Llangoedmore, y capten, wedi marw.

The vessel was found 450 miles north of Vladivostok ashore in the Gull of Tartary deserted, with her decks dismantled. In February, 1905, a boat belonging to the ship was found, and in May the ship was posted at Lloyd’s as a total loss. Eventually the vessel was discovered a total wreck, and only about 300 or 400 tons of cargo remained. The master and crew had disappeared. Captain Thomas left about £1,400. His Lordship granted leave to presume the death of Mr Thomas accordingly.

[Rhagor gan Mr Reg Nash: When the Claverdale reached Hong Kong it was revealed that she would be going on to Vladivostok, which was being blockaded by the Japanese during the Russo-Japanese War.  Several ships had already fallen victim to the blockade.  Consequently the crew, who had been hitherto unaware that they would be sailing through a war-zone, were given the option to leave the ship.  Seven men did so including David Jones, the second mate, aged 29, born in Cardigan, address 1 Greenfield Row, Cardigan; there is a brief interview with him on page 2 of the Cardiff Evening Express dated 12/1/1905. As to the fate of the Claverdale I have little to add.  It seems pretty certain that to avoid the Japanese blockade she took the much longer route to the east of Japan and was thus having to negotiate the la Perouse strait and approach Vladivostok from the north.  Possibly her rudder was put out of action in the hostile winter environment, as happened to at least one other vessel at this time.  The precise location of the wreck is also a mystery.  Contemporary reports, including one from the Salvage Association, say that she was found at the mouth of the Taudse (or Tandse?) River, north of Ternei Bay, but I have been unable to discover a river of that name.]

Felly ar ôl hynna i gyd ddim llawer callach o beth yn union ddigwyddodd i’r morwyr dewr lleol megis H. H. Thomas, Aberteifi, D. Llewellyn, Llandudoch ac Owen Roberts, y cogydd o Feidrfair.

Os oes llun i gael o un o’r rhain byddwn yn ddiolchgar iawn i osod copi fan hyn.

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