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History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications
from the first submarine cable of 1850 to the worldwide fiber optic network

James Alan Bambrough
CS Dominia and CS Telconia

Introduction: James Alan Bambrough served on CS Dominia and CS Telconia between 1926 and 1935. Here his son, Antony Bambrough, shares some details of his father's cable service.

—Bill Burns

James Bambrough joined the Dominia at her launch in 1926, after watching her being built at the Swan Hunter shipyard at Newcastle Upon Tyne, where he worked. Aboard the Dominia his primary role was ship's Purser. We have a video of him where he talks about the Dominia. He also served on CS Telconia in 1934.

The story of what happened to the Dominia after its sale to the Russians is most interesting. It would appear from my father's recollection that the crew aboard the ship at the time were under the impression it was to be converted into a whaling ship.

CS Dominia

I have a section of the cable that I believe was retrieved from the Pacific sea bed during a recovery & repair operation, although I am unsure at this time exactly where . The cable has been pared back in sections to reveal its internal layers.

Cable recovered by CS Dominia.
This continuously loaded cable was made by Telcon, and is most likely a section of the 1926 Bamfield, British Colombia - Fanning Island cable, laid by CS Dominia. Compare with the 1924 New York to Horta, Azores, cable.

I have in my possession the original ship's clock taken from the bridge of the CS Dominia by my father, who worked aboard the ship from its launch until the time of its sale to the Russian fleet.

J. Poole & Co. ship's clock, dated 1926, from CS Dominia

James Bambrough's Continuous Certificate of Discharge (images below) shows voyages dated from 1926 through 1935:

Name of ship and official number, Port of registry, and tonnage Date and place of engagement Date and place of discharge Description of voyage
Dominia
(Captain Victor Campos)
Official Number 148768
Tonnage 4912.95
10 Sept 1926
London
5 Feb 1927
London
Pacific Cable Expedition
02 Jan 1928
London
25 Jan 1928
London
Atlantic Cable Expedition
07 Aug 1928
Poplar
09 Sept 1928
Poplar
Newfoundland
19 Oct 1928
Poplar
06 Dec 1928
Tilbury
Cable Expedition
08 Jul 1929
London
02 Aug 1929
Purfleet

Mediterranean

14 Sept 1929
Poplar
18 Oct 1929
Poplar
Cable Expedition
02 Dec 1929
Poplar
21 Feb 1930
Poplar
Newfoundland
03 May 1930
Poplar
24 Jun 1930
Poplar
Cable Expedition (Atlantic)
29 Aug 1930
Poplar
21 Nov 193(0)
Poplar
Curacao
31 Oct 1932
Poplar
17 Dec 1932
Poplar
West Africa
10 Sep 1933
Poplar
20 Sep 1933
Poplar
Cable Expedition
Telconia
(Captain P.H. Bell)
Official Number 125780
Tonnage 994.67
Horse Power 150 H.P.
May 1934
Poplar
25 May 1934
Poplar
Cable Expedition
02 Jun 1934
Poplar
16 Jun 1934
Poplar
Cable Expedition
04 Aug 1934
Poplar
6 Oct 1934
Poplar
Cable Expedition
Dominia
(Captain P.H. Bell)
10 Oct 1935
Poplar
20 Nov 1935
Poplar
Cable Expedition

Notes:

See the Dominia page for details of cables laid by the ship.

The voyage of Aug/Sep 1928 would have been to assist CS Telconia in laying the cable from the Azores to Newfoundland.

The expedition of Dec 1929/Feb 1930 would have been to repair Atlantic cables broken in the undersea earthquake off Newfoundland on 18 November 1929. The voyage of May/Jun 1930 was to repair another cable, owned by Western Union, damaged in the same earthquake.

Document images copyright © 2007 Antony Bambrough.
Used by permission.

Last revised: 13 October, 2011

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