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

CS Telconia
by Bill Glover

CS TELCONIA
Official Number 125780

Built in 1909 by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd.

Length 213.2 ft. Breadth 30.9 ft Depth 13.0 ft. Gross tonnage 1013

Cable Steamer "Telconia"
(Teleg. Construction & Maintenance Co.)
Fitted with "Welin Quadrant" Davits.
The Welin Davit & Engineering Co. Ltd.,
5, Lloyd's Avenue, E.C.

Built for the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company, both to assist the cable layers on major projects and also to carry out repair work when required. Fitted with two 22 ft diameter tanks, one forward and one aft, capable of holding 8000 cubic feet of cable. Two bow sheaves were fitted but no stern sheaves. In service until late 1934 when sold for scrap.

 
CS Telconia's Bell

 

This original bell from CS Telconia belongs to Hank Henderson, who bought it in England some time ago and had it air-shipped home.

Weight: 72 pounds.
Height: 16" (including the mounting tab).
Mouth: 16".
The clapper is not present.

Telconia, 1909
Photo courtesy of
Victor Henderson

   

CABLE WORK

1910 Assisted CS Colonia with the Bay Roberts - Penzance cable
1914-18 Diverted the Borkum - Vigo cable to England
1926 Penon - Punta Pescadores cable for the Spanish Government
1926 Penon - Cuatro Torres No. 2 cable for the Spanish Government
1929 Cadiz - Arzila cable for the Spanish Government

Message reads:

Brest 4-12-13 (Thursday)
We are leaving for home in the morning shall be home on Friday

Addressed to Mrs. A. Chivnell, Inglenook,
93 Crofton Rd., Plaistow, London E., England

Site visitor Roger Groombridge has provided the ship's log of CS Telconia for the voyage of September 10th through October 13th 1926, when the ship was laying and repairing cables for the Spanish Government. The cover of the log gives a summary of the work:

 

Abstract of the Ship's Log, giving a summary of the voyage

A partial list of the crew:

Lewis Hoad O.B.E. Captain
P. Bell Chief Officer
A.S. Muir Navigating Officer
J. Matthews 2nd Officer
H. Anderson 3rd Officer
J. Miller 4th Officer
S.E. Chalk Chief Engineer
H. Marshall 2nd Engineer
G. Trower 3rd Engineer
J. Donovan Purser
C. Hittrick Chief Electrician
S. Bourdeaux 2nd Electrician
J. Hicks Jointer

Complete crew list page images:

 

Captain Lewis Hoad, OBE

Lewis Hoad was born to a shipbuilding family in Rye, England in 1854. The earliest record of his service at sea is a mention of his providing meteorological information to the New York Herald newspaper in 1889, when he was Third Officer of SS Helvetia.

Further research is needed to discover when he first joined the cable service, but by World War I he was captain of CS Telconia.

It is believed that the Telconia was involved in cutting German communication links during World War I, and Captain Hoad was awarded the O.B.E. in 1919 for his work as Master of the ship during the war.

The logbook on this page shows that he was still Captain of the Telconia as late as 1926, when he would have been 72 years old. Site visitor Will Ward reports that his father served as an Able Seaman under Captain Hoad on the Telconia in that year.

Thanks to site visitor Donald Pedley for background information on Lewis Hoad, who was his wife's great-grandfather.

 

Last revised: 3 March, 2013

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You can help - if you have cable material, old or new, please contact me. Cable samples, instruments, documents, brochures, souvenir books, photographs, family stories, all are valuable to researchers and historians.

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—Bill Burns, publisher and webmaster: Atlantic-Cable.com