History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications
|Henry M. Ash and CS
Ships' Crew Agreements are a useful source of information on voyages and crew members of British merchant ships for the periods 1863-1938 and 1951-1976. The Maritime History Archive at Memorial University, St John's, Newfoundland, has a substantial archive of these and other ships' documents, and offers research services at reasonable fees. Information is filed by the ship's Official Number (O.N.).
A search of the Archive for Henry Ash's service on CS Faraday (O.N. 68535) showed that he is not recorded in the crew agreements for every year in which he sailed. It's likely that on some of the cable expeditions he was not part of the crew, but rather one of the cable engineering group, whose members would not have been listed on the crew agreements. Ash's name does appear on the crew agreement for 1884, when the Faraday was laying the Mackay-Bennett cable for the Commercial Cable Company. The cable route on that project was Dover Bay, Nova Scotia - New York; Dover Bay - Waterville, Ireland (2 cables); Waterville - Weston Super Mare, England; Waterville - Le Havre, France.
The details of the 1884 agreement give an interesting insight into the conditions of service on a cable ship in the late 19th century. Much of the text is boilerplate, as may be seen from the scan below, but other conditions and terms are specific to the cable industry.
Henry Ash's record in the 1884 Faraday crew agreement lists his previous ship as also being the Faraday, in 1883. The agreement shows a number of other cable personnel, including Assistant Engineers, Assistant Electricians, Cable Foreman, Cable Jointer, and Assistant Jointer, many of whom had also previously served on the Faraday the previous year.
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Last revised: 24 December, 2023