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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

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


Captain L. Hoad (see note below):


Conception Bay, Newfoundland - Coney Island, New York


WESTON - 3: Waterville, Ireland - Weston super Mare, England


Bay Roberts, Newfoundland - Sennen Cove, Cornwall, England, with CS Colonia


Ballinskelligs - Halifax. Diversion into Harbour Grace

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


Captain L. Hoad:


Tangier - Ceuta, Morocco


Melilla - Zafarin, Morocco


Madeira - St. Vincent 1874 cable


Saö Jorge - Graciosa 1893 cable


Waterville - Le Havre 1885 cable


Valentia - Hearts Content 1873 cable


Weston super Mare - Waterville 1885 cable


Waterville - St. Johns renewal of 1884 cables


Waterville - Le Havre 2 repairs to 1885 cable


Lowestoft - Emden


Sennen Cove - Canso renewal of shore ends 1881 & 1882 cables


Ile Chausey - Pointe du Grouin


Ile D' Ouessant - Ile Molene


Abbotscliffe - Cap Gris Nez


Ballinskelligs - Harbour Grace


Weston super Mare - Waterville 2 repairs to 1901 cable


Brest - Cape Cod 1898 cable


Brest - St. Pierre 3 repairs to 1879 cable


Lowestoft - Norderney 1866 cable


Lowestoft - Borkum 1871 cable


Blackwater - Fishguard 2 repairs to 1883 cable


Nevin, Wales - Newcastle, Ireland No 2 cable



Naval Review off Gravesend

This oil-on-paper painting of CS Telconia by John Everett is in the collection of the National Maritime Museum, to which it was bequeathed by the artist in 1949

Image courtesy of and copyright© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London


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 E. 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.

Cable company records show Lewis Hoad as Captain of CS Telconia in 1909 - see detailed listing above.

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 Donald’s wife’s great-grandfather.

Note: Recent research has shown that the German cables were cut by CS Alert (1) on 4/5 August 1914, while CS Telconia was involved in other missions during the war regarding the German cables.

The six photographs shown below are from a group of eight images printed as postcards. Only two of them have the same design on the correspondence side, so they must have been taken at different locations and dates, and the quality of the images is quite variable.

The first one shown is marked "Frank & Sons, Marine Photographers, South Shields," and the same firm created the 1913 postcard shown above.

As Lewis Hoad appears to have been the only captain of CS Telconia from the launch of the ship in 1909 until at least 1929, he must be the senior officer shown in these photographs, but other than Mrs Hoad, the identification of the other subjects is unknown.

Captain Lewis Hoad at back row right, Mrs Hoad next to him

Last revised: 6 January, 2024

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