Sepia Saturday – 1928 Cruise RMS Oropesa

This is a previous Sepia Saturday post, but with added NEWS thanks to the kindness of Peter Jones who contacted me with some interesting information – isn’t the internet great?

I found these two photos in one of Granny’s albums – I don’t think I am related to anyone shown, but maybe someone in Blogland will recognise a face or a name!

Mr Wolfsohn, Miss Whiteley, "Scottie" & Mr A F Seeley in front of Mr Chalmers on the RMS Oropesa April 1928 (taken by Seeley's camera)

Some of Us

Rear of Photo

Then, once they’ve got to know each other (and got ripped into the G&T’s) this is how they look by 4th May 1928….

Fancy Dressers on the RMS Oropesa 5 May 1928 - Sproull, Chalmers, Wolfsohn, Mrs Tanner, Miss Whiteley, Mrs Whiteley, 5th Officer Evans, Alf Seeley

"Fancy Dressers"

Rear of photo

5th Officer Evans (“June” – my father) 🙂  No, no, not MY father – someone else’s father!

If anyone can provide any information on any of these characters, I’d be delighted to hear from you (and hope no offence was caused by the use of A Very Bad Word).

9 April 2011 Update!

Peter contacted me as his father was a member of the Oropesa’s crew in 1931/32 and he has done considerable research on her.  This morning he emailed me the passenger lists which are held at the National Archives in London.  I’m very grateful and very excited!  Thank you, Peter.  The RMS Oropesa left Liverpool on 19 April 1928 heading for Valparaiso, Chile and I was able to find everyone noted on the back of the pics in the passenger lists, except “Scottie”.  Along with a familiar name NOT mentioned on the photos – John A Hardie.  He was Granny’s cousin, known as Ian in the family, and was travelling first class (lucky devil) destined for Mollendo, but he intended to return to Scotland.  His occupation is noted as “traveller” – presumably a commercial traveller (salesman) and he was 23 years of age.  Business or pleasure, I wonder?

Passenger List RMS Oropesa 19 April 1928

Given that there were only 9 Scottish passengers travelling on the ship, and 3 of them were men in their 20’s or 30’s, and I think it’s likely a man from Scotland might be nicknamed “Scottie” or “Jock” by his fellow travellers, I had a good close look at Scottie.  I hooked out Ian’s Wedding photo and I think Peter has helped me identify why this picture was important – it’s Ian!

The Hardie boys and the Stewart girls were like siblings and remained close all their lives  – they spent a lot of time together larking about on picnics and having a laugh.  Ian worked at Briggs Jute in Dundee and emigrated to South Africa but wrote to my Great Auntie Chrissie regularly.

Now, I wonder if the photo of Dougal and the elephant was taken during Ian’s trip?  Did they have elephants in Chile?  Is the handwriting the same on the back of the photos?  Hey, that’s a whole ‘nother blog post or two 🙂


See what everyone else is up to on Sepia Saturday

About Jo Graham

Scottish genealogist - this blog is for my own family history and photos
This entry was posted in Great Granny's album, Sepia Saturday and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Sepia Saturday – 1928 Cruise RMS Oropesa

  1. Barbara Poole says:

    These are wonderful pictures. The men are so dapper in the first one. I like to think there is a connection to your family, just so you’ll be able to relate more to the people and photos. I’ve always loved the 1920s era.

  2. Jo says:

    Thanks for the comment, Barbara – you can just imagine the cocktails, the flamboyant outfits, the loud music, dancing and everyone having a “jolly ripping good time” – for those who could afford it!

  3. Marilyn says:

    Wow, these are wonderful photos. It would be fantastic if you could find some family connection to them. What a great time these people were having. I love the clothes …ibn both of the photos.

    • Jo says:

      Hi Marilyn – I suspect these folks are not related to me, but old friends who sent pics back to my family. I doubt mine were rich enough to take off on these voyages, but I am dying to know WHO they were, going off on their Cruises and having a ball 🙂

  4. Alan Burnett says:

    Can’t provide any information but I can say that the photographs are fascinating. As one who goes cruising in the 21st century, life on the cruise ships and liners must have been so different back then – more individual, more intimate.

    • Jo says:

      More cocktail-fuelled! I don’t remember seeing you sporting a fancy Get Up on your last cruise – maybe you just didn’t have enough cocktails! Not that I recommend it for your next cruise…

  5. TICKLEBEAR says:

    looks like they had a grand ol’ time!!
    thanx 4 sharing.

    your link didn’t work directly.
    i had to redirect toward your general blog
    instead of the specific address of this post…

  6. not offended but coming on the word ‘nigger’ in otherwise civilized type surroundings is always a shock. but wouldn’t have it removed or not posted. part of the picture.

    • Jo says:

      Hi Kristin – I wasn’t sure what to do, but eventually figured out that it was part of the photo (being written on the back), and from an entirely different era. I did want to acknowledge the potential offence tho – glad you feel the same and hope most folk do 🙂

  7. Rachel says:

    Great photos – so often old photos are so serious, and not at all silly. These are terrific!

  8. Karen Sather says:

    Oh these are just simply stunning. Thanks for sharing them!

  9. Karen says:

    Thanks for stopping by Jo!
    Those are great pictures, I hope you have some success with figuring out who they are.
    I’m pretty sure none of them are related to me, although they look like a fun bunch:)
    I did sail out of Liverpool myself in 1963 though:)

    Yes, we do have a new toaster, I did a post on that as well…..

  10. Excellent old photo..very entertaining..what a find this would be for some relatives:)

  11. Nancy says:

    This seems to be the Sepia Saturday week for performers and performances – you, Alan, and someone else (who, I can’t remember). These are great photos – they look like they’re having such fun!

  12. Peter Jones says:

    My father was a memer of the Oropesa’s crew in 1931/32. I have researched the ship for many years and have a considerable amount of information about her. Your photos are delightful and particularly poignant for me, especially as one of the ship’s lifebelts is displayed. I am trying to find from the passenger lists the names on the photos although this may take some time. Do you have any other material/detail? I’ll be back in touch. Best wishes. Peter.

    • Anthony German says:

      My grandfather was a fireman on the Oropesa .I have his certificate of discharge books dating from 1901 to 1930.His first trip was 12th Nov 1903 place of engagement Birkenhead destination Valparaiso.His last trip on Oropesa was May 1913 leaving Liverpool.Shipsmasters names are Mcdermott ,Martindale,Bassxxxx,Archer and a couple of others I cant read.Hope these scraps of info are of interest.

  13. Jo says:

    Hi Peter – I haven’t found any further information yet, but I’ll email you direct so we have each other’s contact details – thanks for looking at the passenger lists for me. Jo

  14. Great detective work — love the post!

  15. This is great! I’m happy that you found out even more information. Love those ladies swimming suits too.

    Happy Sepia Saturday,

    Kathy M.

  16. Karen S. says:

    I love this! …and who could forget some of those photos…they all had such a great time together! Very cool indeed!

  17. Christine says:

    How exciting to be able to match up these fun and interesting people with names. I just wish I had been along for the trip.

  18. Tattered and Lost says:

    The net certainly makes the world much smaller. Amazing.

  19. Howard says:

    Fascinating photographs. What fun! I’d love to have been there.

  20. postcardy says:

    It’s amazing the passenger lists were still available and someone found them for you!

  21. Brett Payne says:

    What a memento to have, and I am impressed with the sleuthing that’s gone on. Great work and background, thank you.

  22. Ian James says:

    Hi Jo
    I have read with interest your blog, and love the photographs – my Grandad was part of the ships crew on the RMS Oropesa on this very voyage!! He joined the crew 6 days before the cruise sailed out of Liverpool. None of our family know anything about the exotic locations my Grandad went to so finding this has been really exciting.
    I can’t believe that you found someone whos father was also a crew member. Do you have any other information on the Oropessa, or could you put me intouch with Peter Jones?
    Many thanks and best wishes

  23. Jo says:

    Thanks for your comment, Ian – my lot must have known your Grandad, albeit briefly! Isn’t the internet great? I’ve no way of contacting you but if you email me I will pass on Peter’s email address 🙂

  24. carolina says:

    hi guys! I am writting from Valparaiso.. nice pictures! and great story… Alfred Seeley is listed as passenger… there is a chance he became a firefighter in Valparaiso .. Firehouse link…

    • Jo Graham says:

      Thank you for your comment. It’s interesting that Alfred may have ended up in Chile. Is the date of 2 Dec 1976 the date of death in service?

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