Brew Family Ships - O, P, Q

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Reg. No. 115351, code lettering TSPJ, a steel screw steamer of 8819 gross register tons and 820hp. She was built in Partick, Glasgow, in 1902 for the China Mutual Steam Navigation Company Ltd. and registered in the port of Liverpool. She had a length of 480 feet, a width of 58.3 feet, and a depth of 32.7 feet. Other China Mutual Steam Navigation Company ships were Ning Chow, Protesilaus, and Keemun.

This was Leonard Septimus Brew's first ship. He joined her for his first voyage at Birkenhead, Liverpool, at 12 noon on 6 May 1908 as 7th Engineer and spent only 11 days with her, being discharged in Birkenhead again on 17 May after a quick voyage to Glasgow. He rejoined her on 21 May, this time as 6th Engineer, and departed Birkenhead on 23 May, travelling to Singapore, Manila, Hong Kong, Yokohama, Seattle, Victoria B.C., Vancouver, Union Bay B.C., Tacoma, Victoria B.C. again, Yokohama again, Kobe, Shimonoseki, Hong Kong again, Saigon, Singapore again, Penang, Marsailles and Le Havre, before arriving back and being discharged in Liverpool at last on 7 December 1908. 

He served once again, as 6th Engineer, from 8 January - 29 July 1909 on a voyage covering roughly the same destinations and ports as the first, and then five times as 5th Engineer, from 21 August 1909 - 21 February 1910, visiting those same ports once again but ending in Tilbury, England, from 26 February - 1 March 1910 taking her home to Liverpool from Tilbury, from 17 March - 27 March on a short voyage to Glasgow and back, from 1 April - 12 October 1910, again taking the route of previous voyages to Seattle and back to London's Royal Albert Docks, and finally, from 15 - 17 October 1910, a last short voyage taking her home from London to Liverpool's Brunswick Dock, where he left the ship for good. Her crew agreements for 1903-1904, and 1906-1912 are held by the Maritime History Archive in Canada.

Reg. No. 67344, an iron screw steamer of 1152 gross register tons, 2 decks, a double bottom, 5 bulkheads and 110hp, was built by Duthie of Aberdeen in 1872. She belonged to Kirby & Gillies and her home port was Newcastle. She had a length of 239.4 feet, a width of 30.6 feet and a depth of 16.7 feet. Her master was Ebenezer James Penney. 

Opah was John George Brew's first ship, having come to her from the North Eastern Rail Company. He served on her as 3rd Engineer for 6 voyages, from 11 December 1873 to 5 June 1874, visiting the ports of Naples, Alexandria, Constantinople, Malta, Taganrog (Russia), Odessa, Havre, and Dunkirk amongst others, and from 13 December 1874 to 5 May 1875, visiting presently unknown destinations. John George's general conduct and ability in seamanship are recorded on the logbooks each time as "V.G.", or very good. Her cargoes were chiefly coal, though it is recorded that she also carried barley and wheat. 

Her Crew Agreements and logs for 11 December 1873 to 12 December 1874 are held by the Public Record Office in Kew, her Agreements for 1875 are held by the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, and those for 1873, 1876-84, and 1886-89 are held by the Maritime History Archive in Canada.

Reg. No. 113467, code lettering SHJC, a steel screw steamer of 7441 gross register tons and 800hp, she was built in Belfast in 1900 for the The Ocean Steamship Company Ltd., and registered in the port of Liverpool. She had a length of 454.7 feet, a breadth of 54.1 feet, and a depth of 32.3 feet. 

Leonard Septimus Brew served with her on one voyage from Birkenhead, Liverpool, to China and Japan as 4th Engineer, from 7 January - 11 May 1911. 

Her Crew Agreement this voyage has not yet been found, but those for 1900, 1914, 1916-22, 1926 and 1928-31 are held by the Maritime History Archive in Canada.

Reg. No. 93847, code lettering LBRK, a steel screw steamer of 2071 gross register tons, with 3 masts, electric light, 180hp and accommodation for 45 seamen. She was built in 1889 by Armstrong, Mitchell & Co. of Newcastle, had a length of 270 feet, a width of 37.7 feet, a depth of 25.9 feet, and 3 cylinders of 20, 34 and 55 inches. She was registered in the port of Liverpool, belonged to the Phosphor Steam Ship Company of Limerick, and managed by R. Stewart & Co. of Liverpool. She carried petroleum in bulk, possibly a forerunner of today's oil tankers, and a rule in one of her crew agreements states, "No smoking or naked lights shall be allowed except in places and at times appointed by the Master; nor shall any member of the crew bring any matches on board...."

This was 17 year old Albert Brew's first ship. He served on her as an "O.S.", or 'Ordinary Seaman' for two voyages, from 30 April to 19 June 1897, and from 19 June to 3 August 1897. On the first voyage, Albert joined the ship at 6:00am on 1 May 1897 and departed North Shields for Philadelphia, U.S.A., under Master D. Evans. Phosphor remained there from 20 - 22 May, then sailed for Stockholm, arriving and departing 12 June, and arrived back in North Shields on 18 June. The second voyage commenced for Albert at 6:00pm on 19 June, heading once again for Philadelphia and Stockholm, but under Master J. Harvey. Phosphor spent 7 - 9 July in Philadelphia, then 28 - 29 July in Stockholm, and arrived back in North Shields on 1 August. 

Her crew agreements for 1889, 1891-1894 and 1896-1904 are held by the Maritime History Archive in Newfoundland, Canada.

Reg. No. 164282, code lettering GBTT, this trans-Atlantic liner was built by John Brown & Co. Ltd. of Clydebank, Glasgow, for the Cunard White Star Line, and registered in the Port of Liverpool. Launched in September 1934 and delivered in 1936, she had 16 steam turbines geared into the 4 shafts.  RMS (HMTS) Queen Mary in Sydney in her wartime gray


The quad screw steamer had the capability of reaching a speed of some 29 knots, a attribute which was to prove invaluable during the looming Second War. She had 3 funnels and 2 masts, a length of 975.2 ft, a width of 118.6 ft, and a depth of 68.5 ft. She had a registered weight of 80,774 gross tons and 34,120 net.

Queen Mary was requisitioned by the British Government as a troop transport during the war and was sent to Australia in April 1940 to deposit immigrants escaping from Europe and to pick up troops.

Albert Brew, as Chief Pilot in Sydney Harbour, was sent to Perth, W.A., to join her off Fremantle, inward bound from New York. He escorted her to Sydney, with the intention of not having to stop to board a pilot outside Sydney Heads. This was the usual practice, but due to the enormous danger of being torpedoed by the Japanese submarines which were active in the area, Albert took over the wheel and steered her straight in to the relative safety of Sydney Heads and Port Jackson.

It seems Albert struck up a good friendship with the ship's Captain during the journey as a dinner was held in his honour on 16 April 1940, the evening before arriving in Sydney. The menu read: "Dinner to Captain Brew". Several items on the menu were named in honour of the ships on which he had served, Albuera, Bankburn, Halewood, and Wavertree. An original menu, signed by the Captain and Officers remains in the family's possession.

Queen Mary in her pre-wartime paint scheme Albert piloted her into Sydney Harbour at 1540 on 17 April under sunny skies. It was a grand way to enter on her first visit to Sydney, and his family turned out on South Head to see her in. He piloted her out again at 0725 on the overcast morning of 5 May, in convoy with Aquitania, Mauretania, Empress of Britain, Empress of Canada, and Empress of Japan, sailing from Sydney to Gourock, Scotland, with some 5,500 troops. 

She was to return on other occasions as a troopship and Albert was fortunate enough to pilot her once again when she next visited Sydney in October. On 20 October 1940, at 1010, under a lightly overcast sky, Albert sailed her out through Sydney Heads for his last time. On consecutive visits, other Pilots would have the honour.

At the time Queen Mary was the world's largest ship. Of all the places he had been in the world, and things he'd seen and done in his life, this was the thing that Albert was most proud of.

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