During a recent visit to Cornwall Peter Newall discovered the story of a tragic event 100 years ago which turned the world of a famous British shipping line upside down.
All photos by and copyright Julie and Peter Newall 2015 unless otherwise noted
On October 2, 1915 White Star Line’s flagship OLYMPIC arrived at Lemnos, the Greek island in the Eastern Mediterranean. Among the regiments bound for the ill-fated Gallipoli Campaign was the Royal 1st Devon Yeomanry. One of its officers, Captain Edward Hain, was killed at Suvla Bay a hundred years ago on November 11. He was only twenty eight. His death had a profound impact on the fortunes of the famous British shipping company, Hain Line.
Captain Edward was the only son of Sir Edward Hain, the Cornish ship-owner. A director of the company and trained in ship construction and engineering, he had been groomed to take over Hain Line from his father.
The beautiful fishing village of St. Ives is the most unlikely home for a shipping company which between 1878 and 1963 owned 153 ships. They all had names beginning with TRE which means place in Cornish.
Almost half were built at South Shields by John Redhead and Company, including TREVANION (1912/4,267gt), one of a series of long bridge-type freighters. This fine drawing by Laurence Dunn shows the distinctive white H on her funnel.
Although the Hain family had owned sailing ships since 1816, its first steamship was built in 1878 for the father and son partnership, Edward Hain and Son. Edward’s father (1829-1899), a sea captain, was also Edward. He is shown here with his son and his three young children. Grace, standing, was born in 1883, Kate (Kitty) born in 1885 and the young Edward who was born in 1887. Sadly, Grace died whilst at school in 1898, a year after the completion of the magnificent family home, Treloyhan Manor.
Completed in 1897, Sir Edward Hain’s impressive house stands in a twelve acre estate, just outside St. Ives, overlooking Carbis Bay. It was intended to be the family seat for future generations of Hains. Sold by the family in 1928, it is now a wonderful, old-fashioned hotel run by the Christian Guild.
The main entrance, like the rest of the house is constructed in Cornish granite.
The main staircase with its stained glass windows is situated near the entrance lobby. There is also an “honesty bar” which is a rarity in hotels these days.
We stayed in a large, comfortable, en-suite room with wonderful views over the gardens. This was once Grace Hain’s bedroom.
After the death of his son, Edward Hain was heartbroken and lost interest in life. He died two years later on September 20, 1917. His funeral brought St. Ives to a standstill and he was buried in the family grave at Barnoon Cemetery. Considering how much the Hain family did for the town, it is a shame to see their graves in such a poor state.
However, a celebration of Hain Line can be found in the quirky St. Ives Museum.
The Hain Room is crammed from floor to ceiling with paintings, ship models and other memorabilia about this great company.
A month after Sir Edward’s death, the Hain Steamship Company Limited and its twenty-three steamers was sold for over £4million to P&O. It remained an independent company within the P&O group until 1965 when it was merged with James Nourse Limited to form Hain-Nourse Limited.
Hain tramp ships could be found all over the world. This is TRELYON (1948/5,414gt) passing under the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the 1950s. She was the fourth ship to be named after Treloyhan Manor although the spelling is slightly different. She was later sold to the Chinese government and remained in service until the 1990s.
Delivered in 1963, the 9,976gt motorship TRENEGLOS was the final ship ordered for Hain Line. This handsome ship went to the breakers in 1985.
Today there is no trace in Treloyhan Manor of the original owner, apart from a few old photographs. However, during a walk round the extensive gardens we came across an old rusty gate with the date of the completion of the house and the initials of the great man whose hopes were dashed on the killing fields of Gallipoli one hundred years ago.
A well-known shipping writer, cruise journalist and cruise ship lecturer, Peter Newall is a former British Airways executive who has, in the past 57 years, visited and travelled on many famous ships. As well as numerous articles he has written nine highly acclaimed books including the definitive histories of Union-Castle, Orient and Cunard Line. He also owns the Newall Dunn Collection, the extensive collection of historic merchant shipping images.
A well-known shipping writer, cruise journalist and cruise ship lecturer,
Peter Newall is a former British Airways executive who has, in the past 57
years, visited and travelled on many famous ships. As well as numerous
articles he has written nine highly acclaimed books including the
definitive histories of Union-Castle, Orient and Cunard Line. He also owns
the Newall Dunn Collection, the extensive collection of historic merchant