Grandfather, Captain Richard Jones, was master of the SS Hemisphere

Dear Mac Gregory,

Found your website in a search of the German Cruiser  "Kronprinz Wilhelm", re:- Ahoy-Mac's Web Log. your correspondence with Mark. I was facscinated to read his Great grandfathers Diary documenting  the capture of the "Highland Brae" in "Great-Grandfather was an officer on 'Highland Brae' Sunk by Kronprinz Wilhelm"

My Grandfather, Captain Richard Jones, was master of the "SS Hemisphere", which was mentioned in his account. He and his crew were fellow POW's aboard the "Kronprinze Wilhelm". I have a transcript of log of the "Hemisphere" for the duration of its capture and an account of its sinking.
If this is of interest to you, in your research or to your correspndant Mark,  I would be pleased to let you have a copy.
Yours Truly
David Jones

Thank you for your E-mail, yes please, I would be pleased to have your Grandfather's account of SS Hemisphere sinking by the German Raider, and his time as a POW. I am sure Mark will also be fascinated by it too.

I am continually both suprised and pleased to be able to receive communications such as yours, as time ebbs by, the chances of documenting stories of the exploits of the German Raiders, especially relating to WW1 become more remote. Also as I am now 82, time ebbs away.

I am delighted that my stories of the German Armed Raiders of both WW1 and WW2 continue to bring forth comment, and added treasures from around the world. The wonders of the power of the internet delight me more and more.
Great to hear from you, and thanks again.
I await your further contact with interest.
Mac. Gregory.

Re. Capt Jones Report Capture of the “Hemisphere” by German Cruiser “Kronpriz Wilhelm”

Capt. Richard Jones and Proposals for Zigzagging.

Capt. Jones and the crews of the other vessels captured by “ Kronprinz Wilhelm returned to England on the steamer “Deseado” landing in Liverpool in mid March 1915.

Capt. Jones’ declaration not to participate in actions against the German Empire and allies was disregarded. In May 1815 he took command of the SS “Huntress”. He was to spend the next three and a half years in continuous service. Mindful of the fate of capture and the dread of U-boats he spent time developing ideas on anti submarine zigzag manoeuvres. Due to failing health, in July 1918 he was granted three months leave during which he presented his scheme to the Admiralty. In November 1918 he was commissioned to present his scheme in a series of lectures at the Admiralty’s  Submarine Menace Course at Chatham. The course was scheduled to start on 14th November 1918. On the signing of the Armistice 0n 11th Nov the Admiralty cancelled  the course.

As the war was over the Admiralty was reluctant to give a gratuity for his work on zigzagging and for three years he persued a claim for acknowledgement. His time at sea and the stress of war had severely debilitated his health. From April 1920 to Sept. 1921 he was unable to find an appointment as master. In August 1921 he returned to sea as master of the SS”Antar”.  In November he finally received acknowledgement and payment from the Admiralty. However his health did not recover, in  Dec. 1921 he died, aged 45, on board the SS “Antar” and was buried  at Ross Bay Cemetery, Vancouver Island  - British Columbia - Canada. Although I have his painful correspondence with the Admiralty, the diagrams and documentation for his zigzag schemes are now  lost and the admiralty have no records of the schemes. It would be a treasure to find further evidence of his work on this matter.

Capt. Richard Jones was the third generation of master mariners from the North Wales town of Criccieth. His father was Capt. Hugh Robert Jones and who served on the Liverpool clipper ships of the Black Ball Line & later mastered the Barque ‘Province’ for Wm. Thomas and Son,( latter, owners the “Hemisphere”). He in turn had gained his sea legs on his father’s, Capt. Richard Jones’, coastal Schooner the ‘Edward’ sailing out of Porthmadog.

Although I have cousins who became Liverpool Pilots, my father was discouraged from following a maritime career. He was born in 1920 and was only three when his father died and since his father was at sea, he never really knew him or much about the family maritime heritage. I have recently researched  the maritime careers of my forefathers and from the few family anecdotes and heirlooms I have discovered a wealth of information which continues to intrigue and fascinate me but I am still searching for my grandfathers zigzag scheme. I hope the above log may be of value to someone out there. And if any one can help me with attribution to  zigzag schemes, I would be very pleased.

David Jones  - Nov 2004


Captain Richard Jones

Captain Richard Jones

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