John Lawrance Green and Gertrude Pearce Landsborough, passengers on SS Oronsay 1
September 24, 2010
I hope you just may be able to help me. In researching the SS Oronsay 1 (the ship that was lost during the war) I came across an interesting exchange of emails between yourself and some one who was trying to locate their father who had travelled on the boat in 1930. It was interesting for me to see the map and I will now explain why and how you may be able to help me.
I lost my parents when I was young and although I knew they had originally met on a boat in the late thirties when they were both part of a teacher exchange programme to Australia and NZ (mother WA father NZ) I knew little of their trips, how they came to know each other etc until recently I made 2 separate discoveries. While clearing stuff from the loft I came across the letters my father wrote to his parents about his voyage to NZ in the Oronsay and his year in NZ and the journey home.
Then, from my cousin, I was sent an album of old letters, pictures, and momentos which had come through the family and were the letters that my mother had written back to her parents and sister about the same voyage and her year in Western Australia, and by coincidence (or not!) the journey back in the Monterey from Auckland in the months leading up to the war.
Interesting stuff! Now I am retired from teaching myself I have the opportunity to travel with my husband who is a writer and together we want to try and reconstruct their story by following in my parents footpaths, although we are cheating a little my picking up the thread in Sri Lanka thus missing the journey through the Med, Red Sea etc, as we are travelling by plane.
Anyway I wondered if you might be able to help me find a passenger list of the SS Oronsay...the only momento I have is a programme of the ship's variety concert Tuesday 11th Jan 1938. I want to find not only my parents names: John Lawrance Green and Gertrude Pearce Landsborough, but the names of some of the other teachers who are named in the letters. They were all part of some sort of commonwealth exchange programme that clearly took place for the year 1938.
I know your main research is around the war but if you could send me either any info or places where I might get info I'd be very grateful. We are very excited about our research and our first visit to the antipodes.
With Best Wishes,
No matter what tricks I have learned over the years in tracking people down on the internet, no matter which path I pursue, I am unable to come up with the Oronsay 1 passenger list for her journey to Australia with your Mother, and your father to NZ in 1938.
I have tried the Orient Line, migration from UK to both Western Australia and NZ, 1938. Immigration records for Western Australia and Auckland, NZ 1938, the history of Oronsay 1, exchange teacher records, but all to no avail.
Just no list is forthcoming, and I am very sorry I am powerless to assist you Jenny.
Here is a lovely file I turned up in my search. Can you imagine the Ugly Men's Association!?
I hate being defeated in such a quest, should I have any success I will, of course contact you.
In one case, it took me a year to find a passenger list for the sailing ship Royal Charter which sailed from Melbourne to Liverpool in 1859, carrying a large quantity of Gold, mined in the Gold Rush, only to be wrecked on the coast of Wales just short of her destination. Very few survived and the person I was seeking Manus Boyle died that night.
But I digress.
A picture of SS Monterey.