Capt E T Jones

From My Life at Sea by Commander W Caius Crutchley

SS African 1881

My chief officer in the African was a man I have mentioned before, E. T. Jones, who wore an abnormally large black beard, from which he had acquired the soubriquet of “Black Jones.”

I had the very highest regard for him in every way. When we arrived home in February 1881, as a matter of course I went to London to see the directors. At that time the Roman had been chartered to take out troops to Natal.

There was then no master appointed to her, and I was questioned as to the ability of my chief officer, to which I replied that he was as good a man as I was. But, said one director, “is that the man with a black beard that looks like a pirate?” and the conversation closed with a laugh, and the intimation that they would come to Southampton to see about it.

When I returned that evening I got hold of Jones, and much against his will took him to a barber’s and had his beard off. It was a time for heroic measures, for that use of the shears probably decided the matter in his favour.

As, however, it would not do to send out troops with a man whose first voyage it was in command, he took the African and I the Roman, with orders to change again on the coast.

Service Record

From

To

Roman

3rd Officer

1/1872


African

2nd Officer

3/1873


Basuto

2nd Officer

4/1875


American

2nd Officer

4/1880

4/1880

Vessel lost at sea

Roman

Chief Officer

7/1880

9/1880

African

Chief Officer

10/1880

5/1881

Roman

Master

8/1881

1883

Nubian

Master

10/1883

1884

Arab

Master

9/1884


Roman

Master

3/1886

1/1888

Mexican

Master

6/1889

11/1889

Anglian

Master

12/1889

1890

Pretoria

Master

4/1890

4/1890

Trojan

Master

5/1890

3/1892

Spartan

Master

4/1892

8/1892

Trojan

Master

9/1892

6/1893

Tartar

Master

8/1893

1897

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