Aquitania (1914)
HMS / HMHS Aquitania
Message Board
Messages 50-74

Oct. 28, 2012

I'm a retired newspaper writer, as an 18-year-old U.S. Army Sergeant (yes, at 18) with the 1074th Signal Service Co. (commanded by Capt. Robert S. Gruhn of Wilmette, Illinois) boarded the Aquitania in Aug. 1943 at a pier in New York Harbor and sailed to Greenock, Scotland.  There we boarded a train for England and our World War II adventures.  Distinctly remember the ship was in dock next to then-capsized S.S. Normandy. 

Incidentally, several years ago while visiting with family toured Ellis Island once an immigration center in New York Harbor, and spotted a model of the Aquitania which was referred to as also a vital transportation utility for newcomers from Europe.  Photographed that model and it now hangs sentimentally over my den desk.

When our unit was aboard the Aquitania we were "billeted" in cubicle cubbies with seven or eight bunks, squeezed in on the deck immediately above the engine rooms.  My "space" was in one with 8 berths but we had nine soldiers assigned each night, in rotation, we took turns sleeping on the floor/deck.  Debarking at Greenock destination, noticed a big sign painted on warehouse door..."Yanks, go home".  But my captain wouldn't let me.

Howard A. Ellis, MSGT., retired
Age 87
Riverside County, California, USA

Sept. 29, 2012

My family and I were on the first sailing from Honolulu with evacuees following Pearl Harbor on the Aquitania, sailing to the west coast, I think San Francisco, I was only 7 at the time. We sailed without any escort and were in constant fear of Japanese  submarines. Do you know the date of her sailing from Honolulu, I believe it was in early January 1942, but am  not sure.

Fritz Herman

Reply 1
Sept. 30, 2012

Feb. 22, 1942 as shown in the Timeline on this page: Aquitania Builder's Data.

Michael W. Pocock

Sept. 28, 2012

I'd like to know the name of the old destroyer that must escort ship Aquitania approaching Southampton on Sept 06, 1939. Captain of Aquitania was capt. Gibbons..." We are the only four staker in the world...."

Luigi La Cono

Sept. 10, 2012

I have been looking at the Aquitania page, I was a passenger during the war (WW2) on transfer from an aircraft carrier. The bit of history you may like to know. It was 1945, can't remember the date, but what I do remember was we ordered out of our cabins that we had just been allocated to give to Nazi officers returning to U.K. after living the good life in Canada prison of war camps. We, that is lower deck crew members, had to find our own accommodations as under the Geneva Convention we had to treat the enemy with kid gloves. If you have any record or photos I would be interested to hear from you. Don't leave it to long I am 85 at the time of writing.

Best wishes,
Bernard Aptaker

Aug. 22, 2012

My grandfather return from England on January 18, 1919 to Halifax aboard the Aquitania; he was with the 42nd Battalion that went to France in 1916; do you have any pictures of the ship from then or does anyone else?

Cathy Rodwin

Sept. 1, 2012

Do you have a passenger list for the Aquitania which left Southampton on 19th October 1947. My late husband was a passenger together with a group of Holocaust survivors who had been living in Paris. He was 16 years old at the time.. His visa is dated Oct 26th 1947 landed in Halifax. His name was Abraham Fogel.

Thank you,
Sylvia Fogel

July 28, 2012

My father and grand mother (who have both passed away now) were traveling on the RMS Aquitania in 1948 from Canada to Southampton. I have found them on the passenger list but am looking for any living passengers now who could maybe tell me a little about the journey as I only found out about the boat today and couldn't ask my relatives about this journey. If you can be any help please could you let me know.

Chris MacInnis

Southampton arrival July 2, 1948.

Southampton arrival July 2, 1948.

June 20, 2012

I am anxious to obtain any information you can give re the passenger Samuel Skipton and his family who sailed on the Aquitania to Halifax Canada 24th May 1949.

Many thanks,
Ray Holmes

Apr. 20, 2012

I am trying to get info on the last voyage of the Aquitania to Canada in 1949. I was a passenger on it and might need the info to get my OAS. Many people on the site have posted messages about this ship, but since you don't post email addresses, how does one contact them to see if they have found any info?

Many thanks,
Anthony Hamilton

Reply 1
Apr. 21, 2012

MaritimeQuest does not have any passenger lists for Aquitania, I am informed that there are several ancestry websites which offer access to these documents for a fee. To respond to a message posted on the board, email the webmaster with the message number and the email will be forwarded to them.

Michael W. Pocock

Apr. 13, 2012

I have been tracing my grandmother's journey from Ireland to Vancouver, Canada to reunite with her fiancé after 2 long, lonely years of separation and discovered, through a letter, that she and her mother travelled on one of the June 1914 Aquitania voyages. I don't know if she disembarked in New York or Canada (I suspect Canada).

Did the Aquitania go to Canada then and how does one get hold of a passenger list? Lots of people on this message board ask about passenger lists but I have 't seen any answers to that question. Would love someone to help with that.

Alison Clark

Apr. 11, 2012

On 10 June 1921 my grandmother Zuza Dubovsky and my mother Zuzana Dubovsky from Croatia arrived at the port of NY aboard the R.M.S. Aquitania from Cherbourg, France. At 78 i'm attempting to document their life journeys. A two page copy from microfiche of the ship's manifest faded to a blank sheet of paper.  Due to a hurricane I lost my manual copies of my research.  Where can I get 1.) a copy of their names on ship's manifest? 2.) photo of R.M.S. Aquitania?  3.) date aquitania sailed from Cherbourg? To thank them for their hardships in making us Americans, I had their names placed on the Ellis Island immigrant wall of honor and would like to preserve their Slovak history for their descendents. Any suggestions are appreciated.

Beverly Gaston

Apr. 3, 2012

I'm wondering if you might be able to point me in the right direction to find information about the ship my mother came to Canada on, with my baby brother and myself, aged about 2, in spring or early summer 1947 (perhaps the end of May). I have a photo of us children on board, but it doesn't show the name of the ship unfortunately. It might be the Aquitania...

Thank you,
Pat Mosley Bowie

Mar. 26, 2012

My family and I arrived in Halifax on the Aquitania -- which left Southampton on December 15th, 1947 -- when I was 5 months old. Is there a record of the date it arrived in Halifax ?  I cannot find my landed immigrant card -- and that date , for  some reason, has become very important to remember.
Thanks for your help.

Julian N. Wise
Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Mar. 16, 2012

I am a member of the Mather & Platt Long Service Association. We are celebrating our 60th Anniversary this year on the 20th of April and I have been asked to produce a commemorative book on the history of Mather & Platt as a souvenir at this years' event.

Our organisation was instrumental in saving the lives of thousands of wounded soldiers travelling on this (Aquitania) and other Hospital ships. During the Gallipoli Campaign there was serious trouble on the Hospital Ships returning with Typhoid Fever, which occurred through the lack of convenient and adequate means of general disinfectant. The Medical Research Committee, had shown that the use of Sodium Hypochlorite, prepared by the Electrolysis of sea-water, was very effective for this purpose, and, in the emergency it was suggested the manufacture of a special form of Electrolyser on the lines which Mather & Platt had made for bleaching.

In three days the Mather & Platt Electrolyser was built and installed in ''H.M.S. Aquitania'' with the result that on her next homeward voyage not a single case of secondary Typhoid Fever occurred. Without delay, a similar Electrolyser was made for the ''Mauretania'' and other Hospital Ships, resulting in the saving of thousands of wounded soldiers lives.

Our Association is hoping to sell about 500 copies of the book to friends and colleagues to raise funds for the Association. If this is successful, we may wish to offer the book to a wider audience at a later date. During both World Wars, the employees within our company excelled themselves both on and off the Battlefield. Our Managers and Directors were amongst some of the most highly decorated Commanding Officers who served within both campaigns. Some were even Knighted for their Gallantry and many others remained in the Armed Forces after the War rather than returning to civilian life.

During the Second World War, the Imperial War Museum commissioned Laurence Stephen Lowry to paint the Mather & Platt Factory in Manchester in recognition of their efforts and gave Mather & Platt a licence to produce prints of the image, (see below) to present to employees who served a minimum of 25 years' service with the company.

Many Thanks,
Ken Bishop


Dec. 30, 2011

I travelled on Aquitania Halifax-Southampton and return in 1948 with my mother and regret that we did not take any photos. Wondering if you might know our cabin number on the return voyage. We were at the very front of the ship with a round porthole facing forward directly behind the foremast.

Ken MacLean
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Dec. 19, 2011

My wife Carol LeGrand and her mother Ruby LeGrand maiden name Ruby Wood arrived in Halifax the latter part of January 1947. Is it possible to obtain the passenger list? Unfortunately, I do not know the exact date of arrival in Halifax. Thank you so much for your time.

Claude Meldrum
Otawa, Canada

Aug. 25, 2011

Your site is very interesting. I came across your site in a search for passenger lists for the Aquitania. It was lovely to see the ship that brought me to Canada. My parents and their three children immigrated to Canada on the Aquitania in August of 1948. I believe it was August 14th but am not certain of the exact date. I am looking for confirmation regarding my family's arrival in Canada for my sister who now lives in Italy. She needs to prove her arrival in Canada, and has been told that a passenger list will suffice. I don't know if you can help me with a passenger list or perhaps refer me to a site that can. I have spent hours today searching to no avail. My parents names were James Thomson and Agnes Ann Thomson, my sisters were Nancy Sheila Thomson and Jean Morag Thomson, they are twins and were 5 years old in 1948. I was not quite 2 years old. We were Scottish citizens and departed from Southampton and arrived in Halifax. Hoping you can help.

Yours truly,
Helen Thomson-Devoy

Aug. 20, 2011

My grandfather and uncle served on the Aquitania. They both lived in Dublin, Ireland at the time. Later my mother came over to Canada as a war bride on the same ship with my oldest brother. My grandfather was Fredrick McDonald, don't know which uncle it was but I think Charlie as he is the oldest and mom talks about the dog, Peggy, riding excitedly on his back pack when he would come home from the ship after a long time away. 

My mother Martha (McDonald) Campbell came over with my brother Fredrick Percy, both deceased now. I don't know what day or month, but my brother was still an infant so thinking 1946. We always say mom came to Canada with babe in arms. It is just so wonderful to read others stories and know mom was not alone, other than the guy who kept hitting on her all the way to Canada! I think I have a picture of my grandfather on the Aquitania, with the crew. Have to do a search for it as things got a bit shifted around since my mother passed away recently. I know I have one of granddad on the HMS Lord Nelson where he also served. Well anyway, wonderful site, thank you so much for a place to visit.

Sharon (Campbell) Nahwegahbow

Aug. 11, 2011

My son, and his family, just returned from a summer vacation to Halifax at which time, they visited Pier 21. He called me just now telling me of the wonderful museum and giving me the name of this website. I am so glad he did as it is just great reading other passenger's stories - it's bringing back some very nice memories!

I came over, from England, at almost ten years of age with my mother on Cunard White Star R.M.S. Aquitania landing in Halifax in October 1948. We left Southampton, England on Wednesday, September 29 and arrived in Halifax on Tuesday, October 5, 1948. If it is of any interest, the Captain's name was Captain H. Grattidge, O.B.E.

My father had already come over from England and was waiting for us in Toronto. My Mother's name was Minnie Margaret Cranham. Mine was Margaret Elaine Cranham and I travelled on her passport since, as I said, I was still a child. Thanking you for any help you might provide.

I would also like to add a story about an unexpected, wonderful incident that occurred just as the Aquitania was leaving the dock, headed for Halifax on September 29, 1948. I was, as I said, just a child and, therefore, don't remember which "side" started to sing, but suddenly everyone on the ship and on the docks started to sing the old song, "Now is the Hour" (words go something like .... "Now is the hour when we shall say goodbye, soon you'll ** be sailing far across the sea"). **note: "you'll" might have been "I'll" - not sure of exact wording!

It was, and still remains, one of the most moving experiences and even now, approximately sixty two years later, can still bring tears to my eyes. I would love to know if anyone reading this message board was on that particular voyage, and remembers that emotional, tender scene.

Is it at all possible to obtain a passenger list for that particular sailing? It would mean so much to me and family members. If there is a fee for such service, please advise.

Yours truly,
(Mrs.) Elaine (née Cranham) Culbert

Aug. 3, 2011

I have an immigration identification card for myself dated November 1, 1949. Name reads on return sheet Z2 Line 23. I am looking for the passenger list, with me and my mother cannot remember if my father was on the trip. The one thing I do remember is the nursery. Had a slide and I was very naughty and would scream from the top of the slide. The slip does not say where we docked, only admitted Canadian. Could I hear from other people on the voyage.

Mary Ann McCormick

May 7, 2011

My family and I sailed form Southampton late January and arrived in Halifax, NS Feb. 4th 1947. Is it possible to have a passenger list of that voyage. I'm interest in finding seaman Henk van de Berg  who accompanied me on that memorable voyage.

Thank you for your help,
Harry Rigby

Apr. 27, 2011

My parents emigrated from England to Canada in 1948 and I am sure that they were on the Aquitania. Father's name was John Thomas Bates, Mother's name was Doris Edith Cox. My sister, Julia Anne Bates age 4 and my self Mark John Bates age 2 were travelling with them. The only evidence that I have is a piece of paper with letter head, H.M. Hired Transport, "Aquitania" that has writing in longhand showing the conversion from English denomination to Canadian. Would their be any passenger lists existing that I could get a copy of confirming their passage.

Thanks in advance,
Mark Bates

Reply 1
Apr. 27, 2011

I refer you to this message:
Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management holds microfilms copies of Halifax Passenger lists, 1881-1919, but they are not indexed. The lists are ship by ship by date as each ship entered Halifax Harbour. The microfilms were received from Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa.

This web site includes an index to passenger lists, 1865-1935 However, it is a pay site (with the exception of the 14 day free trial) but it may be relevant to your research
[ ].

Yours sincerely
Philip L. Hartling
Reference Archivist
Public Services

Apr. 20, 2011

I have a large scale model of the Aquitania and am looking for a new home for it. It's a very detailed piece and approximately four feet long built by a man in Worcester, MA. I have had this in my basement for a few years and would love to give it to a museum to be put on display. I am in Dover, NH and the Maine Maritime Academy said they'd love to have it, however, I'm not willing to drive the three hours to deliver it. Could you post on your site that it's available, free of charge, if it will be displayed as it should be in a museum, school, etc.... Thanks, and I enjoyed reading all about the history of the ship. (Email the webmaster for Kendra's contact information)

Kendra Weller
Dover, New Hampshire

Apr. 4, 2011

I have a postcard showing the HMS Aquitania posted from the ship on Sept. 2nd 1929. My Uncle Tom was emigrating from Wales to America. As the family was desperately poor, I'm wondering how much his passage
would have cost. He says there is plenty of company on board and he was having a good time. If you can let me know more about those kind of voyages, I would be very interested.

Thank you,
Pearl Paulssen

Feb. 3, 2011

I have applied for my Permanent Card in Canada. I left Southampton on Sep. 13 1949 but cannot remember  the exact Date that the Aquitania docked in Halifax. I need to know this exact date to put in my application.

Thank you,
Anne McDonald

To post a message, comment or reply please email the webmaster.
All replies will be forwarded to the original sender.

Messages 50-74
Page published Feb. 5, 2011