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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "A U-Boat Inkwell."
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This inkwell is one of a group presented to various members of the crew of the San Melito. One, in the National Museum of Scotland, has a presentation inscription to the Captain of the vessel, J.D. Jackson; another appeared at auction in Christie's South Kensington in November 2001 and had been presented to the Chief Engineer, W. Morralee; another is referred to in the 'Hawera & Normanby Star', 6 September 1917:
‘A solid silver model of a German submarine is at present on view in the shop window of Mr. W. J. P. McCulloch, Stand street, Dunedin. The owner (Mr. R. G. Osmond, an ex-Royal Navy man, and a member of the Southampton Seamen’s Union), was (the Otago Daily Times relates) in August 1915, employed as a greaser on the oil tank San Melito, bound from Southampton to a Mexican port. Thirty six hours’ steam from Southampton a ship flying Dutch colors and showing distress signals was fallen in with. This vessel proved to be a decoy, for it was shortly followed by the appearance of a German submarine, which opened fire on the San Melito and kept the shells going for 40 minutes. The ship had been built to steam only 11 knots. The engine staff, however, by opening the expansions valves, commenced to get 15 knots out of her, but not in quick enough time, and in response to the order, “Abandon ship,” all hands went on deck, excepting Osmond. He stuck to his post for six minutes longer, and got the ship full speed ahead, doing this contrary to orders. Then, with the assistance of a deck officer of the ship, he got the vessel out of range of the submarine fire. In recognition of his remarkable coolness, the owners of the San Melito, at a luncheon in London, presented Osmond with a substantial cheque and the model of an enemy undersea craft. The deck of the model, when opened, displays a cut-glass ink bottle. Mr. Osmond is at present a member of the crew of a hospital ship which has just reached New Zealand.’ [Volume LXXIV, 6 September 1917, Page 4].
|Height||34.00 cm||(13.39 inches)|
|Width||12.20 cm||(4.80 inches)|
|Depth||10.90 cm||(4.29 inches)|