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Name: FARNALL, Elliott Ernest (Capt. RNR)

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Birth Date: 1866 Aldershot, bapt. 8 Aug

Death Date: 21 Mar 1909 Bukoba, Tanganyika, heart failure [acc. to Nat. Probate Calendar, but see below Gazette 1.5.1908. 19 Mar 1908 must be the correct date]

Nationality: British

First Date: 1902

Last Date: 1908

Profession: Joined the Marine Department and in 1902 was appointed Commander of s.s. Winifred, the Uganda Railway Steamer on Lake Victoria.

Area: Uganda, EAHB 1905 - Commander s.s. Winifred, Lake Victoria

Married: 1. In West Ham 1890 Mary Frances Traynor b. 1864 Sunderland (div. 1899 and she late m. Alexander Whyte Maclean b. 1873); 2. In London 1900 Ellen Wood b. 11 Oct 1882 Camberwell, d. 21 May 1946 Maidstone (later Townsend)

Book Reference: Gillett, Cuckoo, EAHB 1905, Hut, North, Drumkey, EAHB 1906, EAHB 1904, EAHB 1907, Gazette

School: Elizabeth College, Guernsey and Somerset College, Bath

General Information:

Cuckoo - An old Elizabeth College boy from Guernsey and a former P & O officer. He commanded the Clement Hill, the newest and largest vessel on the Victoria Lake, and was universally popular with all. While making the northern round of the lake early in 1905, he brought the Clement Hill to Bukoba and, when about to depart for the next port, was taken suddenly ill. The only other European, Bruce, had joined the steamer as chief officer in Kisumu at the start of this voyage. This was his first trip on the lake. Bruce went to Captain Farnall's cabin on the bridge to report all in readiness to weigh anchor and continue the voyage to Mwanza, Shirati and Kisumu. He found his commander dead from heart failure. This was a tragic and serious affair for Bruce. He could not speak Swahili ..........….
The German residents of Bukoba, hearing of Farnall's death offered to arrange for his burial in their little cemetery; and Bruce gladly accepted this friendly overture. Farnall was much liked and respected in all the German ports on the lake, and spoke German fluently. Meanwhile Bruce telegraphed a report of Farnall's sudden death to the General Manager of the Uganda Railway in Nairobi, adding the simple words of a sailor who knows his job : "Intend bringing Clement Hill to Kisumu. Will carry on from Bukoba." - He succeeded including making the first berthing aloingside the Kisumu jetty at night.
EAHB 1905 - nautical cadet, H.M.S. Worcester, 1879 to 1881; apprentice and 2nd mate, Devitt and Moore's sailing ships, 1882 to 1885; 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, and Chief Officer, Peninsula and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, 1886 to 1900; Navigating Officer, Japanese mail Company, 1900 to 1901; Commander S.S. 'Winifred', Uganda Railway steamer, Lake Victoria April 8th 1902
North - From London; UK appt. as Captain of the ss Winifred on Lake Victoria 17-6-1902; Listed with 'Officers & Subordinates', Commander of Lake Steamer 1-4-1903; Mrs Farnell arr. Mombasa from Europe 29-4-1903; with wife at Kisumu July 1903
Gazette 1/5/1908 - the death from heart failure of Captain Farnall RNR, Commander of SS 'Winifred' which took place on board the 'Winifred' in Bukoba Harbour on 19th March last has deprived the Protectorate of the services of a capable and popular officer. Captain Farnall was the first Commander to join the Lake Steamer service, being appointed to the 'Winifred' in July 1902. He was a very careful and reliable officer and his death is deeply regretted by the service and by all who knew him. He was buried in the European cemetery at Bukoba, due honours being accorded by the German Commandant and the staff of the Residency.
Also Gazette 15.8.1908 for probate
Cuckoo - mentions Captain Geoffrey Farnall as Commodore of the Lake Fleet.

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