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Author Topic: Captured German Vessel "Bielefeld"  (Read 3641 times)

chiad fhear

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Captured German Vessel "Bielefeld"
« on: 22 February 2014 09:45:59 AM »

Hi there

A recent discovery in my Family tree is of David Tod Fulton, M.C., the Master of a captured German vessel, the "Bielefeld" who died on board the vessel in or around Egypt in August 1920 of "Corrosive Poison" according to the Register of Deceased Seamen.  He is buried in Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, El-Qantarah el-Sharqiyya, Al Isma'iliyah, Egypt.

Perhaps this quest should be on a Mercantile Marine Forum, but when I found out that the vessel had been captured and David, a Temporary Lieutenant (General List) Second Supplement to The London Gazette of Friday, the 11th of May, 1917. had been given command of it, I reckoned that the Royal Navy may have been involved.

This article from a local paper in about 1917 gives some more information:

"Pittenweem Captain Awarded Military Cross.
Captain D. Tod Fulton, third son of Mr Wiliam Fulton, retired boat builder, Water Wynd, Pittenweem, has been awarded the Military Cross, for gallant conduct at the outbreak of war. Captain Fulton, who was a naval reservist, was placed in Charge of a German prize steamer, which he safely brought over to this country from East Africa. he was then offered and accepted a Commission in Government Transport Service, and is at present serving in Mesopotamia. He served his apprenticeship with W. O Stuart, shipowners, Dundee."


Can anyone help?

Regards

Chiad Fhear
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PhiloNauticus

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Re: Captured German Vessel "Bielefeld"
« Reply #1 on: 22 February 2014 03:16:54 PM »


The 'Bielefeld' was not captured; she was built 1898 for the Deutsche-Australische Dampfschiffs Gesellschaft, Hamburg; employed before WW1 on passenger service between Germany and Australia.  Used by the German Navy 1915 – 1918.

In 1919 she was ceded to Great Britain as war reparations and arrived in Britain in 2 May 1920; she was subsequently sold to Japan as the ‘Kobun Maru’ and later foundered in the Pacific.

Therefore the vessel that was captured in East Africa, and which he brought home, must be another ship. Hundreds of German ships were 'taken into custody' and trying to track a ship down, without a date, is a very difficult task.

I can find no trace in any WW1 Navy Lists of a David T Fulton, although I did find a newspaper reference to him having command of a transport vessel on the River Tigris in 1916. 
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chiad fhear

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Re: Captured German Vessel "Bielefeld"
« Reply #2 on: 22 February 2014 03:26:42 PM »

Thanks "PhiloNauticus"

Obviously the "media" got something wrong there then.  The Register of Deceased Seaman clearly shows him on the first line of the return: "Bielefeld #144542 London (died) 11.8.20 ..."

I now wonder if the earlier mention of him was where he was awarded the Military Cross?

Your information is a help.

Regards

Chiad Fhear
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Aye mair questions than answers in a world whaur the past wis a different place that cannae be revisited
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