Girl Pat Modeste E Pluribus unum

1st July 2008, 15:27

I just joined the shipsnostalgia community for an uncommon reason that I have to explain. I am a philatelist and have normally nothing to do with ships. However, I am not interested in normal postage stamps. I like the philatelic oddities that are neglected by the majority of collectors. Such stamps were produced by adventurers, soldiers-of-fortune, partisans, self-declared kings, swindlers etc. who included fake or fantasy stamps in the scheme of their ventures. The history of these adventurers is often very amusing and interesting and I always try to get background data, pictures and information i.e. the historical context, the vessels used, the persons involved etc. to illustrate my files. Sometimes, ships play a certain role in such stories and this is the reason for joining this group. I have three ship-related questions and would be happy if anybody could help. I will make it short:

Question 1:
Some of you will be familiar with the story of the Grimsby trawler “Girl Pat” that made an unexpected and mysterious trip in 1936 to Guyana. Before the crew left Guyana to return to England, a crew member had some stamps printed that are quite rare today. I know the story of Captain George Black Orsborne and have quite a number of data but need some pictures for illustration. I have seen the model ship of the “Girl Pat” made by your member Graham Farrow (great work!) depicted on this website but would like to have a photo of the original trawler from the 1930s or 1940s. It would also be fine if I could get a photo of Captain Orsborne and/or his crew. Can anybody help?

Question 2:
In the 1870s British captain James George Meads erected a private kingdom in the Spratly islands in the South China Sea and called it “Kingdom of humanity”. His ship was a wooden screw corvette named “Modeste”. I found the data of this ship on the royal navy website on the internet but no picture. Can anybody provide a picture of this ship?

Question 3:
The German Christopher Schneider was “king” of a fictitious republic in the Philippine area in the late 1960s/early 1970s. According to the sources, he died with his “court” when his ship “E pluribus unum” was hit by a typhoon and sank off the coast of the Philippines on 15 June 1972. This marked the end of this venture. As so often in this field of oddities, much of the data are pure fiction and I have to find out which is true and which is not. I did not find any reference to a ship with this name operating in the South China Sea in the 1970s. Has anybody heard of and can supply pictures of the “E pluribus unum” or can say if this ship really existed?

K urgess
1st July 2008, 15:52
Welcome aboard, girl pat.
I'm sure the crew will come up with some answers or pointers for you.
I think there is a picture of the Girl Pat in the gallery somewhere.
Explore the ship and enjoy the voyage.

1st July 2008, 15:55
Greetings girlpat and welcome to SN. Bon voyage

Photo of girl pat on following site.

1st July 2008, 23:18
Welcome aboard from the Philippines. Enjoy all this great site has to offer

1st July 2008, 23:51
Welcome from Lancashire UK.

A fascinating first post - I hope you will continue to get help with your query and that you will enjoy the site.



2nd July 2008, 00:15
Greetings girlpat and welcome to SN. Bon voyage

Photo of girl pat on following site.

You are wonderful! What a nice picture of the good old Girl Pat trawler! Thank you so much!

2nd July 2008, 11:13
Girlpat thank you, all part of the service offered to fellow members.