Did anyone sail with 'Victoria Drummond'? - Page 2 - Ships Nostalgia
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Did anyone sail with 'Victoria Drummond'?

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  #26  
Old 10th March 2007, 11:44
jazz606 jazz606 is offline
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I've just read the book "Victoria Drummond Marine Engineer". Shakespeare it isn't - but an honest account and the more interesting for that. I finished the book feeling really sad. It's pretty obvious that she had a raw deal at the hands of the "marine establishment". I find it difficult to believe that someone could sit for Chief's 31 times and fail - particularly since she passed 2nd's and subsequently Motor 2nd with just a couple of re sits.

There is an excellent description of a liberty ship coming apart in bad weather with a cargo of iron ore.
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  #27  
Old 10th March 2007, 13:44
JoK JoK is offline  
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Quote:
I find it difficult to believe that someone could sit for Chief's 31 times and fail
I can believe it.
I think that single fact shows what kind of person she was. She was going to have that Certificate and no one, no matter how biased, was going to stand in her way. She was tough.
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  #28  
Old 11th March 2007, 14:58
Davey Davey is offline
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Originally Posted by JoK View Post
I can believe it.
I think that single fact shows what kind of person she was. She was going to have that Certificate and no one, no matter how biased, was going to stand in her way. She was tough.
I second that. And as jazz606 said "It's pretty obvious that she had a raw deal at the hands of the "marine establishment"."

Last edited by Davey; 12th March 2007 at 02:20..
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  #29  
Old 26th August 2007, 14:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbow View Post
Having had success with the sad incident of the apprentice. I have been asked to submit a new topic for research amongst the membership.

This time, it is about Victoria Drummond, the only serving female 2nd engineer in the whole of the British Merchant fleet. Born in Errol, Dundee, Scotland. She was the god-daughter of Queen Victoria.
There is no doubt that she was an interesting woman, she preferred oily overalls to satin dresses and in 1927 was the first woman to gain 2nd class Engineer’s cert. Won the MBE for exceptional gallantry at sea in time of war
(now you get one for bowling a maiden over or writing a song) and the Lloyd's Medal for bravery at sea

Her niece Jean Cherry Drummond (Baroness Strange; a champion of war widows) wrote her biography; The Remarkable Life Of Victoria Drummond - Marine Engineer.


I don't know how true it is but I was told that her engineering skills became apparent when she fixed a car belonging to Sir Alfred Holt (Founder of Blue Funnel Line). He was staying over at her family's estate at the time and his car wouldn't start. He was so impressed with her skills, that he made a statement akin to "We could do with engineers like you aboard my ships" never realizing that she would one day call upon him to make good his word. Her journey from apprentice in 1922 to Chief Engineer in 1959 must have been one of hardship and discrimination. But her tenacity got her there.

What I have written can be found quite easily on the net. But that is not what we are after. It is the experiences of real seamen who sailed with her and shared a joke or a beer with her.
What was she like?
Did she have a sense of humour? I suppose she'd have to, being the only woman aboard a ship.
Did she cast off her royal personage, (A baroness in the Dog House Bar, Cristobal!!! Wot?) when she was ashore with the boys?
We definitely aren't after sordid tales. Funny and dramatic incidents are what we remember best.
She retired in 1962, so it's within memory of many. So please contribute if you can.

Tony
One of the ships Victoria Drummond sailed in was the Blue Funnel, PERSEUS.
It is said that in 1943, when she was an Assistant Engineer in that ship, the Chinese firemen took exception to it, and were replaced with "white" firemen, who themselves agitated for the open fo,cstle accommodation to be replaced with two berth cabins.
During the conversion in New York the firemen lived up to their reputation and there were a number of desertions and replacements of similar ilk.
There followed a round trip to Australia in which the ship only averaged 10 knots instead of her usual 13. And for the next voyage the Chinese firemen were back!
Miss Drummond made only one voyage in the PERSEUS-just as well, for the ship was torpedoed and sunk in January,1944.

Last edited by Hugh Ferguson; 26th August 2007 at 16:57..
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  #30  
Old 3rd September 2007, 21:15
Chouan Chouan is offline  
 
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One of my father's colleagues as a superintendant went up for his chief's at the same time as her. Once he, and the others, found out, they all cancelled their examination applications. They all knew that they would all fail, because the examiners would fail them all in order to show that they weren't failing her because she was a woman.
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  #31  
Old 3rd September 2007, 23:23
sparkie2182 sparkie2182 is offline  
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just cant win.....can ya?
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  #32  
Old 3rd September 2007, 23:45
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Originally Posted by Chouan View Post
One of my father's colleagues as a superintendant went up for his chief's at the same time as her. Once he, and the others, found out, they all cancelled their examination applications. They all knew that they would all fail, because the examiners would fail them all in order to show that they weren't failing her because she was a woman.
Amazing.
Things certainly have changed since.
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  #33  
Old 4th March 2008, 01:47
Riptide Riptide is offline  
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I once watched a documentry on tv about a lady who sailed on sailing ships & then became a 2nd eng. onsteam ships.does not sound like miss Drumound.So I ask myself who could it be.?No disrespect this lady came from the higher sections of society or should I say eschlons,Who were quete well in bucking the system.Where members of the lower classes where not only kept in their place,but stayed in their place.My mother born in England,but educated in Scotland (Kelso Highschool)Ended up tying fishing flies for those that could afford a permitt.Her brother,educated Kelso Grammer School went on to be a pilot.For most of my youg life,I remember her saying "I wish I had been born a man.She had Dreams and asperations,but she was not allowed to fulfill them.Kenny.
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  #34  
Old 26th March 2008, 08:01
Ross Campbell Ross Campbell is offline  
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I just logged in, apparently successfully. I was able to see the first of the Victoria Drummond thumbnails, but every time I click on the second one, I get fired back to the login page. Any ideas?
My colleague, Ron Baxter, joined Clan Line in 1966 and sailed with several people who had encountered Victoria Drummond. We are trying to find out a bit more than there is in the book. Any material welcomed.

Ross

Last edited by Ross Campbell; 26th March 2008 at 08:14.. Reason: Adding my reason for viewing
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  #35  
Old 26th March 2008, 09:34
non descript non descript is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross Campbell View Post
I just logged in, apparently successfully. I was able to see the first of the Victoria Drummond thumbnails, but every time I click on the second one, I get fired back to the login page. Any ideas?
My colleague, Ron Baxter, joined Clan Line in 1966 and sailed with several people who had encountered Victoria Drummond. We are trying to find out a bit more than there is in the book. Any material welcomed.

Ross
Ross, I am sorry about that and even more sorry that I cannot supply a quick cure. - I have looked at #23 and #24 and both thumbnails open safely for me with no problems. - If one of my colleagues has any additional comment on this one, I am sure they will say, but in the short term, maybe shutting down and then re-booting your PC might clear any minor glitch in your system?

Mark
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  #36  
Old 26th March 2008, 10:45
MM˛ MM˛ is offline
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There is a book.

"We are trying to find out a bit more than there is in the book. Any material welcomed."

There is a book ' The Remarkable Life of Victoria Drummond Marine Engineer'

Published by the Institute of Marine Engineers ISBN 1-902536-25-8
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  #37  
Old 28th March 2008, 04:04
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George Elder George Elder is offline  
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Here is a Big Worm for the can
I remember my father telling me that he sailed with a woman Chief Eng. during the war. According to his telling at the time she was was good really good.
I can't remember her name.
The only shipping line that I'm aware of that he sailed with was T&J Harrisons out of Liverpool. He suffered three sinkings and didn't speak much about it.
Any one got any ideas
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  #38  
Old 31st March 2008, 18:02
Stan McNally Stan McNally is offline  
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Hi There,

I sailed with Victoris Drummond when she was 2nd Engineer on our ship "British Monarch" - I was the Radio Officer. She was a very remarkable Lady.
When she came aboard , I think it was in Cardiff or Avonmouth , in Uniform , I thought she was the District Nurse.

She got on very well with every one - especially one of the AB's who had been a "Lt Commander" on MTB's during the War and use to have the "Times" airmailed to him on the ship. He and She came from very well known families. I beleive her Uncle was Governor General of Canada. She must have had quite high ranking people behind her to overcome the prejudice against Woman going to Sea - especially to be an "Engineer" .
I beleive she had to take the examination for Chief several times, ever though she knew it, before finally being allowed to pass.

She use to be invited ashore quite a lot in the different countries we called at because of her back ground.

She was aboard, as was the Capt Coutts's wife and son when we lost our 2nd Mate over the side but picked him up "Safe and Well" 9 hours later.

Stan McNally
Radio Officer
M/V. British Monarch
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  #39  
Old 1st April 2008, 11:36
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gingerbeer73 gingerbeer73 is offline  
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Victoria Drummond

Wow, quite a story and how great that someone on here sailed with her. She did well in spite of her "priviledged" background. Quite an appropiate name of the ship considering her background.

Goodness the 2nd mate was lucky! It must have been calm seas or he would not have been found.

I note you say that the Captain had his wife and son on board. I was under the impression that "wives" started going to sea in the 70s. I would be interrested to know when this did start then ?

Cheers
Colin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan McNally View Post
Hi There,

I sailed with Victoris Drummond when she was 2nd Engineer on our ship "British Monarch" - I was the Radio Officer. She was a very remarkable Lady.
When she came aboard , I think it was in Cardiff or Avonmouth , in Uniform , I thought she was the District Nurse.

She got on very well with every one - especially one of the AB's who had been a "Lt Commander" on MTB's during the War and use to have the "Times" airmailed to him on the ship. He and She came from very well known families. I beleive her Uncle was Governor General of Canada. She must have had quite high ranking people behind her to overcome the prejudice against Woman going to Sea - especially to be an "Engineer" .
I beleive she had to take the examination for Chief several times, ever though she knew it, before finally being allowed to pass.

She use to be invited ashore quite a lot in the different countries we called at because of her back ground.

She was aboard, as was the Capt Coutts's wife and son when we lost our 2nd Mate over the side but picked him up "Safe and Well" 9 hours later.

Stan McNally
Radio Officer
M/V. British Monarch
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  #40  
Old 1st April 2008, 12:27
MM˛ MM˛ is offline
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Amazon

Has a few copies of her biography. Actually one less now I've bought one.
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  #41  
Old 30th August 2008, 18:04
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Just finished reading her book which, since it was put together from her diary by her niece, I guess counts as a sort of autobiography.
She certainly sailed in some rough ships. The British Monarch was the scruffiest ship on which I sailed but hardly rated a mention from Miss Drummond.
In addition to her seagoing tales it gives an insight into the ups and downs of the lives of the aristocracy a century ago.
In view of the social period covered it's interesting to read between the lines and form one's own opinions - wonder what cousin Henry was up to in Ceylon
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  #42  
Old 20th March 2013, 02:13
Glenford Glenford is offline  
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Miss Drummond

Miss Drummond was an excellent Chief Engineer and a delightful lady. Her biography was disappointing in as much as it used "I" all the time and Miss Drummond was not like this. She was very capable and when a cargo of iron ore moved in rough seas she slid down with me to examine the damage in the old Liberty ship. We both agreed to head for home port.
My wife thoroughly enjoyed her company and she was interested in everything from sending samples to Kew Gardens to having tea with the Governor in Hong Kong.
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  #43  
Old 20th March 2013, 02:24
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Welcome to the site Glenford. Miss Drummond is mentioned in various threads and I am sure some one will point you to the most appropriate one. Indeed she sounds as if she was a capable person and pleasant company according to all reports.
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  #44  
Old 20th March 2013, 07:45
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A warm welcome aboard from the Philippines. Please enjoy all this great site has to offer.
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  #45  
Old 20th March 2013, 09:38
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On behalf of the 'SN Moderating Team', welcome aboard Glenford.
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  #46  
Old 20th March 2013, 11:08
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I read her autobiography. It was sad that she couldn't 'pass' her British Chief Engineers's ticket, but you get the distict impression that the examiners were never going to pass her however well she did.
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  #47  
Old 20th March 2013, 12:03
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Greetings Glenford and welcome to SN as already mentioned here plenty of info on this site of Chief Drummond. Bon voyage.
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  #48  
Old 20th March 2013, 13:39
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Just click on this link Glenford and it should take you to another thread called; 'Did anyone sail with Victoria Drmmond'

https://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showth...light=Drummond
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  #49  
Old 21st March 2013, 02:06
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Hi Glenford,
How wonderful to hear from someone who actually knew her. She was my role model when I was trying to find a company to take me on.
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  #50  
Old 20th May 2013, 10:54
Philthechill Philthechill is offline  
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Thumbs up I've just read-----

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoR View Post
I read her autobiography. It was sad that she couldn't 'pass' her British Chief Engineers's ticket, but you get the distict impression that the examiners were never going to pass her however well she did.
-----her story on "Wiki" and it states she DID sail as "Chief" from 1959 to 1962,

What an extraordinary woman she was and how far-ahead-of-her-time.

I am a great believer in women being as capable as men in many parts of life and there are VERY few jobs they can't do just as well as men.

Admittedly women would find jobs involving brute strength a bit beyond them. However, in this day-and-age, even men aren't allowed to handle, for example, the 16 stone, (2 cwt.), bags of corn I, and many other wagon-drivers loaded/unloaded day-in, day-out. So the "brute-strength, jobs are few and far between now.

Women now fly fast jets, passenger a/c, crew ships, both Merchant and "Men-of-fight", (with the exception of submarines but I believe the US Navy is looking toward doing that), drive 46 ton "artics" etc. etc.------and why shouldn't they?

Victoria Drummond was an incredible woman and, who knows, she may have been one of the "leading-lights" in women being given the true recognition they deserve. Salaams, Phil
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