The Voyage of The Orduña
I had been given a little silver badge that I eventually traced to Lithuania and discovered that the participants on the first 'Peace Cruise' on The Calgaric had all been given one. The last line in the book of the voyage contained what I took to be a challenge:-
"HERE BEGINNETH THE STORY OF THE SECOND CRUISE."
Ada May Dagge's Scrapbook of the final 'Peace Cruise'
WHAT second cruise? Where? When? Through diligent searching I did find information about a second cruise, and a third!
By good fortune I was able to acquire at different times and from different sources, artefacts and books relating to them. First had come the book about The Cruise of the Calgaric, but, perversely, it was information about Orduña, the third and final 'Peace Cruise', that came to my attention before that of the second.
My first good fortune was being able to purchase the scrapbook of one of the participants, Ada May Dagge. An English lady, but the Hon. Secretary of Guides in Foz do Douro, Portugal, Ada collected her information together in a 'Training Note Book', produced for participants on training courses at Gilwell. It is full of fascinating glimpses of life onboard, many autographs, verses and sketches, but it is not a formal history. There was no itinerary or narrative, such as can be found in the book The Cruise of the Calgaric. Did one exist? Yes it did.
I found The Cruise of the Orduña, written by Rose Kerr, the same author as the book on the Calgaric, as an eBay auction lot on the World Wide Web. I 'won' the auction, as they say, against determined competition. I wrote to all the under-bidders hoping that, given their interest in the book, they might have knowledge or photographs that could help in the preparation of this article. No replies! If you have information concerning these voyages I would be delighted to hear from you and include your information on these pages.
I am a member of the International Badgers Club, collectors of Scout and Guide Badges, members of which are known as "Badgers". I was very fortunate on my first visit to the Badgers AGM, held at Gilwell Park in March 2001, to meet old Scouting friends and acquaintances again. Naturally I mentioned my interest in the 'Peace Cruises', and my first purchase leapt out at me from under a glass-topped showcase.
The little flag (shown here actual size) was part of the table decoration onboard ship. There were 460 Scouters and Guiders on board, of whom 100 were Scouters. I don't know how many seats there were at each table, but it seems reasonable to assume 8 or 10 - so there were probably only 50 of these made. How many survive today, I wonder?
The Third 'Peace Cruise'
THE Orduña left Liverpool on August 8th, 1938 to visit Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Belgium, calling at Dover before returning to Liverpool on August 25th. It is interesting to note that whereas the Calgaric was not able to visit Denmark in 1933, the Orduña was. The regulation concerning the ban on uniforms must have been lifted by this time. (For more details, see The Cruise of the Calgaric)
The Orduña was a 15,500-ton steamship belonging to the Pacific Steam Navigation Company. She was launched in 1914 and was eventually broken up in 1951. She usually did the run to Valparaiso, Chile and back through the Panama Canal, and was named after a village in Spain. Ship's Captain Reece was evidently a man of few words. Told he would have to give an address to his Scout and Guide passengers, he said "C/o. Pacific Steam Navigation Company, Liverpool".
S before, Baden-Powell was with his wife Olave, the Chief Guide whose inspiration the cruises had been. This time they were accompanied only by their daughter Heather, who had had a key role in the venture as secretary to the organising committee.
The Chief Guide, the Chief Scout and Heather Baden-Powell
She was a very lively and popular participant in all that went on and was no stranger to shipboard life, as she had often accompanied her parents on their world tours and had acted on these occasions as her father's secretary. Heather's secretarial role on this cruise then was merely an extension of that and she was to write about her experiences on this voyage, and the others she had undertaken with her parents, in her charming and useful book Baden-Powell - A Family Album
Rose Kerr, author of The Cruise of the Orduna was to write of Heather;
"She has won for herself a place in the hearts of Scouters and Guiders, quite independently of her parents."
"The Rhyme of the
Starting on our third 'Peace Cruise'
Through foggy nights we boomed the news.
And when at last to sea we stood
Neptune proved in kindliest mood
First we came to Reykjavik
Scarcely knowing what to make of it,
But those folk of Northern Seas
Set us promptly at our ease.
With waterfalls and well-soaped geysers
Did their very best to please us.
Then to Norway, up a fjord
(Novel scenes for all on bjord)
At Trondheim, Viking's home of yore,
Five hours later we met ashore
Welcomes such as mad us glad -
But midnight partings made us sad.
Copenhagen! There the Dane
Welcomed us with flags, - and rain,
Campfires, tours and Ellsinore,
Feasts and friendliness galore.
Bless the hearts and smiling faces
of those Scandinavian Races!
Between each visit restful days
When on deck we loaf and laze,
Parades and lectures, games and swimming,
Exercise for those who're slimming,
Happy rollicking times they be-
Except of course from 2-3.*
Then to Antwerp's lofty steeple
And the kindly Belgium people,
Up the Scheldt with trips to view
Brussels, Ghent and Waterloo,
Having with us at our sides
Cheery Scouts and friendly Guides.
This our quest as had reward
Gaining for us friends abroad.
Long we'll hear their parting cheers
Ringing gaily in our ears,
Burbling with that sweet refrain
"Will you no' come back again?"
R S S Baden-Powell
*Between 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. silence was supposed to reign.
Baden-Powell had just spent three months of convalescence, ordered by his doctor for 'a tired heart from overwork', and did not leave the ship during this voyage, though, as we see from the two photographs taken on board, he was able to enjoy being on deck and, on occasion, to speak to groups of visitors when they came aboard. He was also able to contribute to the official log book with sketches and the 'Rhyme of the Orduña', which, I think, (I hope!) was meant to equal William McGonagall in style, as the opening lines of his ode give a description of the first night at sea, foggy, and with the incessant boom of the fog horn.
THE Orduña reached Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, at about 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 11th, 1938 and was anchored a mile out of the town next to the German cruiser Emden.
There surely could have been greater contrast between two ships. The Emden, a warship in Hitler's Navy, dressed all over in the swastikas of the Third Reich, and Orduña, flying the flags of the Scout and Guide Movements and on a mission of World Peace.
THE party lunched onboard Orduña and left on a sight-seeing mission which required 26 motor coaches.
Evidently Ada Dagge was in coach 2, or was it 16, or then again 10? (It is also interesting to see that Printers in 1938 had as poor a command of grammar as they do today.)
After travelling over 130 km. on very primitive roads, the party visited the spectacular Gullfoss waterfalls, and " ... enjoyed every minute ... " They then went on to the Great Geysir, which had previously been primed with Sunlight Soap as this, apparently, induced it to perform! The Sunlight did not work very well because, having waited for over 2 hours, trying to keep warm in the bitter cold by singing campfire songs, most of the party, including Ada, left to visit the Icelandic Parliament building at Thingvalla where there was a tremendous reception from Icelandic Scouts and Guides that included loud and enthusiastic songs and yells.
Ada didn't see the event, but she got Mr Charles William Nugent, Group Scout Master of the 277th Manchester Troop, to contribute this sketch to her scrapbook
Some brave souls, however, stayed on - determined to see the Geysir blow.
"Just before 9 p.m. (It would not have been dark remember, this is the 'Land of the Midnight Sun') we decided ... to start for home. At that moment, the pool began to bubble into the air to a height of 20 feet; this continued for about five minutes, spouts shooting up at frequent intervals, while a huge cloud of steam overhung the whole. There was a short lull and then, with much rumbling and reverberation, the whole pool seemed to blow up and water shot up to a height of about 200 feet. All the spectators gave a great gasp at this amazing spectacle, and when it died down there was a burst of applause."
(The text above is quoted in The Cruise of the Orduña, but is unattributed.)
The Geysir party returned to a restaurant to enjoy hot drinks and cakes provided by the Chief Scout of Iceland, then returned to the Orduña at 2:15 a.m. Ada was one of only five of the party that decided to sleep on land so she could do more sightseeing in the morning.
The Orduña party filled the streets of the little town, and whilst they were away Icelandic Scouts and Guides came on board the Orduña and were addressed by B-P.
THE ship next docked in Trondheim, Norway, on August 15th at 2:00 p.m., on the eighth day of the cruise. Most of the voyagers were coached off on sightseeing trips, whilst Lady Olave Baden-Powell and eight invited guests including Mrs Mark Kerr, author of the books on the voyages of the Calgaric and Orduña; Sir Percy Everett, who had been with B-P on Brownsea as a representative of Person's Publishers; Sir Ralph Mortimer and Miss N Wilson from New Zealand, attended a very large luncheon party in the 'Harmonien', a club in Trondheim.
The picture shown here is from an actual photograph in Ada Dagge's scrapbook, which is also reproduced in Rose Kerr's book. Ada annotated her photo. The man in the suit is the Mayor of Trondheim; behind him, in Scout uniform, is Sir Percy Everett (ex Brownsea); to his right is Mrs Mark Kerr (Rose, author of the Cruise of the Orduña) and to his left, Lady Baden-Powell.
The sightseeing parties all returned to Trondheim for a Rally in the Archbishop's Palace and whilst they were still ashore, local Scouts and Guides came on board Orduña to talk to The Chief, as had happened in Iceland. The picture shows The Chief with his 'right-hand man' Sir Percy Everett, on the bridge of the Orduña, talking to the Scouts and Guides of Norway.
THE Orduña left Norway at midnight, on Tuesday, August 16th and arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark, two days later at 7:10 a.m. Unlike its arrival at its previous ports of call, the ship was early. In pouring rain a 'red column' marched along the quay. The onlookers thought they must be soldiers but they were Scout and Guides, each with a Norwegian flag held high to make a 'river of red'. They drew up level with the ship and, in view of the weather, were rapidly invited on board. The projected outdoor campfire for later in the day was promptly cancelled and plans made to hire the largest hall in Copenhagen - the 'Forum'. All those intending to visit the campfire were informed of the change by Norwegian Radio and an illuminated newsreel on (yes on) one of the buildings in the city.
I think Ada must have been in the party to have luncheon at the Royal Yacht Club, because she indicated which the building was on her on postcard of "The Little Mermaid"
Next day a popular visit was to the "magnificent" Tuborg Brewery where the beer that was set before them was "of supreme excellence". The party then visited the more culturally significant castles of Kronborg and Helsingör, the latter more famous to some as Elsinore - the castle of Shakespeare's Hamlet. About 50 members of the cruise party had stayed behind in Copenhagen with the Chief Guide to attend a reception in the headquarters of the Royal Yacht Club of Copenhagen.
That evening over 10,000 people attended the Rally in the 'Forum' which, wonder of wonders, had a real campfire. Note the fire extinguisher and the water bucket in the picture below!
Sir Percy Everett was called for, and he hobbled onto the platform bent nearly double. He told the crowd that he had was an Antediluvian Scout and had been dug up out of a museum to come and tell them something of the history of Scouting. He had been at the very first Scout Camp in the world. Thoughts of that campfire he attended at Brownsea, he said, made him feel quite young again, and with that he jumped up to his full height! He then introduced six of 'some of the smallest scouts on board'; whereupon six enormous scouters and Sir Percy performed the 'Eengonyama Chorus' with the same enthusiasm as it had been when Sir Percy first saw it done on the last night of the Brownsea camp. (If any technically-minded, musical Scouter can provide me with a sound file of the chorus being sung by Scouts, I would love to insert it here and on the Brownsea page!)
The culmination of the evening was when every hat in the place was thrown in the air during the three cheers for the Chief Guide - a traditional salute to The Chief himself who, unfortunately, could not attend as he was confined to the ship.
The next day, after the inevitable sightseeing, 2,000 Danish Scouts and Guides lined the quay to see the Chief Scout. When he appeared on the Boat Deck they took off their neckerchiefs and waved them in a vast flutter of red and green. They were still waving as the ship left harbour, presenting a finale to the visit to Denmark that none of the participants would ever forget.
DURING the cruise, Scouters were organised into a Scout Group and then into patrols, similarly, Cubbers into a pack and sixes. The cub pack met every morning whilst at sea and had pack meetings complete with 'Grand Howls'. There is no mention as to what the far more numerous Guiders did.
Many parties were held on board, one on occasion four at once! The most successful were a veterans' party and a re-union of those who had been on previous 'Peace Cruises'. Over 160 of the party had been on two of the three voyages, and fifty souls had been on them all. One of the ship's officers, Mr McGowan, who, as assistant purser, liased between crew and passengers, had also been on all three voyages, as he had previously worked for the White Star Line, owners of the Calgaric and the Adriatic.
At the 'veterans' party' some members who had joined the Movement in the first days of Scouting or Guiding were asked to contribute their memories. Sir Percy Everett (shown right on board Orduña) talked about Brownsea but unfortunately what he had to say has not, as far as I know, been recorded.
The then Mr Percy Everett was a Literary Manager at Pearsonís Publishing House (it was they who had published Scouting for Boys - the subject of another Scouting Milestone) and had spent 24 hours with B-P on the experimental camp on Brownsea Island in 1907. This had been enough to convince him of the value of Scouting and from then on he became ever more central to B-Pís organisation. B-P asked Everett to write papers about the organisation of the then future Wolf Cubs Section and he became a County Commissioner. He went on to organise the pivotal Rally of Scouts held by Royal Command at Windsor in 1911, for which he was awarded his Silver Wolf, and to become Commissioner for Training when Gilwell Park was opened in 1919. B-P presented him with a six-bead wood badge, an honour he previously only held himself. Later he became Deputy Chief Scout and assisted in the organisation of the 'Coming of Age' Jamboree, held at Arrowe Park, Birkenhead in 1929 as well as all three of the 'Peace Cruises'. His knighthood in 1930 was for services to Scouting, after six separate recommendations from the Chief Scout. B-P was to say of him that he was his "right hand". He became joint managing director at Pearson's and was active in Scouting until he resigned his Scouting offices in 1952.
Item I in the programme seems very appropriate - "We're Riding Along On The Crest Of A Wave"
THE ship was very late arriving in Belgium, due to head winds. So late that the first-ever joint event between the Belgian Scouts and the Belgian Guides, a camp fire, was missed, Orduña did not dock until 11:00 p.m. on Sunday 21st August. The camp fire still took place, but in the absence of the visitors. Even at the late hour of docking, the reception party was still held, finishing at 1.30 a.m., by which time the next day's events were all planned.
Parties went off to visit Gent, Brussels and Waterloo, which I think is where Ada must have gone, as she has postcard of Waterloo in her scrapbook. That evening, there was an informal campfire in sheds on the quayside adjacent to the ship. At 6:30 p.m. The Chief came out on deck, every eye was focused on him, and he was heartily cheered to the nth degree! A carnival atmosphere was maintained until the ship departed at 9:00 p.m. By that time, there were many streamers linking those on board with those on the quayside. One of the last of these to break was that of the Chief Guide.
At 9:15 p.m. the ship had its own final Camp Fire Entertainment.
Heather Baden-Powell, B-P's daughter, was the secretary to the Cruise's organising committee, and many on board were very impressed by her personality, so during the Camp Fire Concert she was crowned Queen Of The Cruise by 'Father Neptune'. The Chief Guide was presented with an Icelandic book signed by every member of the Cruise, and Sir Percy Everett and Miss Dillon had 'doctorates' bestowed on them, in Latin, as experts in the consumption of good Tuborg beer!
NEXT morning the White Cliffs of Dover were in sight. A tender with welcoming Sea Rangers approached and they were taken onboard. Mrs Kerr in The Cruise of the Orduña has it that the two Chiefs left by the Sea Rangers' tender but Ada's scrapbook has a press cutting from the local Dover newspaper, shown right, which suggests that B-P at least disembarked from the ship at Dover.
But for many the party continued in a very real sense all the way back to Liverpool, with fancy dress parties and a final final campfire.
It was raining when the Orduña docked in Liverpool, just as it was when she had set sail eighteen days previously. Over that period 4,125 miles had been steamed, but many more friendships than that had been made.
BY this time B-P was in declining health, he had not left the ship during the voyage and, shortly after the Orduña cruise, he went to live in his new home at Paxtu in Kenya, where he died in January 1941.