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SS Medic

SS Medic was a steamship built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast for the White Star Line which entered service in 1899. Medic was one of five Jubilee Class ocean liners built to service the Liverpool–Cape Town–Sydney route; the ship's name was pronounced Meedick. Medic was the second Jubilee Class ship to be built for the Australia service. Like her sisters she was a single funnel liner, measuring just under 12,000 gross tons, which had capacity for 320 passengers in third-class on three decks, she had substantial cargo capacity with seven cargo holds, most of them refrigerated for the transport of Australian meat. After a long career with White Star, Medic was sold in 1928 and was converted into a whaling factory ship and renamed Hektoria, she remained in service in this role until being torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic whilst sailing in a convoy in 1942. Medic was launched at Belfast on 15 December 1898, but her completion was delayed until 6 July the following year, so that improvements that were being made to her earlier sister Afric could be incorporated into her construction.

Medic inaugurated White Star's new Australia service with her maiden voyage, which started from Liverpool on 3 August 1899, she was the largest ship to sail to Australia. Although Afric was the first ship built for the service, she did not make her first voyage to Australia until the following month. On board the maiden voyage was Charles Lightoller on his first assignment as Fourth Mate, he would become the only senior officer to survive the sinking of the RMS Titanic. Upon Medic's arrival in Australia she was greeted with a rapturous reception. Lightoller wrote: "She was a show ship, the biggest, out there, the people in Australia gave us the time of our lives. Everything and everywhere it was Medic"On her first return trip to the UK, Medic carried Australian troops to South Africa for the Boer War which had started in October 1899, continued to carry troops to the conflict until it concluded in 1902. In October 1900, while Medic was anchored in Neutral Bay, Sydney Harbour, Charles Lightoller and some shipmates were involved in the "Fort Denison Incident", a prank intended to fool locals into believing a Boer raiding party was attacking the city.

The culprits were never apprehended but Lightoller confessed to his company's superiors, after which he was transferred to the Atlantic route. On 15 June 1907 Medic collided with the 4,134 ton petroleum tank steamer Turbo in fog in the English Channel off the Kent coast while sailing from London to Liverpool; the Turbo was damaged and had to be towed to harbour: The damage to Medic at first appeared to only consist of a crack above the waterline, so she continued her voyage to Liverpool where she was dry docked for a more thorough examination of the damage: Here it was discovered that Medic had a 5 sq ft hole below the waterline. Medic continued on her scheduled commercial service following the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, because of her large refrigerated meat carrying capacity, however she carried Australian troops to Britain, as such she gained the designation HMAT A7. In November 1914 John Simpson Kirkpatrick departed Australia onboard Medic, he would become famous for his role as a stretcher bearer during the Gallipoli Campaign.

In May 1915 Medic was refitted at Sydney to carry 531 troops and 500 horses, to make her better suited to her wartime role. Medic was commandeered under the British Liner Requisition Scheme in October 1917, was used as a troopship, until being released from government service in March 1919, after which she returned to the Australian service. In 1920 Medic underwent a refit where her passenger accommodation was modernised and reconfigured to carry 260 passengers in Second class, she continued in service on the Australian route for most of the 1920s, in consort with the Persic and Suevic. She made her last voyage for White Star on this route in December 1927, following her return she was laid up for disposal after 28 years of service. In June 1928 Medic was sold for £35,000 to A/S Hektor of Tønsberg, who converted her into a whale factory ship and renamed her Hektoria; the conversion was carried out by Grayson Rollo and Clover Docks at Birkenhead, involved the installation of a stern ramp, whereby whale carcasses could be hauled onto deck, the fitting of eighteen large cargo tanks which could hold 8,000 tons of whale oil, the enlargement of her coal bunkers.

Altogether the refit increased the gross tonnage of the ship to 13,834. Hektoria was ready for service for the 1928/29 whaling season off South Georgia. On 22 September 1928 the members of the Wilkins-Hearst Antarctic Expedition boarded Hektoria at New York, they would live on board the ship for the next five months; the aim of the expedition was to explore Antarctica from the air for the first time, two aircraft were carried onboard the ship for this purpose. Several exploratory flights were made over the Antarctic Peninsula; the Hektoria Glacier in the Antarctic was named after the ship by the expedition. In 1932 Hektoria returned to the British register after her ownership was transferred to Hektor Whaling Ltd of London, but remained involved in the same trade as before. On the outbreak of World War II, Hektoria was requisitioned by the Ministry of War Transport for use as an oil tanker, she met her end on 12 September 1942 while sailing in the Atlantic convoy ON 127, when she was hit and damaged by two torpedoes fired by the German U-boat U-211.

After the crew abandoned ship she was torpedoed again and sunk by the

John Russell (colonial administrator)

John Russell was an administrator of the English East India Company. The posthumous third son of Sir John Russell, 3rd Baronet and Frances Cromwell, he was on his mother's side a grandson of Oliver Cromwell, he was elected a factor of the East India Company in 1693, went to Bengal in 1694. Russell served as President of Bengal, succeeding Anthony Weltden in the post in 1711. On 17 December 1697, Russell married sister of Sir Charles Eyre, they had one son and three daughters: Col. Charles Russell, colonel of the 34th Regiment of Foot, married Mary Johanna Cutts Revett, daughter of Col. Edmund Revett, had issue, including Sir John Russell, 8th Baronet Frances Russell, married John Revett, son of Col. Edmund Revett, became bedchamber woman to Princess Amelia of Great Britain Mary Russell, married Josiah Holmes, without issue Elizabeth Russell, married Samuel Greenhill, mother of John Russell GreenhillOn 7 September 1715, after returning from India, he married Joanna, the daughter and heiress of John Thurbane, of Chequers, widow of Col. Edmund Revett, who had inherited Chequers, now the British Prime Minister's country residence, from her father.

They had one daughter, who died an infant. Chequers passed to his eldest son Charles