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Reproduced courtesy of Hilda Farquar-Smith and Robert Dun

Voyage documents relating to SS EASTERN at Manus, etc

Date: October 1951
Dimensions:
Overall: 352 x 210 mm
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from the family of Burnham Walker Dun
Object Copyright: © Hilda Farquar-Smith and Robert Dun
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Voyage documents
Object No: ANMS1343[003]
Related Place:Manus, Lae,

User Terms

    Description
    Documents by Commander Burnham Dun, including;
    Handwritten note attached to documents; Manus Island / Japanese War Criminals / etc / 20th October 1951.
    One page, typed document from Chief Officer; SS EASTERN voyage 12 north / disposition of cargo for Manus. Lists cargo, where the cargo is stored, and the total weight of the cargo.
    Two page letter from Commander Dun of SS EASTERN to Messrs. Macdonald Hamilton & Co, Managing Agents for The Eastern & Australian Steamship Co. Limited. Dated 17 October 1951. Copies the details of his messages and replies by telegram to Manus concerning the discharge of cargo.
    One page letter from Commander Dun of SS EASTERN to Messrs. Macdonald Hamilton & Co, Managing Agents for The Eastern & Australian Steamship Co. Limited. Dated 19 October 1951. Includes telegraph messages of regarding the discharge of cargo between Manus and Lae.
    One page from Commander Dun of SS EASTERN to Messrs. Macdonald Hamilton & Co, Managing Agents for The Eastern & Australian Steamship Co. Limited. Dated 19 October 1951, in continuation of the previous letter, i.e. copy of telegram messages.
    Four page, typed report by Commander Dun to Messrs. Macdonald Hamilton & Co, Managing Agents for The Eastern & Australian Steamship Co. Limited. Dated 23 October 1951, Lombrum (Manus). Concerning EASTERN'S visit to Manus (Lombrum), including arrival time, information about the wharves, passengers.
    This is followed by a one page continuation of the report on the visit to Manus (Lombrum), dated 25 October 1951. Includes additional information on anchorage, amount of water taken into the vessel, etc.
    Next is a short letter from The Office of the Naval Officer- in- charge to whom it may concern. Dated 22nd October 1951. It certifies that Captain Dun has authorisation to embark for transportation to Japan, with two additional passengers. Also, that existing lifeboats and lifesaving equipment are adequate and conform to standards.
    This is followed by nine copies of a document signed by Japanese repatriates from the R. A. N. War Criminal Compound, Lobrum, Manus, travelling on EASTERN to the first Japanese port. Dated 22nd October 1951. The text of each copy is the same, giving the conditions for travelling on the vessel, i.e. regarding accommodation, each with a different signature.
    Copy of the letter from the Office of the Naval Officer- in- charge to whom it may concern (as described above). Dated 22nd October 1951.
    One page typed letter from the EASTERN, Manus, 25 October 1951. It lists the first port in Japan as Yokkaiachi, and gives the names of the Japanese repatriates on board.
    Short note to the Commander of the EASTERN, thanking him for his kindness under difficult circumstances at Manus.
    Short note from the Commander of the EASTERN, thanking him for his assistance at Manus.
    Message from Captain Walsh via T. Grahamslaw, Chief Collector of Customs, to Captain Dun of the EASTERN. The message describes the situation of the nine Japanese repatriates, and requests Dun to allow them to travel to Japan on EASTERN. Dated 8th October 1951.
    Letter from Commander Dun to the Chief Collector of Customs, Port Moresby. Dated 8th October 1951. Dun explains that there is no suitable accommodation on board, but will discuss it with him on his arrival.
    Another copy of the agreement signed by the nine Japanese repatriates, with conditions of travel.
    Letter to Captain Dun and officers of the EASTERN, dated 12th November 1951. Consists of a thankyou note from the Japanese men who travelled on the ship.
    SignificanceW Olson, 'Lion of the China Sea: a History of the E & A Line', 1976.

    G A Hardwick, 'E & A Line - the Eastern and Australian Steam Ship Company Limited', The Log, volume 16, number 1, issue 71, February 1983, pp 3 - 12.

    Notes provided by Ian Farquhar-Smith, on file
    HistoryBurnham Walker Dun 1905-1992 began his apprenticeship with the Australasian Steam Navigation Company in 1921 when he was just short of his 16th birthday. After four years in the coastal ships of AUSN he gained his Second Mate's certificate in Sydney and joined the Eastern & Australian Steamship Company (E&A) as Fourth Officer on the TANDA. He served 43 years with this Company sailing to ports between Australia and eastern Asia, retiring in 1967. He gained his Master's Certificate in 1929, at the age of 24. In 1942, when he was Chief Officer on the NANKIN, the ship was captured by the German raider THOR. He spent the rest of the war with the surviving crew labouring in Japanese POW camps. He returned to Australia in poor health and spent years trying to get compensation. Although he was an Australian resident employed by an Australian company (managing agents Macdonald Hamilton) the ship was British owned and registered, and he obtained only limited compensation. He went back to sea with E&A in 1946, had his first permanent command in 1947 on the second NANKIN, and served in the company's ships EASTERN, NELLORE, ARAFURA and ARAMAC until he retired. During this time he carried cargo regularly to Japan, where he established friendly relationships with his former captors. During his career he made a number of rescues at sea and survived several severe typhoons. On retirement, he became a Nautical Assessor and took part in marine Courts of Enquiry, including the enquiry into the collapse of the Tasman Bridge, caused by the cargo ship LAKE ILLAWARRA striking one of the bridge's piers.

    E & A Line actually consisted of four successive companies bearing the same name, Eastern and Australian Steam Ship Company, between 1873 and the early 1980s. It was established to serve routes between Australasia and 'Far Eastern' ports - Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan, and was originally named Eastern & Australian Mail Steam Company Limited. It only ever had a small fleet of ships but those it had, such as the NELLORE and the NANKIN, were well known. Ownership of E&A Line was involved in other companies in the 20th century, notably the AUSN Company, and from 1946 P&O. Through its history E & A Lines carried cargo and passengers, and was involved in trooping and supply in World War I. In World War II its entire fleet of three of its ships was lost. In the post-war period it operated cargo-passenger ships until 1975 when passenger service was given up and the ships were progressively sold, though in 1983 it continued to staff and operate AJCL containerships.

    The Eastern & Australian Steamship Company
    Additional Titles

    Collection title: Captain Burnham Walker Dun collection

    Assigned title: Voyage documents relating to SS EASTERN at Manus, etc

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