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Poems from the 'ss Salamis'


Authoress - Thistle Anderson (1878-19??) daughter of George Anderson, MP. for Glasgow 1868-85 and Master of Melbourne Mint 1885-96. She married Herbert Fisher 1901 and  he died 1912. She appears to have later married a Mr Sherwin and went back to Adelaide in 1932 where she was described as Mrs Clavering Sherwin, greyhound racing correspondent to London paper. Am looking for her post 1912!

1901 December  per preface to ‘Verses at Random’  (published Alexander Gardner London 1901) from ‘Brompton Rd, S.W.’

(Copy in NLA Sydney Ref 821F) This included the following poem. Capt Douglas certainly was its captain.:



A stands for Anderson, B is for Bell

Brown, and Buchanan, and Batchelor as well—

Billy, and Brownie, and Butcher, and Brand;

Others whose names you would not understand.

C stands for Chilvers, and Carroll, and Currey,

And Clarke, the fair maiden who never will hurry.

D stands for Douglas, our Skipper, you know,

Of course we all love him! he isn’t too slow

And as well as his ship, he loves four things in life,

His porridge, his whisky, his home, and his wife.

E stands for Egerton, otherwise Browne,

Who by ill-using Billy has won great renown.

F is for food—very greedy, you think,

At sea one does nothing but eat, sleep, and drink!

G stands for Gibb, he’s the third engineer,

Whose airs on the banjo delight every ear.

H is for Hetty, a dear little maid.

I is for no one, I’m sadly afraid.

J is for Johnson and Mrs. Jerrard;

K is for Krynauw, whom we all regard

As a musical genius. She plays and she sings—

In fact, she’s an angel without any wings.

L is for Laker, and Lang, second mate,

Who will soon be a skipper if favoured by fate,

And Loureiro, the artist, a marvellous man,

Who will sketch us all nimbly whenever he can.


M—no, we haven’t an M on the boat,

Or an N or an O—tho’ N stands for Note,

And we scribble whatever we’re anxious to say

To our favourite officer ev’ry day.

P stands for Piggie, the dearest of all—

He’s not very short and he’s not very tall.

P is also for Plater, a young engineer,

Who is very religious, and doesn’t drink beer.

Q stands for Queer, and we are a queer lot,

We’re sick when it’s cold, and asleep when it’s hot.

R we must pass, as it stands for no names;

T is for Turvey, who loves out-door games.

S is for Salamis, Sharp, and Sinclair,

50 Verses at Random.

And Stewardess too—now it isn’t quite fair

That one letter stands for four things that are blessed—

Purser, Boat, Doctor, Stewardess—all of the best,

U is for Us, and V is for View

Of some very fine scenery, both strange and new,

X is for nothing, and Y is for You—

I send you these verses, bad metre but true,

Z is for Zion, where all hope to go.

Good-bye! and God bless you! my pen is too slow

To write any more—now we go diverse ways,

And I wish the old Salamis many bright days!




[Note.—With apologies to Messrs. P. B. Piggie, J. M. Brand, John Browne, and Lieutenant Higson.]

             There’s a gang upon the Salamis,

             Sworn friends for evermore;

             And, just for want of a better name,

             We called them “The Noble Four ;“

             There are other jolly folks on board,

             But The Noble Four are best,

             And if Piggie their leader likes you,

             Well—so will all the rest.


             For Piggie’s the dearest thing on earth,

             He hails from Britain’s shore,

             He’s chief of our hearts, and chief of the ship,

             And chief of The Noble Four;

             He’ll cheer us up when in the blues,

             Or nurse us when we’re sick,

             Tho’ he’s always playing wicked jokes,

             And many a funny trick.


             There’s Pasha Browne, the hero whom

             The gentle sex adore,

             The fattest thing that ever occurred,

             And one of The Noble Four;

             He’s always keen on any fun,

             His jokes are hard to beat,

             He’ll carry cushions, books, or chairs,

             He drinks his whisky neat!


             There’s Higson on his way to war,

             To fight the wily Boer,

             He’s covered with wounds and glory, and

             He’s one of The Noble Four;

             He wears the sweetest Khaki clothes,

             He takes his liquor well,

             And when you’ve known him long enough,

             Brave tales of war he’ll tell.


             There’s Brand, who makes the good ship go,

             And how his engines roar!

             Soon safe at home, beyond the sea,

             He’ll land The Noble Four.

             His cabin is the meeting-place,

             And—well, you understand !—

             His whisky and soda’s always good,

             And a merry soul is Brand.


             Come cheer the gayest boys on board,

             And fill the cup once more,

             To drink the health of the good old boys,

             The boys of The Noble Four.

             Wherever they roam, o’er land or sea,

             May they always be together,

             With plenty to drink, and little to do,

             Fair wind, and cloudless weather.



Poems Courtesy of  MICHAEL GEORGE STEWART of Canterbury, Kent (March 2006)