The SS Honved was a Hungarian registered ship when she called to Waterford in 1932 with a cargo of Maize for Halls in the city. She dropped down to Cheekpoint to await an outgoing cargo, and whilst there, her Captain died. Rudolp Udvardy was subsequently removed to Faithlegg Church for his funeral mass and burial. I've blogged before about the night of the removal in a story called the night the devil came for the Captains corpse. And the story of his grave is recorded in the account of Why there is a palm tree in Faithlegg graveyard.
|SS Honved via www.wrecksite.eu|
As a child I had a fascination with the story. This was probably because my Grandmother was so involved, but in seafaring villages such ships, seamen and events were told and retold regularly and always fired my imagination. However one question that I had, it seemed no one could answer. And that's the question I want to answer in this post. Whatever happened to the SS Honved?
The Honved was built in 1928 by the Swan and Hunter Shipyard in Sunderland. One of the most famous ships to be built there was the SS Carpathia which was the first vessel to arrive after the sinking of the Titanic.
|Unloading Ganz motorwaggons at Buenos Aires 1930's|
She was ordered for the Levant Steamship Company which operated from Budapest, Hungary, but the ship itself was registered at the Italian port city of Fuime. She was 4208 tons and a single screw steam driven vessel. She plied the European and Atlantic trade routes and as already said was carrying Maize when she called to Waterford in 1932. Her arrival sparked a lot of interest in Waterford apparently, because after the break up of the Austro-Hungarian empire, it was the first time the new flag had appeared in the city, and it made the local papers. Two years later, 1934, the Honved was sold to the Italian company of Martinolich & Figlio and renamed the Carlo Martinolich and was registered at the port of Trieste.
I could only find one mention of her under her new name in Irish records, and that was in August of 1936 arriving into Dublin with a cargo of wheat from Fuime and departing four days later for Avonmouth. I could find nothing about Waterford, although had she called, even under a new name, I'm confident it would have been noticed.
She continued under her new name up to and including the outbreak of the war, during which she continued to sail under the Italian flag, and thus was a legitimate target for the allied side. On the 9th January 1941 the Carlo Martinolich was torpedoed and sunk while sailing out of the Adriatic about 10 nautical miles east of Punta Stilo, Calabria, Italy at position 38°28'N, 16°44'E. One crew man died, four were reported as missing and thirty four were later recovered by an Italian torpedo boat. The torpedo was dispatched from HMS Parthian.
|HMS Parthian via|
So that became the fate of the SS Honved. Had she survived she doubtless would have returned, or a local would have spotted her in some foreign port and an account of her would have come back to Cheekpoint. There are few memories more enduring in a seafaring town or village than the men who plied the trade or the ships they sailed on. I for one am delighted to have finally completed the account of the SS Honved, an ordinary cargo vessel that called to port and left an extraordinary mark on the people of Cheekpoint.
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