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Ocean Liner History and Stories from the Sea, Past and Present. With an In Depth focus on Holland America Line

Augspurg, Victor Hugo

Name:  Augspurg Victor Hugo

Born:  30 September 1891 in Amsterdam,



Thus far this is the most mysterious captain of whom I try to unravel the hisotry.  We have his career listing as found in the archives but no personal information. He was made redundant in 1931 together with some other captains due to the depression.

Comparing his career with his peers from the same year of joining the company, he made captain about 6 years later than the others, most likely due to the frequent recalls to the Royal Navy. Which he must have liked as he remains an RNR until 1938.

This is what I know thus far, (a)

As the name indicates the family came from Germany. The first time we know about them is in 1902 when on 23 Aug. 1902 a law is proposed to grant citizenship for the father Mr. V.J.C Augspurg, together with 10 others. In those days the Dutch parliament had to pass a law each time foreigners wanted to become Dutch. The father is noted in the application as a merchant in Amsterdam.  The Queen’s consent to the law is given on 12 Jan. 1903 whereby Victor Julius Carl Augspurg has been granted the Dutch Nationality which then automatically included the whole family. It further on states that he was born on 23 Jan. 1856 at Buckowine in Prussia/ Selesia. Auspurg is the Latin variation for city of Augsburg in Germany but we do not know why and when they took that name.

It seems that there were at least 4 children:

H.H Augspurg (who also went to sea but with the Netherland Line but later settled in San Francisco after having married an A. MacCormack)

V.A Augspurg (our captain)

Th. Augspurg (who also went into the cigar and cigarette business)

I. Augspurg (daughter who went into teaching and ended up with a PHD in Dutch Literature)

The father shows up on a regular basis in the local newspapers as he settles down in Amsterdam as a Cigar and Cigarette seller and is very active in the local chapter of the association of Tobacco shop owners.

In Dec. 1900 he publishes a handbook for shop owners that provides them with complete information and systems to keep their shops and do the book keeping. He is instrumental in donating tobacco to the un-employed.

In 1904 he is listed as the chairman of the local section of the National Retail Organization, and he seems to remained being the chairman at least until 1919

His shop was located at the Ferdinand Bolstraat 134 near the Ceintuurbaan where in Jan. 1909 he is connected to a telephone (9000). Which was quite advanced for a shop owner in those days.

In 1906 a Law on the opening times of the shops is debated in the Dutch Parliament in The Hague and Mr. Augspurg Sr. is very active in lobbying the local politicians to get the law phrased in such a way that it meets the needs of the shop keepers. The law was passed but some shops ignored the ruling and the protests continued. Around the same time there is the problem that some less savoury elements in the Amsterdam society use cigar shops as a front for prostitution. Again Mr. Augspurg is on the battlements to deal with that.

And in 1908 he is on the committee to honour Rembrandt the painter with a celebratory procession and other festivities. This takes place but it is interesting to note that the opponents of the plans use his German background as a reason to stop the plans.  They did not succeed in the slightest.

Augspurg Sr. passed away 04 May 1915 at Amsterdam at the age of 69 last known to be living at the Overtoom 550. He had been married to Mrs. Catharina Margaretha Geertruida de Vries  (who passed away on 01 Aug. 1928 at the age 64)

20 Feb. 1920 a Th. Augspurg travelling salesman in cigarettes (Ceintuurbaan 80) is declared bankcrupt. (ED: I think this is one of the brothers)  He moved later to Assendelft and had two daughters.

We do not know why the two brothers choose for the sea. Because they wanted to or because of economic necessity but in the newspaper an interesting advertisement shows up which might provide a clue:

06 May 1911 advertisement in the local Dutch newspaper: Which notary public, orphanage or inheritance POA is looking for inheritors of the ship’s Captain Johann Wilhelm Molch born in Germany and passed away in the Netherlands between 1860 and 1870. Please send answer to V Augspurg Amsterdam.

Thus there must have been “salt blood” in the family or close relations, otherwise why would the father deal with the inheritance.

Brother H H Augspurg:

01 July 1907 finished secondary school

14 July 1907 Enters the Maritime academy in Amsterdam together with his brother V.H

23 Dec 1909 cadet officer on board ss Koning Willem II  and was part of a note of protest discussed during a  Dutch Board of Inquiry in Amsterdam.

07 Feb. 1912 passed the exam for 3rd mate.

In the announcement of his father’s death he is listed as living in San Francisco.

Sister Ida Augspurg

Born 18 Jul. 1890 at Amsterdam passed away 10 April 1988 at Utrecht listed as Doctor Ida A.

18 Jul. 1907 Passed admittance exam for University on 18 July 1907 for Literature

29 May 1911 Passed first stage exam at university

17 Jun. 1915 Passed doctors exam in Dutch literature at the University of Amsterdam Cum Laude

Finished working at the national middle school in Coevorden on 01 Sept. 1921 and takes a job as teacher in the Dutch language on 25 Sep. at the HBS for ladies in Rotterdam. Passed away on 10 April 1988.

(ED: The announcement of her passing was put in the newspapers by her two nieces so I think that she never married)

V.H Augspurg:

He joins the Kweekschool voor de Zeevaart in Amsterdam on 27 August 1906 and the profession of his father is then noted as Travelling Salesman living at the Ferdinand Bolstraat 134 in Amsterdam (b) In the school records it is noted that on 13 July 1907 he receives a 2nd prize for (ED: we assume) a thesis about Natley, the rise of the Dutch Republic”.

14 Jul 1907 goes to 2nd class  Kweekschool  (The later Captain CHP Coster is in 3rd class) and brother HH Augspurg joins him there as he came with a higher secondary school grade into the school (also in this class was J Munnik later HAL Captain)

19 Jul. 1909 Passed final school exam together with J Munnik and is placed as cadet with the Holland America Line in November 1909. He returns to school on 23 December 1909 with a very good attest.

08 Feb. 1911 passed his 3rd mates exam and is honourably dismissed from the Academy on 10 October 1911 noted with a good attest for skills, good behaviour and good attest from his cadet year.

Apart from re-joining the Holland America Line he also joins the Royal Navy as Reserve Officer.

12 Dec. 1913. Appointed Ensign extraordinaire 2nd class effective 2 Jan. 14 and placed on board HMS Atjeh.  (In the same announcement, CHP Coster is dismissed for leave from HMS Atjeh)

10 Jul. 1914 passes 2nd mate exam (Together with the later Captain PHG Verhoog while the later captain    C van Beek passes the first mate exam)

01 Jul. 1915 promoted to Ensign extraordinaire First class.

03 Jun. 1917 Place on board HMS Brinio

11 Sep. 1920 passed exam for First Mate

04 Oct. 1920 promoted to Lieutenant 2nd class KNMR

29 Jun. 1925 placed on board HMS Gelderland as 2nd lieutenant

07 Jun. 1928 placed at Station Willemsoord

01 Jul. 1928 transferred from Station Willemsoord to HMS Hertog Hendrik

30 Sep. 1928 end of training period on HMS Gelderland and placed on indefinite leave with an honory discharge and promotion to Lieutenant First Class on 15 Jan. 1929

23 Feb. 1932 Stationed at The Hague to follow a course at the Army School

28 Sep. 1938 retired from the Dutch Royal Navy with full honours.

He makes captain for the first time in 1929 when he went up from Chief  Officer to Captain on the ss Rijndam. The ship was coming to the end of her career and did not have a permanently assigned captain anymore but several Sr. Chief Officers and Jr. Captains made one voyage with her. So also Victor Augspurg who made voyage 203, sailing from Rotterdam on 02 Jan. 1929 and after calling at Boulogne Sur Mer headed to New York and from there the same way back again. Arriving in Rotterdam on 30 January 1929. the ship went for scrap near the end of May 1929.

And then the company records stop. Also he does not surface anywhere in the newspaper records anymore.  He was just turning 30 years old, no issues (at least not any reported ones) in his career but all information stops.


(a) Various Dutch Newspapers as accessed by the Search engine Delpher.

(b) Comportementsboeken Kweekschool voor de Zeevaart as held by the City Archives of Amsterdam

(c) Stamboek Personnel records of the Holland America Line archives as held by the Municipal Archives of the city of Rotterdam

Sailing List: (c)

Date:                    Function:                            Ship:                                    Wages and/or remarks.  (c)

15 Nov.1909       Cadet                                  Soestdyk                             Fl 10,–

23 Feb. 1910       Cadet                                  Rijndam               Fl 10,–

20 Jul. 1910         Cadet                                  Nieuw Amsterdam           Fl 15,–

13 Dec. 1910      Temporary dismissed for study

27 Feb. 1911       4th. Officer                         Rotterdam                         Fl 30,–

01 Mar. 1912      4th. Officer                         Rotterdam                         Fl 40,–

13 Oct. 1912       Hospitalized in New York having contracted scarlet fever Dismissed from there on 26    Nov. 1912 and returns home per ss Rotterdam

13 Dec. 1912      3rd. Officer                         Sommelsdijk                      Fl 60,–

20 Nov. 1913      3rd. Officer                         Nieuw Amsterdam           Fl. 70.—

25 Dec. 1913      Temporary dismissed to join Royal Dutch Navy Reserves

10 Jun. 1914       Passed 2nd Mates exam

22 Jun. 1914       2nd Officer                          Nieuw Amsterdam           Fl 100,–

01 Aug. 1914      Temporary dismissed due to the mobilization of the country

11 Sep. 1916       2nd Officer                          Maasdijk                             Fl 130,–

22 May. 1917     Temporary dismissed due to the mobilization of the country

01 Jan. 1919       2nd Officer                          Rotterdam                         Fl. 130,–

05 Sep. 1919       2nd Officer                          Nieuw Amsterdam           Fl. 215,–

22 Mar. 1920      Ashore to study for first Mates ticket passed exam Sept. 1920

01 Oct. 1920       1st Officer                           Sommelsdijk                      Fl 320,–

27 Feb. 1922       Temporary ashore for Royal Navy Reserve

08 Nov. 1922      1st Officer                           Andijk                                  Fl 285,–  (ashore 25 july 1924)

14 Aug. 1924      1st Officer                           Dinteldijk                            Fl 285,– (ashore 15 May 1925)

01 Jul. 1925         temporary ashore for the Royal Dutch Navy Reserve

01 Oct. 1925       1st. Officer                          Maasdijk                             Fl 290,–  (ashore 25 Mar. 1926)

24 Apr. 1926       1st. Officer                          Stadsdijk                             Fl. 290,–

03 May 1926       1st. Officer                          Eemdijk                               Fl 290,–

01 Oct. 1925       Pay raise                                                                                Fl. 295,–

01 Apr. 1927       Pay raise                                                                                 Fl. 305,–

12 May. 1927     1st Officer                           Ashore                                   Fl. 305,–

17 Jun. 1927       1st Officer                           Dinteldijk                            Fl. 305,– (ashore 03 jun. 1928)

07 jun. 1828        To the Dutch Royal Navy Reserve. Returns on 08 Sep. 1928

02 Oct. 1928       1st. Officer                         Rijndam                                Fl 305,–

01 Jan. 1929       Captain                                 Rijndam                               Fl 560,–

30 Jan. 1929                                                    end of records


  1. de stamboom is online te zien

    • Captain Albert

      April 4, 2022 at 8:42 am

      Bednakt voor uw opmerking, maar ik kan hem niet vidnen. Een uitgebreide google gedaan met de naam, en het enige nieuwe dat ik gevonden heb is een photo van de graf steen van Auspurg Sr. Dus als U een link heeft, dan bijzonder graag.


      Capt. Albert

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