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Klaas Pauw was born on 24 April 1884 in Blokzijl which was and is a small town in the Province of Overijssel in the Netherlands. His father was Johannes Hendrik Pauw. A general Salesman but who took over in 1885, together with his brother, the family firm and from then specialized in butter. Grandfather passed away shortly in December 1886. The name of the mother was Berendina Oosten. (a)
It is unknown why he wanted to go to sea but the area around Blokzijl had lots of water around it due to the excavation of peat. The whole area was prone to flooding until the 1930’s when the Afsluitdijk closing off the Zuider Zee was put in place. And it had a port which is now a thriving watersport location. Maybe that was the reason he choose to go to sea as I have not been able to find any fore bears with salt in their blood. The family itself had lived for generations in Blokzijl without any sea- links being mentioned in the local papers.
He joins the Kweekschool voor de Zeevaart in Amsterdam on 21 August 1899. After the three year education he joins Holland America on 07 August 1902 and is placed on board the ss Noordam. On 12 September 1903 he returns from sea with a very good report. For unknown reasons he does not pass the exam for 3rd mate (although his school reports were good) and thus he returns to Holland America on 05 Jan. 1904 as acting fourth officer.
He returns back to school on 16 June 1904 again with a very good report and then passes his exam for 3rd mate on 28 July 1904 with a special notation for speaking 3 languages. Consequently he is released from the Kweekschool on 29 July 1904 with very good reports for skills, behavior, and attests.
He returns on 29 June 1904 as 4th. Officer on board the Potsdam. When looking at his sailing list it is peculiar, compared to some of his colleagues, that he remains assigned to the passenger ships on a regular basis until promoted to captain.
It seems that this has to do with his parallel career in the Royal Navy. He enrolls in December 1903 and remains in the Reserve Service until his untimely death. By 1925 he had reached the highest rank possible for a Merchant Navy Officer, namely that of Lieutenant First Class in the Reserve. Holland America liked to have RNR officers in command of their Royal Mail Passenger Ships and thus he must have been given all the support needed to go for his RNR training periods.
This coincides with an entry in his sailing list when he fails his First mates (captain’s ticket) exam. It can be assumed that he did not have enough time to prepare himself with the Royal Navy moving him from (training) ship to ship. So the company did not take it very seriously that he did not pass at the first go. Because as soon as he passes he is assigned as the Sr. Navigator to the flagship ss Rotterdam and then shortly after to First or Chief Officer. (See his Royal Navy at the very end of this biography)
Now he should have spent several years as first mate /first officer on the cargo ships but again he is assigned to the passenger ships and the two senior (ss Nieuw Amsterdam (I) and ss Rotterdam (IV) ones on top of that.
On 08 April 1913 he marries in the town of Zwolle Debora Johanna Mesdag (passed away 19 April. 1932 at Rotterdam) Her parents (Uco Mesdag and Hedwig Maria Koemer) had a factory there. But by 1925 the Pauw family is listed as living in Rotterdam. (a)
By the end of 1914 he is promoted to Captain with his first ship being the cargo ship ss Waaldijk. This only lasts for a short while as for the next three years he remains with the Royal Navy due to the First World War, although the Netherlands was neutral during the conflict. He then returns to the cargo ship and ends up in 1922 for ones very short voyage on board the ss Koudekerk. This was not a Holland America Line ship but belonged to the VNS or United Steam, a joint venture of several Dutch shipping companies in which the HAL participated with ships and personnel. This company had been founded in 1921 to enable services to Africa and to the Far East all the way to China, routes where there were no established Dutch companies. The VNS had bought a ship, the ss Kirkshall Abbey, which had been sailing a few times in charter for HAL and Captain Pauw was dispatched to Hamburg to pick her up and bring her to Rotterdam via Antwerp. There Captain Siebe Vlietstra took over and Pauw was transferred to take out the brand-new ss Breedijk on its trial trip and subsequent maiden voyage to Philadelphia and back.
After another spell with the Royal Navy he is sent away for “the long run”. This was the service to the Dutch East Indies the so called Holland Britisch Indisch Service from New York. Which was operated under the VNS banner. For relieve the company had come up with a clever idea, namely sending new crew over while working on a ship on the short North Atlantic service, transfer in New York, while the relief crew sailed the ship back to Rotterdam and then went on leave. For captains does was not always one and as the B class ships had a few extra cabins, Captain Pauw sailed as passenger to New York and took command of the ss Vechtdijk on 21 September 1923 in New York.
He makes 3 round voyages from New York going as far east as Colombo on Ceylon (Now Sri Lanka) by 10 Oct. 1924 he is back home again. After a year away the captains where then assigned on the ships which did the shorter voyages to the East Coast of the USA and thus he is assigned to the ss Grootendijk a cargo ship built in Holland in 1923. This ship makes one month voyages between Rotterdam and New York with about 10 days in between while the ship is turned around in Rotterdam.
On the return of the 4th. Voyage a tragedy occurs as he suddenly passes away on 09 May 1925 due to an unknown cause. The ship was coming from New Orleans and was just passing Folkestone. Cause of death unknown. The Chief Officer sails the ship home and it arrives in Rotterdam the same day. He was buried on 12 May at the General Cemetery at “Crooswijk”, Rotterdam
There seem to have been several children. The death notification of 1925 lists:
A Pauw – Noordhof
J Pauw & Children from Kota Radja Dutch East Indies.
- Additional Genealogy E.H Kruidhof
- Comportementen boek Kweekschool voor de Zeevaart as held by the City Archives of Amsterdam
- (c) Stamboek Personnel records of the Holland Amerika Lijn as held by the Municipal archives of the Rotterdam
- (d) Various newspapers via Delpher
Sailing List: (c)
Date: Function: Ship: Wages and/or remarks.
07 Aug. 1902 Cadet Noordam 10,–
16 Oct. 1902 Cadet Rotterdam 10,–
14 Feb. 1903 Cadet Soestdijk 15,–
12 Sep. 1903 Temporary dismissed for school did not pass the exam.
29 Dec. 1903 Act. 4th. Officer Statendam 20,–
16 May. 1904 Act. 4th. Officer Sloterdijk 20,–
29 Jun. 1904 Temporary dismissed to go to school. Passed exam for 3rd mate on July 1904.
11 Aug. 1904 4th. Officer Potsdam 30,–
19 Nov. 1904 4th. Officer Statendam 30,–
21 Dec. 1904 Temporary dismissed to join the royal navy.
03 Jan. 1905 Placed for a 3 month exercise on board ss Gier of the Navy Reserve.
05 Apr. 1905 4th. Officer Amsterdam 30,–
27 Apr. 1905 4th. Officer Soestdijk 30,–
05 May 1905 4th. Officer Potsdam 30,–
19 Jul. 1905 4th. Officer Noordam 30,–
17 Jan. 1906 Act. 3rd officer Rijndam 40,–
15 Aug. 1906 3rd. officer Amsteldijk 40,–
30 Nov. 1906 Temporary dismissed to go to school passed for 2nd Mates ticket 21 Feb. 1907.
25 Feb. 1907 3rd. Officer Nieuw Amsterdam 50,–
10 Apr. 1907 3rd. officer Sloterdijk 50,–
13 Jul. 1907 Act. 2nd officer Sloterdijk 60,–
13 Feb. 1909 2nd officer Potsdam 60,–
03 Mar. 1909 Temporary dismissed to go to school. On 22 April failed exam
Note: this failure to pass should absolutely not have any negative consequences for this person.
03 May.1909 2nd Officer Sr. Rotterdam 70,–
06 Dec. 1909 Temporary dismissed to go to school passed for first mate’s ticket on 9 March 1910
17 Mar. 1910 Act. Chief Officer Amsteldijk 100,–
26 Jun. 1910 Temporary dismissed to go to the Royal Navy.
08 Oct. 1910 Act. Chief Officer Zijldijk 100,–
01 Jan. 1911 Due to restructuring of wages 130,–
16 Apr. 1911 Chief Officer Zijldijk 140,–
03 Nov. 1911 Chief Officer Rotterdam 140,–
29 Dec. 1911 Chief Officer Nieuw Amsterdam 140,–
12 Feb. 1912 Chief Officer Sloterdijk 140,–
10 Apr. 1912 Temporary dismissed for Royal Navy.
30 Aug. 1912 Chief Officer Rotterdam 150,–
01 Apr. 1913 Temporary dismissed.
24 Apr. 1913 Wages increased to 175,–
24 Apr. 1913 Chief Officer Noordam 175,–
09 Jan. 1914 Wages increased to 190,–
01 Aug. 1914 Due to mobilization of the Dutch forces temporary dismissed to go to the Royal Navy.
17 Dec. 1914 Act. Captain Waaldijk 250,–
20 Oct. 1915 Temporary dismissed for the Royal Navy.
01 Dec. 1918 Dismissed from military service and on standby,300,- wage increase
07 Feb. 1919 Captain Amsteldijk 300,–
01 Jul. 1919 Captain Amsteldijk 625,–
01 Jan. 1920 Captain Amsteldijk 650,–
15 Oct. 1920 Captain Amsteldijk 675,–
15 Aug. 1921 Captain Vechtdijk 675,–
16 Oct. 1921 wages decreased to 610,–
16 Jan. 1922 Captain Koudekerk 610,– (Holl. Br. India Line)
01 Mar. 1922 Temporary ashore
08 Mar. 1922 Captain Boschdijk 610,-
ED: the Boschdijk was only delivered in October, hence he was re-assigned to the ss Breedijk
15 Mar. 1922 wages decreased to 585,–
Per movement book 22: on Breedijk (First Captain) 15 Mar – 01 June
01 Jun. 1922 Temporary ashore Placed on board HMNS Cornelis Denkbl ??? for one month
01 Jul. 1922 Temporary ashore
02 Nov. 1922 Captain Binnendijk 585,–
05 Mar. 1923 Ashore due to illness 585,–
12 Mar. 1923 Captain Drechtdijk 585,– relieve joins at Glasgow.
14 Jun. 1923 Captain Koudekerk 625,– VNS
17 Jul. 1923 Ashore Royal Navy.
08 Sep. 1923 Captain Vechtdijk 585,– transferred via the Burgerdijk
10 Oct. 1924 Ashore 585,– to Boston.
16 Oct. 1924 Captain Grootendjk 585,–
08 Sept. 1924 Captain Bilderdijk 585,–
11 Oct. 1924 Temporary ashore.
16 Oct. 1924 Captain Grootendijk 585,–
01 Mar. 1925 Promoted to Lieutenant Royal Navy First Class.
09 May.1925 Deceased on board while sailing through the English channel.
Dutch Royal Navy career: (d)
1903 Dec. 03 Placed on Hr. Ms. training ship Gier Extraordinary Ensign First Class K Pauw.
1904 Dec 21 Placed –unknown
1905 Jan. 03 Placed for 3 months on board Hr. Ms. Gier
1906 Apr. 03 Released from Hr. Ms. Gier
1908 Oct. 12 Promoted to Extra Ordinary Ensign First Class
1909 Dec. 06 Placed – unknown
1910 Aug. 26 Placed on board Hr. Ms. Van Speyk
1910 Oct. 07 Released from Hr. Ms. Van Speyk
1912 Apr. 15 Placed on board Hr. Ms. Hefring
1912 May. 17 Placed on board Hr. Ms. Evertsen
1912 Jun. 15 Placed on Hr. Ms Heemsckerck
1912 Sep. 28 Released from Hr. Ms. Heemsckerck
1912 Oct. 21 Promoted to Lieutenant 2nd class (*)
1914 Aug. 01 Assigned to Royal Navy Reserve for the duration of the war.
1914 Aug. 15 Placed on board Hr.Ms. Bellona
1918 Dec. 1918 Dismissed from service
1920 Jun. 14 Allowed to fly the Royal Navy reserve flag on board the merchant ship he will command as long as he is in service of the Holland America Line.
1925 Feb. 17 promoted to Lieutenant First Class (*)
(*) together with C.J de Kup also HAL Captain