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 Ingvald N NIlson

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PostSubject: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyMon Jun 27, 2022 6:43 pm

Stumbled across this extraordinary adventure by a Norwegian who claims to be a Zulu War veteran.

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Penny Illustrated 21 August 1887. No1 is Ingvald Nilson, No2 Bernhard Nilson and No3 Zephanias Olson


"AN ADVENTUROUS VOYAGE,
A small boat, the Homeward Bound, arrived at Dover on Monday with a crew of three hands, all told, having accomplished the feat of sailing from Port Natal to England. The little craft arrived off Dover shortly after midday, and later on entered the port. As soon as she bad fairly got into the harbour her weatherbeaten appearance at once attracted attention, and it was not long before the history of the boat was known. She was moored in the Wellington Dock for a few days prior to proceeding to London. A large number of people assembled on the Dover quays to inspect the boat, which, like her crew. were objects of very considerable interest. The Homeward Bound looks anything but a capable craft to perform such a voyage—in fact, from her appearance, few people except those of the most adventurous type would care to trust themselves far in a vessel of her size in an ordinary breeze. Yet during a voyage of ten months, with the exception of touching at two ports, she has been at sea the whole time, and in some very tempestuous weather. Her measurement is as follows : Length, 20ft. ; depth, 4 and a half ft.; breadth,7ft. She is only 4 tons, and draws about 3ft., the height of her gunwale from the water-level being about 18in. All the upper parts of the craft are well worn by the constant washing of the sea. The bottom of the boat is covered with long barnacles, and grass is growing at considerable length on her hull up as far as the water-line.
The boat was built in accordance with the ideas of Captain Nilson, the owner, who on being asked states that his only motive in crossing was to prove that it was not impossible in such a small craft to weather the Cape of Good Hope in the worst part of the year. Captain Nilson also says that he took part in the Zulu War, and has brought over a "mail bag" containing several letters to people in London and elsewhere, which were given to him at Natal by persons taking an interest in the voyage. Captain Nilson proceeded with his "mail bag" to London on Monday evening. The other two members of the crew are Norwegians, and the vessel left Natal in May last. During four weeks the most tempestuous weather was experienced, and the crew's clothing literally rotted off them by being constantly wet; for four days the waves were frequently breaking over them. The boat in so constructed that the hatches can be slid along so as to cover it in almost entirely."
West Sussex County Times - Saturday 02 April 1887

"The crew are as follows: Ingvald N. Nilson, captain; his brother. Bernhard Nilson, and Zephanias Olsen, all natives of Bode, in Norway, but sailing under the red ensign of Great Britain."
Weekly Dispatch (London) - Sunday 02 January 1887

I have found a carpenter, Ingvald Nilson born in Norway aged 42 living with his wife  Margaret Nilson and stepson Francis Weyland at Dee Street West Derby Lancashire in 1891

The date of the newspaper article (April 1887) appears rather late for him to mention taking part in the Zulu War. Initially I thought he might have been talking about the movements of the British forces that year but that didn't occur till August 1887.  
Do we reckon he took part in 'our' Zulu War? Perhaps as an NNC officer?
Further research is needed.
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyMon Jun 27, 2022 8:35 pm

Hi Kate
I can’t see a Nilson listed in the NNC or any of the other Volunteer units. A few Nelson’s (including Horatio Nelson in the FLH who might have been from a sailing family : [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] ) but none with initial I that I can find.
Regards Phil
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyTue Jun 28, 2022 5:08 am

Thanks Phil.  Salute

This from 1989. Note the incorrect spelling of the surname.

'On the way from Hout Bay is ‘Homeward Bound II’ an 18 foot open boat in which Paul Rodgers hopes to write himself into the Guiness Book of Records by sailing non-stop to Folkestone emulating the voyage of Bernhard Wilson & his brother Ingvald with their friend Zephanias Olsen in ‘Homeward Bound II a 20’ footer which sailed some 8000 miles from Port Natal to Folkestone more than one hundred years ago. The original voyage was to aid funds for a steerage berth from Capetown to Norway. It led to the three building their own boat and taking their lives in their hands to try to beat Captain Bligh’s famous open boat journey. Paul Rodgers hopes to arrive at Folkestone in mid-July and his progress will be eagerly anticipated.'
Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald - Friday 05 May 1989
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyTue Jun 28, 2022 5:21 am

Back to 1886 and a slightly different spelling of his surname.

A Perilous and Foolhardy Voyage. --The Natal Mercantile Advertiser says : — " The whaling boat Homeward Bound, in which three Norwegians are to attempt the perilous feat of sailing from Durban to London Bridge, has reached the city on its way to, the port, there to receive its final outfit. The boat is 20ft. in length, has 7ft. beam, is 4/half ft. deep from bottom to gunwale, and she lies on a wagon in the rear of Mr. Goodwill's store, in Church-street, and fills the visitor with considerable doubt as to the fate of the venturesome sailors who are prepared to entrust themselves to its habitation in a voyage of some 7000 miles. Captain Ingvald Nilsen, however, appears to have little doubt as to the result of the contemplated voyage, and frankly assured a Times of Natal interviewer that as the Hollanders were the first, some 26O years ago, to double the Cape of Storms in big ships, so he and his brother, Bernhard Nilsen, and his mate, Zefanias Olsen, had made up their minds to be the first Norwegians to double the Cape in a small boat." A correspondent (L. Chiazzari) writes to the above-named paper as follows : —

"Having read with interest the particulars of the perilous voyage about to be taken by Captain Nilsen, brother, and mate in a small boat from Port Natal to London, and as they seem to think that they will be the first to double the Cape of Good Hope in a small boat, should they succeed in their enterprise, I may say they certainly will be the first in as far as the voyage from Natal to London is concerned. But as far as rounding the Cape is concerned in a small boat, I, the undersigned, did it in February, 1871 or 1872, in a small yacht called the Eugenic, carrying capacity four or five tons in smooth water. She was decked similar to the yachts in Natal, such as the Mascotte, with the opening part covered with temporary loose boards, acting as hatches, with a tarpaulin over it. To give an idea how high she was inside under hatches, I have to say that we could not sit upright in her unless we unshipped some of the hatch boards. The crew consisted of another man beside myself, a Corsican, named Domenico Curioli. Including stoppages at St. Sebastian, Mossel and Plettenberg Bays, we made the passage from Table Bay to Port Elizabeth in five days. The said yacht was built in Cape Town, at Baynes' yard, for Mr. James Ansdell, of the firm of Searight and Co. I used the said boat in Algoa Bay for running pilots out to coming ships, and she was lost in putting a pilot on board a vessel that blew away from the anchorage in a westerly gale. I waa pitched overboard from her in the night time, by the carrying away of the square-sail boom, and had the pleasure (?) of Beeing L'Agulhas light from a rather uncomfortable position."
Hampshire Advertiser - Saturday 10 April 1886
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyTue Jun 28, 2022 5:30 am

This would make a good film!

THE HOMEWARD BOUND. A correspondent writes :—" Many of your readers will be glad to hear that the little sloop Homeward Bound, of 41 tons, from Natal to London, has reached in safety as far as the Azores. On the 23rd of December—the day on which I left St. Michael's —the captain of this nutshell was intending to leave there after a stay of one week, during which time he and his two comrades had been feted in a remarkable manuer. They left the district of Harrismith, in the Orange Free State, South Africa, where the boat was built, by themselves, and brought their little craft 2.:0 miles to Natal on a waggon, where they launched her, and proceeded round the coast as far as Bird Island. Here the harbour master declined to believe them, and became exceedingly irate when they informed him they were bound to London; but, on being definitely assured as to their destination, be was extremely kind to the daring voyagers. Thence they proceeded to Mossel Bay, and, after contrary winds for some days and a fearful night off Cape Agulhaa, they reached Capetown, where they had been long and anxiously expected, and were received with a perfect ovation from thousands of admiring friends as they arrived at the anchorage towed by the steam-tug which had been sent out to look for them.
The next port they landed at was St. Helena, where they were equally kindly treated by all the inhabitants, including the bishop. It was their intention not to put into any other port from here to London, but they found that owing to the delay caused by N.E. head winds their small stock of water was too low to risk the journey, and they decided to make for St. Michael's. This decision proved fortunate, for during the last eighteen days they were reduced to an allowance of only half a gallon each per day. They had intended to leave this port after a stay of a few hours, but a continuance of N.E. winds made it impossible for them to do so earlier than the day we left the island. The little vessel, which has only a 20ft. keel, is thickly covered with barnacles; otherwise she appears to be as fit to continue her voyage as she ever was, though there can be little doubt that by far the most perilous portion of her long trip will be from the Azores to the Thames.
She carries a royal mail bag from Capetown to England, and also is the possessor of a mail nag winch was presented to her by the authorities in Capetown. Captain Nilson is very sanguine that he will reach the home shores in about fifteen days, but at this time of the year a mouth will probably be nearer the time at which he may be expected to be. The crew are as follows: Ingvald N. Nilson, captain; his brother. Bernhard Nilson, and Zephanias Olsen, all natives of Bode, in Norway, but sailing under the red ensign of Great Britain."

Weekly Dispatch (London) - Sunday 02 January 1887
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyTue Jun 28, 2022 5:40 am

Another slightly different spelling for his surname. Captain NIlson mentioning having fought in the Zulu War could have come up in conversation when talking with 'a military man' who had been out in SA.

A PERILOUS VOYAGE.-ARRIVAL AT DOVER. On Monday morning, a Norwegian Sailing Boat, named The Homeward Bound, arrived in Dover Harbour, and was immediately an object of great curiosity when it became known that this was the small craft that had sailed from Natal at the Cape, South Africa. The boat appeared to be a strong., partly decked beat, of about fifteen or twenty feet in length, and it was brought alongside the Quay by the Esplanade, and a crowd soon assembled to examine it. There were three men on board, who had the appearance of being Norwegians, and the names they gave were Ingvald Nilsin,Berenhard Nilsin,and L. Olsen, the former acting as captain, and the others as his men.
One of the men got into conversation with a military man, who said he had been in Natal last year, and had seen the boat there, and by their remarks it would seem the boat was built in the Transvaal, and was taken in a waggon to Durban. They left Natal at the end of May, 1886, and were reported lost on several occasions by the Cape papers, while a steamer was sent out to look for them. They had very rough weather at the Western Islands and in the Bay of Biscay, but they found their craft a splendid sea boat although slow. The roughest weather, however, they encountered, although they were ten months on the voyage, was off the English coast. The men's object in undertaking such a perilous voyage is to prove that a small boat can weather the storms a the Cape, and they selected the winter so that their little craft should be tested to the utmost. No doubt that.they expect to "make money" when they arrive in London, and they will leave Dover in a day or two for the Thames. The captain, who was entreated with a number of letters from the Cape, proceeded to London on Monday.

Dover Chronicle - Saturday 02 April 1887
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyWed Jun 29, 2022 8:21 am

Kate
Should you come across anything written in Norwegian, one of my more obscure talents is being able to speak it. I'd be happy to translate for you.
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyWed Jun 29, 2022 8:46 am

Kate,

I still don’t access to my research materials, but have you searched for the name Nielsen, rather than Nilson?

JY
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyWed Jun 29, 2022 10:02 am

You can speak the langauge Julian? No way.
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyWed Jun 29, 2022 11:17 am

Kate
John is quite right. Changes in the language over the last 200 years mean that there are a variety of surname spellings - just like in English.
Have you never heard of the Norwegian footballer Håvard Nielsen?
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyWed Jun 29, 2022 11:31 am

Gosh! Surnames change over time. Well I never.
I would never have thought of that. Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes


Afraid I'm not a football fan Julian so no I haven't


Last edited by gardner1879 on Fri Jul 01, 2022 2:17 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Football edit)
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyWed Jun 29, 2022 1:10 pm

Kate,

It is a long shot but there was a Norwegian named Ingvold Schröder Nielsen, who served in the Scandinavian Corps of the Boer forces in the 2nd Boer War. There are a couple of references online: one of which refers to him as Captain, another that he was elected Corporal in the unit. He appears to have been transported as a P.O.W.

It might be a line worth pursuing, as there might be a family link.

JY



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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyWed Jun 29, 2022 1:21 pm

Thanks John  Salute
I will have a look for him amongst my Boer War books and archive material.

In my 5.40am post above the reporter writes that "the names they gave were Ingvald Nilsin etc"
I appreciate the reporter may have just scribbled down the name as Ingvald croaked it from a salt encrusted throat but it sort of suggests he spelt it out.
After all, after completing such a momentous journey, you would want your name spelt correctly for all the accolades to come.
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyWed Jun 29, 2022 1:48 pm

Yesterday morning whilst looking through Dutton's for Nilson and other similar spellings amonst the Colonials and Volunteer units I did find the following that were similar but there was no exact match:-

1 F. Neilson clasp 1877-8-9 r Cape Mounted Rifles p44
2 J Neilson clasp 1877-8 r Frontier Mounted Riflemen
3 N Neilson clasp 1877-8 r " p95
4 O Niestrom 1879 r FLH p96

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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyWed Jun 29, 2022 1:56 pm

Kate,

I’m likewise trying variations, there is a reference in the PMB Archives relating to Ingvald Nilsen in 1921, but the result doesn’t actually enlighten me as to the reason.

I’ll try the Cape Archives later as there’s a reference to Hout Bay.

JY
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyWed Jun 29, 2022 2:00 pm

Think I've found a unit for him John in SA. Baker's Horse.
I would say the name he gave to reporters is correct as this article says he spoke very good English

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Pall Mall Gazette - Saturday 09 April 1887

Area search N/T Dutton's for any Nilson/Nielson etc so if he did serve in the AZW he must have changed units


Last edited by gardner1879 on Wed Jun 29, 2022 2:12 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Duttons entry added)
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyWed Jun 29, 2022 2:11 pm

Heres the entire article for those who are interested. Its a fantastic story, especially when you see how small that boat is!!!

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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyWed Jun 29, 2022 2:24 pm

N/T Baker's Horse chapter in Terry Sole's 'For God, Queen and Colony'
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyWed Jun 29, 2022 3:10 pm

Kate,

Baker’s Horse were reformed after the Zulu War for Wolseley’s campaign against the baPedi in the northern Transvaal.

Vetch, who I mentioned recently served in that reformed unit, and he does not appear in Sole’s work in that unit, only in the N.N.C.

Interesting that the “Basuto” were mentioned as it could then be the Gun War of 1880. I think the Gun War medal roll is online.

JY

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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyWed Jun 29, 2022 3:43 pm

Is this the roll you were thinking of John?
If so N/T of any Nilson (or similar) or anyone with the initials of I or I N

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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyWed Jun 29, 2022 3:51 pm

Nilsson surname forms Nelsen and Nilsen are more common in Norway but Nielsen is also used.  In Sweden the parallel form is Nilsson (remember that Norway and Sweden were a united Kingdom between 1814 and 1905 so anyone from a border area were the languages were mixed might have their surname spelt either way). Before 1814 Norway was part of Sweden.  Nielsen is also in use in the Faroe Islands (formerly Norwegian but at that time Danish administration but still with strong Norwegian affiliations). Immigrants to English-speaking countries would often change the spelling of Nilsson to Nielson, Nelsen, Nelson, Neilson, or Neilsen.
Ingvald is the same in both Norwegian and Swedish.
Be prepared to find your man under a variety of surname spellings.
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyWed Jun 29, 2022 3:56 pm

As of 2014, 89.8% of all known bearers of the surname Nilsson were residents of Sweden, 2.6% of the United States, 2.0% of Denmark and 1.4% of Norway.
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyWed Jun 29, 2022 5:41 pm

G.O. No60 dated 19th March 1879 has an R.H. Nelson being made Lieutenant on the 6th March in Baker's Horse.
I could see how the H could be mistaken for an N but the R for an I is stretching it somewhat.
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyWed Jun 29, 2022 5:47 pm

Kate,

No R. H. Nelson was an Englishman who died on the Emin Pasha Expedition organised by H. M. Stanley.

I have his biographical details and an engraving of him.

JY
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyWed Jun 29, 2022 6:01 pm

Thanks John.
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyWed Jun 29, 2022 6:33 pm

Kate,

Please see [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

JY
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyFri Jul 01, 2022 2:11 pm

Smashing. Thanks John.
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptySun Jul 10, 2022 8:59 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
Kate
Should you come across anything written in Norwegian, one of my more obscure talents is being able to speak it. I'd be happy to translate for you.

Takk skal du ha!
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptySun Jul 10, 2022 10:55 pm

Alt å forplikte!
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PostSubject: Re: Ingvald N NIlson   Ingvald N NIlson EmptyWed Jul 13, 2022 10:47 am

Hi All
He is not Robert Henry Nelson Bakers Horse as above i agree with John, Robert died 26 Dec 1892 and is buried Fort Smith Cem Kenya, There is a memorial to him At Stopham Surrey.
Rai Keynshamlighthorse
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