Dad at sea part II, 1926-1936

This story was written not only for my own children but also for my nephews and niece and their children (living on the US west coast), who might sometimes wonder about their grandpa and grandgrandpa. Perhaps the story and the pictures are also of interest to others. Arne was born in 1906. He died in 1981.
The 21 August 1926, after exactly a year on board, Arne signed off the sailing ship "Beatrice". Only two weeks later he signed on for the small steamer "Greta of Säffle" as a deck-hand (ordinary seaman). The ship operated along the north-west European coasts and by Gothenburg up into the lake Vänern. At the dinner-table at home when I was a kid, it happened that Arne related about this time and described how the crew had "a job on the side" by smuggling liquor and had great fun of duping the customs officers. The time on board "Greta" was short - he signed-off already on the 18th December 1926 (possibly because of ice in the lake Vänern?). (Arne in the middle in the back.)

Until September 1 1927 Arne was singed off. Probably this was the time he was called up for military service in Karlskrona where he was "turning the heels" to use his own wording. Later at home he talked scornfully about this time. From his time at sea he was used to act on orders, but here ignorant officers combined with a demand for total obedience, also when really silly things were ordered, did annoy him.

For the month of September 1927 Arne was signed on at a ship named "Ymer", but was then on land until December 27 1927, possibly because of unemployment. At the dinner-table later he told about a time when he had to go to the Salvation Army's "restaurant" and have some soup to eat. And how he had no money to buy new shoes. - Though 28th December he singed-on for "Stureholm" of the Swedish America-Mexico-lines as a deck-hand. He stayed there for a little more than a year - he left Stureholm at the end of March 1929.
After the time at "Stureholm", Arne signed-on for the Johnson line freighter m/s "Pedro Christophersen" operating on South-American harbours.

This picture of an iced up ship is found in Arne's photo album. He told us at home that once they had a really heavy covering with ice but also how they then luckely came into an area with warm air where the ice melted away quite soon.

I think this picture is taken in Buenos Aires. Arne is standing in the middle.
Looks as a reasonably happy crew! Arne is standing to the left at the very back.

At the end of June 1930 Arne left the "Pedro Christophersen". During the last four months he had been signed as an able seaman. Then it was time for the navigation school in Gothenburg: "Mate class A 1930". Arne in the back row, third from right.

During his time of study in Gothenburg he lived at his aunt Ida, who had a grocery store in Gothenburg.
After getting his mate licence, Arne first signed-on for the Swedish East Asia Company's steamer "Nippon" as third mate for half a year and then for "m/s Peiping" of the same company.
Photo from a visit on board. Arne in the middle, his brother Tage to the right.
"Singapore - Manila. June 1932. Elegant for Saturday." - Somebody has entered the masting with a camera.
m/s "Peiping". Gross ton 6393. Crew: some 32 men. On 2:nd tour homeward bound from Hamburg in October 1932. On board as second mate." In the middle of the photo, behind the ship we have "der Michel" i.e. the church of S:t Michael - later bomb-wrecked in the war but rebuilt afterwards.
"Peiping", Hamburg Oct 1932.
A leaflet saved by Arne.
When homeward bound on the next tour, a group of Swedish passengers boarded the ship in Shanghai on 25th January 1933. This was a Swedish family with two girls and their governess (a combined nursemaid and school teacher) on their way home to Sweden after a 1-2 years stay in Harbin, Manchuria. The father of the family had been working for the Swedish Match company. After the Japanese occupation and all nasty things connected with that but possibly mainly because the Match Company had gone bankrupt (the "Kreuger crash") the family now left for Sweden.
The name of "the governess" was Ingegerd who became acquainted with an attractive mate on board...
A. Larsson, second mate on Peiping. 1933. (according to Ingegerds photo album)
Oslo 26/3 1933. "Greetings from Johan, "Jössi", Arne. m/s "Peiping".
On the 30th of April 1934 Arne got his Swedish "sjökaptensexamen" - a modern translation might be "Degree of Bachelor of Science in Nautical Science". - Then after a month it was time to sign-on for "Formosa" where he stayed until May 7 1935 - nearly for a year.

Arne and Ingegerd married in May 1935 and the newly-married couple had three months together that summer. On the 17th of August Arne signed-on for the "Nippon".

"s/s "Nippon" in the harbor of Danzig, 28 August 1935. On board as 2nd mate./A.B.L."
21 September 1935: Arne sends a postcard to Ingegerd from Jerusalem. In January 1936 he was back home but only for 2-3 weeks.
"The Red Sea, Jan-Febr 1936. 3rd och 2nd mates on board s/s "Nippon" on duty doing the more delightful tasks. (Steersman is B. Johannesson from Långedrag (Gothenburg).)"

Arne was back home on 2nd June 1936. Ingegerd's and Arne's first son was then already born. Delivery was announced to Arne with a telegram possibly to be translated to English as : "Fine Lars./Goodma." The radio officer was very puzzled: "But your wife isn't named Goodma??" Telegrams were expensive and payed by the word count and money was scarce, so Arne and Ingegerd had been joking about how to write as short a message as possible. This one could be decoded as: "We have a boy and he is OK. I am also OK."

After singing-off from Nippon and after 11 years at sea on foreign countries, Arne decided to stay ashore with his family. This was a very determined act. During his time at sea he had met many persons who felt unhappy because of living separated from their families - so this he now wanted to try to avoid. Though during the winters of the Second World War and some years after that he was on board the "Isbrytaren II" (later named "Sankt Erik"), an ice-breaker owned by the Stockholm harbour. During the war it operated along the Swedish east coast, after the war more in the vicinity of Stockholm. Later I may also write about that time.

April 15 2013. Lars-Åke Larsson

Copyright © 2021, Cybis Elektronik & Data AB.