Archives for posts with tag: Tai On

Ainda acerca do navio a vapor «Tai On» que fazia a carreira de Hong Kong para a China e que foi assaltado no dia 27 de Abril de 1914, no Rio Oeste, por piratas e da “Bravura de portuguez” que publiquei em 27 de Abril de 2017 (1), encontrei na net um artigo publicado no jornal australiano “Leader” (2), datado de 30 de Maio de 1914, acerca deste assunto, com o título: “MARINE DISASTERS. PIRACY IN CHINA SEAS. – DETAILS OF HORROR”.
“Further particulars regarding the shocking piratical outrage on the China S.S. Co.’s steamer Tai On, on West River, 70 miles from Hong Kong, whereby the ship was burnt and partly sunk, and 145 lives lost, including the, chief officer, Mr. Evans, following on a desperate fight by Captain Weatherell, Chief Engineer McCarthy, and the brave Portuguese guard, Dias, were brought to Sydney on Saturday by the Tai-yuan from Hong Kong. It was agreed amongst the officers of the ill-fated steamer that they should all.
stick together and jump for the water at a given signal from Captain Weatherell. Dias, the Portuguese, who is said to have shot down twelve pirates, leapt into the sea just after the others, and he states that as Chief Officer Evans jumped he was shot in the leg by one of the marauders who had tried unsuccessfully to capture the ship. The loss of blood which followed is supposed to have prevented Mr. Evans from hanging on to the rudder of the ship with the others, and his dead body was picked up later near the wreckage. It now appears that although the Tai On became a burning wreck she did not wholly sink, and on the Government steamer Stanley visiting the scene of the outrage next day she was found to be still burning in places. The sight which met the eyes of the searchers was a terrible one. The inside of the boat was gutted, but she was alight fore and aft. Kerosene was feeding the flames in the fore part of the ship. Heaps of mangled and burnt bodies were found lying about different portions of the ship in strange attitudes and with anguished and horror-stricken faces, which showed only too plainly the terrible death they had suffered. In numerous instances there was nothing but heaps of congealed flesh. which, said Commander Taylor, of the Stanley, may have represented dozens of bodies. The stench was horrible. The Tai On was taken in tow, and later her blackened and scorched skeleton hull was brought into Hong Kong. Captain.
Wetherell, Chief Engineer McCarthy, Guard Dias and other Europeans bravely held the bridge against the piratical assault. As the Chinese came up the companion way they were mowed down by the captain and his fellow officers. At one stage, foiled in their attempt, the pirates seized a Chinese member of the crew, and, binding him in front of one of their number. who was ascending the steps, they called on the captain to surrender. It was a ticklish moment, but Captain Wetherell continued to fire, and unfortunately the seaman was killed with his captor. Mr. B. D. W. Gray, who belongs to Hong Kong, and who is making a trip to Australia in company with his wife in the Taiyuan. stated to-day he understood that of the 160 passengers who were rescued from the burning ship, about 30, most of them wounded, were believed to have belonged to the pirate contingent. Mr. Gray confirms the opinion that pirating in the China Seas is a business amongst thousands of men and women. Even the precautionary measures of searching the man passengers on the boats is not satisfactory, because the women carry arms and weapons aboard also, and not only are weapons taken on board in furniture and other things, but in vegetables. On the morning before the Taiyuan left Hong Kong, two men and a woman, all Chinese, were charged and remanded for a week for being concerned in the Childar outrage, which occurred about March. A fourth suspected person had been discharged.”
(1) https://nenotavaiconta.wordpress.com/tag/tai-on/
(2) “Leader” (Melbourne), Sábado, 30 de Maio de  1914, p. 41.
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/89312388

A “Revista Colonial” (1) apresentava no seu número de Junho de 1914, na sua primeira página, um artigo sobre a “Bravura de portuguez”. É relatado a acção de valentia de dois portugueses, guardas do barco “Tai On” que fazia a carreira de Hong Kong para a China e que foi assaltado no dia 27 de Abril de 1914, no Rio Oeste, por piratas. Os guardas foram o macaense Leocádio Jorge da Silva e o antigo soldado da campanha dos cuamatos (2), António Dias.
(1) «Revista Colonial» ano II, n.º 18, 25 de Junho de 1914.
(2) Capitão José A. Alves Roçadas (1865-1926) que foi Governador de Macau (1908-1909), tendo sido nomeado governador do distrito de Huíla no Sul de Angola (1905) iniciou as operações militares de ocupação das terras do povo cuamato (no sul do distrito) onde fundou o Forte Roçadas.