Seaman Nathan Pond of Pool’s Island

Reprinted from The Packet, July 5, 2018
by Lester Green

Survives the Great War but succumbs to injury in New York high-rise accident.

Royal Naval Reserve service records. Source TRAD_GN 182.4

Nathan was born on February 2, 1893 to John and Sarah Pond at Pool’s Island, Bonavista Bay. He enlisted with the Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve in November 1911. On October 31, 1914 he was notified by Royal Proclamation to proceed to HMS Calypso at St. John’s where he sailed out of St. John’s Harbour destined for overseas aboard the SS Franconia on November 6 , 1914.

Upon his arrival overseas he was drafted to HMS Amsterdam, an Armoured Boarding Steamer with very light armoury, that was used to support the North Sea blockade and transport troops to France. He served on this ship for approximately 16 months. He was then transferred to Victorious III, a repair ship at Scapa Flow, for 10 months.

Letter to Editor by Nathan Pond. Source Evening Telegram 1917-08-24

His next assignment was to HMS Pembroke on May 15, 1917 where he spent less than two weeks before receiving news that he was going home to the HMS Briton, formerly the HMS Calypso at St. John’s. While at the HMS Briton he would have received leave to visit family and friends. It was during this time period that he wrote to the editor of the Evening Telegram to thank Dr. Keegan for an operation that he had received which eventually allowed him to return to active duty.

He did not return overseas but was assigned to the Royal Canadian Navy at HMCS Stadacona, Halifax. He was drafted to the Coastal Drifter CD 14 while serving at the Niobe naval base.  Leading Seaman Pond was transferred to the HMCS Guelph on May 1, 1918 but remained aboard CD 14. He received orders that he would be going home around December 21 where he received orders of his demobilization on April 4, 1919.

Nathan married the widow of Seaman Eldred Gosse of Queen’s Cove, Eliza Jane Butt. Seaman Eldred Gosse had lost his life on the ill-fated HMS Laurentic, January 25, 1917.

Shortly after their marriage, Nathan and Eliza Jane moved to New York where he became a foreman rigger on a high-rise project where he tragically fell to terminal injuries.

Alan G. Benson wrote Nathan’s vivid obituary that appeared in the Evening Telegram on February 3, 1926. Alan noted that Nathan was only appointed to this job for a few days, when he climbed to the second story of a two million dollar building, he lost his balance and feel backwards on a ladder that he was climbing on December 15, 1925. His legs had caught in the rungs of the ladder breaking his thigh bone and spinal cord. He died of his injuries on January 14, 1926 and was buried at Mount Olive Cemetery, New York. He left behind his wife and four sons all under the age of six years.

Seaman Nathaniel Pond drill records before WW1. Source MHA_HMS Calypso Fonds

Queen’s Cove

Queen’s Cove. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Spurrell)

Queen’s Cove was permanently settled by a family of Goobie’s in 1870s. Earliest records indicate that Maria was born to Newman and Elizabeth Goobie in 1874. Newman was joined a short time later by his brother’s Nathaniel and Joseph. Other surnames to be recorded at Queen’s Cove arrived through marriages to the Goobie’s. The names Gregory, Butt, Cramm, Ash, Whalen and Benson to name a few. It wasn’t until the arrival of Eleazer and Rhoda that the surname Gosse became known in the community. Likewise, the surname Spurrell was introduced by Abraham who was born at Butter Cove but moved to Queen’s after his marriage to Elisabeth Jane, daughter of Edmund and Maria Whalen.

When the Great War started in 1914, four men stepped forward. Caleb Cooper, William John Butt, James Cramm and Eldred Gosse all served during the Great War. We also recognize another sailor, Nathan Pond of Pool’s Island, Bonavista Bay, who married the widow of Eldred Gosse, Elizabeth Jane Goobie.