The future Titanic captain discharges a 2nd mate from the ocean liner Britannic
Scarce and highly sought after DS, signed “Edwd J. Smith,” one page, 7.75 x 6, stamp-dated March 29, 1895. A certificate of discharge issued to T. G. Raddish, a second mate on board the Britannic. The document states Raddish served aboard the vessel from March 5, 1895, until March 29, 1895, and was discharged in Liverpool. Printed near the bottom is a certification statement which reads, “I certify that the above particulars are correct and that the above named Seaman was discharged accordingly, and that the character described hereon is a true copy of the Report concerning the said Seaman.” Signed at the conclusion of the statement by Smith as the vessel’s master, and countersigned by a shipping representative. The discharge also bears two “V.G.” stamps in areas for character of conduct and ability. Some scattered light creases and wrinkles, and some toning along left edge from adhesive, otherwise fine condition. Smith joined the White Star Line in 1880 and assumed command of the Britannic, a post he held until May of 1893, when he left to briefly command the Adriatic. As he rose in seniority, some transatlantic passengers would sail only on ships captained by Smith. The Britannic was a White Star Line vessel launched in 1874, and able to cross the Atlantic in slightly more than seven days. In 1899, it was requisitioned by the British government and used as a troop transport during the Boer War. An exceedingly rare document, signed by Smith as his career ascended towards his fateful command of the Titanic. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
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