THE RMS QUEEN MARY
SPECIAL VOYAGE



An original menu from the famous R.M.S. Queen Mary, for the first special voyage
of The War Brides & Their Children, to America at the end of World War II
Dated February 2nd, 1946

 

The menu has a photo of the Queenship at the top, being escorted by tugs, made from
photos as the ship was launched on the Clyde River, Clydebank, Scotland, from the
ship builders yard.
The next page is a dedication from the Captain:
"I SEND YOU MY BEST WISHES FOR YOUR HAPPINESS AND
GOOD FORTUNE IN YOUR NEW LIFE IN THE
GREAT COUNTRY OF YOUR ADOPTION"
The last page is the actual Non-Class dinner served on
February 2nd, 1946.
A wonderful part of the Great South Bay Collection tm

"THE RMS QUEEN MARY"
1936 to 1967

In 1934, both Cunard and White Star Lines were planning to build new and
very large vessels. Cunard a 80,000 toner, White Star a 60,000 toner.
Cunard's to be built by John Brown & Co, Clydebank, Scotland, and
White Star's by Harland & Wolfe, Belfast, Ireland.
However due to White Star's financial situation, and the Great Depression,
their new ship plans were abandoned.
The two lines were merging, but during this time Cunard kept the name of
their new vessel a very tight secret.

Originally the name was to be the
"VICTORIA"
but when it came time to inform King George V of this decision, Sir
Percy Bates and Sir Ashley Sparks, two of the top people at Cunard, they
requested an audience at Buckingham Palace.
It was left to Sir Ashley, who was Cunard's top representative in
North America, to speak to the King.
He said:
"YOUR MAJESTY, WE ARE PLEASED TO INFORM YOU THAT
CUNARD WISHES YOUR APPROVAL TO NAME OUR NEWEST
AND GREATEST LINER AFTER ENGLAND'S GREATEST QUEEN"

Without a moments hesitation, the King replied:
"MY WIFE WOULD BE DELIGHTED"
Well is was uncertain if Sir Ashley meant Victoria or Mary,
however after the Kings reply, that was that!!!

So in September of 1934, Queen Mary traveled to the Clyde, to give
the new liner her name.
It was the first christening by a British Monarch, and marked as the
Queen's first public speech in her 24 years as consort.

On may 24th, 1936, the new Queenship was launched.
The Clyde River was known for being narrow and tortuous, tugs were
positioned and great precautions were taken to secure the massive vessel
down the river, but in a moment of tension, even peril, while thousands
watched, she ran a ground on the Clyde's South Bank.
After a very anxious half hour she broke clear to complete her voyage to
Southampton.

The Planet News called the Queen Mary:
"THE GREATEST SHIP EVER BUILT"
A combination of highly traditional styles, and much that was ultra modern,
or what would be called  "Art Deco" today.
She became one of the most successful liners in history.
A tribute to Cunard's thinking and knowledge of the marketplace.

Her maiden voyage was on May 27th, 1936, from Southampton, England,
arriving in New York, June 1st, 1936.
Towed up the Hudson passing the old Cunard Pier 54, (14st & 12th),
to be docked at pier 90 (50-55st & 12th).
Pier 90 is still in operation today and located just North of the
Intrepid Sea & Air Museum.

The Queen Mary was built by
John Brown & Company Limited
Clydebank, Scotland, 1936
She weighed 81,235 gross tons, and was 1,018' long,
118' wide, with a 39 foot draft.
Having a service speed of 28.5 knots, driven by steam turbines
with a quadruple screw.
She could carry 2,139 passengers, 776 first, 784 tourist, and 579 third.

The special voyage menu of the war brides was given to me by my mother
who was aboard the Queenship traveling to America to reunite with my father
at the end of WWII.
Her mother, was one of only seven, to be chosen by the BBC London
to send a radio communication to her daughter, via ABC Radio, New York,
after the ships arrival.


The above photo is of the seven war brides and their veteran
husbands, chosen to receive a radio communication from their
families via the BBC London to ABC Radio, New York.
The two on the very left side, front is
Francis(Bud) and Patricia(Pat) Hoffmann, my mom and dad.


An original Cunard/White Star
HEAD TAX RECEIPT
Issued to Patricia Hoffmann upon arrival in the U.S.
The tax paid was 2.00

THE POEM BELOW WAS WRITTEN BY MY DAD
REFLECTING BACK AT SUCH TIMES.

"LIFE'S JOURNEY FOR A DOUGHBOY & HIS GIRL"


We met when we were young amidst the bombs and guns, in
Shepherds Bush, near River Thames, in a city called
London's West End!

We laughed & danced, kissed & romanced,
and truly fell in love.
We married in London, honeymooned in Wales, and
started life's journey with wind in our sails.

We lived under buzz bombs, a few rockets too, with death all
around us for those left to view.

I left for America, you stayed behind, a parting
of sorrows swept down the line.
It seamed like a lifetime, but you finally came,
across the big ocean, and again life began.

We worked & we prospered, we lived & we traveled,
we laughed & we cried, we were living our lives.
Then came Jeri, then came Paul,
the struggle, the heartache, we took it all, but
life was even better with four.

The children are all gone, we are now alone, just as we were
when we started it all.
Although we are old, we are still one, and when
God chooses to take us
"WE WILL GO AND HAVE FUN"
Bud Hoffmann 2001

On Sunday, October 26th, 2003 at 7:15 am
Patricia Hoffmann passed along, and at the time of
her passing, was held in the arms of my Dad, 62
years after they first met.
Good bye Mom, hang in there Dad,
Love Paul & Jeri.

On Wednesday, May 14th, 2008 at 9:15 am
Francis (Bud) Hoffmann passed along.
I had the most wonderful,
but heart breaking opportunity to talk to him about old times
& say our good bye's one day before his passing.
It seems he was hanging on , waiting for me for those last few moments together.
I hope that the poem written above is coming true
for Pat & Bud, & they are together
"HAVING FUN"
as they always did!!!
Love forever
Paul


Patricia and her mom were the only ones selected to have their pictures placed
in the New York Sun, Wednesday February 6th, 1946, with their radio
communication as well as a detailed list of all the war brides aboard the ship,
and a story of how the Queen Mary's speed was reduced from
28-20 knots to help ease a wide spread case of seasickness.

ANYONE INTERESTED IN A NICELY FRAMED
REPRODUCTION OF THE ABOVE MENU
PLEASE VISIT C-DECK
"THE OCEAN GRILL"

"MUSEUM DIRECTORY"
"ALL DECKS"
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