Notes on the S.S. Florizel
1980.22 net tons, 440 hp a steel steamer built in 1909 by Charles Connell & Co. Glasgow, Scotland and owned by the New York, Newfoundland & Halifax Steamship Co. Ltd., Liverpool. She was known as the Red Cross Line (the red cross being the Bowring house flag). The company was formed in 1884 with many Newfoundland shareholders and was managed by Messrs. C. T. Bowring & Co. Ltd. Of Liverpool.
Operated in freight and passenger trade between St. Johnís, Halifax and New York and in the off season went to the seal fishery.
Between 1909 and 1916 she was the largest sealer at the ice. Under Captain Abram Kean, she was the first ship to use wireless telegraphy and on March 18, 1909 sent the following to Bowring Brothers:
"17,000 panned, 12,000 on board; Eagle 20,000 panned; rest of your fleet in seals, have not done much; Adventure, Erik, Iceland, Bloodhound, Vanguard and Diana here; have no report; Florizel a great success." Sgd. A. Kean.
In total the vessel brought in 200,862 pelts.
At the beginning of World War I the first draft of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, often called the Blue Puttees or the First 500, sailed to England on the Florizel on October 4, 1914.
In 1918 while en route to Halifax and New York the Florizel went aground near Cappahayden and 94 lives were lost.