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Extracts from able-seaman George Jenkins Diary

About the diary of George Jenkins.

His Grandson, Stuart Jenkins wrote in 2002. "I first became aware of the handwritten manuscript recording my grandfather’s memories of his epic voyage in the clipper ship Teviotdale in 1876 when I was a child during the years prior to World War 2. However, it was not until 2004 that I took a real interest in what has proved to be a remarkable true story". The manuscript came to light when Stuart was going through some family papers after his father, Charles had died.

The manuscript is a true account of the final voyage of the sailing ship Teviotdale in 1876. It was written by George Jenkins, and given as a lecture at a public meeting in the Tullibody Institute in 1909, Tullibody being a small town situated between Stirling and Alloa in Scotland. The lecture may have been given only once.

George's background

George Jenkins was born in 1856 in the Royal Burgh of Perth, Tayside, now Perth and Kinross. His father was also a seaman; so it was probably inevitable that he – like countless others in Perth and the surrounding areas – would start off his working life by going to sea. His two brothers also were sailors, and sadly, along with his father (also named George Jenkins), all were lost in shipping accidents: his father drowned when the SS Dalhousie foundered on the bar of the River Tay in 1864 with all hands lost; his eldest brother fell from a large sailing ship on her homeward passage from Colombo to London in a strong gale off the Cape of Good Hope; and his younger brother, on the crew of a steam ship, died when his ship was lost in a gale in the Bay of Biscay.

Goerge Jenkins seafaring days came to an end in 1884 when he joined the Customs House Service.  George had spent the best part of 10 years at sea, on a variety of ships, mostly sailboats but latterly some steamers.

Here we see George Jenkins, dressed in his Customs House uniform, taken c1884, he was about 28 years of age. Photo from Jenkins family archive.


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This page was last updated 12th April 2020.

George as Superintendant

ater in his career, George was promoted to Superintendant. We see him here with Mr John Hill and two of his Customs House colleagues c1909.  Customs House Officers greet the arrival of a steamer at Alloa Port, c1900.


Alloa had a thriving port in medieval times, long before written records, right up till its closure in 1970.

Visiting Alloa today you will find memorial stone plaques at the place where the port was situated. Inscriptions tell of the importance of the place in its heyday. An example of three of the stone plaques can be found amongst the remains of the quayside foundations which relay stories of its past history.

The importance maritime trade to all corners of the globe from of Alloa is clear to see, since Daniel Defoe wrote in 1723, “At Alloa … A Merchant May Trade To All Parts Of The World …

Teviotdale 60444

Book now available.

We are pleased to announce the publication of the story of the Teviotdale.  Here you will find a fascinating book giving a true account of a frightening shipwreck and an incredible human survival story from able-seaman George Jenkins.  George was just 20 years old when he was shipwrecked in the Indian Ocean along with 26 of his shipmates.  Read about the real adventures of sailors aboard ship on the high seas in the 1870's.

The book The Final Voyage is available on-line from Amazon Books Amazon.co.uk and other good bookshops such as: BookDepository, Blackwells, Waterstones and WHSmith.  The book is available in three forms: Paperback, hardback and as an e-book.

Simply search: "Teviotdale 1876 book"

Latest news....(26th January)

Whilst tidy up some old family papers, we came across this old newspaper clipping from 1910. It speaks of the fascination lecture given by George Jenkins in the Tullibody Institue Public Hall.

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