VOYAGE OF THE 'CONFLICT'
by John Winter
Late of Battersea - England
The 'Conflict' was a noble ship,
As ever escaped the rocks,
And so said every one
Who saw her lying in the docks.
Her burden it was human souls,
Five hundred full or more,
All bound to seek a better home
On far New Zealand shore.
It was on the 5th of the month,
The month that was of May,
The gallant vessel left the shore,
And it was a lovely day.
And then the steam tug bore her off,
To Gravesend famous town,
Fergus McIver was her name,
Let it be handed down.
They moored her just off the twon,
And opposite the peer,
We saw the public houses there,
But could not get the beer.
One public house stood full in sight,
The Falcon was the sign,
It brought the tears in some folks eyes,
Perhaps it did in mine.
We left Gravesend twas May the 9th
Guided by Pilot bold,
Trustung to him, our way to find
Through England's Channel old.
And some of us wore faces sad,
And some wore faces gay,
But each & all took hope with them
And flung dispair away.
And here we passed a Man of War
Who gave us farewell kind
They greeted us with cheer, boys, cheer
And played Auld Lang Syne.
Off Portland Bill the Pilot left,
For there is duty ends
And by him favoured, there we sent
Letters to absent friends
We passed Lizard May 17th
Last of old England's shore
And many say, the most of us
May never see it more
The 'Conflict' bravely bore us through
Old Biscay's famous Bay
The very seas were kind to her
And very smoothly lay.
But most of us were very queer,
And sickness came to some
And very many ladies said.
"I wish I were at Home"
But do not deem them faint of heart,
Or think they cowards be'
Ask anyone who ere has felt
The sickness of the sea.
Still bravely sailed the 'Conflict' on,
And we had yet find,
The name of any ship she saw
And did not leave behind.
And then we passed St Vincents Cape,
Whose name brave Nelson bore,
The fine old 'Conflict' bore us through
But left us far from shore.
And then she showed us Teneriffe,
A Peak, well known to fame,
There are few of us who have been to school
That have not heard the name.
The Tropic line we passed ore,
The one we Cancer call
And then we had the juice of lime
To quinch the thirst of all.
We crossed the line on June the 7th
But did not see the mark,
The reason was the boatman said
We crossed it in the dark.
We now and then saw Porpoises,
And whales, one or two,
And plying on sunny days
Here pleasant things to view.
Twas in the night the 9th of June
The wind rose rather brisker
The good old 'Conflict' came to grief
Lost her Jib-boom & spinnaker.
But soon her men were at their work,
And sided by some more,
In a few days the 'Conflict' looked
Just so she did before.
Favoured clouds & cooling breezes,
We passed the time away,
The heat did not oppres us more
Than England summer days.
We passed the mail ship homeward bound
Who signalled she would tell
That she had seen us when & where
And report us, as all well.
And now we had a baby born,
Right soon to have another
The first one as the custon is
Names 'Conflict' after her Mother.
And we passed ships, some far, some near
But lads you are to learn,
The last look that they have of us
Was at the 'Conflict' stern.
We passed Brazil, steering South
It is the truth I Tell
And then the 'Conflict', Eastward turned
She knew the road quite well.
We passed the Cape, that of Good Hope,
And sea birds they came out,
And then the 'Conflict' saucy got
And rolled us much about.
She rolled about from side to side,
To stand we were not able
You'd laugh to see the breakfast things
Go sliding off the table.
And we held on for very life
With fingers and with thumbs
And those who held not tight enough
Just sat upon their thumbs.
Sometimes pea soup was on the floor,
And somtimes it was skilly,
More often it was on ourselves,
Which made us look quite silly.
The foot hold it was very bad.
And many of us fell,
Sore bones were very much about
So I can surely tell.
The weather was both cold & damp,
And tried our boots & shoes,
And Rheumtisam came anout
And gave us many screws.
And we began to be quite cross,
Not to each other civil
I may as well speak out at once
We cross were as the devil.
And death had found the 'Conflict' out
Tho far from any shore
At first he took the little ones
And left the more mature.
The sailors cook, a cloured man
Was first of those he took
He died alone, no friend stood by
To mark his dying look.
A little wax-like figure lay
In silence at his side
That little one the Lord had taken
We must not say she died.
We laid them in the Ocean deep
There await the call,
When the sea shall give up her dead
To face the Judg of all.
Death now came in another form,
The night July fourteen
A sailor from the yard arm fell
And never more was seen.
No look or cry was seen or heard
The wave still bore him on,
It cast a gloom upon us all,
To hear, poor Wilson's gone.
On July 17th death came back,
And took away another,
The first time he a father took,
This time it was a mother.
They covered her with Britian's flag
The sight would make you weep
The flag was raised, the prayer was read
They plunged her in the deep.
She left behind two little ones,
Too young their loss to mourn,
Poor little Annie & babe
Just over two weeks old.
The 'Conflict' nobley sailing on,
The date July eighteen,
For three weeks we have ploughed the seas
And not a sail have seen.
We are passing by Australia West,
It lies North nine degrees,
She is lying grandly on her side,
And flying through the seas.
Alas death has been here again,
On July twenty four,
We hope and pray he'll not return,
Before we reach the shore.
Two young men came from Surrey Hills,
As friends to earn their bread,
One has to write the letter home,
To say his friend is dead.
Good consolation he has got,
In what his shipmates said
He nursed poor Mullins, while he lived,
And mourns him now he's dead.
One Saturday night & Sunday morn
Night July twenty five,
The 'Conflict' had a stormy time,
And kept us all alive.
The Captains voice was heard all night,
In accents loud & deep,
And more than one of our ladies fair
Were heard to sob & weep.
The sailors voices loud & hoarse
Were heard above our heads
The last two sails, one carried away,
The other torn to shreds.
The 'Conflict', July twenty nine,
Lies idly on the seads
Bowing polotely all the day
And cannot get a breeze.
Death came to-night, and took a babe,
About in sight of shore
Again we hope, but fear to trust
That he will come no more.
To-day, the 31st of July.
The cry is, Land in sight,
And men & women crowd on deck
Hald frantic with delight.
As policeman walketh up and down
As for his cook he waits,
So said we, anxious, to & fro,
To enter our Cook Strait.
Even now, grim death came back again
Another babe to take,
Let us hope his number is now complete
As this the eight death make.
Four days we're beaten up and down,
And cannot make our way,
It takes the spirit out of us
To meet with such delay.
Our old Friend death, came back again,
And took a chold away,
The sister of the little one
He took the other day.
The Captain used his utmost skill,
One point to get us past,
Perhaps it got his temper up,
For here we are at last.
Tis Sunday evening, August two
Just as it's coming night,
The joy ful cry is heard on board,
"The pilot is in sight".
Hurrah my lads for Wellington,
We're safe in harbour laid,
We hope we never may repent
The voyage we have made.
We love our sailors, though they are
As sailors should be rough,
They like to tell a sailors yarn,
Though some they tell are tough.
Our children knew them, one, and all
And children are not silly,
They love them all, from boatswain Stan
To easy going Billy.
Our Doctor done his very best
To pass some pleasants hours
And he deserves as he shall have
The warmest thanks of ours.
That he has worked very hard,
And treated us with skill,
And helped us in our time of need,
Ask those who have been ill.
The Captian is a gentleman,
Of the tru English kind
So good a man, so fine a ship,
You will not often find.
We'll teach our children one and all,
Our Captains name to know,
And say he brought our fathers out,
Twas many years ago.
And say the 'Conflict' brought us out,
A ship well known to fame,
A Captian true commanded her
And Hardy was his name.
Now listen, Just a few words more,
Before we close the book,
I think our thanks are strickly due
To baker and to cook.
They've worked hard to dress our food,
By night as well as day,
That they have done their best to please
I think we all must say.
God Bless the Captian and the mates,
The Doctor and all her creww,
We thank them for their work well done
And kindly say 'Adieu'.
Now ship-mates tell me one and all,
And to the truth be strict,
Was there ever a ship that sailed the sea
Like our good ship 'Conflict'.
(1827 England-1899 New Zealand)
Also visit ... THE CONFLICT page
Also visit the WINTER FAMILY TREE page
Also visit the WINTER PHOTO ALBUM page