A student has found a 94-year-old message in a bottle from a teenager who sailed the world taking part in thrilling adventures and was looking for a fellow traveller.
Grant Peters, 26, from Toronto, discovered the glass container partially-buried in a sand dune on Post Office Bay, on Floreana Island in the Galapagos Islands.
Inside was a scroll of paper – weathered and aged but luckily still readable.
It was dated August 1, 1924 and said: ‘Hugh Craggs, Yacht St George RTYC. Will any finder please enclose message bearing date, name of finder, of ship, destination, do a rebury and send a postcard to Hugh Craggs 50 Ruskin Ave Manor Park London E12.’
The message in the bottle (pictured) read: ‘Hugh Craggs, Yacht St George RTYC. Will any finder please enclose message bearing date, name of finder, of ship, destination, do a rebury and send a postcard to Hugh Craggs 50 Ruskin Ave Manor Park London E12’
Keen to find out more about the mystery sender, after seeing it in May, Grant asked for help on discussion forum Reddit.
Here the amazing life of Hugh Craggs was revealed – tales of his remarkable voyages, searches for pirate treasure and ‘wild animals and savages’, reported the Mirror.
In 1922, 18-year-old Hugh and his three brothers lived in East London with his mother Imogen, following the death of his father John, an inspector with Scotland Yard who was also a published poet.
Hugh, an assistant in the hosiery business, longed for a more thrilling life and tried to join Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition.
Share this article
Sadly he wasn’t chosen but then he saw an advert for a steward on an expedition to be led by Dr Cyril Lockhart Cottle, and funded by Sir Jeremiah Colman of the famous mustard family.
They were to set sail from London on a 90-tonne schooner called Malaya.
Hugh wired Dr Cottle for a meeting and through his enthusiasm he secured a place, beating 2,000 other applicants.
In a newspaper interview just before they left, Hugh said: ‘I’ve been longing to go on a trip of adventure for years. It’s come at last.
‘We are to be away for about three years. I expect to find all the things I’ve read about. Wild beasts, we’re looking for wild animals, savages, fights with natives, we’re ready for anything.’
Grant Peters, 26, from Toronto, discovered the glass container partially-buried in a sand dune on Post Office Bay, on Floreana Island (pictured) in the Galapagos Islands
The prime purpose for the expedition was to search for new species of porpoises and dolphins. Sadly they would do this ‘by harpooning them’.
Dr Cottle said: ‘We shall probably go to Vigo then to the Canaries, to the West Indies, on to Colon through the Panama Canal; from there to scattered South Sea islands. We may call at Samoa, North New Guinea, Singapore and North Sumatra. Parts of North Sumatra are totally uncivilised, peopled by man-eating natives.’
Within days of setting sail, the Malaya was battered with ‘mountainous seas for 12 hours’ before seeking shelter in the Canaries.
The only casualty was its chimpanzee mascot which ‘came to an untimely end, having strangled itself’, a newspaper reported.
The trip to the Galapagos, off the coast of Ecuador, where Hugh decided to leave his letter was to last more than three years.
Young Hugh had found his calling and wouldn’t return to Britain – instead he would disembark in Colon, Panama, in February 1926 and then move to Cristobal in 1929.
Grant (pictured) is astonished by all the information he managed to uncover, saying: ‘Hugh had an amazing life. It’s been a privilege to find out about it, what an adventure’
This is where he became a banker and met his wife Gay, who he had one daughter with.
Yet Hugh’s adventurous spirit couldn’t be tamed, and as revealed in the 1935 book Rough and Tumble by Bob Roberts, he longed to find the £300million Lima Treasure.
This was supposedly an incredible hoard of gold and jewels stolen by an English ship’s captain and said to be buried in a cave on Cocos.
In the book another adventure-seeking sailor recalls: ‘In Cristobal we ran up against a young man named Hugh Craggs..[who]appeared vastly interested in our doings.
‘Craggs started talking of Cocos Island [around 350 miles off Costa Rica]. When serving in the Malaya he had spent 47 days there. The place fascinated him.
‘Stories of treasure said to have been buried there he had investigated and disproved so far as was humanly possible.’
Yet the treasure escaped Hugh and it appears that he and his wife moved to New York in 1932, then around Florida, the West Indies and on to Central and South America.
In 1983 Hugh’s beloved wife Gay died. Eight years later after moving to Arizona, he past away too.
One of his grandsons recounted more amazing stories of his grandad: ‘During the war he organized an effort to raise funds in Colon to purchase a Spitfire for England. He also was the first to kayak through the Panama Canal.’
Grant was astonished by all the information he managed to uncover, and said: ‘Hugh had an amazing life. It’s been a privilege to find out about it, what an adventure.’
- 11,500-year-old infant remains reveal ancient population
- Man pleads not guilty to manslaughter and robbery of 100-year-old woman
- EAA AirVenture to feature 100-year-old warplanes for Royal Air Force centennial
- Man denies manslaughter of 100-year-old bag snatch victim
- No way! Wayside Restaurant & Bakery turns 100 years old
- Man denies manslaughter of 100-year-old
- 100-Year-Old Superhuman Orville Rogers Sets New World Record In Race Of Scootin' Grandpas [CORRECTED]
- Eight decades of Wisconsin State Fair and 100-year-old woman still can't get enough of cream puffs
- Bartow Man Still Golfing Daily at 100 Years Old
- Two 100 Year Old Cars Duel To The Finish At Goodwood