Carved in New Brunswick on the shores of the Bay of Fundy this 145 year old figurehead without his moustache was on the bow of the St. Martins built Prince Victor. On Good Friday 1887, Captain Hans Cornelinsen in the Norwegian sailing ship Prince Victor, was en route from New York to the dock at Sharpness with a cargo of 10,000 barrels of paraffin.
He was negotiating the Severn Estuary, with the assistance of two tugs and a pilot, when it was discovered too late that there was insufficient water to clear the sands. The ship struck a sandbank near Beachley and turned broadside on the tide, falling over on her beam-ends. She crushed the tug Victoria into the sands Captain Cornelinsen's wife and son were both lost, the lady in the ship's saloon, the son in the galley, both being drowned when the vessel rolled over. The Prince Victor dragged across the sands for another half mile, where it was secured by lines to a large oak tree at the water's edge at Woolaston where she became dry at low water.
At Woolaston churchyard there is a grave to the two passengers who died. The villagers were said to have been very kind to the survivors, who camped on the bank near the wreck.
The grave of Nathalie Cornelinsen (Corneliusen)
and her son Olaf in Woolaston churchyard.
Prince Victor at home at
The Aviary, Priding
odious The Prince Victor was later caulked, righted and towed to Sharpness where she was condemned and then auctioned, selling for £250.
The figurehead was acquired by local antiquities dealer Charles Camm who displayed it in a garden at the Riverside hamlet of Priding. In the 1960's a neighbour Wilfred Ayland uncovered the bramble hidden figurehead, restored it and transformed it with paint.
The figurehead was later transferred to the safekeeping of the Gloucester Folk Museum
In 2016 the figurehead was restored was given "Dennis Healey's eyebrows" and a ferocious moustache was added for reasons unknown and returned to St Martins New Brunswick.
Prince Victor at Priding with Black Labrador
Jet of Priding
Figurehead of The Prince Victor