Saturday, 11 April 2015

And we call her Ranchita

Voor de Nederlandse tekst, klik hier.

To enlarge the images, please click on them.

This year it is 65 years ago that many Dutch left independant Indonesia. It was the end of a traumatic period. Civilians, living there for generations, felt that they had no option but to escape increasingly hostile circumstances. Professional soldiers, many of them with roots in the Dutch East Indies, will have felt the same. Among the conscripts there must have been some relief. Relief that they went home after having been involved in the so called police actions which turned out to be a guerilla war. Most of them travelled by ships chartered by the Dutch government. The majority left from Tandjung Priok, the port of Djakarta, to Holland. One of those ships was a P&O liner, the SS Ranchi. It was a special ship. I had never heard about her until I saw a death notice in a Dutch newspaper.

SS Ranchi

Sir Charles Stewart Addis
When Lady Addis arrived at the Hawthorn wharf in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on January 24, 1925 she must have been pressed for time. She was not only the wife of Sir Charles Stewart Addis[1], among others a banker and director of the famous P&O Line[2], she was a busy woman as well. But on this day she was invited to baptize the latest of P&O’s R-ships[3] and to wish it safe journeys. Little did she know about the many Dutch babies who would open their eyes for the first time in the ship’s infirmary.
The SS Ranchi was intended for the London-Bombay mail service, hence the ship’s name of an Indian city. Apart from sailing to India, the Ranchi also cruised in the Mediterranean. In August 1939 she was requisitioned by the Admiralty for service as an armed merchant cruiser. At that time her after funnel was removed and guns were fitted. The ship sailed some 300,000 miles on patrol and escort duties until she was refitted as a troopship in 1943. The SS Ranchi participated in the invasion of Italy. Until she was
SS Ranchi
reconditioned again in 1947, Ranchi carried close to 55,000 troops within the Middle East area. During the last five active years of her life she carried immigrants, predominantly to Australia. In 1953 the ship was scrapped in Newport in Wales. On January 19 of that year, almost to the day 28 years after she was launched, the SS Ranchi was handed over to the demolition crews. She survived Lady Addis by less than a year.
But how about those Dutch babies?

The KNIL and their offspring
When the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army, commonly known as the KNIL, was disbanded in July 1950, the larger part of its personel had to be moved to the home country. And in a hurry please! The KNIL had been the military power in this former Dutch colony ever since it was established in 1830. In the aftermath of the Dutch supremacy over what is now called Indonesia, the KNIL (a.o.) was involved in the governments last throes before it was forced to turn over the remains of its power to the Indonesians and their leader/president Sukarno. For all civilians and military who would not swear allegiance to the new rulers, the situation became unpleasant, to say the least. So the Dutch government was forced to rapidly organize sufficient transportation capacity. One of their actions was to charter a number of ships among which the SS Ranchi. She made two voyages from Tandjong Priok, the port of Djakarta, to Amsterdam. The first trip departed from the Indonesian capital on August 29, 1950. The majority of passengers[4] consisted of KNIL personnel and their families. It is tempting to believe that those people were happy to return to the fatherland. But that ignores the fact that a large percentage of KNIL staff was born and raised in the East Indies. And now they had to travel to a country they only knew from stories and pictures.

Birth control
It is obvious that having to move thousands of people in a relatively short period of time, requires extensive planning. But to facilitate the planning proces one needs information. Information about the ship and about her passengers. The Ranchi file in the Dutch National Archives holds a letter from the KNIL quartermaster general, colonel K.A. Warmenhoven. 48 Days before departure the man possesses amazing information! Not only does he know how many KNIL wives are pregnant, he also knows when the delivery is due plus the composition of the families. It also implies that the troops at that time already knew on which ship they would be travelling. His letter mentions the following numbers.

Pregnant women expecting when
Babies   < 1 year
1-3 years
3-8 years
Children >8 years
August before departure
End of August
Early September
End of September
Early October

Speaking of intimate knowledge...
But the proof of the pudding is in the eating. How does the planning compare with real life. Based on these figures the quartermaster predicted 70 newborns[5] during the trip which lasted from August 29 u/i September 25. That was thought to be a bit much for the available medical staff. So he shifted a number of families to another ship thus aiming at less than 50 births for the SS Ranchi. The actual number turned out to meet his expectation. Therefore, all mothers and their sea babies will have received proper care.

But then there is the other question. How come that so many women were pregnant during the same period? Or was it just coincidence?
SS Ranchi with her rear funnel removed to allow guns being installed in 1939 
To answer that question one has to put the Ranchi passengers in the perspective of the events taking place in 1949 and 1950. Without going into detail, ever since the end of world war II there had been a warlike situation in the Dutch East Indies (or Indonesia if you like). Mr. Sukarno proclaimed independancy in August 1945. Nationalists fought the colonial rulers and the Dutch sent over 100,000 troups to restore the pre war situation. Forced by international pressure sovereignty was eventually transferred to the Indonesians. The calender reads December 27, 1949.
During the period prior to the peace talks many Indo-Dutch people no longer felt safe in the former colony. A vast number of families including those of KNIL personel,  did not choose to become Indonesian nationals. That left them no option but to leave. The exodus saw its peak in 1949 and 1950 when well over a 150,000 people moved (back) to Holland by boats mostly chartered by the Dutch Government. During the absolute peak year (1950[6]) every month 9,000 people boarded their ship in Tandjong Priok. Putting the average family at 4 persons results in 2250 families every month. A pregnancy percentage of 3 does not seem irrealistic, certainly if one appreciates that birth control possibilities then were not up to todays standards. For medical staffing reasons colonel Warmenhoven tried to gather as many “pregnant families” as possible on the fewest possible ships. Seen in this light all these pregnancies on the Ranchi do not seem special. So coincidence? I don’t think so.

In any case, the Ranchi passengers who were in the final stages of their pregnancy, were
Dutch newspaper article
probably happy to leave the uncertain circumstances in Djakarta. It would require the stork to make some ocean trips before the ship would harbour in Amsterdam. But storks are known for their flexibility. So when the SS Ranchi asked the IJmuiden floodgates to open on midnight of September 25 1950, 37 names had been added to the passenger manifest. Not surprisingly the Ranchi was nicknamed the Baby ship in the Dutch press. (It was number 2 because there was another baby ship[7] due about the same time.)

Before listing all those newborns, there is always the question about the nationality of those born at sea. Well, I am afraid I can’t give you a clear cut answer because the issue is a complicated one. The nationality and the location of the ship may play a role, but it may also be that the passport of the parents is determining. The Ranchi is a British registered ship; in this case all parents involved hold a Dutch passport. There are countries with laws based on the right of soil principle (ius soli). In this case all babies have been born on British soil so all babies ought to be British nationals, should this principle be applied. However, Dutch laws have been based on the ius sanguinis or the right of blood. So, despite other reports in the press[8], I assume all babies will be Dutch nationals.

Delivery at sea
SS Ranchi cabin
When the first ‘sea delivery’ took place the SS Ranchi had hardly left the Tandjong Priok terminal. The last one[9] happened in the often stormy Gulf of Biscayne almost four weeks later and nearly 16,000 kms or 8,600 miles to the cold north. But all babies had something in common, their place of birth was the SS Ranchi. A number of parents were so proud of that fact that they named their little one after the name of the ship, thirteen in total. Both boys and girls were given the names Ranchi, Ranchis, Ranchia or Ranchita, often in combination with a more traditional name. As a matter of fact, I saw one of those names in a death notice and it intrigued me. The name was completely unknown to me. So I checked a, or the I should say, Dutch first name database. But it hardly showed up.
Also the captain of the ship paid attention to what must have been a special trip for him as well. In his farewell letter to all passengers he said:
“I trust that all passengers, especially the little Ranchis and Ranchitas will remember this voyage to Amsterdam with pleasant recollection. I noticed since Aden the local storks have been very interested in this ship. I have personally seen dozens, which probably accounts for the additions to our passenger list.”
I doubt whether all these little ones will have any recollection about this trip. But I’m certain that the good wishes of the captain are no less well-intentioned.

The captain’s dozens
Below is a list of all babies born during this trip. Fortunately a note was made about the time[10] when each of these babies was born. Combining this with the ship tidings published in Dutch newspapers and the average speed of the ship (14 knots/hr), the approximate position of the ship when a particular baby was born, may be calculated. The original list also shows the place of birth of the parents. These have been incorporated in the lemma More facts and figures. Also the a’s, b’s and c’s between brackets are in reference to that lemma. The number at the beginning of each line refers to the number on the map[11] below.

#  Date/time birth        First/middle name (a)              Last name father (b)    Mother (c)
1  Aug 29, 20.50 hrs   Jane Ranchita                          van Muyen                  Kanaar
2  Aug 30, 07.15 hrs   Ranchi Edwardine                   Kruller                         Vos
3  Aug 30, 10.45 hrs.  Christiaan Victor Ranchis       Silvester                      v.d. Heiden
4  Aug 31, 04.45 hrs.  Elodie Wilhelmina Maria        Wins                            Heirman
5  Aug 31, 11.00 hrs.  Richard Edwin Ranchi             Muller                         Müller
6  Aug 31, 15.10 hrs.  George Rudolf                         Wagenaar                    Koster
7   Sep 1, 13.00 hrs.    Antoinette Ranchia                 Schwarzler                  Tumusu
8   Sep 1, 14.00 hrs.    Renie                                       Konings                       Pfaff
9   Sep 2, 10.15 hrs.    Harry Ranchi                          Hofstra                        Holsheimer
10 Sep 3, 08.10 hrs.    Esther Henriette Ranchita       Sprangers                    Veen
11 Sep 3, 11.00 hrs.    Hendrik                                   Eyk                             Tuininga
12 Sep 4, 07.15 hrs.    Xenia                                      Postma                        Drinhuyzen
13 Sep 4, 20.30 hrs.    Benjamin Cornelis Thomas     van Rossum                Vuursteen
14 Sep 6, 22.00 hrs.    Glenn Roy Thomas                 Weygers                      Binjola
15 Sep 7, 20.15 hrs.    Herman Otto                           Diesveld                      van Luyk
16 Sep 8, 08.30 hrs.    Maria Cornelia                        Schulte                        Rochani
17 Sep 10, 01.25 hrs.  Judy Maureen                         Wijnandts                    Zwart
18 Sep 10, 18.55 hrs.  Eric Ranchi                             Samson                        Reemer
19 Sep 11, 07.00 hrs.  Anna Marie                             Reggers                       Pirson
20 Sep 11, 18.30 hrs.  Robert Frank                           Cornelisz                     Heijne
21 Sep 12, 15.50 hrs.  Hedi Ranchi                            Evers                           Heldernisse
22 Sep 12, 16.55 hrs.  Albertus Maria                       Burger                         Nieuwenstein
23 Sep 12, 17.25 hrs.  Johanna Maria                        Burger                         Nieuwenstein
24 Sep 14, 02.47 hrs.  Eveline Ranchi                        de Jong                        Kramer
25 Sep 14, 17.15 hrs.  Victor Pieter Jon                     Woerlee                      van Woerden
26 Sep 16, 05.30 hrs.  Anna Margaretha                    Swerissen                    Hardy
27 Sep 16, 16.55 hrs.  Franklin Delano                      de Jong                        Kuypers
28 Sep 17, 11.45 hrs.  Sybilla Rosanne                      Nederbergh                 Herscheit
29 Sep 19, 22.25 hrs.  William Ranchi                       Neyendorff                 de Ceuninck 
                                                                                                                      van Capelle
30 Sep 20, 16.30 hrs.  James Patrick                          Wüstlich                      Koot
31 Sep 21, 09.30 hrs.  William Russell                       Klumpers                    Goudhuys
32 Sep 21, 18.30 hrs.  Maria Emelie Alida                 Varkevisser                 Verhoeff
33 Sep 22, 05.00 hrs.  Ranchi                                     Timmermans               Kühbauch
34 Sep 23, 00.45 hrs.  Margaretha Ranchi                  de Groot                      Samuels
35 Sep 23, 00.30 hrs.  Peggy Careen                          van Munster                Roelofs
36 Sep 23, 00.50 hrs.  Reni Mathilde                         van Munster                Roelofs
37 Sep 24, 05.50 hrs.  Martin Theodoor                     Esser                          Wiegers

Some of these names are written differently in other sources. See also More facts and figures.

The plotted places of birth of the Ranchi 37
The plotted position of these births may be regarded as fairly accurate. In one case the exact position of the ship is known. It is the birth of Robbert Frank Cornelisz (#20). He had a note made on his own death circular: 18°33’ N, 39°43’ E. That position is shown on the Google map below (yellow pin).
There is also a report from the ship’s chaplain, his name is Mgr. F. Gitmans. He describes the christening of one of the babies[12] on September 8, 5 pm. He states the ship is then near the island of Socotra at the entrance of the Gulf of Aden (red pin). September 8 is also the birthday of baby Maria Cornelia Schulte (#16). Her time of birth is 8.30 am.
Both pins coincide with the positions on the map above.

The places of birth of babies #16 (red) and #20 (yellow)

More facts and figures
In the following survey[13] the first/middle names and the places of birth of the parents as well as other information collected from public sources has been added. The ‘#-numbers’ correspond with the baby list. Deviations from the baby list have been printed bold. * = born, † = died, m. = marries
#1 (b) Christiaan van Muijen *Indramajoe 10-9-1919, †17-9-2007, sgt KNIL; (c) Olga *Batavia
#2 (b) Edward Richard John *Rotterdam 11-11-1915, †12-12-2004, sgt KNIL; (c) Antje *Gombone
#3 (b) Marie *Amsterdam, adj OO KNIL; (c) Elodie Wilhelmina Catharina *Magelang
#4 (b) Herman *Den Haag, capt KL; (c) Sofia Louisa Petronella Maria *Noordwijkerhout
#5 (b) August Leonard Hendrik *Makassar, corp KNIL; (c) Editha Victorine Alexandrine *Semarang
#6 (b) Rudolf *Semarang, corp KM; (c) Amelia *Pangil
#7 (b) Alexander Daniel Emanuel *Banjoewangi, corp KNIL; (c) Augustine *Palembang
#8 (b) Johannes *Malang, corp KNIL; (c) Johanna *Malang
#9 (b) Jelte *Sneek, wmt KNIL; (c) Nelly Maria *Kertosono
#10 (a) †Den Haag 12-2-2015; (b) Cornelis Gerardus Anton *Düsseldorf 5-12-1906 corporal 4th battalion infantry, sgt major KNIL m. Bandoeng 3-5-1930 (c) Gerardine Alexandrine Sephina *Magelang 8-10-1908 clerk civil registration. 
Earlier the family travelled to Holland on MV Tegelberg on 23 May 1946. At the time they lived in Heerde near Apeldoorn. Before the end of that year they returned to Batavia in the Dutch East Indies.
#11 (b) Jan Cornelis *Z.O. Beemster, sgt major KNIL; (c) Antje *Ferwerderadeel
#12 (b) Rudolf Walter *Tjimahi 15-5-1913, corp KNIL m. Soerabaja 2-3-1949 (c) Henriette Johanna *Klaten 19-5-1911, †Eindhoven 21-11-1979
#13 (b) Anthonius *Ngawi, sgt major KNIL; (c) Aaltje *Reo (Timor)
#14 (b) Wijnand *Surabaia, sgt KNIL; (c) Erna *Solo
#15 (b) Hendrikus Johannes *Ambarawa 19-3-1910, †Almelo 17-2-1966, sgt major KNIL; (c) Elsa van Luijk *Cheribon 21-3-1914, †Almelo 24-6-1998
#16 (b) Jan *Tjilitjap, sld I KNIL; (c) *Medan
#17 (b) Jacob *Batavia, sgt major KNIL; (c) Martina Albertina *Batavia
#18 (b) David *Ambon, sgt KNIL; (c) Maria *Batavia
#19 (b) Hendricus Hubertus *Maastricht 2-5-1910, †Maastricht 28-1-1981, sgt major KNIL; (c) Maria Josephine *Gombong (Java)
#20 (a) sergeant major Dutch RN Robbert †Oss 13-10-2012; (b) Eddy Dick *Malang, corp KNIL; (c) Louise Antoinette *Semarang
#21 (a) †Den Helder 9-12-1988; (b) Harold *Blora (Java) 13-4-1925, †Den Helder 10-6-2003 matr I KM;(c) Silphy *Soerabaia
#22&#23 (b) Nicolaas Wilhelmus Josephus *Amsterdam 19-9-1921, †7-8-2003, sgt KNIL; (c) Johanna *Zeist 19-9-1921, †23-8-2009
#24 (a) †4-7-2005; (b) Leendert *Koepang (Timor), boatswain RN; (c) Eveline Anneke Cornelie *Kandangan (Borneo)
#25 (b) Arie *Utrecht 7-2-1922, lt1 Mariniers m. 22-5-1948 (c) Daniëlla Maria *Haarlem
#26 (b) August Antoine *Djockjakarta 28-8-1920, †7-4-1991, sgt KNIL; (c) Winniefred Margaret *Djakarta 29-8-1926, †5-7-1993
#27 (b) Hendrik Antoine *Djockjakarta, sgt KNIL; (c) Louise Helena *Tjimahi
#28 (b) Johannes *Amsterdam, sgt KNIL; (c) Leonie *Djockjakarta
#29 (a) Neyendorff †23-6-1983; (b) Paul *Djockjakarta, sgt KNIL; (c) Stanny *Soerabaia
#30 (b) George *Klaten, †Assen 4-7-2004, sgt KNIL; (c) Louise Erna *Poeasri
#31 (b) Wilhelmus *Den Haag 2-2-1919, †Ossendrecht 19-5-2008, sgt KNIL m. Batavia 16-3-1948 (c) Louise Goedhuys *Pekalongan 20-5-1927, †Twello 22-9-2001
#32 (b) Cornelis *Berkel, sgt KNIL; (c) Jacoba *Batavia
#33 (a) †San Francisco CA, USA 2-1-1988; (b) Frederik *Den Haag ca 1916, †Dubuque IA, USA 11-9-1991, corp KNIL; (c) Cornelia Wilhelmina *Rogodjambi 6-6-1916, † Salisbury NC, USA 11-7-2008
#34 (b) Arie *Gorinchem, sgt major KNIL; (c) Maria Machaeta Saparia *Palembang
#35&#36 (b) Karel Eduard *Batavia, sgt KNIL; (c) Wilhelmine Theodora *Semarang
#37 (a) electrical engineer (b) Martinus Theodorus *Soerabaia 30-11-1912, A.O.O. KNIL m. Malang 14-1-1941 (c) Aurelia *Djockjakarta 15-9-1918, †Weesp 13-6-2005

Baptismal certificate
Baptizing on board of a ship is usually associated with Neptune, the god of the sea. That may be so but on the Ranchi the military authorities were so attentive to add both a pastor and a chaplain to the ship’s staff. Not only the parents of the newborns made use of their services, also older children have been christened on board. Here it concerns Johanna Wilhelmina van Dam, born in Djakarta on 24-2-1947. In memory of this event a Proof of Baptism was provided. On the document shown[14] the army pastor’s last name very appropriately is ‘Van Boven’. His name may be translated as ‘From Above’…

Arrival in Amsterdam
During the night from September 24 to 25, the SS Ranchi
Disembarkation in Amsterdam
reported her presence to the IJmuiden floodgates. Another three hours to go before she arrived in Amsterdam. Disembarkation started at the Javakade on 8.30 am. For many this was their first acquaintance with Holland. When walking down the gangway fathers carried their babies in cradles made of bulrushes. Subsequently they received a transport permit and milk for the little ones. The life of the ‘Ranchi 37’ was about to begin!

As I mentioned earlier the first name Ranchi until recently was completely unknown to me. Last February I saw this death notice in a Dutch newspaper (see below). Someone was born on board of the Ranchi [India?] in 1950. Somehow I felt that this had something to do with the turmoil that had taken place in the Dutch East Indies shortly after the second world war. Then I saw that the middle name of the deceased was Ranchita. This aroused my curiosity as well. The result of what I uncovered is before you.
Next August/September the ‘Ranchi 37’ will celebrate their 65th birthday. However, when writing this article I found that unfortunately six of them are no longer among us. Esther Henriëtte Ranchita Sprangers, the lady in the death notice and baby #10, is one of them.
Esther Henriëtte
Ranchita Sprangers when
she was 17 years old
Being a genealogist with a special interest in the Dutch East Indies[15], I feel the article is not complete without some genealogical details of the ancestors of the Sprangers family whose roots happen to be in the Antwerp area. 
I would therefore like to dedicate this article to them and especially to the memory of Esther Henriette Ranchita.

Male lineage
Below you will find the male lineage of Lambertus Sprangers. He is born during the second part of the 17th century, most probably in the Antwerp region. A marriage at the end of the 18th century causes the family to settle in Brabant in the southern part of the Netherlands.
~ = baptized, * = born, † = died, m. = marries, b. = buried, do. = daughter of.
Generation I

Lambertus Sprangers m. Antonia Crols

From this marriage:

Generation II

Lambertus Lamberti Sprangers ~ Schoten (B) 25-7-1706, b. Meerle (B) 5-12-1768, m. Meerle (B) 24-4-1736 Cornelia Gerards van Dun, ~ Meerle 26-3-1700, b. Meerle (B) 5-9-1764, do Gerardus and Joanna Verhoeven

From this marriage:

Generation III

Gerardus Sprangers ~ Meerle (B) 21-9-1738, † after 2-4-1786, m. Meerle (B) 7-1-1772 Jacoba Petri van Bechoven ~ Meerle 11-2-1748, b. 2-4-1786, do Petri Cornelii van Beckhoven and Anna Maria Petri van Dun

From this marriage:

Generation IV

Lambertus Sprangers ~ Meerle (B) 20-11-1772, † Princenhage 14-6-1844, carpenter, m. Princenhage 11-9-1796 Adriana Cornelis Bastiaan(s)sen, ~ Princenhage 31-1-1774, † Princenhage 25-12-1833, do Cornelij Bastiaensen and Adriana Christiane

From this marriage:

Generation V

Adrianus Sprangers, *Princenhage 19-10-1799, †Princenhage 20-7-1879,  timmerman, m. Princenhage 10-2-1825 Cornelia Houtermans, *Princenhage 4-3-1797, †Princenhage 4-4-1871,  do Joannis, taylor, and Catharina van de Gronde

From this marriage:

Generation VI

Gerardus Johannes Sprangers, *Princenhage 12-12-1829 † Princenhage 21-4-1894 m. Princenhage 18-5-1865 Willemijna van de Made, *Princenhage 8-4-1839, † Princenhage 14-2-1891, maidservant, do Cornelis and Johanna Horrevoets

From this marriage:

Generation VII
Cornelis Adrianus Sprangers * Princenhage 27-2-1870, drummer, bagman, m. Utrecht 23-12-1896 Maria Helena Jaick * Sonnborn (D) 21-5-1868 do Anton, foreman, and Maria Müller
From this marriage:

Generation VII
Cornelis Gerardus Anton Sprangers *Düsseldorf (Gmy) 5 Dec. 1906, † Den Haag 22 Dec. 1983, corporal 4th battalion infantry Tjimahi, sergeant major KNIL, bailee, m. Bandoeng 3 May 1930 Gerardina Alexandrine Sephina Veen *Magelang (NI) 8 Oct. 1908, clerk civil registration
The couple had 10 children of which 9 girls. For reasons of privacy I will not publish all available data.
Children from this marriage:
8.      Eugenie Charlotte Annemona * Apeldoorn 1 Oct. 1946, † 1994, m. 17 Dec. 1969
10. Esther Henriëtte Ranchita * on board SS Ranchi 3 Sep. 1950, † The Hague 12 Feb. 2015

Earlier I wondered whether it was a coincidence that so many pregnant women were all together at the same time on the same ship. I argued why it was not. Let me try another one. Thirteen babies on the SS Ranchi have been given a Ranchi-like name. Would you believe that SS Ranchi launching Lady Addis gave birth to thirteen children[16]? And that one was named Henrietta? Coincidence? Well, I leave that up to you.

Update Apr. 13/14, 2015
More facts and figures
#5 (b) August Leonard Hendrik *Makassar 26-8-1921, †Amsterdam 6-7-1990, korp KNIL m. Watampone 14-8-1946 (c) Editha Victorine Alexandrine *Semarang 23-4-1924, † 15-3-2007
The place of birth of baby #5 (purple): 02°08’ S, 96°10’ E
With my thanks to R.E.R. Muller (#5).

Update Apr. 24, 2015
In the Dutch version of this post I added a number of (British) documents about the subject of  the dual nationality.

More facts and figures
#4 (b) Herman *Den Haag 2-8-1917, † 17-2-1999, kapt KL; (c) Sofia Louisa Petronella Maria *Noordwijkerhout
#11 (b) Jan Cornelis *Z.O. Beemster, sgt majoor KNIL tr. Bandoeng ?-8-1939 (c) Antje *Ferwerderadeel
#17 (b) Jacob *Batavia 25-11-1915,  2001, sgt majoor KNIL tr. 1939 (c) Martina Albertina *Batavia 1918,  1988
#28 (b) Marinus Johannes *Amsterdam 11-3-1913, † IJmuiden 16-1-2013, sgt KNIL tr. Singapore 6-3-1947 (c) Auguste Leonie *Djockjakarta 28-9-1908, †Nieuw Vennep 30-9-1986

Male lineage 
In the male lineage Sprangers significant changes have been made to all generations after generation IV! Also a Veen lineage has been added.

P&O Heritage, ship fact sheet Ranchi,
Dutch National Archives Archive inventory 2.13.103 178, 220, 299, 302
The site of Herman van Oosten:
The site of the Royal Dutch Library:

[1] Photo ex
[2] The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company
[3] SS Ranpura, SS Rawalpindi and SS Rajputana
[4] Some 973 passengers all together of which 781 KNIL related
[5] 8+38+24. Based on these figures and the duration of the trip, my guess would have been 56.
[6] In 1950 a total of 95 ships left for The Netherlands, carrying over 100,000 passengers.
[7] SS Goya
[8] Leids Dagblad, 26 September 1950
[9] Most mothers have been assisted by Lt. 2nd class W.L.R. Loomans MD from Venlo. Limburgs Dagblad 26 September 1950
[10] Presumably this is the ship´s local time.
[12] According to the chaplain the names of this baby are Antoinetta Maria Ranchitta. Presumably he means baby #7,  Antoinette Ranchia Schwarzler.
[13] The letters (a), (b) and (c) refer to the baby, the father and the mother respectively. *, and m stand for born, died and marries.
[16] 1) Thomas, 2) Elizabeth (Betty), 3) Charles Thorburn, 4) Robina Scott, 5) William, 6) Susan, 7) George Herbert, 8) Henrietta Mary, 9) Margaret Kathleen, 10) Jean Ellison, 11) Rachael Forrester, 12) John Mansfield, 13) Richard Graham


  1. Such an interesting story Peter! Thank you for posting it.


  2. Thanks Sally, for reading it! Much appreciated.

  3. Good Afternoon Peter:
    I was thrilled to find your history of the transport trips of the S.S. Ranchi from Indonesia to Holland. One of my dearest friends in life, RANCHI TIMMERMANS (birth #33). was an extraordinary and deeply loved individual. He was exceptionally kind, gifted, generous, humorous, and brave. His loss on January 2, 1988 in San Francisco, California is still mourned, but his constant memory and presence is continuously celebrated by all who knew him. I had seen the framed photograph of the S.S. Ranchi hanging in his exquisite home, knew of his birth and journey, but until two nights ago, had never known details of the transports. Your information is a wonderful gift to me and I thank you for making this information accessible. I am certain that everyone on the transport, like all human beings, have fascinating stories. Ranchi Timmermans was no exception, as he celebrated with elegant dignity and love, the beauties of extraordinarily deep and meaningful friendships with all those around him through his fascination with life itself and all it has to offer. His life, and his memory following his death at a far too early age, remain celebrations.
    I sincerely thank you Peter.

  4. Hi Barbara:
    Thank you for visiting my blog. How nice that you have known Ranchi Timmermans so well and thank you very much for telling me about him. It must have been very sad that he passed away at such a young age. But I'm sure he notices your loving words! I'm equally certain he'll appreciate you still remembering him.
    Kind regards,

  5. Good Evening Peter:
    Thank you for your gracious reply. This has been my first email to any blog - I needed to thank you for your gift of shared information - so thoroughly researched and written. Everything you have included has great meaning for me.
    Ranchi has indirectly orchestrated my first contemporary communique - I cannot even begin to impress upon you the humor this carries.
    Take care now and thank you again. Barbara

  6. You are very welcome, Barbara!

  7. I knew a Father Gitmans when I was stationed at AFCENT in 1972-1974. Do you know if he was the same person mentioned in "the Captain's Dozens" post? He performed my wedding in 1972 and I attended his funeral a year or so later. He was a wonderful man.

    1. I suspect that both persons are one and the same. They both have the same initials and both served in the Army. I found his death notice, he passed away on March 15, 1973 and was buried in Tegelen.


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