the other jessica harkness
The only firm link between Jessica Harkness (1) and the Somerton Body case was a Glenelg phone number written on the back of a Rubaiyat found near the scene.
Detective Brown was reported to have said there was more than one number written on the back of the book, Gerry Feltus says he saw no evidence of more than one.
Jessica (1) almost keeled over under questioning after being escorted to the museum by three detectives and shown the victim’s death-mask.
Leane, Canney and Brown would have been an experienced trio. Put yourself in her position.
Jessica Harkness (2) sailed from Australia on the SS Monrovia not long after the start of the Spanish Civil war. A nurse, she said she was seeking experience. Jessica (2) was from Balaklava in SA* and she wasn’t alone in her altruism.
The Somerton man was thought to be in Adelaide looking for Jessica Harkness (1) and as a result we’ve been seeking connections to the Glenelg Harkness. But what if SM was in Adelaide looking for the Balaklava Harkness? The nurse who sailed away on a Russian steamer to assist victims of the Spanish Civil War.
This is what we’ve got, thanks to Gordon Cramer.
The Wooroora Producer (Balaklava, SA)
12 ноя 1936
Balaklava, South Australia, Australia
“… Personal Sister Harkness, daughter of Mr & Mrs J Harkness, left for England by the “Moldavia” to gain further experience in her nursing career”
The Pinnaroo & Border Times” 9 Sept 1943 Page 3
The Spanish Civil War started on July 1936 as a revolt led by Franco against the Republican government of Spain, and supported by conservative elements within the country. A bloody civil war ensued. The rebel Nationalists received aid from Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. The Republicans received aid from the Soviet Union, as well as from International Brigades, composed of volunteers from Europe and the United States.
The passenger-motor ship “Moldavia” was built by order of the USSR in 1928 at the shipyard “Schiffswerft & Maschinenfabrik” (formerly known as “Janssen & Schmilinsky”) in Hamburg and in the same year entered the Black Sea for Odessa’s “Sovtorgflot”.
Moldavia starboard side
After completion of the construction and commissioning on the Black Sea, which took place approximately in 1928-1929, the ship began work on the line of the Court, assigned to the port of Odessa, were put on the cargo-passenger line Odessa-Nikolaev-Kherson-Odessa. (Ukraine) .
This line was attractive not only for passengers traveling between Odessa and Kherson (or Nikolaev and Ochakov, if there were calls made there). Kherson was the final destination of river passenger vessels making trips along the Dnieper along the Kiev-Kherson line, and thus, the opportunity was opened for connecting flights – transfer to another line and convenient communication between Odessa and the ports on the southern part of the Dnieper and, if necessary, even to Kiev .
The ship “Moldavia” worked on this line until the very beginning of the 1941-1945 war.
With the outbreak of the 1941-1945 War, the ship was included in the Soviet Navy.
In July 1936, General Franco raised a military mutiny, thereby initiating a civil war in Spain.
In this situation, the Soviet government decided to help the Spanish Republic in the fight against the rebels.
Almost all Soviet aid went by sea. The first Soviet courts that arrived in Spain were the Kuban and the Neva. On September 23, 1936, they brought food and clothing to the port of Alicante. The first Soviet transport with weapons was the motor ship Komsomol, which arrived in Cartagena from Odessa on October 13, 1936. On its side, besides other military cargo, there were fifty T-26 tanks. The next ship of the Black Sea Shipping Company with 25 I-15 fighters was the ship Kursk, which arrived in Alicante on November 2. And on November 1, steamships “Andreev” (Baltic Shipping Company) and “Turksib” (Belomorsk Shipping Company) came to Bilbao. In total, from October 13, 1936 to September 1, 1937 52 Soviet transport vehicles with military cargoes arrived at the republican ports.
The ships of the Spanish fleet approximately equally went to the Republicans and the Francoists. On November 18, 1936, the rebels declared a blockade of the republic’s ports. Soon they were joined by the Italians.
In October-November 1936, more than 510 tons of Spanish gold was delivered from the port of Cartagena to Odessa on four ships – Neva, Kim, Kuban and Volgoles. Perhaps, some other part of the gold in the same way was later sent on the steamer Khrushchev.
(** yes, it’s in Russian, as is Gordon’s source)
- about 80 k’s north of Adelaide, connected by train since 1878.