Sunday, June 15, 2014

My Great Grandad went to Brazil in 1857.

My Great Grandad went to Brazil in 1857.


There was no World cup of course and there was no organised Carnivale either, the only street processions in those days were on religious festival days.



He was on board HMS Ganges a Royal Navy sailing ship, which at the time was the Flag ship of Rear Admiral Baynes who had recently been appointed Commander in Chief of the Pacific Squadron based in Valparaiso.

They arrived in Rio in November after 71 days after leaving Sheerness without any of the crew having been ashore.  The ship spent two weeks in Rio and it is hoped that the crew were allowed ashore there to sample the delights of this special city.

My Great grandfather, Alphons Eder was a bandsman on Ganges and had been born in Laibach (now Ljubljana) in Slovenia.  He was 20 years old and would never have experienced anything like what he found in Rio.  It would not have been just the distant scenery which was a new experience for Alphons and his band colleagues. There was the tropical heat even in November and there was no football !!

In most respects Rio was a modern city for its time with some fine buildings including an opera houses amongst the numerous churches, gas street lighting and electric trams.

HMS Ganges went on to go round Cape Horn and on to Valparaiso and other ports in Chile before going on to Canada.

Alphons Eder and Ganges finally returned to England in 1861. Two years later the Football Association was formed and thus changed the world forever. The first Football international took place in 1870 between England and Scotland and it seems as though the match isn't over yet..

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