Person:Alice Leake (2)

Alice Jane de Courcy Leake
m. 16 July 1873
  1. Alice Jane de Courcy Leake1874 - 1917
  2. Henry Dashwood Stucley Leake1876 - 1970
  3. Frances Beatrice Levine Leake1878 - 1884
m. 10 Jul 1900
  1. Lt-Cdr. Geoffrey Hugh Cary Askew, R.N.1901 - 1962
  2. Joan Dorothy Askew1903 - 1928
  3. Gilian Margaret Askew1916 - 2013
Facts and Events
Name[1][2] Alice Jane de Courcy Leake
Married Name[3][4][5][6][8][9][10] Askew
Gender Female
Birth[1] 18 Jun 1874 Paddington, Middlesex, England3 Westbourne Street, (St. John) Paddington
Christening[2] 5 Aug 1874 Paddington, Middlesex, EnglandParish Church of St. Michael and All Angels
Marriage 10 Jul 1900 Paddington, Middlesex, EnglandChrist Church, Lancaster Gate
to Claude Arthur Cary Askew
Death[3][4][5][6][7][8][9] 4-6 Oct 1917 Mediterranean Sea, At Sea– together with her husband "... drowned in the Ionian Sea off the Greek island of Paxos, after the Italian steamer Città di Bari, in which they were travelling together from Taranto in southern Italy, on their way to Corfu, was torpedoed by an enemy submarine and sank during the night of October 5-6 (or possibly the 4th), 1917." —R.C.A. (Robinca)
Burial[10][11][12] 30 Oct 1917 Korčula, Dubrovnik-Neretva, CroatiaIn 1917 Korčula was still technically within the Hapsburg - 'Austro-Hungarian Empire'. – The official document relating the discovery of her body was addressed to the 'Imperial Royal District Authorities (Bezirkshauptmannschaft) Korčula (Curzola)' – "On October 29th 1917, her body was found washed ashore at the Bay of Porto Carboni (now Karbuni) on the island of Curzola (Korčula) in present day Croatia – not far from the mainland port city of Dubrovnik. At a spot nearby there is a stone cross bearing the following inscription: 'ALICE ASKEW / ENGLEZKA SPISATELJICA / DONESENA MOREM 29. / A POKOPANA / KOMISSIONALNO / 30. OKTOBRA 1917' (roughly translated from the Croatian: 'ALICE ASKEW / English writer / delivered up from the sea 29th / and buried / by commission / 30th October 1917')." —R.C.A. (Robinca)

Alice and Claude Askew - a biography

Image Gallery
  1. 1.0 1.1 Birth Register, in Certified Copy of an Entry of Birth - General Register Office (GRO) - registered 29 July 1874.

    « Eighteenth June 1874 3 Westbourne Street | Alice Jane De Courcy | Girl | Jane Leake formerly Dashwood | Captain H.U.Y. | Henry Leake Capt H.P. late 70th foot Father 3 Westbourne Street | Twentyninth July 1874 | ins Cranstone Registrar »
    Certified Copy issued 23 June 2004

  2. 2.0 2.1 London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906 > Baptisms - Parish of S S Michael & All Angels - Middlesex1874 p. 165.

    « August 5th | Alice Jane De Courcy | Henry & Jane | Leake | 3 Westbourne Street Hyde Park | Captain in the army | George Musgrave Rector of Borden, Kent | Born July 16 [sic] 1874 »
    Accessed on Ancestry: London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906 > Westminster > Paddington St Michael and All Angels > 1874 > 8 London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906 [database on-line]. Source Information: Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. / Original data: Board of Guardian Records, 1834-1906 and Church of England Parish Registers, 1754-1906. London Metropolitan Archives, London.

  3. 3.0 3.1 Obituaries in The Times, 15 Oct 1917, p. 11 (clipping): MAJOR AND MRS. ASKEW DROWNED AT SEA. AUTHORS OF "THE SHULAMITE".

    « A large public. which has enjoyed their numerous works of fiction will learn with regret of the death, by drowning in the Mediterranean, of Major Claude Arthur Cary Askew and Mrs. Askew. Their vessel was attacked by a submarine on October 5. Major and Mrs. Askew were industrious literary partners, who since their first book, "The Shulamite," which came out in 1904 and was dramatized and produced at the Savoy two years afterwards, had written, always in collaboration, a large number of popular novels and serial stories. They were married in 1900, Mrs. Askew being Alice, the eldest surviving daughter of the late Colonel Henry Leake, of the 44th and 70th Regiments. Both had been in Serbia during the war, Major Askew being attached to the Serbian Army, and their book "The Stricken Land," which was published a little more than a year ago is a vivid account of their adventures and the hardships which they shared with the Serbian Army on its retreat from Prishtina to Alessio. The authors had spent some six months in Serbia before the retreat, and wrote with sympathy and real knowledge of Serbia and the Serbian character. They are survived by two children. »
    NOTE: There were actually three children. The youngest had been born just a little over a year before their deaths – and while they were only briefly back in England during the war – which may have accounted for this oversight. And it is possibly this obituary from The Times, which may have caused later publications to have repeated the error – e.g. Edwardian Fiction – an Oxford Companion, published by the Oxford University Press in 1997.
    This newspaper clipping was amongst the documents, papers and photographs I received from my aunt Jill Askew in 2008. —R.C.A. It may also be accessed from The Times Archive.

  4. 4.0 4.1 Daily Express, 16 Oct 1917, p. unknown (clipping): ALICE AND CLAUDE ASKEW. TRAGIC DEATH OF FAMOUS NOVELISTS. IN A TORPEDOED SHIP.

    « Many people will feel a sense of personal loss on learning of the tragic fate of Major and Mrs. Claude Askew, who are reported to have been drowned in a torpedoed vessel in the Mediterranean on October 5. / Everybody knew the Askews as novelists whose collaboration resulted in a tremendous popularity for their work, and readers of the 'Daily Express' will remember also their recent vivid accounts of events in Serbia, and their record of the heroism of the Serbian army. / Mr. and Mrs. Askew were in an Italian ship on their way to Corfu, the headquarters of their relief work among the Serbians, when the steamer was torpedoed. / The first news of the tragedy came in a telegram to their son Geoffrey, who until a few weeks ago was a naval cadet at Dartmouth College. He had left Dartmouth, however, and may not have heard the news yet, as his ship is believed to be cruising somewhere in the Mediterranean, possibly near the scene of his parents’ death. .... »
    This newspaper clipping was amongst the documents, papers and photographs I received from my aunt Jill Askew in 2008. —R.C.A.

  5. 5.0 5.1 Daily Express, 18 Oct 1917, p. unknown (clipping): ALICE AND CLAUDE ASKEW. RESCUED FROM RAFTS TO DIE OF EXHAUSTION.

    « Further particulars of the deaths of Major and Mrs. Claude Askew, the famous novelists, who were special correspondents of the ‘Daily Express’, reached London yesterday. / Major Askew and his wife were on board the Italian steamer Bari, which was torpedoed by a German submarine off the Ionian Islands at 4 a.m. on October 6. The lifeboats belonging to the vessel were fired upon from the submarine and sank, but both Mr. and Mrs. Askew were able to find places on rafts, though not on the same raft. / The survivors on the rafts were picked up late on the afternoon of October 6 by a British steamer, but, in spite of all efforts of their rescuers, husband and wife both succumbed to the effects of extreme exhaustion. It is believed that their bodies were taken to Gallipoli, Italy, where 120 survivors are said to have landed. »
    This newspaper clipping was amongst the documents, papers and photographs I received from my aunt Jill Askew in 2008. —R.C.A.

  6. 6.0 6.1 Daily Express, probably in Nov 1917, p. unknown (clipping): MRS. ASKEW’S DEATH. ENEMY’S REVOLTING BRUTALITY. (FROM OUR ROME CORRESPONDENT.).

    « A gentleman who has seen the depositions of one of the survivors of the Citta di Bari, sunk under peculiarly revolting circumstances between the South Italian coast and Corfu last month, tells me that the crew of the submarine behaved with appalling brutality to a lady, supposed to have been Mrs. Askew, wife and collaborator of the well-known novelist, who was among those who perished. When the vessel sank Mrs. Askew was seen in the water wearing a lifebelt, and holding in her arms her pet dog, to which she was devotedly attached. The men of the submarine seeing this made for the unfortunate lady, snatched the dog from her, and then coolly allowed her to drown before their eyes. / Mrs. Askew before leaving Rome told one of her Serbian friends that she had a premonition that she would be drowned on that voyage. .... »
    NOTE: I am assuming that this clipping is from the Daily Express. It is difficult as both The Times and the Daily Express had virtually identical typefaces and separation lines – at least to my eyes. But, as I have been unable to find this article in a search of The Times Archive online, I am presuming it must have been in the Daily Express.
    This newspaper clipping was amongst the documents, papers and photographs I received from my aunt Jill Askew in 2008. —R.C.A.

  7. '' web site > Citta Di Bari.

    « Name: Citta Di Bari / Type: Passenger steamer / GRT: 1,489 tons / Country: Italian / Built: 1913 / Builder: Ansaldo, Armstrong & Co., Sestri Ponente / Operator: Soc. di Nav. a Vap. Puglia, Bari // Date: 4 Oct 1917 / U-boat: UB 48 (Wolfgang Steinbauer) / Loss type: Sunk / Position: about 37 miles from Paxo / Location: ___ / Route: Taranto & Gallipoli - Corfu / Cargo: passengers / Casualties: ___ »
    Accessed at: > U-boat War in World War One > Ships hit during WWI > Citta Di Bari
    NOTE: See also: SM UB-48

  8. 8.0 8.1 Affondamenti navi Grande Guerra 1917-1918.

    « 6 Ottobre 1917: affondamento piroscafo “Città di Bari“. (6 October 1917: sinking of the steamer Città di Bari) » The text goes on to give a link for further information, which is shown in the next citation.
    Accessed on: Affondamenti navi Grande Guerra 1917-1918

  9. 9.0 9.1 Vernì, Prof. Giovanni – 'LA VERA STORIA del triste epilogo del piroscafo “Città di Bari”, silurato dal SMG tedesco UB48' ('THE TRUE HISTORY of the sad end of the steamship "Città di Bari" – torpedoed by the German SMG UB48' by Prof. Giovanni Vernì).

    « ... Lasciata Taranto nel pomeriggio di giovedì 4 ottobre, il “Città di Bari” giunse a Gallipoli (l’antica Kallìpolis, o “Città Bella”, fiorente centro commerciale affacciato sullo Jonio, a 38,5 Km. da Lecce), nelle prime ore della sera dello stesso giorno. ...
    Il “Città di Bari” partì regolarmente alle 18h,30m. A tenore delle norme vigenti, non feci alcun telegramma di partenza, però, in vista del rilevante numero di passeggeri, telegrafai subito ai Servizi Logistici che il Piroscafo era partito con 400 passeggeri”.
    “Imbarcati, dunque, 405 passeggeri e come merci del vino e dei tessuti di cotone – scrive il Contrammiraglio Paladini – il Piroscafo lasciava, alle ore 18.30 del 5 ottobre, il porto di Gallipoli.
    “L’aria era fosca ed un forte vento di E, NE rendeva il mare agitato. Le 4 erano passate da circa un quarto d’ora – racconta il 2° Ufficiale del Piroscafo – e mi trovavo in sala nautica allorché udii lo scoppio...
    “Il tempo era quasi nuvoloso, tirava un vento moderato da scirocco ed il mare era mosso. Si diceva anche che era possibile qualche sorpresa all’alba. Alle 4h,10m circa, udimmo una forte esplosione”... - ricorda il 1° Ufficiale.
    “Mi trovavo sul primo cassero, – narra a sua volta il direttore di macchina – passeggiavo tra l’osterigio di macchina e la sala nautica; erano passate da poco le 4h,00m allorché udii un colpo metallico fortissimo e vidi sollevarsi dall’osterigio di macchina un’alta colonna di acqua e vapore. Il siluro aveva colpito il bastimento proprio fra la caldaia e le macchine, che si fermarono immediatamente, insieme naturalmente alle due dinamo. Il bastimento rimase all’oscuro”...
    “Svegliato dall’esplosione, – racconta, tra l’altro, Luigi Aleotti per prima cosa corsi abbasso nella stazione R.T. che si trovava proprio nel corridoio che univa la prima con la seconda classe: vidi tutti gli strumenti per terra e capii che la stazione non poteva più funzionare. In coperta la gente si agglomerava intorno alle sei imbarcazioni. Vi erano anche molte zattere, circa 16 in legno e sei od otto in ferro.
    Il Comandante era sulla dritta e il capo timoniere sulla sinistra; ambedue cercavano di ottenere un po’ di calma, per effettuare ordinatamente il salvataggio, ma questo non fu possibile, data la resistenza armata dei Greci: gettavano gli zatteroni a mare senza ritenuta, facevano capovolgere le lance, venivano alle mani...”
    “Intanto il bastimento si sbandò un poco a dritta, molto a sinistra, e quindi si immerse per circa due metri, rimanendo orizzontale. Una ventina di minuti dopo il siluramento – ricorda ancora il 2° Ufficiale -, arrivò la prima granata che cadde una ventina di metri a sinistra del bastimento. La seconda, credo colpisse il cannone di poppa. Seguirono altri colpi. Appena cominciato il fuoco, non fu possibile impedire alla gente di gettarsi a mare raggiungendo le zattere che, filate e senza ritenute, s’allontanavano dal bordo.”
    “Svegliato dall’esplosione, – riferisce a sua volta il sottocapo cannoniere – corsi subito vicino al pezzo, ma non vidi nulla. Dopo un po’ scesi dalla tuga per cercare il capo timoniere ed il Comandante. Trovato il capo timoniere, andai con lui ad aiutare a mettere le zattere in mare.
    Mentre facevo questa operazione, ho udito il primo colpo di cannone e visto il sommergibile al traverso a sinistra. Corsi subito a poppa, ma fui fermato dai Greci che non volevano si sparasse, temendo che il sommergibile, per rappresaglia, sparasse sulla gente a mare...
    ... Prima di buttarmi a mare – a bordo eravamo rimasti solo io e il sottocapo francese AUGER Renè – vidi i Greci che facevano segno al sottomarino con una camicia, affinché non sparasse più. Mi precipitai addosso e strappai loro la camicia...
    All’ultimo momento i Greci ammainarono pure la bandiera italiana”.
    “Restai a bordo fin quasi all’ultimo – ricorda VALENZO Pietro. Vidi all’inizio del bombardamento che dei Greci facevano segnale al sommergibile gridando: “Costantino”.
    “Dopo una mezz’ora – racconta il marinaio cannoniere FAVAZZA Salvatore – il sommergibile emerse a circa 200 metri dalla poppa e cominciò a bombardare. Due colpi raggiunsero il fumaiolo ed uno colpì in prossimità della stiva prodiera. Durante il bombardamento (a base di granate incendiarie) solo io rimasi in prossimità del cannone. Poco dopo, però, me ne andai per mettermi al riparo. Il sottomarino, allora, si affiancò a dieci o quindici metri di distanza e mi si domandò in buon italiano dov’era il Comandante. Gli risposi che non c’era...”
    “Nel frattempo il sommergibile si era avvicinato al Piroscafo e aveva sbarcato il radiotelegrafista dell’IMERA su una zattera – riferisce il 2° Ufficiale-. Tirò una cannonata sulla prua del Piroscafo al galleggiamento determinando l’affondamento”.
    Colpito a morte, senza preavviso, da quindici granate incendiarie, l’ultima delle quali al bagnasciuga, tutte sparate tranne l’ultima, mentre la gente era ancora a bordo e cercava in tutti i modi e con tutti i mezzi di convincere gli artiglieri di bordo a non sparare contro il sommergibile e, alzando bandiera bianca e ammainando la bandiera italiana, quelli del sommergibile a non sparare sui passeggeri ancora presenti sulla nave, il “CITTA’ DI BARI”, lentamente affondò in fiamme – “ ... endlich sank das schiff in flammen”.
    Trascinando con sé, in fondo al mare, uomini e cose e inabissandosi a 39° 20′ Lat.N., 19° 23′ Long.E. – rotta 107° magnetico da un punto 15 miglia a sud di S.Maria di Leuca – al largo dell’isoletta di Paxòs o Paxì, a sud di Corfù, nel mentre in cielo e sul mare già albeggiava e si scatenava un furioso temporale che durò tutta la notte.... »
    ( ... After leaving Taranto on the afternoon of Thursday, October 4, the Città di Bari arrived in Gallipoli (the ancient Kallipolis, or "Città Bella", a thriving commercial centre overlooking the Ionian Sea, 38.5 Km from Lecce) on the evening of the same day. ...
    The Città di Bari departed regularly at 18h30m. As far as the rules in force were concerned, I did not make any telegram but, in view of the large number of passengers, telegraphed immediately to the Logistics Services that Piroscafo had left with 400 passengers."
    "So with 405 passengers on board and a cargo of wine and cotton fabrics," wrote Colonel Paladini, "the steamer left the port of Gallipoli at 6.30 pm on October 5 .... [awaiting further translation] »
    Accessed on: '4.10.1917, il triste epilogo del piroscafo Città di Bari' - Web site in Italian containing the story by Prof. Giovanni Vernì – 'LA VERA STORIA del triste epilogo del piroscafo “Città di Bari”, silurato dal SMG tedesco UB48' - Pubblicato il 4 ottobre 2016 / Segnalato da Nico Vernì ("The True History of the sad end of the steamer Città di Bari torpedoed by the German submarine UB 48" Published on October 4, 2016 / Posted by Nico Vernì)
    NOTE: This history includes the recollections of various survivors. And I hope to get more translated before too long! The main detail of when the fatal torpedo or torpedoes struck appears to be around 4:00 in the morning of 6 October 1917. —R.C.A.

  10. 10.0 10.1 The Times News in Brief, date & page unknown (clipping): MRS. ASKEW'S BODY WASHED ASHORE.

    « ZURICH, Nov. 22 —A telegram from Fiume states that the body of a woman has been washed ashore on the Island of Curzola, off the Dalmatian coast. Documents which were found in the pockets indicate that it is the body of Mrs. Alice Askew, the novelist. The body has been buried at a spot near the coast.— Reuter. [Mrs. Askew and her husband, when returning from Serbia, were drowned when the Italian steamer Bari was torpedoed last month.] »
    This newspaper clipping was amongst the documents, papers and photographs I received from my aunt Jill Askew in 2008. —R.C.A. It almost certainly may be accessed from The Times Archive.

  11. Translation of an original document: "To the Imperial Royal District Authorities (Bezirkshauptmannschaft) Korčula (Curzola) / Velaluka, 6 November, 1917".

    « On 29 October 1917 Antony Bačić, fisherman of Blata [sic], found on the seashore at Porto Karboni on the island of Korčula, the dead body of a woman. / On 30 October 1917 this dead body was looked at and examined by the Coastal Health Commissioner, the Harbour delegate Mata Dabionović from Velaluka and the Communal doctor at Blata [sic] Dr. Fuchs, in presence of the (brevet) cavalry sergeant Vasilj Popović, and there were found on it eleven letters and telegrams written in French and English, the picture of a man, a postcard of the Montenegrin Field Post on which are depicted Entente soldiers, then a cheque of the London County and Westminster Bank. No 474790. It would thus seem established that the body is that of a well-known English lady writer Alice Askew of London, who was travelling from Valona to Corfu. The objects found were sequestered and handed over to the Imp. Roy. Commando on the island of Korčula at Velaluka. / The body, according to the finding of the Commission, had been in the sea about twenty days, and owing to decomposition it was not possible to establish whether death was due to a criminal act. The person is 160cm. In height, and aged between 30 and 40, well nourished, but the hair had come off in the sea. / The clothes worn were of silk, a white chemise, a blouse, a blue petticoat, a pair of stockings, a little blue bound pocket volume. / By order of the Health Commission the body was buried at Porto Karboni on the island of Korčula. / (signed) Gracin Serjeant [sic]. (Note added requesting the Gendarmerie "to enquire why the documents were handed over to the Military Command, who are not competent in the matter" »
    Both this English translation and the original hand-written document (in Croatian), signed and sealed, were amongst the documents, papers and photographs I received from my Aunt Jill in 2008. —R.C.A.

  12. Fazinić, Neven: 'KAMENI KRIŽEVI NA OTOKU KORČULI' ('Stone Crosses on the Island of Korčula').

    « Uvala na otoku Zvirinoviku sa južne strane otoka Korčule zove se "Bok od Englezice". Ovaj naziv dobila je nakon što je u njoj godine 1917. nađeno mrtvo tijelo engleske spisateljice Alice Askew. Ispod lijepo klesanog križa nalazi se slijedeći natpis: "Alice Askew - englezka spisateljica - donesena morem 29. - a pokopana - komissionalno - 30. oktobra 1917. Križ i natpis nalaze se u naselju Karbuni. (Zvirinoviku Bay on the south side of the island of Korčula is known as "Hello from an English woman." So named after the body of the English novelist Alice Askew was found there in 1917. Beneath the beautiful carved cross there is the following inscription: "Alice Askew - English writer - delivered up from the sea 29th - and buried - by commission - 30th October 1917". The cross and its inscription can be found in the village of Karbuni.).... »
    NOTE: English translation in brackets is my polishing of a Google translation. This text and image of the stone cross on the island of Korčula were originally accessed online at This url no longer links to the article.
    Also see: A detail from a map of the island of Korčula, which shows the area around Vela Luka and Blato and on which the village of Karbuni is indicated directly above the small island of Zvirinovik, where an inlet (almost dissecting the island) is marked in blue: "U. Bok". The initial 'U.' presumably stands for uvala meaning 'cove' or 'inlet'. And Bok is used as a 'general greeting' like 'Hi!', 'Hello!' or 'Bye!'. It was here that the body of the Englezice Alice Askew was found by the fisherman. —R.C.A.