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F. Alexander (Shipping company, Belgium)

Last modified: 2012-08-01 by ivan sache
Keywords: alexander | letter: f (white) | letter: a (red) |
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[House flag of F. Alexander]

House flag of F. Alexander - Image by Jarig Bakker, 11 January 2005

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Presentation of F. Alexander

F. Alexander was based in Antwerp.
A manager turned shipowner (1891), François Alexander had an 800 t coaster linking Antwerp and Middlesbrough (United Kingdom) and by 1919 had 4 ships under the company names of F. Alexander & Cie, Messageries Maritimes Belges, and Messageries Maritimes Anversoises. In 1921, the company name now being F. Alexander Fils & Cie, coastal shipping to and from Great Britain was still the going concern and a regular line, called Anglo Belgian Lines, linked Antwerp to various British ports. In 1930, all related firms were taken up into Armement Alexander. In 1954, the firm still had two coasters.

Now follows a list of related firms:
F. Alexander & Cie: 1891-1921
La Maritime Anversoise: 1901-1911
La Maritime Belge: 1901-1930
Messageries Maritimes Anversoises: 1916-1930
Messageries Maritimes Belges: 1916-1930
Cie Belge de Navigation S.S. Hendrik Conscience: 1927-1930
same, S.S. Leopold Dewael: 1925-1930
Armement Alexander S.A.: 1930-
Cornellie's Shipping & Co.: 1919-1926
De Cort & Verschueren: 1922-1924

Source: R. Baetens & A. De Vos. Anwerpens maritiem verleden, MIM, Deurne-Antwerp, 1990

On the company's letterhead dated April 1941, the name used is "F. Alexander Fils & Co. S.A.", subtitled "Ship owners - brokers - chartering & commission agents". Also mentioned is its capacity of managers of "Armement AlexanderS.A." which then would be the actual shipping company.
Although the firm is listed as "F. Alexander, Fils & Cie" among the FMA/ASV's (i.e. Antwerp Shipping Federation's) members in 1925 (the source for the flag is 1926, see below), it is no longer present on the most recent list.
The company is already represented in Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) [llo12], as simply "F. Alexander, Antwerp". That must have been the pre-Fils (= son, or sons) era.

Source: G. Devos & S. Vanfraechem. Volle kracht vooruit! Een eeuw Antwerpse Scheepvaartvereniging. Full steam ahead! A century Antwerp Shipping Federation. Pandora, Ghent, 2001

Jan Mertens, 25 May 2006

House flag of F. Alexander

Brown's Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamship Companies, 1926 [wed26] shows the house flag of F. Alexander as diagonally divided red-white with a white "F" letter in the red triangle and a red "A" in the white triangle.
The aforementioned company's 1941 letterhead shows a house flag with somewhat thinner initials but, surely, this is not significant.

Jarig Bakker & Jan Mertens, 9 January 2006