Resourceful ‘Henry the Parrot’

Social History

Resourceful ‘Henry the Parrot’

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Although now very much defunct, this bird – actually a galah cockatoo – was most enterprising when alive. He is believed to have flown from the ‘Socoa’ which went aground in thick fog near Cadgwith on 31st July 1906. She was on passage from the Baltic port of Stettin to San Francisco with a cargo of cement to help rebuild the city following the disastrous 1906 earthquake. Before she could be refloated, 50,000 barrels of the Socoa’s cement cargo had to be jettisoned, and present-day divers can still see the solidified remains of the barrels on the seabed. Escaping from the grounded ship, Henry flew a couple of miles inland to Mount Hermon Farm, home of the Bosustow family, where he was named after the owner’s great grandson, and cared for until he died. It was then only fitting for such a courageous and intelligent bird that he should be preserved as you see him now.