This article was translated by John R. Bopp

The story of Vicente “Vincent” Doroteo Elordieta is worthy of a book, which is why it got one, called “The Liverpool Basque” by British-Canadian author Helen Forrester.

We had never read anything about him, though, as usual, there’s a reference to his life in required reading Euskonews.  In an article by Koldo San Sebastián the role and presence of Basques in Liverpool is discussed, talking about a fascinating time and facet of our history that we Basques know very little about, for a change.

We found out about him thanks to an article by Reginald “Dutch” Thompson in “The Bygone Days” on Canadian broadcaster CBC.  This series tells the stories of Prince Edward Island, and this article talks about how horses like beer and chewing tabacco, and, as we said before, it allowed us to find out about Elordieta and the Basque presence in Liverpool.

Doroteo Elordieta was a Basque born in Liverpool who moved to Canada when, during the Second World War, his merchant ship was torpedoed off Nova Scotia.  A small example of the extraordinary life of an extraordinary Basque from an extraordinary family.  For those of you interested in the adventures of this sea dog, there are more than two hours of recordings available online via the Island Voice project.

Vicente Elordieta con sus padres en Liverpool
Vicente Elordieta with his parents in Liverpool

After digging around a little, we came across a ton of information about Elordieta.  He’s cited in several books about the history of the Basques.  We even found several photos of his family at the Museum of Liverpool, including a photo with his parents, Saturnina Clemencot and Doroteo Vicente Elordieta, taken in Liverpool in 1908.  Saturnina was born in Liverpool in 1882, daughter of Prudencio Clemencot and Ignacia Ansuategui, both from the Biscayne port of Elantxobe and who ran a hotel for Basques in Liverpool.  She died in Formby in 1981.  Doroteo was born in 1883 in Gauteguiz-Arteaga, and was a seaman on the Larrinaga line, and was lost at sea when the SS Esperanza sank in 1921.

As Kristy Hooper says in her obituary of Helen Forrester, the author of the aforementioned book, which we’ve linked to below, sharing this story “help restore the Liverpool Basques to their place in the boundless Basque history of the world.”


CBC – 22/7/2018 – Canadá

How horses got hooked in P.E.I.’s Bygone Days

Horses were the backbone of the farm on P.E.I. until the 1950s. And just like people, some horses fall prey to bad habits — in the bygone days of P.E.I., historian Dutch Thompson discovered some even drank alcohol and chewed tobacco.  Vincente Elordieta was born in 1909 and grew up in Liverpool, England, where the legendary horses carted goods to and from the busy docks. He died in P.E.I. at age 94.

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Google Translator. CBC does not allow Google’s automatic translation; you have to copy and paste the text yourself.

Books on Spain -29/11/2011 – Gran Bretaña

HELEN FORRESTER (1919-2011), AUTHOR OF THE LIVERPOOL BASQUE, HAS DIED

I was very sad to hear today that Helen Forrester, author of the wonderful 1993 novel The Liverpool Basque, has died at the age of 92.

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El puerto de Liverpool a principios del siglo XX
The Port of Liverpool at the beginning of the 20th century
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