Southport Visiter, April 9th, 1852
Dreadful shipwreck and loss of a troop-ship
Advice from the Cape of Good Hope by the Propontis announcing that the BIRKENHEAD, Steam Troopship was lost on the 26th February, near Simons Bay, 446 persons are missing.
Naval officers drowned:-
SALMOND, Commander, BRODIE, Master, SPEER, 2nd, DAVIES, 3rd, WHIAM, Chief Engineer, MC CLYMONT, Asst Engineer, DEELEY, Asst Engineer, HARRIS, Boatswain, ROBERTS, Carpenter.
Military Officers drowned :-
Ensign BOYLAND, 2nd or Queens
Ensign MEDFORD, 6th Regt
Lieut A. H. BOOTH and G. W. ROBINSON, 73rd Regt
Major SEATON and Ensign RUSSELL, 74th Highlanders
Cornet ROLT, 14th Regt
The BIRKENHEAD had on board when she left Queenstown for the Cape, 13, Officers, 9 Sergeants, and 446 men besides crew.
A report from Capt WRIGHT of the 91st Regt, dated Simons Bay, March 1st – addressed to the Commander of Cape Town.
The BIRKENHEAD was lost about 2-3miles off Point Danger at 2am on the 6th of February.
The sea was smooth at the time and the vessel was steaming about 8-9 knots per hr. She struck a rock and it penetrated through her bottom just aft of the foremast. The rush of water was so great, that there is no doubt most individuals in the lower troop deck were drowned in their hammocks. The rest of the men and officers appeared on deck, when Major SEATON called all the latter about him, and impressed on them the necessity of order and silence among the men.
60 men were put to the chain pumps, 60 to the tackles and paddle-box boats, the remainder were brought to the poop, to ease the forepart of the ship, which was rolling heavily.
The horses were pitched out, and the cutter got ready for the women and children, they were out in it [in charge Master’s Asst RICHARDS] and stood off about 150yds.
Just afterwards the steamer’s entire bow broke off the foremast, the bowsprit going up in the air towards the fore topmast, and the funnel went over the side, carrying away the starboard paddle-box boat. The other paddle-box boat upset in lowering. The large boat in the centre of the ship could not be got out.
It was 12-15 mins after she struck the bow broke off. The men all than went to the poop, in 5 mins more the vessel broke in two, cross-wise, just abaft the engine-room, and the stern part immediately filled and went down.
A few men jumped off just before, but the greater number remained till the last, and so did even officers belonging to the troops.
All the men put into the tackles [Capt WRIGHT fears] were crushed when the funnel fell and the men below at the pumps could not [he thinks] have reached the deck before the vessel broke up and went down.
The survivors clung to the rigging on the mainmast, and others got hold of floating pieces of wood. Capt WRIGHT was on a large piece with 5 others and they picked up 9 or 10 more.
The swell carried one wood in the direction of Point Danger, Capt WRIGHT succeeded in landing, and, with some of the men proceeded into the country to look for shelter, many of the men were naked and without shoes.
The Capt obtained provisions after some difficulty. Lieut GIRARDOT of the 43rd Regt and Cornet BOND of the 12th Lancers, accompanied the part of 60 men [including sailors]. He then returned to the coast, and examined the rocks for more than 20 miles, in hopes of finding some men who might have drifted in.
A whale boat picked up two men and found two, all much exhausted.
It was 80hrs after the wreck that Capt WRIGHT left the coast, he can safely assert that when he left there was not a living soul on the coast. Five horses got ashore, clothes were obtained for the survivors. All the bodies met were interred, but there were not many.
The order and regularity on board was extraordinary, everyone did as directed and there was not a murmur or a cry until the vessel made her final plunge.
The loss is, 9 officers, 349 men besides that of the crew.
Total number embarked, 15 officers and 476 men.
One officer and 18 men landed at Simons Bay.
All the women and children put safely on a schooner 7 miles from the steamer. The vessel also took off 40-50 men clinging on the rigging.
18 men saved are bruised.
8 burnt by the sun.
The rest are alright, everything belonging to the men was lost.
Details of the lost.
2nd Queens Regt, ensign BOYLAND, the bandmaster, a corporal and 34 men.
12th Regt, 55 men.
12th Lancers, Cornet ROLT, one sergeant and 3 men.
43rd Light Inf, one sergeant, two corporals and 26 men.
45th Regt, 3 men.
60th Rifles, 1 corporal and 29 men.
73rd Regt, Lieut ROBINSON, Lieut BOOTH and 53 men
6th Regt, Ensign MEDFORD and 49 men
74th Highlanders, Major SEATON, Ensign RUSSELL, 2 corporals and 46 men.
91st Regt, 1 sergeant, 1 corporal and 42 men
The passengers, Andrew WHITE servant
54 Officers and men were saved and 6 marines.
2nd Queens Regt
Ensign BOYLAND, Cpl MC MANUS, Privates, COULL, MC KINSEY, George MARSH, James ROLEY, Joseph BURKE, Charles CORNELL, James COE, Richard COLEMAN, William CLAY, William FORBES, GREEN, John GREENLEAF, John HOWARD, George KNIGHT, Patrick LAVERY, John MARTIN, Charles MOONEY, James NASON, Michael O’CONNELL, James OXLEY, George PRICE, John QUIN, Timothy SIMMONDS, Frank SHOCKNESSY, Nathaniel THOMAS, Samuel VOSSE, WEBSTER, WALKER, Thomas WOODFALL, George WELLER, William WHELLER, ZWYKER, Band master, John MILLS, William DAY.
6th Royal Regt
Ensign MEDFORD, Abraham BURKE, Michael BECKETT, William BROWN, John BEGON, Patrick BEGON, William BEGON, Joseph BROMLEY, Dennis COFIELD, Patrick CORRIGAN, Hugh DICKSON, Thomas FINN, William FLETCHER, John GRADY, Joseph HUDSON, Henry KEAN, John KELLY, William KITCHEN, Henry LOMBUART, John MAYNE, Hugh MURRAY, Cornelius MALONEY, Patrick MALONEY, Thomas MALONEY, Michael MORGAN, John OLRENSHAW, Charles PRINCE, Patrick RYAN, John RYDER, John REAMUMMINGTON, Thomas SPICER, Mark SOMERTON, Michael STAR, John SMITH, Edward TOBEY, George TULLY, John TEANCY, George WORTH, WEST, Thomas WHITE, James MILHAM, Henry JACOBS, John LEWIS, Patrick MALANN, Joseph HARRIS, Alfred CLIFFORD, John CROKER, James HANLEY.
Cornet ROLT, Sgt John STRAW, G. HUTCHINS, G. ENGLISON, COALBORN
Privates, Thomas ARCHER, ARMSTRONG, BARRETT, BELLINGHAM, BOSWELL, George BRADLEY, BYRNE, CARRINGTON, CELLUS, CLINES, CUMMONS, COSTELLO, CRAGG, DEMMICK, DURKIN, ENGLAND, FIELD, FITZGERALD, FLANAGAN, FLANLEY, FREMAN, FINN, GRIMSHAW, HART, HAYWARD, Samuel JOHNSTON, WOOTTON, KELCHER, KELLY, LAMBDEN, LAWLOR, LEE, MC DERMOTT, MC DONNELL, MC MORROW, MATRAVERS, MEALEY, MULLANEY, MORAN, MORRISON, MUNS, O’CONNOR, OWEN, PALMER, PETIFER, PUCELL, RENALDS, ROACH, SHEPARD, SMITH, SPRIGGS, THOMPSON, TIGNE, WALES, WILSON.
43rd Light Infantry
Sgt William HICKS, Corp Joseph HARRISON, Corp Benjamin COUSINS, John ANDERSON, John BUTLER, John BYRNE, William BULLON, Daniel BRENNAN, Thomas CAVE, John COSGROVE, George GILHAM, William De BANK, Thomas DEWS, William DONALD, Joseph PENNING, KELLY, HOUTON, John RIDDLESTON, REARDON, SULLIVAN, VICKERY, Edward QUIN, Maurice WELSH, Charles RANSHAW, SHEPHERD, John MC QUADE, Michael M. RARKLIN, Timothy SHEEHAN, William TUCKER
G. COCKER, William CONNELL, M. DAUGHERTY.
Corp Francis CURTIS, James BROWN, James BROOKLAND, James CALLAGHAN, William CHAPMAN, Eli ELLIOTT, Thomas FROST, Arthur HAMILTON, Michael KELCHER, William KELLY, Charles LUCAS, James MAHER, James MOORE, John MC ACY, Daniel MC QUADE, Patrick O’BRIEN, Thomas PEACOCK, John REES, William RUSSELL, Thomas SCUTTS, James STOREY, Patrick STOKES, James THOMPSON, William WILKINS, William WILKINSON, James WILSON, William WOODWARD, John WALLIS, Simon JACOBS, Joseph LADD
Lieut G. W. ROBINSON, Lieut A. H. BOOTH, Thomas BERMINGHAM, James BERNARD, James BEGGAM, William BOEMAN, Daniel BUCKLEY, John BYRNE, William BURTON, John BRYAN, Michael CAFFY, Mathew COLLINS, Patrick CARNEY, John CLEMENTS, Charles DAWSON, Hugh DEEGAN, William DUDLEY, Patrick DOYLE, Hugh FEEHY, Matthew FITZPATRICK, Michael FLANAGAN, Hugh FEELY, Michael FRENAH, Malachi GARIN, Michael GAVIN, Samuel GILES, John GRANT, William N. HALL, John HARMER, Patrick FEANLEY, Robert HINCHIN, Michael HENLEY, William KEARNS, Timothy SKELLY, George LAWRENCE, Thomas LARKIN, Michael MAHER, John MAHEYS, John MURPHY, Thomas MURRAY, Patrick O’BRIEN, William O’CONNELL, Michael ROONAN, George RANDALL, George DAREYY, William FLYNN, Philip SCOTT, Timothy SHEEHAN, Daniel SHEA, James SULLIVAN, Robert SHEPHERD, George SMITH, James WILSON, William HOLMES, James MC MURRAY.
Major SEATON, Ensign RUSSELL, Corp M. MATHISON, Corp William LAIRD, George ANDERSON, Archibald BAXTER, John BINNIE, Robert BLACKIE, Walter BRUCE, John CATLANACH, John COWAN, David COUSIN, William DONALD, David DONALDSON, James GIBSON, Charles GOW, D. R. GORMAN, William GRAHAM, Thomas HARRISON, Alexander HENRIE, David HUNTER, James KIRKWOOD, John LOURIE, James MORTON, Alexander MURDOCH, Alexander MATHISON, Thomas MAXWELL, Alexander MILLER, David MILLER, George MILLER, William MC AULEY, James MC KINNON, Edward MC LEOD, John MC CLARNEY, Thomas ROBERTSON, Ebenezer RUTHERFORD, John SHARP, Duncan SHAW, Robert SMITH, William SMITH, Robert STEWART, William STEWART, John THOMSON, Adam THOMSON, Francis TURNER, Robert WALKER, George WATSON, Peter HAMILTON, John NELSON, Thomas PRIDE.
Sgt William BUTLER, Corp Alexander WEBBER, John BURT, James BRYAN, James BUCKHAM, William WHILBRO, James CAVANER, David DALEY, James DRURY, Hugh FORD, Patrick GOFFY, John HARSBER, Stephen HIGGIN, Patrick HIGGIN, Thomas JAYS, George KEMP, Francis HACKENNEY, James EVANS, James MONTGOMERY, William MATHSON, John SMITH, William E. SMITH, Luke SMITH, Patrick SMITH, William CLARK, James TERRNEY, Christopher WARE, Alexander WELLINGTON, Joseph GRANT, John MOORE, William WOODMAN, George JUSTS, James MOON, William FOSTER, William MEASURES, William SEDGEWOOD, Patrick KELLY, James De LANEY, Alexander MC FADDEN, Henry HAYWOOD, Patrick HUSSEY, John SWEENEY, David PRATT, James WALSH, Passenger, Andrew WHITE, a servant.
Soldiers and officers saved
John MOORE, M. MALAY, P. PETER, John PETERS, Thomas CHADWICK, Robert PAGE, Henry DOUBLE, Henry VERNON, James GILDEA, Benjamin WORILL, P. MC CRERY.
Sgt TEILE, W. BUSHE, William CLARKE, Thomas COA, James GOLDIN, John HERRICH, James WADE, William WELCH.
Daniel WATER, Thomas SANGAW, John IRVIN, James JOHNSON, Robert DOLAN, John YALE, John SIMON, P. WARD
J. HERIN, E. AMBROSE, James WEST
William BARLOW, Thomas NUTALL, Thomas SMITH, W. SOOTER
Sgt KILBERRY, W. BUSHE, Thomas CASH, James FITZPATRICK, W. HALFPENNY, P. MAY, M. O’BRIEN, P. LYNCH, John SULLIVAN, William WOOD
Sgt HAROLD, William BOYCE, Charles FERGUSON, James HENDERSON, D. KIRKFORD, Walter TAYLOR, John SMITH, Charles WALKER, Daniel SHAW
John STANLEY, David CAREY, P. MULLINS, P. CUNNYNHAM, John COUGHAM, John LAMB, John WALMSLEY, Frederick WINTERBOTTOM
Mrs DURKIN, Mrs NESBITT, Mrs MULLINS, Mrs MONTGOMERY, Mrs GWICHAR, Mrs SPRUCE, Mrs HUDSON
13 Children and Mr BOWEN, Staff surgeon
Officers and seamen saved
Dr CULHANE, assistant surgeon, C. B. RENWICK, Assistant engineer, 1st class, B. BARBER, Assistant engineer, 3rd class, J. FRESHFIELD, passed clerk, G. W. S. HIRE, Clerk, R. B. RICHARDS, Masters assistant, J. ARCHBOLD, Gunner.
Able seamen, John BOWEN, George TILL, John SMITH, Thomas DUNN, Charles NOBLE, Thomas DALEY, W. LANGMAID, E. CROKER, S. HARRIS, R. TIGGLE, Henry CHEESEMAN, M. BUSH, Robert FINN, George WINDSOR, Thomas HARRIS, George LEWIS, J. THALAN, J. DYKE, J. MC CARTHY, T. FORBES
Abel STONE, Ord seaman
Seamen, H. BEWHILL, W. WOODWARD, T. DRACKFORD, T. COFFIN
John ASHBOLT, George RANDALL, J. KING, Thomas DEW, J. AANDRAIN, T. J. STOKER, E. GARDINER, J. HOSKINS, J. MC CATES, William CHASE, G. KELLEY. T. WOODS
Boys, W. GALE, Charles MATHEWS, J. B. HOWARD, G. WINDHAM, B. TURNER
John DRAKE, Col Sgt, William NORTHOVEN Private, Thomas DANIELS, Private, John COOPER, Private, W. LUCK, Private, T. KEANE, Private. E. WILSON, Boatmate, J. LACEY, Captain maintop, J. MESSUM, Sailmaker’s mate, W. NEALE, Captain’s mate, J. TIFFREY, Paymaster and purser’s steward
Mr SALMOND, Master, Commander, Mr W. BRODIE, Master, Mr R. D. SPEER, 2nd Master, Mr J. O. D. DAVIES, 2nd Master, Mr W. WHYHAM, Chief Engineer, Mr C. W. HARE, Master’s assistant, Mr James MC CLYMONT, Asst engineer, Mr DEELEY, Asst engineer, Mr T. HARRIS, Boatswain, Mr James ROBERTS, Carpenter
Kindly donated by Sybil WALKER,
The Roll of Honour Of those men of the Birkenhead who perished
1. Robert Salmond - Master Commanding
2. William Brodie - Acting Master
3. Jeremiah O'Dwyer Davis - Second Master
4. Robert David Speer - Second master
5. William Whyham - Chief Engineer
6. Edward Deely - Assistant Engineer (1st class)
7. George Kitchingham - Assistant Engineer (2nd Class)
8. James McClymont - Assistant Engineer (2nd Class)
9. William Charles Hare - Masters Assistant
10. Thomas Harris - Boatswain (3rd Class)
11. James Roberts- Carpenter (3rd Class)
12. James G. Heming - Quarter-Master
13. Roger Reed - Quarter-Master
Copyright 2002 / To date