War deaths (not through enemy action)

John Forster                                        ss Cardium                  4th February 1915

A Chinese mess boy on this tanker appeared to have suddenly lost his mind and attacked three officers asleep in their cabins.  Wireless operator John Forster along with the 3rd and 4th engineers lost their lives.

H.E. Catbush (19)                               ss Karroo                    19th March 1915

This officer died in a tragic shooting accident on board his ship the ss Karroo. He had been practising with a rifle along with the 2nd Officer and the 3rd Engineer. As the two officers were holding the rifle it was accidentally fired and the bullet hit Catbush severely injuring him. He was immediately taken ashore to a hospital in Alexandria but he died  from his wound.

John William Beaver (22)                   ss Connemara             3rd  November 1916

The ss Connemara had just departed  Greenore when the small coaster “Retriever” crashed into her port side opening up a large hole. The Connemara’s boilers then exploded causing great loss of life. There were 97 fatalities, only one man survived. He was from the Retriever.

David Owen Davies (19)                    ss Basil                        11th November 1917

While carrying ammunition to France the Basil was in collision with the French cargo ship Margaux in the English Channel. The Basil sank very quickly causing a great loss of life.

James William Percey (48)                 ss  Pacific Shipper    8th April 1944

Canadian chief RO Percey was murdered in his cabin by James Galbraith, a chief steward while the vessel was discharging cargo in Salford Docks. Galbraith was later hung for this crime.

Maude Elizabeth Steane (28)              ss Viggo Hansteen      14th August 1944

This Canadian lady was shot by a fellow crew member who then committed suicide. Maude had only been at sea for ten weeks when she died.  She is buried in the Allied War Cemetery near Florence, Italy.

Thomas Burke (39)                             ss Dalesman                15th July 1945

The Dalesman was sunk in Suda Bay Crete and Thomas was captured when the Germans invaded that island. He was a POW in Germany or the rest of the war. He died two months after returning home as a result of poor health and the conditions he had endured as a prisoner.