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Author Topic: Loss of the Mail Packet. SS Violet. 1857.  (Read 4769 times)

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Offline unfairytale

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Loss of the Mail Packet. SS Violet. 1857.
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2011, 13:46:02 »
I spotted this Gravestone in Cowgate Cemetary, Dover. And thought I'd investigate further.

The Violet, a 300 ton paddle steamer owned by the Royal Dover Steam Packet Company made regular trips between Dover and Ostend carrying mail and passengers.

 On the evening of Monday 5th of January 1857 she left Ostend in atrocious weather and headed for Dover. The weather was so bad that only one passenger was prepared to risk the journey, the three other booked passengers waited at Ostend for calmer weather. The Captain, Edmund Lyne, hoped that the severe weather would quicken their crossing. It's believed in the early hours of the 6th that the Captain miss-read the warning lights situated around the Goodwin sands, as the crew of the North Sands Head Lightship saw the Violet steam past them in the snow heading straight towards the sands.

  The Lightship fired flares to summon the Ramsgate lifeboat which arrived an hour later with the steamer Aid. They found no trace of the Violet although at dawn her masts were spotted sticking out of the water and at low tide she sat upright with the top of her wheels in view. Three bodies were found strapped to a life bouy but no others.

 Every one of the seventeen crew, one Mail guard and one passenger perished.

The lost crewmen.
Captain.   Edmund Lyne.
Chief Officer.  James Paul.
Second Officer.  Henry Pullman.
Engineer.  George Dilks.
Boatswain. George Freeman.
Carpenter.  Alexander Smart.
Henry Fox.
James White.
Samuel Laslett.
James Harber.
Leading Stoker.  NATHANIEL HARMER.
Samuel Sharp.
William Patrick.
John Shillatoe.
Steward.  Stephen Penny.
Cabin Boy.  Mr. Penny.
Ships boy.  William Crofts.
Mail Officer.  Joseph Mortleman.

Nathaniel Harmer was one of the men found lashed to the life bouy, the others being: Samuel Sharp and William Patrick.

When you've got your back to wall, there's only one thing to do and that's to turn around and fight. (John Major)


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