NL GenWebOral History
Avalon South Region ~ Southern Shore District
Sinking of the SS FlorizelThe information was transcribed by CHRIS SHELLEY & JOHN BAIRD, 2001. While I have endeavored to be as correct as humanly possible, there may be typographical errors.
Mon. Feb. 25, 1918
Big Marine Tragedy Near Cappahayden
S. S. Florizel Goes Ashore in Snow Storm, and is a total Wreck
Seven bodies Have Been Washed Ashore and Identified.
NO SURVIVORS HAVE YET REACHED THE LAND - MEN SEEN ON DECK DURING YESTERDAY-LIGHTS VISIBLE DURING LAST NIGHT-STEAMERS STANDING BY AND WILL ATTEMPT RESCUE THIS MORNING - ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-EIGHT SOULS ON BOARD.
The S. S. Forizel is a total wreck at Horn Head, Cappahayden. At this writing seven bodies have been washed ashore, nothing definite has been learned of the others of the one hundred and thirty eight passengers and crew, which made up the ship's company. There is some hope however that the greater number are alive and on board the ship, but up to darkness yesterday no direct communication had been established between the stranded steamer and the shore, though there was evidence of life about the forward decks, when it was possible for the landsmen to see the ship from the cliffs, less than quarter of a mile from where the Florizel was firmly held on the rocks, about midships. This daylight will probably bring full news of the tragedy, as several rescue steamers are standing by and shoremen are ready with life saving apparatus to board the steamer as soon as the sea moderates.
The first news of the standing of the Florizel, was picked up by the Admiralty wireless station at Mount Pearl sent from the ill-fated steamer as follows:-
S. O. S. FLORIZEL ASHORE NEAR CAPE RACE; FAST GOING TO PIECES.
This message was communicated to Mr. F. Ellis, shipping Agent at Bowering Brothers at 5 a.m. and through him to Mr. Eric A. Bowering Immediately an effort was made to get in touch with the Florizel but all attempts failed either through Cape Race or the Admiralty station. It is supposed that the fires reached the ship's furnaces soon after the S. O. S. call was sent out, which put the dynamo out of order and stopped further communication. Having failed to get further information as to the exact location where the Florizel was ashore, or as to the safety of the crew or passengers, Mr. Bowering consulted with the company's ships' husband, Capt. A. Kean, and Marine Supt. M. MeGettigan, and it was decided to get a ship or ships ready forthwith to proceed to the scene of the wreck. The Reid Newfoundland Company and the Marine Department were notified also. By noon three steamers were ready to leave for the wreck, the S. S. Gordon C., Capt. Perry, the home, Captains Parsons and Spracklin and the Terra Nove Captain Kennedy. These were supplied with rocket guns, latest life saving apparatus such as floating buoys body belts etc. and carried special crews of Royal Navel Reservists with dories and life boats. The S. S. Hawks, Capts, Simonsen and Dalton also fully equipped with life saving gear and acetylene lamps for night service got away about three o'clock.
A relief train with Drs. MacPherson and Anderson and nurses, stretchers, mattresses, dressings; etc., was also despatched to Renews, the nearest railway station, by the Reid Nfld. Co., which left at 11.30 and arrived at Renews at 4.30. A special operator from the Company was sent along to "cut in" and keep the agents and owners informed of all occurrences.
The news of the steamer being ashore spread quickly about the city, and many and conflicting were the rumors that went into circulation. No definite information reached here until about 11 o'clock when a message from the operator at Cappahayden said the Florizel was ashore at Horn Head Point, was submerged aft to the smokestack, with heavy seas breaking over her and no sign of life onboard. Soon after a message came in the five men could be seen on the forward deck and bridge and several others in the rigging. The latter was soon followed by a message that several bodies had been washed ashore, including Capt. Joseph Kean, that the ship had broken off, and that no hope could be held out for the rescue of any of those who formed the ship's Company. The offices of the ship's agents; Harvey & Co., the offices of the owners, Bowering Bros., Ltd., and the Anglo and Postal Telegraph Offices were besieged by friends of those on board. No reliable information was forthcoming and in whispers one expressed to the other fears for the worst. At dinner hour it was generally feared the "All hands" had gone down with the steamer, and another mystery had been to many of the wrecks on Newfoundland's southern shore. At 2 p.m. a message to Mr. Cyril Tessier from a reliable source said there was every evidence of life, that the Marconi house was intact also the forward deck house and forecastle. Both masts and the smokestack were standing with the sea breaking clean over her and not the remotest hope of attempting rescue until the sea subsided. As the afternoon grew more conflicting reports continued to come in and were duly circulated adding to the misery and suspense of those who had dear ones on board. At 4 o'clock Rev. Fr. Doutney, of Cappahayden, wired Mr. J. J. St. John that the steamer was holding fast and the sea moderating, but that no attempt at rescue had been made and that no lives had been saved up to that time. At 6 o'clock another message to Mr. Tessier Read: "Men still on deck forward, sea moderating, two steamers in sight." Messages to Messrs. Bowring Brothers and Harvey & Co. of a like nature were received, which omitted a ray of hope. That there were people on board was further confirmed after tea hour, in a message from Hon. Tasker Cook, saying there was a light visible on board, and that the forward houses were intact. Later, however, Mr. Cook in another message to Mr. Eric Bowring, wired:- "position of ship hopeless; regret very much can't hold out very much hope". This had a disheartening effect and many who had been almost convinced that some of the passengers and crew were alive, gave up hope and returned to their homes, disconsolate and sad. This was practically the last message to be made public and was the severest blow for the day. There is good reason to to believe however that the situation is far from hopeless. Just before midnight the
NEWS special correspondent wired that a light was visible on board the Florizel, and that it was probable she was signaling to the S. S. Home, which was close by. This being so it would be fair to conjecture that as the message further states, a goodly number of the passengers and crew took shelter in the forward houses after the steamer struck and kept under cover during yesterday while the seas were breaking over the ship. The five men seen now and again more than likely were officers and seamen doing duty in turn. This theory is accepted by many seamen in the city, who think that Captain Martin would not attempt to launch boats when the steamer struck, as it would be madness to throw them out on a lee shore and in such sea. The course to pursue would be to encourage the company to stand by the ship, and remove the passengers to the safest quarters, which would be forward. If such were done the probabilities are that some of the passengers and crew were washed overboard in making the transfer from aft in the excitement, which necessarily followed. Which accounts for the finding of several bodies, which drifted ashore. If boats were launched it is reasonable to assume that more bodies would have been recovers yesterday and more wreckage would have drifted to land. When the crash came there is but little doubt that all the passengers were below and asleep, the only life on deck being the regular watch. There would be a rush from the staterooms to the deck, without any thought of clothing, and many of the passengers must have suffered terribly during yesterday and last night from exposure, as there would be very little chance of lighting fires as the whole place would be saturated and it would be impossible to get fuel. However the latest news is fairly encouraging and today will no doubt bring relief too the anxious ones who are so deeply concerned over their dear ones, and as well to an anxious public.
The Red Cross lines Florizel, Capt., W. J. Martin, the largest and best known of our mercantile marine, left here at 8 o'clock Saturday night for Halifax and New York, with a very valuable cargo. She was not more than one hour at sea when a S. E. gale and snow storm came on, which continued in violence until midnight when the wind suddenly veered to E. N. E. and blew equally as strong as it did in the former direction until about four a.m. yesterday, rain giving place to snow. The usual course under such conditions is to run off land, but what happened onboard the Florizel us yet untold. To have reached this side of Renews at the hour he S. O. S. was sent out she must have made but very slow progress, and to get so far off her course may be due to accident to machinery, steering gear, or probably the loss of her propeller. It may be that she went ashore much earlier than the S. O. S. would suggest, and that it was impossible to send out the signal earlier. These are matters yet to be made known, but that some accident occurred in the general belief, as Captain Martin was looked on as one of the most careful navigators sailing from this port. His experience would direct him to keep well off the land in such a storm, and we learn the ship's glasses must have showed a downward tendency soon after leaving port, as they did in the city, when about 8.30 they took a sudden drop. That he adopted the proper course throughout will no doubt be made know by the survivors.
The steamer was build in 1909 by C. O 'Connell & Co. Ltd., of Glasgow, for the N. Y., Nfld. and Halifax S. S. Co., when launched was the only ship of her class afloat, being specially constructed to contend with ice. She was a steel screw steamer of 3,081 tons gross; 1980 tons net; 305.5 feet long; 43.1 feet beam, and 29.6 feet deep, and fitted with submarine signals and wireless. Since her construction she has been used almost entirely in the Newfoundland trade, and as a transport, having taken over the "Blue Puttees" in 1914, with Captain Martin in charge. Since then she has been engaged in the transport service several times, and on each occasion with Capt. Martin in charge. The steamer was values at about $700,000, and the cargo at about $250,000.
Up to dusk several men were seen waving handkerchiefs to the shore. Two men were seen in the Marconi House at 6 p.m. After that a scattered light was seen, evidently from a pocket flashlight.
An officer from H. M. S. Briton fired a rocket to which a line was attached, from shore and it fell on the forecastle deck, but before it could be grasped by those on board, it was swept off by a big sea, and then pulled ashore.
It is generally believe here that the majority of those on board are huddled in the forecastle, which is above water and safe. If so, there is every reason to believe, that those who can stand a little hardship will live until early morning when every possible effort to rescue them will be made.
It is pitiful to see people so near in such great danger and yet nothing can be done for them. The bodies recovered were either swept off the deck, or an effort was made to send a boat ashore, which proved fruitless. The bodies will arrive in town by tomorrow (Monday) morning train.
The steamer is apparently hanging amidships, and is swinging to and fro from the heavy seas that are passing over her. Some wreckage, cargo, and trunk belonging to Mr. Jas Miller were picked up on shore. the top of a hatch was also picked up. Dr. Freebairn is now in charge, and the people are doing everything by keeping fires and lights burning to keep up the spirits of those aboard.
CAPT. WILLIAM J.MARTIN, of the wrecked Liner
SOME BODIES IDENTIFIED
(From the Daily News' Correspondent)
Cappahayden, Feb. 24- The steamer Florizel lies a total wreck 250 yards from the shore off this place, where she struck between 5 and 5.30 o'clock this morning. Steamers Home and Terra Nova are now lying off outside, but cannot come close to the wreck. Sevens bodies have been washed ashore, Second officer King, Corporal Snow, E. Froude, Mrs. W. F. Butler, and three of the ship's crew. Nothing can be done until daybreak .
(From Daily News' Correspondent)
Cappahayden, Feb. 24- 11 p.m.- Florizel total wreck. She struck at Horn Head Point between 5 and 5.30 a.m. during a heavy rainstorm. The ship's position at present is that her stern is below water to the bridge, the bow is about eight feet above water, and big seas are rushing over her. People on shore can do nothing until sea abates. The steamers are still lying about a mile off the shore.
LIGHTS SEEN ON SHIP
(From daily New's Correspondent)
Cappahayden, Midnight - two signal lights are now being used on board the Florizel, and evidently she is speaking to home. Boats will probably try to approach wreck one hour from now .
FROM HON. TASKER COOK TO MR. E. A. BOWRING.
Cappahayden, Feb. 24.
"Just arrived here. Can do nothing from the shore. Terra Nova and Home lying off. Sea getting smoother. Expect steamers may be able to do something shortly. Seven bodies at station here, supposed to be Second Officer King, C. H. Miller, Snow, Froude, Mrs. W. F. Butler. Dark when we got here. Men still seen on board. Florizel lying upright, under water from funnel aft. Bridge dock and forecastle over water. Will do utmost to get rocket on board. Will wire later."
FROM HON. TASKER COOK TO MR. E. A. BOWRING.
Cappahayden, Feb. 24.
"Have returned. Nothing can be done until sea moderates. Will have another try in the morning. Marshall, of Briton, put a rocket and line on board but got no response. Steamer Home launched a boat but she could not get within a quarter of a mile of Florizel. Some cargo washing ashore here. Have placed men on bank to watch chance to get to her,.if any offers. Condition of ship hopeless and regret very much that I cannot hold out much hope."
Constable Lynch wired Inspector General Hutchings from Cappahayden as follows.
"Six or seven bodies picked up, one woman. Five men can be seen on deck. No possibility rescuing them from land, only was is by steamer. Sea breaking over wreck."
Mr. P. H. Cowan, manager for the steamer Gordon C., received the following message from Capt. Perry:
"First at scene of wreck. Home arrived twenty minutes later. Went as near as possible to wrecked steamer. No sign of life onboard. Ship submerged, sea covering her over all but par and smoke stack. Going back at daylight. May have some bodies lashed to some part of ship. Sea mountainous. Coming back here saw some empty barrels driving from her".
The following message was received at 9.30 last night by the Colonial Secretary, Hon W. W. Halfyard, from Capt. Perry of the Gordon C., which had harbored at Renews for the night :-
"Arrived at scene of wreck 5.30 no sign of life on board. Sea covering ship After part all submerged. Impossible to get on board. West as near as possible. Going back at daylight.
The following passengers were on board the ill-fated steamer:-
FIRST CLASS PASSENGERS FOR HALIFAX/
FRANK CHOWN, son of Mr. Newman Chown, Prescott Street, city
FRED SNOW, son of Mr. N. Snow, bowring Brothers, Freshwater Rd. , City.
EDWARD BERTEAU, son of Mr. F. C. Berteau, Auditor-General, Torbay Rd. City
J. C. PARSONS, City
N. SELLARS, City
RALPH BURNHAM, son of the late Frederick and Mrs. Burnham, Military Rd. city
Mrs. GEORGE MASSIE.
Miss KATHERINE MASSIE
W. E. BISHOP, Burin
C. H. MILLER, of the U. S. Picture at Portrait Co. , City
GERALD ST. JOHN. son of Mr. John St. John, City
J. P. KIELY, Manager Nickel Theatre, City
M. CONNOLLY, butcher, son of the former, Duckworth Street.
Miss E. BEAUMONT, Halifax School for Blind.
W. PARMITER, keeper at Lunatic Asylum, Southside Road , City
MAJOR SULLIVAN, Newfoundland Foresters, City
PATRICK LARACY, Manager Crescent Theatre, Saunders' Place, City
A. E. GARDENER, ex-reporter, Telegram, Britiannia Cove, T. B.
Capt. JOSEPH KEAN, S. S. Prospero, Victoria St. City.
JOHN S. MUNN, director Bowring Brothers, ltd., Forest Rd., City.
Miss BETTY MUNN, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Munn, City
GEORGE A. MOULTON, Canadian Investors Ltd., Freshwater Rd. City.
C.B. MOULTON, son of the former pupil of Deaf and Dumb Institution Halifax.
G. PARMITER, Harbour Grace.
M. O'DRISCOL, Accountant Job Brothers and Co. LeMarchant Rd. City
Miss TRENCHARD, nurse to Miss Betty Munn, City.
W. EARLE, son of W. H. Earle, Fogo, brother of Mrs. (Bishop-elect) White.
HALIFAX - SECOND CLASS
GEORGE LONG, formerly of Rowing Bros. express delivery Flower Hill City.
P. J. FOWLER.
N. W. DAUPHINEE.
A. J. FAGAN, caretaker Bowring Park City
O. P. BELLVIEW
JOHN LYNCH, City
TO NEW YORK, FIRST CLASS
THOMAS McNEIL of McMurdo & Co. Water St., City
F. E. SMYTHE, manager Woolen Mills, Military Rd. City
W. F. BUTLER, Architect, City
Mrs. W. .F. BUTLER, wife of above City
ALEX LEDINGHAM, brother late Capt. James Ledingham, City
JAMES J. McCOUBREY, Asst. Manager Standard Mfg. City Leslie Street.
JOSEPH H. BAGGS, Curling Bay of Island.
Miss M. BARRETT, City
EDWARD FROUDE, Manager Dicks & Co., City
ROBERT WRIGHT, of R. Wright & son City
Miss A. DALTON, ex-forewoman of the British Clothing Factory, City
Miss KITTY CANTWELL. City
JAMES MILLER, agent for George G. Carnegie N. Y., son of Mr. Charles Miller Chief Steward S. S. Prospero Mullock St., City
JAMES DALEY, Buyer, George Knowling, Ltd LeMarchant Rd. City
JOSEPH MULLOWNEY, Gallipoli hero, Wife and Child, City
MINNIE DENIEF, daughter of Mr. P. Denief of the Palace, Quidi Vidi road.
Mrs. W. WOOD
P. J. FITZPATRICK
J. T. SPARROW.
W. MOORE, Freshwater Rd. City
Miss ELIZABETH PILLEY.
ARTHUR GUILLFOYLE, Hr, Grace.
NOTES ABOUT PASSENGERS
Messrs. Frank CHOWAN, Frank SNOW, Ed BERTEAU, Jack C. PARSONS and Ralph BURNAHAM were leaving for Toronto to join the Canadian Flying Corps.
Alex LEDINGHAM is a brother of the late Captain James LEDINGHAM of Ours, and a veteran of the Canadian Forces.
Thomas McNEILL is one of our best known citizens, and is married to a daughter of the late Hon. A. M. MacKAY, and has three children.
Mr. F. C. SMYTHE, the Manager of the Woollen Mills, has been living in St. John's for some years, and has a wife and four children.
Mr. W. E. BISHOP, of Burin, is married at that place.
Mr. A. J. FAGAN, Bowring Park, is married and has a wife and child.
Mr. J. H. BAGGS, of Curling, Bay of Island, is married and had a wife and family.
Mr. James McCOUBREY is married his wife being in the City.
Mr. C. H. MILLER has two sons in the city, his wife died a few years ago.
Major M. SULLIVAN has a wife and two children living in England.
Capt. Joe KEAN has a wife and two children.
Mrs James DALEY has a wife and several children.
Mr. J. P KIELY has a wife and two children living in the City.
Mr. J. S. MUNN's wife resides in Forest Road.
Mr. W. MOORE has a wife and six children.
Mr. M. CONNOLLY has three daughters, Mesdemes DODD, KNIGHT and ATKINSON in the City.
Mr. J CONNOLLY has a wife and four children.
Mr. W. PARMITER has a wife and four children.
Mr. P. LARACY has a wife and four children.
Mr. M. O'DRISCOLL has a wife and several children living in the City.
Mr. George PARMITER is a son of Capt. James and Mrs. PARMITER, Hr. Grace; was on his way to join R. A. M. C. at Halifax.
Mr. W. BUTLER, shipwright, is a son of Mr. S. Butler, shipwright, and has a wife and three children.
OFFICERS AND CREW
WILLIAM J. MARTIN- Captain, St. John's
WILLIAM JAMES- Chief Officer St. John's
JOHN R. KING- Second Officer, Arichat, N.S.
PHILIP JACKMAN- Third Officer, Renews
MICHAEL F. POWER- Bosun, St. John's
J. V. READER- Chief Engineer
THOMAS LUMSNEN- second Engineer, St. John's
ERIC H. COLLIER- Third Engineer, St. John's
HERBERT TAYLOR- Fourth Engineer, St. John's
CHARLES SNOW- Second Steward, St. John's
CECIL CARTER- Wireless Operator Hayti.
BERNARD J MURPHY- Assistance Operator, Liverpool
Miss MARGARET KEHOE- Stewardess, St. John's
JACOB PINSENT- Carpenter, Pool's Island.
FRED GUTHRIE- Second Cook, Liverpool.
J. McKINNON- Baker, Glasgow.
RAMON REZ- Messroom Stewart, Spain.
JOHN JOHNSON- Pantry Waiter, St. John's
CHARLES REELIS- Waiter, St. John's
JAMES DWYER- Waiter St. John's
ALEX FLEET- Waiter, St. John's
HY.. DODD- Waiter, St. John's
HY. SNOW- Waiter, St. John's
P. LYNCH- Waiter, St. John's
GORDON IVANY- Waiter St. John's
AUSTIN WHITTEN- Waiter, Saint. John's
STAN SQUIRES- Waiter, St. John's
JOC. C. MOORE- Waiter, St. John's
STAN FOLEY- Waiter, Grey Island
FRED ROBERTS- Waiter, St. John's
ML. DUNPHY- waiter, St. John's
ED. TIMMONS- Oiler, St. John's.
JNO. DAVIS- Oiler, St. John's
THOMAS HENNEBURY- Oiler, St. John's
A. MOODY- Butcher, New Hampshire
ALF T. HATCHARD- Sailor, Poole, England.
GEO. CROCKER- Sailor, Greenspond.
GEO. H. CURTIS-Sailor, Southhampton , England.
JNO, LAMBERT- Sailor, St. John's
WM. WALTERS- Sailor, Trinity
THOS. GREEN- Sailor, Fermeuse
AUTHUR GOVER- Sailor, Trinity
CHAS. BAILEY- Sailor, Port Rexton
JOS. BURRY- Sailor, Greenspond
WM. MOLLOY- Sailor, Cape Broyle
WM. DOOLEY- Sailor, St. John's
JNO. POWER- Sailor, Paradise, P. B.
TORE SCARIE- Fireman, Spain
JOSE FERNANDEZ- Fireman, Spain
JOSE MENDEZ- Fireman, Spain
TOMAS GARCIA- Fireman, Spain
FRANCISCO SERNO-Fireman, Spain
MANUEL TAVER- Fireman, Spain.
MANUEL RODRIQUEZ- Fireman.Spain
ALEZANDRO GARNCERO- Fireman, Spain
FRANCISCO NARTIN- Fireman Spain
GERADO RODIQUEZ- Fireman, Spain
JOSE VILA- Fireman, Spain.
F. BEQUIRA- Fireman, Spain
E. RODRIQUES- Fireman, Spain.
NOTES ON THE CREW
Capt. William MARTIN is one of our best known mariners, and has been in the Red cross line for a number of years, being given command on the retirement of Captain CLARKE. Captain MARTIN has a wife and two children living in the city.
Second Officer, Jno. R. KING, whose body has been identified has been in the Red Cross service for many years and was on the Florizel since she first came here. He also served on many other ships of the line and was one of the most efficient and popular men in the service. Several times he was offered the post of Chief Officer of the Florizel but refused to take it always claiming it was a position for a younger man. A thorough seaman, he was affectionately known as "Daddy" by the younger officers by whom, like all passengers who traveled with him he was held in the highest respect and esteem. He leaves a widow and family residing at Halifax one of his sons being master of the Sable I
Carpenter PINSENT was a Native of Pool's Island but resided in the West End for some time. He was unmarried.
Chief Officer JAMES held a similar position on the Stephano when she was torpedoed and was also n the Florizel before, but latterly was master of the S. S. Ranger. This trip he was replacing Chief Officer TUCKER who remained ashore, being quarantined following the discovery of smallpox on the ship during her last trip there. He is married and has three children.
Bosun M. F. POWER resided in Prescott, is married and had one child.
Seaman MOLLY is a native of Cape Broyle but is married and lives in this city.
Oiler Ed. TIMMONS resides in Your Street and is married.
Oiler Jno. DAVIS has been on the ship for years. He is married and has seven children residing in Casey St.
Walter Chas. REELIS, single is the son of Mr. Hy. REELIS of this city and formerly a steward at the City Club.
Pantry Steward Jno. JOHNSON lived at 39 Gower Street.
Second steward Chas SNOW who was acting chief in place of Steward JONES who remained at New York to undergo an operation, has been on the ship a number of years. His wife and one child now reside in New York.
Walter Hy. SNOW, single has a brother and resides at 19 Field St.
Sailor Wm. DOOLEY is a son of the late John DOOLEY, butcher, and has a wife and two children in this city.
Walter Jas. DWYER is a son of Mr. Jos. DWYER and lives in St. John's.
Baker McKINNON is a native of Glasglow, but is married and resides here.
Butcher A. MOODY is married and lives in this city but hails from New Hampshire.
Walter Hy. DODD we understand was a son of Mr. Thos. DODD, cabman and was unmarried.
Walter Patk LYNCH is unmarried and resided with his father, Mr. Frank LYNCH of The R. N. Co'.s electrical department at Prospect St.
Third mate, Philip JACKMAN is a native of Renews, near where the ship was wreck and was recently married. He has been on the Florizel some Years.
Fourth Engineer Hubert TAYLOY is a son of Mr. John TAYLOR, shipwright and lives at barter's Hill with his father.
Second Engineer T. LUMSDEN is the oldest son of Mr. A. K. LUMSDEN of Jas Baird Ltd., and lived in Cochrane Street. He was unmarried.
Third engineer Eric COLLIER resided in Forest Road. He was recently Married to Miss Elise, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. Y. MOTT, this city.
Chief Engineer J. V. READER has a wife and two children living in Halifax. He was in the Red Cross employment about twenty-five years and is well known to many in this city.
Walter Stan SQUIRES resided with his father Diver Walter Squires at 9 Tessier Place. He is unmarried.
Walter Austin WHITTEN, single, is a son of Mr. Geo. WHITTEN of the Southside. A brother of his recently made the supreme sacrifice while fighting with "Ours" in France.
Second Baker, Jos. C. MOORE resides in Hamilton St. and has a wife and sic children. He served on the Red Cross ships before.
Walter Stan FOLEY unmarried hailed from Gray Island, but resided in the city.
Sailor John LAMBERT, married of the city is one of the best know of his calling here, and for years was engaged in the coastal service.
Sailor Wm. WALTERS, of Trinity, resides in the city.
Walter M. DUNPHY joined the ship only quite recently and was formerly engaged on the coastal boats, practically since the inception of that service.
The firemen all Spaniards resided in or near Brooklyn, N. Y. No particulars concerning the other members of the crew were available yesterday.
The stewardess, Miss Margaret KEHOE belonged to this city and was formerly on the Prospero.
Chief Steward JONES who is undergoing an operation at New York has been remarkably luck in escaping shipwreck. He was ashore when the Stephano was torpedoed last year and when the Portia, Miranda and several other ships of The Red Cross Line met with disaster.
Eight members of the regular crew were ashore this trip having been detained in conformity with quarantine regulations
DID NOT SAIL
Mr. W. B. GRIEVE intended taking passage by the Florizel, but at the last moment was obliged to remain ashore.
.Mr. H. R. BROOKS, of Job Brothers, also had decided to sail by the steamer, but owing to the vaccination regulation remained over. The same applies to Mrs. F. J. CANNING, who had booked passage for herself and two children; to Mr. and Mrs. H. E. COWAN, Mrs. C. McKay HARVEY, Mr. J. DOWLING And Mr. T. J DULEY.
Messrs. George KEARNEY, F. STEER, and W. E. BARNES were prevented from taking passage.
THE LATE EDGAR FROUDE.
One of the bodies which drifted ashore, was early identified as that of Mr. Edgar FROUDE, a director of Dicks & Co. Ltd. Papers which he carried in his pocket gave a a clue to his identity, which was later established when city friends who went out by train were shown the body. He was bound on a pleasure and business trip to the United States. On Friday, when he learnt that he would have to be vaccinated if he left by the Florizel, he decided to go by train but later learning that possibly the officials at North Sydney would require him to be vaccinated there and preferring the sea trip, he again changed his mind. Edgar FROUDE was well and favourably known about town. In his younger days he was bookkeeper at Blair's severing his connection with that firm to try his fortune in the United States, where he gained a valuable experience in the book line. About ten years ago he returned and became business manager of the Evening Chronicle and when that paper was submerged in the Herald for a short while conducted its business. He left the Herald to enter the firm of Dicks and Co. and subsequently became a shareholder and director of that concern. He was an authority on current literature, was one of the best read men in the country, and possessed to a remarkable degree the faculty of absorbing what he read. It was the writer's privilege to know him very intimately for very many years, and he was one of the most evenly-tempered men we have ever met, possessing a sunny and most attractive disposition. The lime-light held no attraction for him, and his later days were spent in the company of the books he loved so well. Edgar FROUDE will be greatly missed not alone by those were his business associates, but by a large circle of friends in the city and outside. His has been a sad end, but the passing from time to eternity has come as he would have wished it, quick and painless. Mr. FROUDE's parents predeceased him. A brother Jesse is doing business at Clarenville to whom we extend our deepest sympathy.
THE LATE CORPORAL SNOW
Another of the bodies identified was that of Corporal Fred SNOW. SNOW, son of Mr. N. SNOW, manager of the Dry goods department of Bowring Bros. Ltd., who is now in England on a business trip, and nephew of Inspector General HUTCHINGS. Before enlisting, Mr. SNOW, who had just reached his twenty-first was on the staff of the Bank of Nova Scotia. He was en route to Canada to join the aviation corp. It was only on Saturday evening that he finally decided to go by the Florizel, as his uncle intended leaving by train, and it was only the fact that several of his chums were bound on the same mission as himself that ultimately decided him to go by ship. During his training in the army, the young soldier made himself very popular with his associates, and was very greatly esteemed by a host of other friends. To his father and relatives we extend sincere sympathy.
MRS. W. F. BUTLER
Mrs. BUTLER, whose body has been recovered, was the wife of Mr. W. F. BUTLER the well-known architect of this city, who was also a passenger on the Florizel, but of whose safety or otherwise there is no word. Mrs. BUTLER was a Miss ELLIS before her marriage, and has a sister married to Mr. J. McCOUBREY, who was also on the ill-fated ship.
Tue. Feb. 26, 1918
THE FLORIZEL BECOMES TOTAL WRECK
RESCUE WORK SUCCESSFULLY CARRIED OUT
FORTY - FOUR SURVIVORS TAKEN FROM DOOMED SHIP
ROYAL NAVEL RESERVISTS RENDER SPLENDID SERVICE-THRILLING STORIES OF TRAGEDY-NAVAL HERO LOSES LIFE WHILE SAVING OTHERS.
Forty-four survivors of the Florizel reached here yesterday, two of them being women. The drowned number ninety-four.
The work of rescue by the ships' crews commenced yesterday morning at 3.30, when a boat from the Prospero in charge of the Second Officer attempted to get a line to the stranded ship. They were unsuccessful, and returned to their steamer half an hour later. At daylight boats from the Hawk, Prospero, Terra Nova and Gordon C. simultaneously left for the ship. There was still heavy sea running, but by anchoring a jolly boat and connecting a line to the Florizel the work of rescue was accomplished.
The first crew to reach the stranded steamer was the Gordon C. with Captain PERRY in charge. Capt. PERRY let his dory drift to the lee side of the Florizel just about 6 o'clock, and succeeded in taking off five of those where huddle about the decks. After transferring them to his own steamer he returned to the wreck again until twenty lives had been saved by himself and crew. Capt. PERRY, however did not escape and came near losing his own life while engaged in the rescue. Rowing to the Florizel his dory was struck by a sea and capsized throwing himself and Naval Reservist BUDDEN into the water. In the accident PERRY was hit by the dory and almost rendered unconscious, while his partner suffered no better, being also injured by the boat striking him. Other crews who had witnessed the accident rowed quickly to the assistance of the struggling men and rescued them, a crew of the Terra Nova taking up BUDDEN, who was landed in Cape Broyle last evening by Capt. KENNEDY of the Terra Nova, and is being attended by Dr. KNOWLTON. PERRY was rescues and put on board of the Prospero, and upon arrival here was looked after by Doctor CAMPBELL and sent to the General hospital.
Two dories from the Hawk were also quickly to the side of the ill-fated ship being in charge Capt. DALTON with Royal Naval Reservists Daniel RALPH, Flat Island, B. B. and Michael WHEALAN, St, John's and mate Charles POPE in charge, and R. N. R. Stephen NASH, Placentia Bay, and Michael WOODFORD. These two boats did excellent work also, but at a disadvantage and in great danger, Mr. E. MALONE, who went up a pilot also formed a member of the crews, working alternately with Captain DALTON and Mate POPE.
The Terra Nova and Prospero also had their boats out, and the crews played a very prominent part in getting the survivors off. There was also danger of being swamped when near the submerged ship, and the utmost care to be taken to get passengers and crew safely into the boats. On one occasion one of the Prospero's boats capsized, throwing all the occupants into the water, including the second officer of Prospero, stoker W. ASHMAN and the two others. They also were rescued by crews from other ships. One of the Terra Nova's boats also capsized while the rescue work was in progress, and the occupants were thrown into the sea. They likewise were picked up except one Royal Naval Reservist, named QUINTON, who was drowned, and the body sank from view before it could be recovered.
By 8 o'clock all that were alive on board the Florizel had been taken off, 44 in number, including two women, though another drowning had like to be recorded. Major SULLIVAN, who weighs in at more than 200 pounds, missed his balance when getting into one of the dories, and was precipitated into the water. He was quickly grabbed by Capt. SIMONSEN of the Hawk, but owing to his weight Major SULLIVAN could not be taken into they dory without the risk of capsizing it, and he had to be towed some 200 feet through the water, before he was fished out, and then only by the genius of Capt. SIMONSEN who devised a means of "dripping" his out with a dory.
At 8.30 the Hawk was ready to proceed here and was followed by the Gordon C. and Prospero, the three rescue steamers, arriving just after 1 o'clock, having made a good run down the shore. When they were signaled, thousands of anxious people were attracted to Harvey & Co. pier, where a detachment of police had to be stationed to keep order and keep the place free for the landing of survivors and to allow the doctors and Agents' official to perform their duty. When the rescued ones landed they presented a hard-looking sight. All showed the effects of the frightful ordeal of the previous twenty-four hours, particularly Capt. MARTIN who was helpless and had to be escorted to a cab. Third officer JACKMAN, who was suffering from a broken nose and fractured jaw had to be taken to hospital. Ralph BURNHAM required immediate medical treatment, and Captain PERRY and DALTON who were injured, while engaged in the life saving, were also sent to hospital. The lists of the drowned and rescued were soon afterwards bulletined by the Agents, and the minds of those who had relatives on board and the public generally were relieved from the strain.
The following is a list of passengers and crew, giving the names of the lost and rescued :-
JOHN J. CLEARY
J. P. KIELEY
W. N. DAUPHINEE
A. G. FAGAN
G. M MULLOWNEY
J. G. SPARROW
CAPTAIN WM. MARTIN
CHIEF OFFICER JAMES
3RD OFFICER PHILIP JACKMAN
2ND ENGINEER T. LUMSDEN
3RD ENGINEER E. COLLIER
4TH ENGINEER H. TAYLOR
MARCONI OPERATOR C. CARTER
ASST. MARCONI OPERATOR B. J. MURPHY
BOSUN MICHAEL POWER
CARPENTER JACOB PINSENT
JOHN JOHNSON, Pantry Waiter
JAMES DWYER, Waiter
JOS. MOORE, Cook
FRED ROBERTS, Waiter
EDWARD TIMMONS, Oiler
JOHN DAVIS, Oiler
A HATCHARD, Sailor
HY. DODD, Waiter
ALEX FLEET, Waiter
W. DOOLEY, Sailor
JOSEPH BURRY, Sailor
THOMAS GREENE, Sailor
GEORGE CURTIS, Gunner
HENRY SNOW, Waiter
CHARLES REELIS, Waiter
JOSE FERNANDEZ, fireman
WM. MOLLOY, Sailor.
F. C. SYMTHE
JOS. H. BAGGS
W. F. BUTLER
Mrs. W. F. BUTLER
Miss ANNIE DALTON
Miss M. BARRETT
JACK C. PARSONS
WILLIAM E. BISHOP
CHAS. H. MILLER
G. P. BELLEVEAU
GERALD ST. JOHN
CAPT. JOS. KEAN
JOHN S. MUNN
Miss B. BEAUMONT
P. J. FITZPATRICK
Miss ELIZ. PELLY
R. .J. FOWLER
MR. STEVENS, returned passenger to New York.
OFFICERS and CREW LOST.
JOHN R. KING, Second officer, Arichat, N.S.
J. V. READER, Chief Engineer, Halifax
CHARLES SNOW, Second steward, St. John's
MISS MARGARET KEHOE, Stewardess, St. John's
FRED GUTHRIE, Second Cook, Liverpool
J. McKINNON, Baker, Glasgow.
RAMON REZ, Messroom Steward, Spain
P. LYNCH, Waiter, St. John's
GORDON IVANY, Waiter, St. John's
AUSTIN WHITTEN, Waiter St. John's
STAN SQUIRES, Waiter, St. John's
STAN FOLEY, Waiter, Grey Island.
ML. DUNPHY, Waiter, St. John's
THOMAS HENNEBURY, Oiler, St John's
A. MOODY, Butcher, New Hampshire
GEO. CROCKER, Sailor, Greenspond
JNO. LAMBERT, Sailor, St, John's
WM. WALTERS, Sailor, Trinity
ARTHUR GOVER, Sailor, Trinity
CHAS. BAILY, Sailor, Port Rexton
JNO. POWER, Sailor, Paradise, P.B.
TORE SCARIE, Fireman, Spain
JOSE MENDES, Fireman, Spain
TOMAG GARCIA, Fireman, Spain
FRANCISCO SERNO, Fireman, Spain
MANUEL TAVER, Fireman, Spain
MANUEL RODRIQUEZ, Fireman, Spain
ALEZANDRO GARNCERO, Fireman, Spain
FRANCISCO NARTIN, Fireman, Spain
GERARDO RODIQUEZ, Fireman, Spain
JOSE VILA, Fireman, Spain
F. BEQUIRA, Fireman, Spain
E. RODRIQUEZ, Fireman, Spain.
STORIES OF DISASTER
Major SULLIVAN's Account
Major SULLIVAN who was up and dressed at the time when the ship struck and was going on deck to learn what caused the unusual rolling was speaking to Mr. J. S. MUNN and had an orange with him about 20 minutes to five. Five minutes later she struck an in ten minutes all the lights were out, the ship, the ship having settle by the storm so that the water flooded the engine room putting the dynamos out of commission. He had a pocket electric lamp with him at the time, which afterwards came in useful for the Marconi operator in signaling to the rescue ships. When he got out on deck he saw some of the officers near a boat all of which a few minutes later were broken in pieces by a heavy sea. It was here that Capt. Joe KEAN had his leg broken, Major SULLIVAN saw one of the crew, Messrs. MUNN, WRIGHT, C. MILLER and T McNEIL, going to the smoking house while he made for the bridge and remained there till Capt. KEAN had been brought up . He was in the wheel-house when a huge sea broke it in pieces, smashing the binnacle and wheel to which he was clinging and almost carrying him overboard . He then went n the lower bridge and about 20 minutes later a wave took all the upper bridge about fifteen in number, overboard. Several of those who had sought shelter in the lee of the saloon also perished. Corp. SNOW who had found refuge in the latter position held out till about noon Sunday and was swept away with a life belt on him. Sunday evening some of the passengers got forward and found shelter under the forecastle deck, and Capt. MARTIN and Seaman DOOLEY thought of getting a line ashore by swimming but had to abandon the idea as unpractical. A heavy gale was blowing and huge sea breaking over the ship all the time and those on board suffered terribly having neither fire or food. After the ship struck Mr. MUSS who had on pajamas and an overcoat left his stateroom, but quickly being drenched by the spray entered the saloon. Major SULLIVAN last saw him near the rail on the upper deck about 10 a.m. but after a heavy sea had boarded her he had disappeared. Mr. SMYTHE of the Woolen Mills had had his arm broken and was among the first to be lost. The loss of life was due in a large measure to exposure, most of the people being sparsely clad. After a sea had destroyed all the upper structure but the Marconi house is which over thirty had found shelter. Major SULLIVAN reached the fiddley where himself, Chief Officer James WALTER, Jas. DWYER, Ralph BURNHAM and one of the Spanish firemen remained till rescued. While daylight lasted, Mate JAMES signaled the shore with a handkerchief to let the people gathered there know that some were still alive on board and at night the electric flashlight was used for the same purpose. Ralph BURNHAM was handed in on the fiddley by Mate JAMES, which saved him from being washed overboard. During the night they kept themselves warm by hauling a piece of canvas tightly over them and breathing heavily also by stamping about. Major SULLIVAN was told by one of the stewards that Mr. McNEIL who came on deck when the ship struck and learned what had happened expressed no anxiety, evidently expecting the steamer to hang together till rescue arrived. He was never seen afterwards. Major SULLIVAN has been with hip up to 11.30 at night. When the bridge house was carried away Major SULLIVAN became entangled in the wreckage and was badly bruised about the arms and legs and later became caught between the side of the saloon, when it was knocked out, and some planks. From this position he cut himself free with an axe, which fortunately was within his reach. He was almost smothered by water and will be confined to his room about a week. His arms and legs being terribly swollen while his back is considerably bruised. There was no chance of assistance from shore and a dory, which was seen to be launched, was quickly upset. The whistle of the steamer was kept going as long as steam lasted and a large number of people collected on land but could do nothing to help. With the flashlight the Marconi operator signaled the steamer Sunday night and a reply was received that boats would be sent to the rescue at daylight. About 7 a.m. the dories from the Hawk got to work and directed by Capt. DALTON did magnificent work. The later is now suffering from shock as the result of his dory upsetting and throwing him into the icy water. From Saturday night till rescued Major SULLIVAN and companions had nothing to eat and were obliged to chew everything in the shape of tobacco they possessed. In attempting to board the dory, Major SULLIVAN got into the water, but was saved by Alec LEDINGHAM who caught him and held him. After being towed a considerable distance, another dory was secured and being tipped on its side, the Major who weights over 200 pounds and was heavily clothed, was rolled into it and saved. But for the promptness of Alec Ledingham in grabbing him he would undoubtedly have drowned.
MR. GARDINER'S STORY
Mr. A. E. GARDINER, one of the survivors, who was for a time connected with the reportorial staff of the Evening Telegram, gave the following report of his experiences to that paper yesterday:-
The Florizel left St. John's at 8 o'clock on Saturday evening. The weather then was fairly clear, but an hour afterwards a blinding snow storm sprung up, accompanied by a S. E. gale, which made navigation difficult as lookout could scarcely see a ship's length ahead. The ship apparently running at a good rate and every precaution was taken to guard against accident. Passengers were all in bed sleeping soundly when at 4.30 a.m. Sunday the ship struck ground with terrific force, and every person on board at once knew that something dreadful had happened. Springing out of their berths those below rushed on deck, some being clad and other semi-clad. A terrible sight met their gaze. The seas were breaking over the ship, which was now hard fast ashore, having run on the reef for fully half her length. About five minutes after striking the ship's position was identified as being Horn reef near Broad Cove, the ship having grounded about 200 yards from the shore, full bow on. She immediately took a list to starboard, which rendered more than difficult any attempt at crossing deck or passing fore and aft. After the first shock, the vessel made three or four bumps, which settled her more firmly on the reef, and great combers swept her from port to starboard, carrying away the wheelhouse and smoking room in a few minutes. Twelve lives were swept to destruction when the bridge and wheelhouse went, including Captain Joseph KEAN, who had previously broken his leg in some way. All day Sunday the weather was mild and stormy, with mountainous seas now coming on board over the stern. In early morning 33 passengers and crew managed to reach the Marconi room, where they remained; the door was broken to matchwood by the force of the sea. Weakened from exposure, Joseph MULLOWNEY, a returned solider, died. His wife and child were onboard, also have not been accounted for, and it is presumed that they are among the drowned. The body of MULLOWNEY was laid out on the deck, from which it was later carried overboard by the waves. The remaining 32 who took shelter in the Marconi house were subsequently saved. Crowds of people lined the beach when daylight came, but could not effect any rescue work. Early Sunday morning one boat from the shore made an effort to get alongside the Florizel but was swamped, but without loss of life. Fortunately and no further effort was made for some time. Rescue work from the steamers now on the scene was attempted, but had to abandoned as the sea was still running too high for work to be carried on and it had to be put off till daylight, this morning. Only two of the lady passengers were now left the others having succumbed to the effects of the weather and exposure, or were washed overboard. Many dead bodies were lying about the decks, and others drowned in their berths. The Gordon C., Hawk. Prospero and Terra Nova were now rendering all assistance possible, and though no work could be done, yet their presence cheered those on board the battered wreck. There was no panic whatever. When the time came for the survivors to be taken off, the work was conducted in an orderly and disciplined manner. As the boats came alongside, the survivors dropped into them over the starboard side of the ship (being lowest owing to the list) one by one, their course over the side being assisted by lines. The most anxious time was spent by those in the Marconi room, as they were fearful of its holding on. Luckily it did go, and every one in it was taken off. Four men also were saved who had sought shelter in the oilers room under the forecastle deck. For 27 hours there was no light, no food, no fire, no drinking water, with the waves now threshing the hull fore and aft. The treatment of the nine survivors, brought along by the Prospero, were all that could be desired. Nothing was too good, and from captain to cabin boy each vied with the other to make the comfortable. The two ladies saved behaved admirably. Mr. KIELY manager of the Nickle, was in No. 2 stateroom all day Sunday, and was only rescued this morning. Two other passengers in the same room as Mr. GARDINER attempted to go forward, but on crossing the forehatch were swept overboard and drowned. Mr. GARDINER only saved himself by clinging fast to the hatch combine. Of the first class passengers only about have a dozen were saved, and and those of second class probably seven or eight. Major SULLIVAN leaped overboard and catching a rope from a boat was towed to one of the steamers and hauled safely aboard. Great praise is due the heroism of the men who had their boat swamped in making the first attempt to reach the Florizel. In the Marconi room everybody was cheerful and had it not been for the strength of the fastenings, which held the house to the deck, it is quite possible that not one of the 32 taking refuge herein would have been saved. Very little time elapsed from the time of striking before water commenced to rush in the ship and the corridors in the saloon soon became miniature river. When Mr. GARDINER left his stateroom he had to wade through fully 8 inches of water, which kept increasing. Third officer JACKMAN was badly injured his nose and lip being split in two and his teeth knocked out put he endured it all in a total way and by his cheerfulness assisted in keeping up the lagging spirits of the others.
When the Florizel first struck, Mr. GARDINER turned out hurriedly and told his berth mate that apparently the ship was going through ice, getting back to sleeping quarters again. Five minutes later he was compelled to make a bee line for the deck, his room mate unknown, in attempting to go forward was carried over the side by a comber which at that instant had come on board. Captain MARTIN was the last man to leave. The rescue work was carried out under the most trying ordeals of wind, sea and current. One dory capsized throwing its occupants into the water, from which they were ultimately pulled out.
The Florizel decks this morning showed a sad spectacle with the corpses of those not taken by the sea, lying about. Others were doubtless in their berths and it is thought that the larger portion of those missing were either killed or drowned. It was impossible to save everyone, as the after part of the ship's superstructure including smoking room was carried away instantly, and it was here that most of the saloon passengers had congregated. All the boats were broken to splinters in a comparatively short time. One woman was seen hanging near the rail and a man was lashed in the rigging. The scenes were gruesome in the extreme and everyone saved considers it nothing short of miraculous that any were saved. The sailors declared it was their worst experience, and those of the survivors, while rejoicing over their safety, yet feel deeply with the friends and relatives of those who were lost. Mr. Gardiner, who was lost everything he had, is none the worse after his trying experience.
Speaking to the News, Mr. GARDINER said he was resting in the berth when the steamer struck. He had been suffering from sea-sickness during the night, and was only partly undressed. When the crash came he fully clothed himself and went to investigate. Most of the passengers had by this tine been aroused and were making for the decks. The passageway was crowded and he was obliged to wait his turn. There was little excitement, however, until the decks were reached and the seriousness of the situation taken in. Then it became a matter of getting to safety, and practically all moved aft above the cabin to the smoking room. After reaching the deck Mr. GARDINER returned again to his room and put on an overcoat and as well took some cash and his watch from a grip. Returning he went to the smoking room, but matters began to look serious soon after daylight, and in company with Jim MILLER he made a rush to the Marconi room. He succeeded, but poor MILLER was caught by a sea and drowned. At this time Capt. Jos. KEAN, M. O'DRISCOLL, C. F. MILLER, W. F. and Mrs. BUTLER, J. McCOUBREY and probably 10 others were in and about the smoking room who were never seen afterwards.
ŠJohn Baird, Chris Shelley & NL GenWeb