EMPRESS OF IRELAND DISASTER
ATLANTIC LINER SUNK - LOSS OF 1,000 LIVES - WELL-KNOWN VICTIMS.
The most terrible disaster since the loss of the Titanic occurred early on Friday morning in the St. Lawrence River, the Canadian Pacific liner Empress of Ireland being rammed and sunk by the Norwegian collier Storstad, with a death-roll believed to exceed 1,000. The Empress of Ireland left Quebec for Liverpool on Thursday afternoon with a complement of nearly 1,400 passengers and crew. At midnight she ran into a dense fog, and her engines were stopped. Just before two o'clock in the morning, when the passengers were all in their berths, the Storstad crashed into the liner amid- ships, and tore her way to the stern, making a huge rent and rendering the transverse bulkheads useless. The water rushed into the rent in such volume that in a quarter of an hour the great vessel sank. Hundreds of passengers were drowned in their beds and in the alleyways. Captain Kendall did all that was possible in the few minutes that the liner remained afloat. The S.O.S. call was sent out by wireless as long as the power lasted, and was picked up at Father Point, some ten miles away, whence urgent signals were sent to Rimouski. A few boats were launched down the sloping deck, and into these passengers, clad only in their night-clothes, were hurried. From Rimouski the Government steamer Lady Evelyn and another vessel, the Eureka, raced to the rescue. They reached the scene of the wreck three quarters of an hour after the collision occurred. The Empress of Ireland had disappeared. The Storstad, her bows bent and broken, stood by the few boats which had been launched from the liner. Her own boats were searching for the living and the dead. With all speed the survivors were placed on board the rescue ships and carried to Rimouski. Some were terribly inj ured, and twenty-two died after being taken ashore. Captain Kendall, who stuck to his ship to the last, went down with her, but was subsequently found lying unconscious on some floating wreckage. When all the persons visible, dead or alive, had been picked up, the crippled Storstad steamed to Rimouski, where she landed the half-naked passengers she had rescued, and then steamed for Quebec. On board was a party of over 100 Salvation Army delegates to the conference in London. Only twenty-six of these are among the survivors. Three hundred and thirty-seven survivors are known to have been landed, among whom are only twelve women. Twenty two of the saved died of injuries or exposure.
NOTABLE PERSONS MISSING.................
Mr. A. G. Maginnis, director of Messrs. Mappin and Webb
Source: Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph - 3rd June 1914
Alexander Gordon Maginnis's travelling companions on that fateful trip were Percy Adie, his wife, and niece, of Adie Brothers Ltd. of Birmingham, they narrowly escaped be drowned in the early hours of the morning on the 29th May 1914.
Alexander Gordon Maginnis was formerly a director and managing director of The Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Co.Ltd. before joining Mappin & Webb in 1911. He was born in Belfast on the 27th July 1861, the son of the Rev. David Maginnis. He had served his apprenticeship under John Gough of George Richmond Collis & Co. of Birmingham. He went to work for The Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Co. in 1882, and stayed until 1908 eventually becoming managing director of that company.