Stokes Bay Accidents and Disasters

 

The sea at Stokes Bay has seen its fair share of disasters and accidents during the Victorian period.

 

 

Eastern Monarch : Fire 1859

 

The Eastern Monarch was a three masted sailing ship bound for Gravesend in 1859 when a disaster occurred off Fort Monckton at Stokes Bay. She had left Kurachi in February and instead of proceeding up the Channel to her destination at Gravesend the captain decided to put in to Spithead to take on fresh provisions. She was carrying a cargo that included 2782 bags of Salt petre, 15 cases and 784 peccas of elephant's teeth, 58 cassia Iigiua, 31 packages of senna leaves. On board as passengers were 11 Officers, 352 Rank and file of various regiments including invalids from North West India, 30 women and 53 children. An explosion tore up the stern deck. The men and passengers were quickly mustered and two barges, the Petrel and the Providence, sailed up close to the burning ship, rescuing the women and children. The boats of a Man-of-War came up at speed and took of the troops, section after section. Colonel Allan and Captain Morris were the last to leave the burning ship.

It was reported that although the fire burnt with alarming rapidity the loss of life was small. One woman and five children were killed by the explosion and one man died after being brought ashore.

 

The Eastern Monarch burns off Fort Monckton: ILN 1859 A painting of The Eastern Monarch at Stokes Bay

The Eastern Monarch burns off Fort Monckton: ILN 1859

A painting of The Eastern Monarch burning at Stokes Bay

 

 

 

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