Tuesday, 30 December 2008

My World Tuesday - Princess Alice

The location where the disaster took place - in the distance the City of London


On the 3rd September 1878 the Princess Alice Pleasure Steamer sunk off Creekmouth. Approximately 700 people lost their lives in the disaster. In Woolwich cemetery, which is on the other side of the River Thames, a memorial was erected to commemorate the lives lost; however, it was the residents of a village called Creekmouth who helped in the rescue attempts and this has never been fully acknowledged.

Memorial service taking place - some folk who attended were distant relatives of those who lost their lives - others were grandchildren/great grandchildren of the villagers who helped in the rescue attempt.

On the 3rd September 2008 my husband, Nigel, was asked to lead a memorial service for those who lost their lives and a thanksgiving service for the villages who risked their lives in attempting a rescue service. The service took place where Creekmouth Village once stood but was unfortunately destroyed by a flood in 1953. Over 700 daffodil bulbs were planted - one for each person who perished that tragic evening. Next spring I will return again and take photos of the glorious daffodils.
Nigel leading the Memorial Service

Over 700 Daffodil bulbs were planted.

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15 comments:

Arija said...

What a toutching stoy. So often the bravery of the common people is forgotten and a memorial placed elsewhere. I look forward to the daffodils.

Smilingsal said...

It's good to know that people are remembering.

babooshka said...

This was a very moving and personal my world,

fishing guy said...

Judith: Thanks for sharing this bit of history and showing the remembrance of those lost to the sea.

Elaine Dale said...

Judith, this entry is very touching.

An old friend of mine is currently missing (since December 9th)and presumed dead after hiking alone near the sea. He grew up in an Army family. Even though we had not been in touch for many years I am missing him greatly today.

God Bless, elaine

imac said...

Wonderful post about the dissaster.

valerie lynn said...

Wow what a way to memorialize those who lost their lives. Next year the site will be filled with such beauty! I can not wait to see the photos! I know they will be amazing as the daffodils come to life in all their splendor and glory!

Mojo said...

Curious story, that. So close to land in water that doesn't appear to be all that deep or turbulent (though who knows what it was like 130 years ago). How could so many have perished in those circumstances? That's over half the number lost in the Titanic wreck, but that was in open (and arctic!) water.

How strange, and how sad to be so near deliverance and die anyway.

Mojo said...

I was curious as to how such a profound loss of life could occur in sheltered water within sight of land and found this article from the BBC. It was apparently written by the great-great-great-grandson of the Alice's captain.

Judith said...

thanks Mojo for the link - yes it was a tragedy but the Thames at that time was so full of sewage that the ladies in their fine long dresses were pulled down (like sinking sand) - those that did survive many died later from infections caused by swallowing the sewage.

I belong to the Creekmouth Preservation Society, a small group of people (many who lived in the village as children) intent of keeping the memories alive of such events and the lives of those who once lived in the tiny village of Creekmouth.

there have been other 'theories' as to why the collision took place; however, as they have never been proven I didn't feel it right to print them.

But the loss of so many lives is the tragedy and as you said it was half the number of the Titanic.

Buskitten said...

Hi Judith!
I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas. I had a great time with mum, we did all the usual things - Christmas services at St Mary the Virgin Parish Chuch, Marden. My dad was a reader there for many, many years and mum has been Church Warden for over 20!Every year, my ma goes on a lovely holiday with Hereford Salvation Army, they have a fantastic time, and they've been to so many lovely destinations in the UK. Although I miss my own home terribly, it's always great to be able to spend time with my mum - very important.
Well, I'm just going to have a read about everything you've been up to over Christmas, and hope to see some lovely pictures of little Karmen!
Good to be back and blogging!
Love Liz

D Herrod said...

Thank you for sharing.

Cherdecor said...

That is an interesting story and am glad that people still remember. I, too, look forward to the daffodils.

Wren said...

I didn't know that story. thanks for sharing it, your world, and your photos. I'll look forward to seeing the daffodils next year.

Christina said...

Oh wow!! I just came across this - how beautiful that a memorial service was held!! There is such an ironic part to the story in that the princess, Queen Victoria's daughter, after whom the steamer was named, died so tragically only 8 weeks later. Alice, having nursed her children through diphtheria, kissed her little boy, who was so distressed by the death of his sister. Consequently Alice (mother of the last Tsarina of Russia, and St. Elizabeth of Russia), who had done so much to help the poor and to care for others, contracted the disease and died on the exact anniversary of the death of her father, Prince Albert. Her finals words were, "Dear Papa!" (He had come to take her home :-) ). She was 35 years old.

Most Beautiful Princess