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SS Formby

  • 07-12-2006 11:11pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 73 ✭✭✭ SeanieM


    This is one of two sister ships that were sunk by the German Uboat, U62 in 1917. The Formby was lost on December 16, 1917 with the loss of 37 crew and 2 passengers, nearly all Waterford persons. The other ship was the SS Coninbeg which was lost with a crew of 40 and 4 passengers, two days later.
    The photo was given to me by May Walsh (nee Coffey) of Ballytruckle whose father Thomas Coffey died when the ship went down. May was born after her father died.

    formby.jpg


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,223 ✭✭✭ Dan133269


    Seanie M, how are ya?
    My great grandfather was on the Formby, Dan O' Connell, a cattleman, I'm named after him indirectly.
    Richard McElwee, an accountant from Wexford wrote a brilliant book about the sister ships. He researched it himself almost from entirely primary source materials, going to Germany and reading the logs of captain ernst hashagan, the german commander of the U-62 which torpedoed and sunk the formby and conningbeg. Towards his death, Hashagan said the sinking of the conningbeg always stuck out in his mind because of the way the submarine stalked it for hours before firing.

    It's a very underrated and unknown book. Before he published it, there were still rumours as to what happened the ships such as lost at sea, ship-wrecked because of the storm, and his research provided people with answers. I also did my special topic essay for leaving cert history on the ships.

    overall I think it was 83 people who died between the two ships. Only one body ever recovered, stewardess annie philips or something, washed up in Wales. Mary Robinson while she was president unveiled the memorial to the ships on the quay in 1997. Was nice for them to have some recognition.

    Book is called "The Last Voyages of the Waterford Steamers" by Richard McElwee, think it was published around 1992 can't remember. definitely recommend reading it


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 73 ✭✭✭ SeanieM


    Thanks for the info about the book Dan.
    Thomas Coffey was a relative by marriage and married into my family (McGuire).
    His daughter May (mentioned above) sadly died last year.

    If you search the CWGC website and type your gr grandfathers name in the box or any of the other crew members, you should get to a commemeration page about them.

    http://www.cwgc.org/

    Direct link to Daniel O'Connell

    http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=2972853


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 73 ✭✭✭ SeanieM


    Thinking about the book, I believe I may have seen that book at May's home and also it is possible that the author gave that photo to May.
    I seem to remember her showing me a book with her farther's name in it and also her telling me that the photo was given to her by someone connected to the book.

    The stewardesses name was Annie O'Callaghan, and her body was washed up on the Pembrokeshire coast of Wales, near to Fishguard I believe.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,223 ✭✭✭ Dan133269


    wow cheers for that Seanie, I didn't even know how old he was, I always thought he was older.
    If you can't get your hands on a copy of the book I'll lend you mine if you want


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 73 ✭✭✭ SeanieM


    Thanks for the offer of the book Dan, I'll pm you!


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1 symes


    Hello you two,

    Looks like we have something in common. My great grandfather died on the SS Formby - Christopher Connor (also called O'Connor). He was born in Dublin in 1872 and was an able bodied seaman. He dipped in and out of the merchant navy and I got his service record from the Records office in Kew.

    He had previously worked in Guiness's on the barges and lived in Kilmainham. His wife Katherine died in I think around 1912 so when he died in 1917 all his children (including my grandfather who was I think was about 7) were raised by his sister. They had it hard.

    I too have a copy of the book and even managed to get hold of a photo of the ship.

    Barbara


  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 24,038 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sully


    Im going to allow this remain open, despite the bump being two years old, as its a good contribution that may interest posters in the thread and others alike.

    symes: Welcome to Boards.ie. Enjoy your stay, hope to see you posting more. :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 88,981 ✭✭✭✭ mike65


    The internet is great :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,223 ✭✭✭ Dan133269


    symes wrote: »
    Hello you two,

    Looks like we have something in common. My great grandfather died on the SS Formby - Christopher Connor (also called O'Connor). He was born in Dublin in 1872 and was an able bodied seaman. He dipped in and out of the merchant navy and I got his service record from the Records office in Kew.

    He had previously worked in Guiness's on the barges and lived in Kilmainham. His wife Katherine died in I think around 1912 so when he died in 1917 all his children (including my grandfather who was I think was about 7) were raised by his sister. They had it hard.

    I too have a copy of the book and even managed to get hold of a photo of the ship.

    Barbara

    That's cool where did you get a picture of the ship? It's nice to have the memorial on the quay alright, best recognition they could have had, considering it's where they set out from, and it's in the city.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1 marineart


    Dan133269 wrote: »
    That's cool where did you get a picture of the ship? It's nice to have the memorial on the quay alright, best recognition they could have had, considering it's where they set out from, and it's in the city.
    Hi there Dan,
    I illustrated the book and I will gladly send you a print of the Formby, even after all these years.
    Regards John


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,623 ✭✭✭ marlin vs


    I'm just after going through this tread and it's very interesting, ive got the book myself and found it brilliant, it's one of those book's that really give you an insight into the times,one of my favourites.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,455 anplaya


    hey,just reading this thread with great interest,my family lost 2 people ,one on the formby and one on the conningbeg.my greatgrandfathers only brother (my nans fathers brother) died on the formby ,he was the youngest in the family. my nan still has a picture of him hanging on the wall in the kitchen.

    my same nan,her aunt mary kate,her husband patrick wall was a fireman on the conningbeg and he lost his life too.

    ill ask around the family and see if i can get any more information and ill post it up here


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,455 anplaya


    anplaya wrote: »
    hey,just reading this thread with great interest,my family lost 2 people ,one on the formby and one on the conningbeg.my greatgrandfathers only brother (my nans fathers brother) died on the formby ,he was the youngest in the family. my nan still has a picture of him hanging on the wall in the kitchen.

    my same nan,her aunt mary kate,her husband patrick wall was a fireman on the conningbeg and he lost his life too.

    ill ask around the family and see if i can get any more information and ill post it up here

    william connolly was his name,he was also a fireman in the merchant navy, and he died aged 26 .


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,455 anplaya


    anplaya wrote: »
    william connolly was his name,he was also a fireman in the merchant navy, and he died aged 26 .

    william was on his way home to get married and patrick was on his way home to see his newborn son,who was two weeks old at the time.his son is still alive,my mother told me hes about 92 now


  • Registered Users Posts: 3 cabint


    I am very interested in this as my grandfather Patrick Cooke was a fireman on this ship, and would like to know if the book The last Voyages of Waterford steamers is still available, and where can I get a copy


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 88,981 ✭✭✭✭ mike65




  • Registered Users Posts: 3 cabint


    I wish to buy this book, but I dont wish to open an ebay account. Is there any other way to buy direct.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5 ✭✭✭ c.tilley


    Am looking for info on Burke. On records I found there was an Edward Burke that died on the Formby. I have a memorial card from who I believe is my great grandfather that states his name is Edmond Burke and died on the Formby at age 63. Can anyone clear this up? It has to be the same person. am planning a trip to Waterford to do family research in the near future and trying to get as much info as i can before coming over there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,623 ✭✭✭ marlin vs


    c.tilley wrote: »
    Am looking for info on Burke. On records I found there was an Edward Burke that died on the Formby. I have a memorial card from who I believe is my great grandfather that states his name is Edmond Burke and died on the Formby at age 63. Can anyone clear this up? It has to be the same person. am planning a trip to Waterford to do family research in the near future and trying to get as much info as i can before coming over there.
    There is indeed an Edmund Burk aged 62 that is referred to in Richard McElwees book The Last Vvoyages of the Waterford Steamers

    formby002medium.jpg


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5 ✭✭✭ c.tilley


    Thanks Marlin VS. This clears up a few things. On my grandmothers wedding certificate it had him down as deceased Captain Mercantile Marine. Also definitly family from Dunmore East.
    Thanks again it is so difficult getting info on Irish ancestry.
    chris


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3 cabint


    I have some photos of the monuments in Waterford city. If you send me your email I will send them to you.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5 ✭✭✭ c.tilley


    cabint wrote: »
    I have some photos of the monuments in Waterford city. If you send me your email I will send them to you.

    [email protected]


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5 ✭✭✭ c.tilley


    The book says there was an Edmond Burke but the Memorial does not have his name?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,623 ✭✭✭ marlin vs


    c.tilley wrote: »
    The book says there was an Edmond Burke but the Memorial does not have his name?
    He's on it, here you go.

    formby005medium.jpg
    formby006medium.jpg
    formby007medium.jpg
    formby009medium.jpg


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5 ✭✭✭ c.tilley


    the memorial has Edward not Edmond. Is this the same person with name wrong? Confused again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,623 ✭✭✭ marlin vs


    Now i'm confused.:confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,623 ✭✭✭ marlin vs




  • Registered Users Posts: 2,327 ✭✭✭ alta stare


    7 yrs......thats an impressive gap. :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,911 ✭✭✭✭ Johnboy1951


    alta stare wrote: »
    7 yrs......thats an impressive gap. :D

    Yep, but it does allow a belated answer to be posted :D

    c.tilley wrote: »
    the memorial has Edward not Edmond. Is this the same person with name wrong? Confused again.

    Edward ..... Edmond ....... Edmund ....... are often used for the same person. Seems to depend on who is entering the name.

    ;)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,734 ✭✭✭ BBM77


    Was at the talk Friday evening and the ceremonies today. Fair play to all involved in organising the events an excellent job was done all round. The number of people who attended shows the affect that the sinkings had on the city. And affect it had on the relatives was something that lasted the remainder of their lives.


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