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IPSWICH JOURNAL
12 NOV 1864

 

FATAL COLLISION AT SEA - We regret that we have this week to record a casualty off this port, which was attended not only with the loss of property to a large amount, but also with that of two inhabitants of this town. On Friday morning about four o'clock, the fishing lugger "Clifford and William", of this port, Frances Harper owner and William Turrell master as run down when off Pakefield, about four miles from the land by the "Lady Havelock," s.s., Smith, from London of and for Sunderland. The master and his son-in-law, Frederick Sterry were drowned. The surviving crew got on board the steamer in their own boat, and were conveyed as far as Hasbro 'Gut, where they were transferred to a "Billy Boy" sloop to the roads, where they took to their boat and landed at the harbour. Turrell leaves a widow and Sterry a widow and four children. Mrs Turrell's former husband was drowned and her daughter, an only child , married the poor young man Sterry, so that both mother and daughter are - the mother for a second time- left widows by this sad calamity. The lugger is insured.

The "Shipping Gazzette" of the 7th inst., under the head of Southwold, has the following: -"Off part of the stern of the fishing lugger "Clifford and William ", of Lowestoft." Under the head of Sunderland is the following:- Capt. Smith of the "Lady Havelock," s.s., from London, for this port reports that when running down outside Lowestoft sands at four o'clock of the morning of the 4th inst., he observed a fishing smack under sail, which proved to be the "Clifford and William," Turrel, of Lowestoft, but exhibiting no lights. He did all in his power to prevent the collision, but was unable to do so, and the steamer struck the smacks quarter, carring away her stern and she almost immediately sank. The steamer was stopped, the boat lowered and picked up seven of the crew, but the master and one of the men were drowned. The surviving crew were afterwards put on board a Lowestoft smack. By the statement of one of the passengers on board the 'Lady Havelock' a Mr Short, it appears that the master of the lugger stood on the taffrail with a light in his hand until the stern was cut from under him by the steamer, and that he was then thrown onto the water; and that another man who was at the fore part of the lugger was thrown overboard by the force of the steamers contact, and when in the water he put off his sea boots and swam to the luggers boat, which had been towing astern, cut the painter from the wreck and picked up six of the unfortunate crew before the 'Lady Havelock's' boat was available. But for this gallant and noble act they might also have met a watery grave. The name of this cool, self- possessed, brave young man is Thomas Butler; formerly a sloeblack."


With much thanks to Peter Sterry of Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, England.