29 dead after another Irish boat sunk
Cork, 7 March 1918 - There has been yet another tragedy in Irish waters. The SS Kenmare, part of the fleet of the Cork Steampacket Company, was sunk without warning, apparently from a torpedo fired from a German submarine. Of the crew of 35, only six have been saved.
The vessel was en route from Liverpool to Cork when it was struck. Most of the crew were in their bunks asleep when they were awoken by a loud explosion that shattered the ship from end to end. It sank in less than two minutes.
Among the 29 deceased was the ship’s skipper, Captain Blacklock, a native of Liverpool who had for some years resided in Cork, from where most of the crew hailed.
On learning of the disaster, the families of the various crew members made their way to the offices of the Cork Steampacket Company where there were scenes of heartbreak and human desolation. Amid the wailing and the tears, the youngest daughter of Capt. Blacklock was reported to have been heard innocently asking: ‘When is pappy expected up?’
This latest attack has given rise to concerns for the viability of Irish shipping in the present climate. ‘Our few ships are being sunk apparently with impunity’, the Irish Independent has editorialised, adding that ‘if this goes on much longer there will be no shipping left in the Irish sea.’ There is no hope that more survivors will be found.
Here is a full list of the crew, the 6 saved men and the 29 lost.
W. Evans, mate. Tany Boyn, New Quay, Cardigan
James Barry, donkeyman, aged 72 years, 102. Lower Road, Cork
Tim O’Brien fireman, aged 30 years, 8 Green Lane, Liverpool
A. Phillips, carpenter, aged 28 years, 33 Hood Lane, Liverpool
James Wright, steward, aged 47 years, 13 Springmount Place, Dillon’s Cross, Cork
J. Broughman, gunner, aged 20 years
Capt. P. Blacklock, master (married), 9. Park View, Victoria Road, Cork
R. Johnstone, 2nd mate, 1 Grattan Hill, Cork
Thomas Murphy, 1st engineer (married), 37 Oriel, Bootle, Liverpool
L. Ogle, 2nd engineer, 10 Kenilworth Street, Bootle, Liverpool
A. Shaw, 3rd engineer, 36 Woodbine Road, Tartown, Huddersfield
J. Keenan, greaser (married), 138 Barrackton, Cork
P. Corcoran, greaser (married), 3 Clahane cottages, Lower Road, Cork
W. Lyins, fireman, 18 Dillon’s Cross, St Lukes, Cork
J. Driscoll, fireman, 24 Tower Street, Cork
Michael Coleman, fireman (married), Gt. Wm. O’Brien Street, Cork
Jas. Fitzgerald, trimmer, 274 Old Youghal Road, Cork
Michael Ahern, trimmer. 7 Glen View, Dillon’s Cross, Cork
R. McLoughlin, A.B. Vennel Street, Glenarm, Antrim
Jno. Keefe, A.B. Ballinure, Blacklock, Cork
Jeff Grant, Q.M., 8 Victoria Road, Cork
S. Bowen, Q.M., 4 Harrington Row, Cork
M. Delea, A.B. (married). 61 Dominick Street, Cork
P. Fennesy, A.B. (married), 51 Hibernian Buildings, Cork
P. McCartie, A.B., Langford Place, Cork
W. Moore, A.B., (married), 7 Corporation Buildings, Cork
J. Good, A.B., 8 Fort Street, Cork
O. Kemp, Cook, 9 Boreenmana Road, Cork
A. E. Aston, gunner
R. Macaulay, gunner
E. McNamara, cattleman, Walsh’s Avenue, Blackpool, Cork
D. Sullivan, Cattleman, Spring Lane, Blackpool, Cork
W. Hartnett, cattleman, 56 Watercourse Road, Cork
[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]