Five Coastguardsmen Drowned

Five Coastguardsmen Drowned

( from our correspondent)

It is with much regret I have to announce a most deplorable catastrophe which took place on Monday night in Dundalk Bay. Five fine fellows, all married, and some havingThe Revenue Cruiser 'Fanny' six children each, left their station at Dunany with a load of firearms for Soldier's Point on Monday. They arrived safely about mid-day, and in a few hours after, about five p.m., they left Soldier's Point for their station at Dunany. There was some wind, but no danger was apprehended, and especially as it was blowing off the shore. In a conversation with the coastguardsmen at Soldier's Point, they praised the sailing powers of their boat, which was her first voyage, having been only a few days at the station, and was a new cutter. They left in the prime of life and strength, little thinking it was their last voyage in this world. The crew consisted of Henry Granton, chief officer; Daniel Sweeny, and James Clancy, commissioned boatmen; James M'Cracken, and Richard Frazer. Not having reached their destination on Monday evening or night the greatest alarm was felt along the coast and at Dunany, and early on Tuesday morning the coast was searched for the missing boat and her unfortunate crew.

 The revenue cruiser, the Fanny, had a sharp look out, and fell in with the boat outside Dunany, and drifting towards Clogher Head. Her sails were set, and under water, and it was with great difficulty she was towed into the small harbour at Dunany.. The fearful scene of grief of frantic widows and orphans cannot be described, and there is no hope that any of the brave men have been saved - all have perished in a watery grave. The chief boatman at Soldier's Point, a person of great experience, Mr. Thomas Jones, informs me that he feels quite sure that the boat was upset in a squall, and that as the accident happened late in the evening, and probably a good distance from the shore, that all have been drowned. The wind is blowing from the land, and in all probability the bodies will be carried out to sea, and it will be some time before they are recovered. About three years ago a somewhat similar calamity occurred, when three pilots were drowned on the Cooley coast. On that occasion it was supposed they were under the influence of drink, having got a bottle of rum from a foreign ship in the bay; but it is satisfactory to know that the five fellows drowned on the present occasion were all perfectly sober when they sailed from Soldier's Point on what proved to be their last sad voyage of life. Up to the time of sending off this dispatch, seven p.m. none of the bodies have been found, and there is a cry of grief and sorrow at Dunany that words cannot describe.

Reference; "Freemans Journal" 30th. April 1868.

4 Comments · 22717 Reads · Print  -> Posted by Tony on April 29 2007


#1 | vcsmith on 08/02/2008 09:03:48
Henry Granton [ Grinton] is my great great grandad and I am thrilled finally to know how he died. His wife was Rachael Daines they married on 16th Dec 1849 at Nu Parish Church in the Parish of Minster in Sheppey in the County of Kent. Her father Martin Daines was also a Coastguardsman. Henry and Rachael had 6 children Rachael Grinton born 1853 Ireland, Henry James Grinton 3/5/1854 Larne Antrim, Sarah Maria Grinton b 1855 Ireland,William John Grinton b 18/9/1856 Larne Antrim [ my great grandad], Jane Louisa Grinton b 1860 Ireland, George B Grinton b 1863 Ireland. Henry was based at Dunany Point in 1867 as Chief Office second class. The 1871 English Census lists Rachael his wife as a widow. She returned to England, as a school headmistress, her daughters Rachael and Sarah lived with her throughout the 1800's as did my nan Eva Alice Grinton who was the dtr of William John and Sarah Ann Oakley. Sarah died when Nan was 3 months old and nan was raised with Rachael Daines Grinton, her daughter Rachael and her hubby Samuel Batchelor and their children Ella and William John, Sarah Ann Grinton [ Jones] and her children no sign of hubby. Rachael Daines Grinton died in 1917 in Gravesend England. My nanna Eva Alice Grinton disappeared from their care in 1891 and we always had the story in our family that she was raised in an orphanage following physical abuse from her father. She however never lived with her dad and his new wife Elena Doorey and their Grinton children. We do know Eva Alice was a Salvation Army Slum Angel in 1901 working in the slums of London. She lived in St Clement Danes with a number of Sallies women/angels. Eva came to Australia and married my grandpa John Joseph Smith in 1914 and my dad Henry Edwin was their youngest child. The family were farm workers in the Oberon Rockley area of New South Wales.

Viv Cunningham-Smith
New South Wales
#2 | vcsmith on 04/03/2008 08:34:35
I have more information on Henry Spears Grinton

Henry Spears GRINTON (RN=1783)


Edited by Philip

This was too good for just a comment and has been included as an article in it's own right.

See: Articles | Life and Times | Henry Spears Grinton
#3 | Tony on 04/03/2008 19:41:15
Thank you Viv we are delighted with your most valuable input.
Tony Daly
#4 | kenjo on 29/07/2008 12:11:55
Hi All,
Thanks to the Irish Family History Foundation I have been able to find my Clancy family in Cork.
I feel quite sure that The James Clancy in the above story is my 2nd great grandfather. James married Mary Toomey in 1856 Cobh, Cork, James had served 10 years in the Navy and then went and served as a Boatman with the Coastguard until 1866 spending some time in Co Down, I have them having John James Clancy in Cobh in 1857...then there is a William in 1866 being registered in Dunleer, Louth. So I feel this is the right James. I have read this very article years ago, and have always wondered if I had the right James.
It took me a while to find this article again, thankyou for putting it where I could find it again.
John James (son) also was in the Navy and married Ellie Ring in Cork and later moved to Plymouth, they had Agnes who married Henry George Brooks who was also in the Navy, they had my mother Eileen who married Capt Ronald Roy Hickey, a Bomber Pilot, in WW2, and he is still going strong.
Thanks again.

Post Comment

Please Login to Post a Comment.