The Sinking of the Empress of Ireland – 29 May 1914

Posted on May 28th, 2013 by The British Newspaper Archive

In the St. Lawrence River on 29 May 1914, RMS Empress of Ireland sank with the loss of 1,024 lives, after colliding with the Norwegian collier, SS Storstad.

Here is a newspaper story – published on 30 May 1914 – which reports on the disaster.

Given that the loss of life in the Empress of Ireland disaster was almost on the same scale as the sinking of the Titanic, it’s amazing how few references are made in popular culture about the tragedy.

We imagine that’s because the disaster was soon forgotten about with the start of the First World War.

historical newspaper story about the sinking of the empress of ireland

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – Saturday 30 May 1914

Image © Northcliffe Media Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000206/19140530/135/0011

historical newspaper story about the sinking of the empress of ireland

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – Saturday 30 May 1914

Image © Northcliffe Media Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000206/19140530/135/0011

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 at 3:18 pm and is filed under News from the past. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

  • Derek Byrne

    Two things. Since this was after the Titanic sinking the lifeboat regulations had changed and there was still a big loss of life even though there was more then enough capacity for all passengers and crew. My own view is that even if Titanic had had sufficient lifeboats for all passengers and crew there would still have been a big loss of life due to the limited time and facilities to launch the life boats. Also the Titanic sunk in 2 hours 40 minutes after hitting the berg not 4 hours as this article states.

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hi Derek,
      Thanks for your post.
      I imagine the writer might have been in too much of a hurry to check his facts about the Titanic.
      I think the Empress of Ireland sank in ten minutes – hence the terrible loss of life.
      It is strange, though, that the Empress of Ireland disaster is not better remembered.
      Regards,
      Grant.

  • Betty Chard

    It was due to the death of 167 Salvationists in this tragedy, among them the Territorial Commander of The Salvation Army in East Canada, Commissioner Rees; that my Great Grandfather Commissioner Richards of the British Salvation Army was appointed to Canada East to replace him. As reported in the British and Canadian editions of the S.A. publication the ‘War Cry’ at the time.

    The Salvation Army War Cry published an account of this tragedy

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hi Betty,
      Thanks for posting that info.
      Yes, we noticed some stories in the Archive that reported on what a terrible blow this disaster was for the Salvation Army.
      Best regards,
      Grant.

  • http://google emma

    this boat is exactly like the titanic he eh ehe