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Tragedy on the Thames – The Princess Alice Disaster

‘Perhaps the most terrible catastrophe that ever occurred on the Thames took place last night,’ writes the Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette on 4 September 1878, ‘when the saloon steamboat Princess Alice, with about eight hundred passengers, was run down by a passing screw-steamer.’ This tragic incident, representing the largest loss of life on Britain’s inland waterways, saw pleasure steamer the Princess Alice, laden with London day-trippers, cut almost in three as she collided with collier Bywell Castle. The Princess Alice and

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