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Tuesday, 19 November 2013


 

19 November 1807: The Prince of Wales packet ship and the military transport Rochdale sank in a storm in Dublin Bay killing some 385 people on this day. The Prince of Wales ran onto rocks off Blackrock - the Captain and crew took to the only lifeboat, abandoning the troops onboard. The Rochdale suffered a similar fate near Seapoint, just 20 feet from the shore. The ships were part of a military fleet bound for Liverpool that had left Dublin that morning. Snow and sleet showers backed by a heavy wind developed as the ships made their way out of Dublin Bay and as night came on they were blown onto the sandbanks just off shore where the ships capsized and foundered. It is estimated that some 120 were lost from the Prince of Wales and about 265 from the Rochdale.

Amongst those on board these doomed ships were large contingents of Irish recruits commanded by their Officers and drawn in the main from south Cork and south Mayo. Numerous civilians were also amongst the victims and also the crews of said vessels. Most of the bodies washed ashore in the wake of this double tragedy were buried in graves along the south Dublin shore and some of the slabs erected in their memory can still be seen to this day. Three headstones mark the sites of where the victims were buried including the one above situated beside the Tara Towers Hotel.

Sacred to the memory of the soldiers belonging to His Majesty’s 18th regiment of foot and a few belonging to other corps who actuated by desire of more extensive service nobly volunteered from the South Mayo and different regiments of the Irish Militia into the line and who were unfortunately shipwrecked on this coast in the Prince of Wales packet and perished on the night of 19 November 1807 this tribute to their memory was erected on the tomb by order of General the Earl of Harington commander of the forces in Ireland.