Charles Smith

Charles Alfred Smith (1863 - 1906)

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Mr Charles Alfred Smith
Born in Liverpoolmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 21 Jun 1885 in St Barnabus Church, Liverpoolmap
Husband of — married 22 Nov 1896 in St Michael's, Toxteth Park, Liverpoolmap
Descendants descendants
Died in S S Ashanti, Forcados River, S Nigeriamap
Profile last modified 7 Sep 2019 | Created 29 May 2011 | Last significant change: 7 Sep 2019
18:48: David Smith edited the Biography for Charles Alfred Smith (1863-1906). [Thank David for this]
This page has been accessed 1,137 times.


1891, Birth of son Charles Alfred at 19 Sandys Street, Liverpool[1]

1891 August 30th, Baptised St James Church, Toxteth, Liverpool [2]

  1. NAME - Charles Alfred Smith
  2. FATHER -CHARLES ALFRED Smith, Fireman
  3. MOTHER - Elizabeth Smith
  4. DATE of BIRTH -
  5. DATE of BAPTISM - August 30th 1891
  6. ADDRESS - 19 Sandys Street, Liverpool

1891 September 18th, Occupation Fireman, "S. S. Volta", No 98668 [3]

1893, Birth of daughter Mary Elizabeth at 19 Sandys Street, Liverpool

1893 May 21st, Baptised St James Church, Toxteth, Liverpool [4]

  1. NAME - Mary Elizabeth Smith
  2. FATHER -CHARLES ALFRED Smith, Fireman
  3. MOTHER - Elizabeth Smith
  4. DATE of BIRTH -
  5. DATE of BAPTISM - May 21st 1893
  6. ADDRESS - 19 Sandys, Liverpool

1893-94 Occupation Royal Naval Reserve [5]

1896 November 22nd, Marriage St Michael in the Hamlet Church, Toxteth Park, Liverpool [6]

  • AGE:-33yrs
  • CONDITION:- Widower
  • PROFESSION:- Mariner
  • ADDRESS:- 6 St James Place
  • FATHER:- John Smith (Deceased)
  • PROFESSION:- Mariner
  • NAME:Margaret Jane Mountain
  • AGE:-29yrs
  • CONDITION:- Spinster
  • PROFESSION:- None listed
  • ADDRESS:- 12 St James Place
  • FATHER:- Richard Mountain
  • PROFESSION:- Shipwright

SIGNED:- Charles Alfred Smith (x his mark) & Margaret Jane Mountain in the presence of David Blair Carr & Margaret Elizabeth Carr

1901 March 31st, Census Cattewater, Plymouth , aboard the ship - "Harry Russell" [7]

  1. Charles Smith, Age 40yrs, Able Bodied Seaman, Born - Liverpool

1906 October 4th Death of CHARLES in a boiler room accident aboard the "SS Ashanti" anchored in the Forcados river, S Nigeria.[8]


A Board of Trade inquiry with reference to an explosion at Forcados, on Oct. 4 last, on board the Elder-Dempster steamer Ashanti, has been held at Liverpool. The Court was composed of Mr. W. J. Stewart (stipendiary magistrate), Mr. James Shaw, C.Eng., and Mr. E. C. Chaston, R.N.R. Mr. J. Paxton represented the Board of Trade, while Mr. Walter Bateson appeared for the owners. The Ashanti left Liverpool on July 18 for Africa and called at a number of West Coast ports. While at Forcados the main stop-valve of the starboard boiler failed, and an explosion occurred, resulting in the death of the fourth engineer and three firemen. Edmund James Collard. the third engineer of the Ashanti, said that on the day of the explosion the fourth engineer told him that he was overhauling the intermediate stop valve. Witness asked him whether either the chief or second engineer knew what he was doing, and he replied in the negative. Witness said there would be trouble if they did know, and he said he would have it all right in a few minutes. He then walked away, and witness did not see him again. Shortly afterwards the explosion occurred. Several firemen were examined, mainly as to whether they had ever seen a hammer or spanner used to tighten up the main stock valve, and Herbert Harding, one of the firemen, stated that prior to the explosion, but on the same day, the fourth engineer came to him and said that when they reached Forcados he was going to take the cover off the valve, although he had orders from the chief and the second engineers not to touch it until the next day, when steam would be down. Mr. Paxton : Is this true? "Yes, sir.” Paxton : You swear it? “Yes, I swear it.” The judgment of the Court, delivered on Wednesday, was as follows:- 1. The bridge-piece was of a proper design, and sufficiently strong. 2. No flaw or crack was known to exist in the said bridge-piece before October 4 last. 3. Previous to the arrival of the steamship Ashanti at Forcados the intermediate stop-valve was found to be leaking, which interfered with the quick and efficient working of the engines. This defect could only be remedied by the valve being taken down and re-ground. To enable this to be properly done the chief engineer instructed the second engineer to do it on the following day, when there would be no steam on the main boilers. This order was given by the second engineer to the fourth engineer, who, for some unknown reason, did not carry out his instructions, but proceeded during the afternoon of Oct. 4, without the knowledge of the chief or second engineer, to take the valve down while there remained a pressure of 160 lb. on the main boilers. 4. The cause of the main stop-valve of the starboard boiler of the Ashanti giving out on Oct. 4 last at Forcados, and of the loss of life, was due to the breaking of the bridge-piece which controlled the valve. The fracture was undoubtedly due to external violence, probably a blow from a hammer incautiously used for the purpose of tightening the valve. There is no direct evidence to show who was the person who did this, but there are strong reasons for believing that it was the act of the fourth engineer. The Court, therefore, finds that the said casualty and consequent loss of life were due to the breaking of the bridge-piece of the main stop-valve of the starboard boiler, caused by the application of external violence for the purpose of tightening the valve.

No more info is currently available for Charles Smith. Can you add to his biography?


  1. St James's Baptismal Register
  2. St James's Baptismal Register
  3. Liverpool Crew List
  4. St James's Baptismal Register
  5. National Archive
  6. Marriage Certificate
  7. Census record
  8. Death Certificate
  • David Smith, firsthand knowledge. Click the Changes tab for the details of edits by David and others.

Note: 2/3/1902 Charles' previous ship - the Harry Russell sank off the coast of Pembrokeshire. The Harry Russell was lost in a ship wreck on 2nd March 1902 -

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Memories: 2

On 31 Oct 2013 David Smith wrote:

Charles did die in a boiler room accident aboard the SS Ashanti anchored in the Forcados River, S Nigeria. The death certificate states he died from shock and terrible scalds

A report of the accident is at

On 1 Jun 2011 Annmarie Lawler wrote:

Family folklore tells that he had his head blown off in a ship's boiler accident.

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Charles by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Charles:

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On 29 Dec 2018 at 02:45 GMT David Selman wrote:

Hi Annemarie and A. Weston,

I see this profile has been merged. Please review our Matching and Merging FAQ to understand your responsibilities in doing merges.

During a merge, the text from the merged-away profile is appended to the end of the text of the merged-into profile. After a merge, you will need to clean up the text by removing duplicate information and consolidating what is left leaving the profile with a single Biography section and a single Sources section.

The Help page on Biographies has a lot of great information on what to include and what to omit in a Biography.

Please also review all other family members for potential duplicates and review any conflicts in parents.

If you have any questions, just let me know.

David ~ WikiTree Mentor

On 16 Jan 2012 at 11:50 GMT Annmarie Lawler wrote:

look at 1901 census...RG13 piece 2097 Folio 165 Page 0...

Charles is Able Bodied Seaman on the Harry Russel Masted Schooner berthed at Plymouth at the time of the census

Charles is 34 degrees from Tanya Lowry, 28 degrees from Charles Tiffany and 29 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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