no image

Avalanche Shipwreck (11 Sep 1877)

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: 10 Sep 1877 to 11 Sep 1877
Surnames/tags: Shipwreck Forest_Queen New_Zealand
Profile manager: Kevin Sands private message [send private message]
This page has been accessed 1,163 times.



The collision of two ships, the SS Forest Queen (American) and the SS Avalanche (British), in the English Channel with great loss of life. The collision occurred about 15 miles off Portland Bill, Dorset in stormy conditions around 9:15 p.m. on the night of 11 September, 1877.

The Avalanche had departed London, England for Wellington, New Zealand with 63 passengers and 34 crew. It sank within three minutes with three of the crew being the only survivors.

The 'Forest' had 21 crew and also sank, but not as quickly, and 12 of her crew drowned.

Avalanche passengers & crew (97 persons)

  • Passengers: All 63 died, 55 adults and 8 children.
  • Of 34 crew: 31 died; 3 survived - J.C. Sherrington, B.B. McCarthy and Thomas G. Miles/Mills.
  • Note: It is highly likely that some SURNAMES are spelled incorrectly. BOLD surnames have a DEATH record (see 'Notes.' below table).
  • Note: Those surnames in BLUE have a personal profile and each column can be sorted.
Listed below are 97 persons: drowned, 94; survivors, 3.
No. Surname Forenames Title, Age Status Place
1 PETERSON Louisa Mrs, 36 Psgr
2 SOMERVILLE J. T. 20 Psgr
3 KERR George 25 Psgr
4 KIRBY L. D. 25 Psgr Tunbridge Wells
5 WALKER Cecil E. 20 Psgr London
6 COOPER Frances Mrs, 58 Psgr Bowdon
7 COOPER Jane Emily Miss, 36 Psgr Bowdon
8 NEALE Henry Alexander Mr, 24 Psgr London
9 WILKINS Henry Mr, 46 Psgr Wellington, N.Z.
10 WILKINS Mary Ann Mrs, 46 Psgr Wellington, N.Z.
11 WILKINS Mary Maria Miss. 24 Psgr Wellington, N.Z.
12 WILKINS Sarah Ellen Miss, 18 Psgr Wellington, N.Z.
13 WILKINS Alfred George son, 11 Psgr Wellington, N.Z.
14 WILKINS Emily Maud daughter, 7 Psgr Wellington, N.Z.
15 WILKINS Albert Arthur son, 4 Psgr Wellington, N.Z.
16 WILKINS William Walter son, 9 Psgr Wellington, N.Z.
17 SHIELD Louisa Margaret Mrs Psgr Wanganui, N.Z. Note3
18 TAYLOR Annie Jane Miss Psgr Wanganui, N.Z.
19 RICHARDS Joseph Manuel Mr, 53 Psgr Wanganui, N.Z.
20 FOOTE Caroline Loton Miss, 22 Psgr Wanganui, N.Z.
21 WYCHODEL Marie Magdalene Charlotte Mrs, 56 Psgr Germany
22 SNOW W. C. 21 Psgr Leytonstone
23 SIMMONS F. C. 16 Psgr Chertsey
24 MONTGOMERY / IE Archibald 23 Psgr Wanganui, N.Z.
25 COOKE J. C. 24 Psgr London
26 BENNETT William K. 21 Psgr London
27 TANNER Robert Dr, 50 Psgr Ledbury
28 TANNER Robert John son, 18 Psgr Ledbury
29 WERTHEIM Max 21 Psgr Germany
30 WATT Margaret Miss, 26 Psgr Wanganui, N.Z.
31 LEE Frederick Mr, 32 Psgr Cobham
32 LEE Matilda Mrs, 32 Psgr Cobham
33 LEE Edith 9 Psgr Cobham
34 LEE Annie 8 Psgr Cobham
35 LEE Mary 5 Psgr Cobham
36 LEE Esther 2 Psgr Cobham
37 PRICKMAN C. H. Psgr London
38 CHAMBERLAIN J. C. Mr, 59 Psgr Wanganui, N.Z.
39 CHAMBERLAIN Eliza A. Mrs, 54 Psgr Wanganui, N.Z.
40 WANTON Frederick William 26 Psgr
41 BRODERICK John 21 Psgr
42 WILSON James Mr, 30 Psgr
43 WILSON Margaret Anne Mrs, 28 Psgr
44 SPREADBORO Annie 52 Psgr London
45 SPREADBORO Mary 30 Psgr London
46 WHITTAKER William John Mr, 50 Psgr London
47 KELLY Alexander 20 Psgr Glasgow
48 MINTER John 21 Psgr Brockley
48a MINTER John R. 23 Psgr Brockley
49 SMITH G. F. 18 Psgr
50 EDMUNSON W. 47 Psgr
51 EDMUNSON Ellen 45 Psgr Note2
52 BLYTHE James Archibald 24 Psgr
53 LYSAGHT Charles 17 Psgr
54 HERNULEWIG Arthur 22 Psgr
55 GRAHAM John 18 Psgr
56 CAREY Charles 18 Psgr
57 STOCK Charles B. Psgr
58 KENWORTHY Nelson Atlee 24 Psgr
59 MAXWELL James 32 Psgr
60 LAWS Frederick P. 24 Psgr
61 BOBIN George Mr, 47 Psgr
62 BOBIN John J. son, 12 Psgr
63 BISHOP John 21 Psgr
64 WILLIAMS Edmund Master
65 BOWLING William Chief Mate
66 TUBERVILLE A. Second Mate
67 SHERRINGTON John C. Third Mate
68 JAMIESON J. H. Carpenter
69 ALLEN J. Steward
70 DUDEEN Robert Cook
71 NORIN James Boatswain
72 MILLER William A. B.
73 MILLS / MILES Thomas G. A. B.
74 CARROL Michael A. B.
75 McCARTHY B. B. A. B.
76 HAMILTON James A. B.
77 BENNETT Andrew A. B.
78 WHITE A. J. A. B.
79 WHITE Samuel A. B.
80 DILMAN James A. B.
82 BORMAN Thomas A. B.
83 COMBES Frederick Thomas Ord. Seamen
84 CRADDOCK A. H. Engineer
85 JASON L. J. Engineer
86 WOODWARD W. Asst. Stewards
87 MASON W. C. Asst. Stewards
88 DONALDSON T. Sail maker
89 PETERSEN Peter 2nd Cook
90 KENWORTHY Edward Augustus Sidney Butcher
91 SMITH H. J. 2nd Steward
92 ALEXANDER Lionel Augustus Apprentice
93 McCULLUM Den Apprentice
94 PRIEST William George Grantham Apprentice
95 PEARCE Nathaniel (Neil) Apprentice
96 MORIARTY Henry Augustus Apprentice


  1. DEATH records for SURNAMES can be located in: Family Search, Record Collection: United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933.
  2. Mrs. Ellen Edmunson also known as Mrs. Ellen Lump.
  3. Mrs. Shields formerly Miss Campbell.

Forest Queen crew (21 persons)

  • Of 21 crew: 12 seamen died; 9 survived - Captain Lockhart, McKelvie (Chief Mate), the steward and 6 men survived.
  • Note: Those surnames in BLUE have a personal profile and each column can be sorted.
Listed below are 20 persons: drowned, 11; survivors, 9.
No. Surname Forenames Rank/Job Survived
1 LOCKHART Ephraim Captain Y
2 McKELVIE Robert Chief Mate Y
3 WEISS J. Bosun N
4 JOHNSON J. Bosun's Mate Y
5 ROSSETT John Carpenter N
6 BRAUSAN Louis Cook N
7 PETERSON J. Steward Y
8 MEYER William A. B. Y
9 MITCHELL Alexander A. B. N
10 GAFFERY John A. B. N
11 SAGER William A. B. Y
12 BERGMAN Fritz A. B. Y
13 NICHOLLS John A. B. Y
14 PAILASH John A. B. Y
15 KINBIT Gustav A. B. N
16 JOHAN Paul A. B. N
17 WALKER Thomas A. B. N
18 LANG Auten A. B. N
19 NERGRETE Albino A. B. N
20 TANHOES Henry A. B. N


Avalanche Passenger List
Avalanche Crew List
Forest Queen Crew List
Newspaper Articles
Historical Accounts
Personal Accounts



Comments: 3

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
The ship was not FOREST QUEEN but rather the FOREST which was built in Windsor, Nov a Scotia, Canada.
posted by Ray Blakeney
Wow. Have just found out that my 4x great aunt and her daughter were drowned in this disaster. (Frances Cooper, née Bates, and Jane Emily Cooper - two of the first names of passengers in the chief cabin). This is Frances' WT profile. Frances (Bates) Cooper (1814-1877)

It would be lovely if you could create a blue link for her and her daughter Jane Emily Cooper, Jane Emily Cooper (abt.1838-1877). Thanks.

posted by Frances (Piercy) Piercy-Reins
edited by Frances (Piercy) Piercy-Reins
Hi Kevin

Would you be able to create a blue link for Margaret Watt please? She is Watt-5346.

Thanks Fiona

posted by Fiona McMichael