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"SHIPWRECKS NEAR ALDERNEY"

by John Elsbury
Copyright 1999 John Elsbury All Rights Reserved
Used with Permission

Acknowledgments: Some of these images have been provided by other people who own postcards, and have been kind enough to to send the author coloured photocopies. In order to protect their interests, the images of the postcards are visibly watermarked. The text material is extracted from information provided by Brian Bonnard, of Alderney, both privately and also in his book "Wrecked around Alderney" ISBN 0-9520707-0-7. Grateful thanks go to everybody who has provided information, and to the good people of Alderney.

Alderney, the third smallest of the (UK) Channel Islands, is the nearest island to the coast of France. This article shows you a sample of wreck postcards; the CD has over 20 different. Many more detailed images and further historic information are available on a CD-ROM (depicting all aspects of Alderney and Sark) from the author, John Elsbury of Auckland, New Zealand.

February 25th 1902:   Liverpool

The Liverpool was wrecked after she sailed slowly onto the rocks at Hommeaux Florains, on the northeastern tip of Alderney (near the site of the Quesnard lighthouse, built later), during fog.  Liverpool, a 3400 ton steel four-master, and the largest ship in the world with that rig, was carrying general cargo much of which was looted after the wreck. There was no loss of life.

The postcard photographs show the Liverpool shortly after she ran aground (other postcard pictures show the same view with sails painted onto the negative), and the scene several months later. The photographs were taken by Thomas Westness, a local photographer, and were republished as postcards by Mary Conolly, also of Alderney, in the 1930s.

ayliv02f (3).jpg (12224 bytes)

Liverpool shortly after
running aground.

A Westness picture
reprinted by Mary Conolly.
ayliv04f (3).jpg (11479 bytes) Liverpool several
months later. Another
Westness picture
reprinted by Mary Conolly.

May 29th 1906: SS Leros

SS Leros ran onto rocks off the northern coast of Alderney in dense fog. The cargo included 240 tons of Singer sewing machines, many of which were looted. Singers were apparently so unhappy about this that they recalled that model and stopped the production of spare parts for them so that the looters would not benefit in the long run.

ayler01f (3).jpg (12611 bytes) F W Guerin -
SS Leros Wreck

June 7th 1910: SS Felix de Abasolo

SS Felix de Abasolo, 4500 tons carrying a cargo of coal, ran aground in dense fog on the southern coastline of Alderney, on sand at Longy Bay. After an abortive salvage attempt, during which she struck on rocks, she was totally wrecked.

ayfel01f (3).jpg (13462 bytes) Westness - Felix de Abasolo
ayfel02f (3).jpg (10567 bytes) Le Cocq - inscription
typed on face of card

June 11th 1910: SS Terra

SS Terra, also carrying coal, ran ashore in fog on rocks on the northern coast of Alderney, off Chateau L’Etoc. The picture of the Maina (see below) shows the wreck of the Terra barely visible in the distance.

aywrk65f (3).jpg (17540 bytes)

Westness - SS Terra

June 1910: Maina

Shortly after the Terra wreck, the Maina, a private yacht, hit the submerged section of the Victorian breakwater (presumably on a rising tide). She floated free without significant damage. The picture is interesting because the people on board seem remarkably unconcerned, and because the wreck of the Terra is visible in the distance. Mr. LeCocq photographed two wrecks for the price of one!

aymdn01f (3).jpg (9564 bytes)

Le Cocq - Yacht
"Maina" (Terra wreck is visible just in front of the mast in the middle of the picture)

The series of shipwrecks (including many others not shown here) during this period certainly influenced the decision to build the new lighthouse at Quesnard point.

May 22nd 1922: SS Emily Eveson

SS Emily Eveson, 750 tons (another collier!) ran ashore in Clonque Bay, on the northwestern coast of Alderney, in fog.

ayemi01f (3).jpg (12602 bytes)

Emily Eveson Wreck
by "N de L"

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