Daily Event for April 8, 2008

The loss of the SS Guernsey on April 8, 1915 was not caused by direct enemy action, but rather the threat of
such action. Because of the war the light at Cap de la Hague, France was turned out. This light, on the northwest corner of the Cherbourg Peninsula, marked a key navigation point, especially for the little coaster Guernsey.

She was owned by the London & South Western Railway Company and provided regular service between Southampton and Guernsey Island in the English Channel. Her master, Capt. Barrow, must have made the voyage many times and knew the route well. However that night, with no light to navigate by and a strong northwest wind blowing the ship off course, she hit the rocks two miles south of Auderville, France. They hit with so much force that captain Barrow was thrown from the bridge into the sea and was never seen again.

The sea was so rough only one lifeboat could be launched and it contained only twelve of the remaining eighteen people onboard. The six left behind never reached shore and perished, the twelve who made it into the boat were picked up by the SS Cherbourg and landed at Southampton.
© 2008 Michael W. Pocock

Roll of Remembrance
In memory of those who lost their lives in
SS Guernsey
"As long as we embrace them in our memory, their spirit will always be with us"

Bisson, J.
Etheridge, A.
Body recovered
Lewis, J.
McAllen, George D.
Body recovered
Munday, O.
2nd Officer
Weaver, W.
Cook & Steward

To submit a photo, biographical information or correction please email the webmaster.
June 28, 2017

I have some information regarding George Daniel McAllen, who died in the loss of SS Guernsey. George was born in Southampton in 1881, the son of Daniel Courtis McAllen and his wife, Emma Jane Pearcey. He was the third child of 12, and his father was also a fireman on board steamers.

George had 4 sisters and 7 brothers. Two of his younger brothers died in WWI. They were Henry Walter McAllen, born 1894, who was an assistant cook on the Hospital Ship HMHS Glenart Castle. He died when she was sunk by a German u-boat on 26th February 1918.

Another brother, Sidney McAllen, born 1896, was an Assistant Steward on Hospital Ship HMHS Llandovery Castle, and in turn died when she was torpedoed by a German u-boat on 27th June 1918.

George also had a large number of cousins who served in both the Merchant Navy & the Royal Navy. One of his first cousins, Albert Victor Pearcey (the son of George's mother's brother Jesse) was a Third-Class Pantry Steward on board RMS Titanic when she was lost. Albert actually survived, managing to leave the Titanic in Collapsible Lifeboat C, and was rescued by RMS Carpathia. He went on to give evidence before the Court of Enquiry into the loss of the Titanic, although his evidence was relatively unimportant. Thanks for your efforts in recording the data about SS Guernsey.

He also had two other first cousins who gave their lives for their country. Ernest Alfred Pearcey, the son of Emma's brother John, died from wounds two days AFTER the end of WWI on 13th November 1918. He was serving with the Wiltshire Regiment in the Middle East, and is buried in the Gaza War Cemetery. Another of George's cousins, Alfred Stephen Pearcey, was a Private in the RMLI, and was serving on board HMS Good Hope when she was sunk by the Scharnhorst & Gniesenau at the Battle of Coronel on 1st November 1914.

Best regards
Paul Sherriff