The Princess Sophia leaving Victoria harbor with troops for First World War, circa 1915. (Maritime Museum of B.C./Facebook)

Headstone to honour family killed in disastrous shipwreck 100 years ago

Maritime Museum of British Columbia is installing a headstone for the O’Brien family members, who were among more than 350 people killed

A family of seven who died in one of the worst nautical disasters in the history of the West Coast will have its final resting place marked in Vancouver, 100 years later.

The Maritime Museum of British Columbia is installing a headstone for the O’Brien family members, who were among more than 350 people killed in the sinking of the SS Princess Sophia, at Mountain View Cemetery today.

READ MORE: Maritime Museum marks 100th anniversary of the ‘Unknown Titanic of the West Coast’

The passengers and crew were stranded aboard the steamship for two full days after it struck the Vanderbilt reef, 50 kilometres northwest of Juneau, Alaska, on Oct. 23, 1918.

Nearby rescue crews were unable to reach the vessel and when high tides and strong winds dislodged it from its perch, the ship sank, killing all those aboard.

The museum’s executive director David Leverton says that despite its high death toll, news of the shipwreck was overshadowed by the First World War armistice on Nov. 11, the same day a ship carrying the bodies of the victims arrived in the Port of Vancouver.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

U.S. mayor and dying dog’s roadtrip to Victoria goes viral

First vacation in three years came a month after blood cancer diagnosis

Victoria City Council directs staff to proceed with Central Park for new Crystal Pool location

Save-On-Foods Memorial parking lot still up for discussion as a location

UPDATED: $136M in transit funding coming to B.C.

The announcement was made at the BC Transit yard in Langford on Friday morning

Canada has enough pipelines to get the moon

Pipelines totalling 840,000 kilometres run across Canada

‘Good Samaritan’ honoured for saving man from capsized canoe

BC Ambulance Service said Rob Clifford’s actions saved man’s life in December 2017 incident

‘This is gangster,’ bait car thief declares on video

Footage from Abbotsford gains attention on social media

B.C. to fund gender-affirming surgeries for transgender people

Roughly 100 people in B.C. travel each year out of province for lower surgeries

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Federal fall update expected to offer more support for struggling news industry

Ottawa committed $50 million over five years for local journalism in ‘underserved communities’ last budget

UK’s May appeals to public on Brexit, braces for more blows

British Prime Minister Theresa May answered questions from callers on a radio phone-in, the day after she vowed to stay in office

Ottawa apologizes to Japanese family in B.C. after chopping historic cherry trees

Plaque installed in Prince Rupert to honour the memory of Shotaro Shimizu

Two B.C. police officers, held in Cuba for months, cleared of sex assault allegations

Port Moody Const. Jordan Long and Vancouver Const. Mark Simms have been in Cuba since March

Chef claims $1-million with lottery ticket purchased in Ladysmith

A Vancouver woman is $1-million richer after purchasing a winning Lotto Max… Continue reading

Sunrise ceremony at B.C. legislature honours Louis Riel

Nov. 16 marks the 133rd anniversary of the Métis leader’s death

Most Read