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Loss of The Palme





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Memorial to the crew.

The funeral was the largest seen in Dun Laoghaire. Flags were lowered in all European ports. All fifteen were buried together in Deans Grange Cemetery. A fund was raised to support their dependents. There were donations from the ship’s owners in Finland and from ‘the people of Russia’. There is a plaque on the old lifeboat station wall and a granite memorial. Every year this sad event is remembered. At noon every Christmas Eve there is a progress along the East Pier, led by a piper. A short service is then held.


  • Coxswain Alexander Williams, age 35, married with 6 children
  • Henry Williams (his father and ex-coxswain), age 60, married with 3 sons (including Alexander)
  • John Baker, age 33 married with 3 children.
  • John Bartley, aged 45, married with two children.
  • Edward Crowe, age 30, married no children.
  • Thomas Dunphy, age 31, married 3 children.
  • William Dunphy (his brother), age 40 married with 6 children.
  • Francis McDonald, his son was born to his widow early in 1896.
  • Edward Murphy, age 30, married with 3 children.
  • Patrick Power, age 22, single.
  • James Ryan, age 24, single.
  • George Sanders, age 30, married no children.
  • Francis Saunders (his brother), age 27, married with 5 children.
  • Edward Shannon, age 28, married with 4 children.
  • Henry Underhill, age 32 years, married, no children.


The late John deCourcy Ireland was research officer with the MII

  • de Courcy Ireland, John. Lifeboats in Dublin Bay: A Review of the Service from 1803-1997. ISBN 0953354008.
  • de Courcy Ireland, John. Wreck and Rescue on the East Coast of Ireland. ISBN 0907606091.
  • Lowth, Cormac (1995). “The Palme shipwreck and the lifeboat disaster of 1895″. Blackrock Society Proceedings 3: 94–105.


A Ballard written by J.J. Moran and dedicated “To the memory of the Crewe of the Kingstown Lifeboat

Twas in the year of ninety-five
On the eve of Christmas day
Fifteen brave men, from Kingstown
Were drowned in Dublin Bay.
The cause of this disaster –
A ship did appear.
Flying signals of distress
Outside of the west pier.A gale was blowing from south-east
The sea was white with foam
When those brave men that morning
Left their families and their homes.
They went out in the lifeboat
This vessel’s Crewe to save
But in their humane efforts
They met a watery grave.When this sad news reached Kingstown
One hardly could conceive
The widespread desolation
Upon that Christmas Eve
The joys of happy Christmas
To sorrow then gave way
All hearts were grieved for those brave men
Who lost their lives that day
Twould melt one’s heart with pity
To see the sorrowing wives
The mothers and the children
Of those who lost their lives
For husbands, sons and fathers,
Oh sadly did they mourn
To think that those so dear to them
Should never be no more.Now let us dry the widow’s tear
And soothe the mother’s grief
Let each one do the best he can
To send them some relief
No more I’ll say but this I pray
As I lay down my pen
May the lord in mercy give their souls
Eternal rest. Amen.


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