Friday 29 January 2016

Sea Horse Commemoration 1816–2016, Tramore

Click for larger image
On 30 and 31 January 1816, a convoy of ships – the Sea Horse, Lord Melville and Boadicea – was shipwrecked in an unexpected storm off Ireland's south coast. En route from Kent in England to Kinsale in County Cork, the vessels were transporting soldiers of the 59th Regiment; some of the officers were accompanied by their wives and children, as was common practice at this time.

The human cost of the tragedies was high: some 570 military men, sailors, women and children lost their lives as the three ships. Of these, 363 perished in Tramore Bay after the Sea Horse broke into pieces.

Taken in tandem, the wrecks represent one of the greatest maritime disasters to have been recorded in Irish waters, surpassing even the horror of the wreck of L’Impatiente, a frigate from a French invasion fleet that foundered off Mizen Head (County Cork) on 29 December 1796, with the loss of 552 lives.

You can find out more about the tragedy in Ivan Fitzgerald's dedicated blog,, which includes genealogical information, biographies and burial details, as well as listing the dead men on the Sea Horse. It also has biographical details and addresses of most of the 147 dead enlisted men on the Boadicea.

You might also like to know that the town of Tramore will be commemorating the Sea Horse this Saturday. Click the image to view the schedule.

You'll see that as part of the commemorations, a newly-built stone cairn is being dedicated to the Sea Horse on the town's Lower Promenade and will become a permanent feature of the Tramore Heritage Walk.

For more details, see the Sea Horse Commemoration Facebook page.