Leon Thresher of the Falaba

Senan Molony

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Jan 30, 2004
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No, but these remains were washed ashore at Stradbally strand, Co Kerry, on 11 July 1915.

Initially presumed to be from the Lusitania and included in the list of her victims (No. 248)They were subsequently identified as those of Mr Thresher.

You may not know that he is buried in Stradbally graveyard, Castlegregory, Co Kerry, where there is a stone.

Another body washed up on the Irish coast initially appeared to be that of a war-decorated German but proved to be a Briton from the Falaba!

Inquest at Baltimore
Iron Cross Found On Body


An inquest was held at Baltimore on Monday by Coroner Neville and a jury on the body of a man found off Sherkin Island on Saturday evening by two men named Cornelius Collins and Jeremiah McCarthy.

The evidence showed that the body was a considerable time in the water and was in a decomposed state. The two forearms were missing, the flesh was gone from the gace, and the hair from the head.

‘I found one shilling and sixpence in silver and five coppers in the pockets of his clothes,’ said Constable Quinn, ‘and he had an Iron Cross marked Für Kultur.’

A Juror — ‘Maybe a German spy.’
Dr O'Meara — ‘No, it was probably a joke on the German army.’

The witness said he also found a small leather card case containing visiting cards with the name ‘Capt. F.C. Goulden, Junior Army and Navy Club,’ and further evidence was given that a wire had been received from Mrs Goulden, Portishead, Somerset, stating that the body was that of her husband, lost in the Falaba.

A verdict of death due to drowning was returned.

(Cork Free Press, Saturday 26 June 1915, p.3)
 

Peter Kelly

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Nov 19, 2003
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Hi William & Senan,

Here is a photo of Leon Thresher's grave stone which still stands in Stradbally.

Peter

99498.jpg
 

fiona marr

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Mar 3, 2007
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Can anyone point me in the right direction to find out more about the sinking of the Falaba? Is there anywhere I could find a passenger list?
 

Mike Poirier

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Dec 31, 2004
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I believe Craig Stringer who wrote an excellent article about the Falaba could point you in the right direction.
Mike
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Hi Fiona,

There were a number of Falaba passenger lists printed in the press after the sinking. The Times published several, for example.

In addition, the Board of Trade lists can be viewed at the National Archives in Kew, and there are further lists in other documents held at Kew, mostly in relation to the inquiry held after.

Are you seeking a particular name? I have a number of lists in my own collection which I am happy to look through for you.

Hope this helps
Craig
 

fiona marr

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Mar 3, 2007
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Hi Craig -
The name I am looking for is James Silcock.
He was my Great Grandfather.
Thank you, Fiona.
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Hi Fiona,

I am glad that you found my message. I am also pleased to say that there was a James Arthur Silcock on the Falaba. He travelled first class, and was destined for Lagos, Nigeria. I gather he was part of the Colonial Civil Service. Mr Silcock was 31, and came from Ballymakenny, Drogheda, Ireland, according to the lists of those lost on the Falaba, held at Kew. At the inquiry into the sinking Cyril Bressey mentioned in his account that he shared a cabin with Mr Silcock. After the Falaba was stopped by the submarine, Bressey went to his cabin in search of a lifebelt. He found one he had brought with him on the voyage. Bressey said that the cabin was empty, and that Silcock was not there. Given that the submarine had chased the Falaba before stopping the ship, it is likely that James Silcock was one deck with other passengers.
I hope that helps.
With best wishes
Craig
 

fiona marr

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Mar 3, 2007
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Craig,
Thank you so very much. I did not know that my great grandfather was so young when he died. I do know that he left behind a young son and a pregnant wife.
Thank you again for helping me confirm that he was indeed on the Falaba.
Best Wishes, Fiona.