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Roll of Honour

Hartlepool seafarers lost at sea

Coulson, Richard

West Hartlepool

Lost on the steamship Forestmoor, of London.

Richard Coulson was born in Hartlepool around 1876 into a family with strong connections to the sea. His parents, Michael and Mary Coulson (nee Brotherton), were married on May 4th, 1857. Michael was a local Pilot, born in Hartlepool in 1834. Mary was from Berwick-upon-Tweed, and marriage records note her father as also being a Sailor.

Richard was the eighth of ten children – six boys and four girls. The 1881 Census shows the family all living in Catherine Street (recorded as No.41, Catherine Street on the 1901 Census).
Eldest son Michael (aged 22), is recorded as a Pilot’s Apprentice; William (20), a Bricklayer’s Apprentice; 18-year old George a Blacksmith’s Apprentice; and 15-year old Cudberth as a Boat Builder’s Apprentice.
Six-month old Martha was the youngest child, with Elizabeth (12), Thomas (10), Richard (5), and Amy (3), all recorded as ‘Scholars’.

By 1901 only four of the children are recorded as still being at home with their parents: Bessie (a dressmaker), Richard (Assistant Pilot), Amy and Martha.
Richard does not seem to have embarked on a career as a Pilot however, as on October 6th, 1917, listed as a ‘Sailor’, he was lost when his ship, the steamer Forestmoor was torpedoed and sunk by UB-51 west of Gibraltar on September 5th, 1917. The ship was on a voyage from Huelva to Dublin with a cargo of copper ore. Twenty two crew were lost.