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Roll of Honour

Hartlepool seafarers lost at sea

McBay, Robert William

73, Pilgrim Street, West Hartlepool
West Hartlepool

The Tower Hill Memorial in London records Robert as being lost on the steamship Radnorshire, when she was captured by the German surface raider Möwe (Seagull), also recording him as the husband of the late Elizabeth Trueman Hartlepool.

However, records show that no lives were lost when the Radnorshire was captured and sunk. Captain C. L. Willatts and 11 others were transferred to the captured Japanese steamship Hudson Maru on the 12th January, 1917. They arrived in Pernambuco, Brazil four days later. They then sailed for Lisbon Portugal on the Dutch steamer Hollandia on the 23rd January 1917. They continued their journey on the English Steamship Drina sailing for Liverpool, On 31stMarch 1917 the Drina struck a mine off Milford Haven and sank with the loss of 15 souls.

Sixty crewmen from the Radnorshire remained on the Seagull until 22nd March, 1917, when she returned to Germany. The crew were then freed.

Additional research suggests Robert married Elizabeth Trueman in Hartlepool in 1906, and the 1911 Census shows them to be living at No.73, Pilgrim Street, West Hartlepool.

After returning home it seems likely Robert died in Weardale in June 1917 and was buried in the North Cemetery, West Hartlepool, on June 24th, 1916. Following her death three years later, his wife Elizabeth was buried in the same grave on April 19th, 1919.