The loss of the S.S.UPAS & William Gallagher

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northbrook
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The loss of the S.S.UPAS & William Gallagher

#1 Post by northbrook » Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:45 pm

Does anyone have any information on the S.S. UPAS, one of Fishers coal boats that was wrecked off the coast of Co.Down

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS

#2 Post by ec1968 » Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:39 pm

SS UPAS

Vessel Type: Steam Coaster
Location: Co. Down
Date of Loss: 18th March 1915 Place: Burial Island
Cause of Loss: Sank in storm Boat Dive from: Ballyhalbert
Charted Depth: 22m Irish O.S. Map: Discovery Series No. 21
Height of Wreck: Broken up Admiralty Chart No: 2156
Hull Material: Steel/Iron Latitude (GPS): 54 28.795 North
Type of Seabed: Sand Longitude (GPS): 05 24.991 West
Average Visibility: 5 - 10m Diving Experience: Experienced
Picture available? Yes - Image - click here

Diving Information:

Hulk is still there, sitting upright, but badly broken up.
Lies quite close inshore in Butterlump (local name Ballyfrench Bay.)
Dive at slack water.


Built 1913 by J. Fullerton Ltd, Paisley, for Joseph Fisher & Sons Ltd, Newry, she measured 168 x 25.5 x 10ft , trials speed 12 knots, grossed 470 tons.
While on route from Ayr to Warrenpoint with coal in a snowstorm her cargo shifted while maneuvering and she capsized.
Six out of 8 crew drowned.
Occupants scrambled into port lifeboat only to be tipped into freezing water.
The two who survived were Samuel Hanna and James McShane, who were hauled to safety by a Belfast collier "Ailsa Craig", which had arrived on the scene, and later transferred them to the Donaghadee lifeboat, after they witnessed the "Upas" go down.
Captain McFerran was last seen standing high up on the tilting super-structure beside one of the useless starboard lifeboats.

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Historical Information:

The SS Upas replaced the SS Seapoint in April 1913, and became the pride of the Fisher fleet. It sank off Ballyquintin Point on 18 March 1915 with the loss of all except two members of the crew. The Newry steamship 'Upas' was the pride of the J.S. Fisher fleet of colliers until the fateful day of March 18 1915. For on that day at around 10.30am the ship went down in atrocious conditions off Ballyquintin Point at the tip of the Ards Peninsula. Of her nine man crew only two survived the tragedy, but part of the ill-fated Upas lives on at Down County Museum in Downpatrick. The ship's telegraph - the instrument which communicated messages between the bridge and the engine room - was salvaged from the wreck in two pieces before being reassembled. It now takes pride of place in the Museum's Sea of Life exhibition. One of the pieces of the telegraph fell into the hands of Newry-based teacher and amateur historian, Sean Patterson. Through his research, the other missing part of the apparatus was traced and the machine put back together again. And now it stands as part of the museum's silent commentary on the dramatic events of all those years ago - events we know quite a bit of detail about from testimonies given by one of the shipwreck survivors, Samuel Hanna. He told how heavy seas had made the ship's passage from Ayr in Scotland to Warrenpoint treacherous beyond belief. And as if the rough seas were not enough, the Upas steamed into a snow storm as it neared the Ards Peninsula. "When the snow came round we could see nothing at all. "You could hardly see the foremasts," he said in a radio interview several years after the tragedy. The Upas' skipper, Captain William McFerran, decided to 'heave to' and try and ride out the storm. But as he turned the ship into the wind she rolled over and the cargo of coal shifted in the hold. Unbalanced and struck by mighty waves, the Upas began to capsize and lost all steering. "It's all up," Hanna remembers McFerran telling him as he ordered the crew to abandon ship. As the men on board scrambled to release the collier's lifeboat, disaster struck when the boat collided with a derrick which was attempting to lower it into the sea. The last thing which Samuel Hanna remembered from that stage of his struggle to survive was the sight of doomed Captain McFerran, who had stayed with his ship, standing alone close to the bridge. As the crew tried to keep afloat in the sea they grabbed anything close to them that could float. For Samuel there was also the terrible realisation that his younger brother, 19-year-old Joe, among the Upas crew, was nowhere to be seen. After several hours in the water Hanna and James McShane - the only other survivor of the Upas disaster, were picked up by the crew of the steamer Ailsa Craig out of Belfast. But even then the horror was not over. The Ailsa had launched a skiff to attempt the rescue mission, but it started taking in water and was mercilessly blown out to sea by the driving winds. Hanna remembered looking back to his own doomed ship when one of the rescuers said: "Look up Sammy, there's the last of her." The Upas had begun to slide back under the water and sank to the bottom. Some time later the rescuers and the rescued were brought to safety by the Donaghadee Lifeboat - just in time, because they were all 'nearly dead from the cold'. All of this colour and emotion is brought back by the lone artefact from the Upas standing in the County Museum - the ship's telegraph - still sending out a message and stubbornly refusing to allow visitors to forget the story of hopes dashed and lives lost on the SS Upas.

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS

#3 Post by Brian » Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:12 am


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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS

#4 Post by northbrook » Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:58 pm

Many thanks ec1968 and Brian for that information.

I have recently received an article relating to this disaster which includes the names of the six crewmen that perished,among them being William Gallagher 2nd engineer of Warrenpoint, buried in Burren graveyard 1915.
Could this William Gallagher be a relative of the Gallagher family residing in the town today ?

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS

#5 Post by the gap » Sun Feb 10, 2008 2:37 pm

yes iam sure he was artchie gallaghers brother his grave is on the right hand side as u go in the main gates at burren. ask DENNIS GALLAGHER he will know for sure the full connection

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS

#6 Post by northbrook » Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:34 pm

Thanks for that ,I will post the remainder of those that lost their lives and survivors in due course.

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS

#7 Post by therezecat » Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:12 am

William Gallagher was the son of William Gallagher Snr and Mary Ann Gallagher. William Gallagher Jnr was born in 1885 in Liverpool England and lived in 41 Charlotte Street Warrenpoint. William was the first of eleven children.

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS

#8 Post by the gap » Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:44 pm

therezecat wrote:William Gallagher was the son of William Gallagher Snr and Mary Ann Gallagher. William Gallagher Jnr was born in 1885 in Liverpool England and lived in 41 Charlotte Street Warrenpoint. William was the first of eleven children.
Welcome to the forum :--) have you any more info on the Gallagher clan ?

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS

#9 Post by therezecat » Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:22 pm

i have a copy of the 1911 census which lists all of the Gallagher family who were present at 41 Charlotte Street on sunday the 2nd April. Four family members are missing from the list.

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS

#10 Post by the gap » Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:04 am

therezecat wrote:i have a copy of the 1911 census which lists all of the Gallagher family who were present at 41 Charlotte Street on sunday the 2nd April. Four family members are missing from the list.
I was told that my grandfather Arthur(Artchie) Gallagher was in Liverpool at that time.I have tried to find him in the census for England, sorry to say i had no success. It is very strange that Aunt Maggie and Kitty are not on the list as they where only 12 and 13 years old at the time.As for Mary she married a man called Duffy iam not sure if they were the parents of Joe Duffy. Northbrook might know.Do you know any thing about Anthony Gallagher who married Cathrine Delahunt in 1857. I found an Anthony Gallagher Born 1822 in Co Mayo and Died in Co Down in 1898 not sure if it was in Warrenpoit.

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS

#11 Post by therezecat » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:08 pm

Kitty Gallagher was my great grandmother through her daughter Kathleen Veronica. Was Mary by any chance Mary Elizabeth as my father used to visit her with Kitty in the 1960's and she was always referred to as Lily? I have only recently started looking into the Gallagher side of my family history and am desperate for more information on the clan. Kitty mentioned about two brothers drowning one in Carlingford Lough in a swimming accident and another in a ship wreck. If there is any information about that it will be greatly appreciated.
I have some early family photographs if you would like them I could e-mail them to you.

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS

#12 Post by northbrook » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:57 pm

Sorry I can`t help on this one apart from the grave, I think this is where William of the Upas is buried..............
I`m wondering also of the Delahunt connection, is there a double connection here?? I know Alecia, Archie Gallaghers wife was a niece of my g.grandmother Alecia Delahunt, was there also a connection with the John and Catherine Delahunt buried in this grave ? Are these Delahunts related to Malachy and Kathleen Delahunt (Harrington) of Newry, I have a notion that they are ......maybe Meetingstreet can throw some light on the Delahunt connection, or Denny may have some info...................

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS

#13 Post by therezecat » Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:56 pm

This picture of a Gallagher grave is not the grave of William Gallagher who drowned on the S.S.Upas but quite possibly a relative i was in Warrenpoint over the weekend and visited Williams grave in Burren cemetery I took pictures of the grave so i'll post them on the site ASAP. I was also curious as to where William Snr and Mary Ann Gallgher were buried as Williams headstone makes no reference to them being in the same plot.

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS

#14 Post by northbrook » Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:30 pm

therezecat wrote:This picture of a Gallagher grave is not the grave of William Gallagher who drowned on the S.S.Upas but quite possibly a relative i was in Warrenpoint over the weekend and visited Williams grave in Burren cemetery I took pictures of the grave so i'll post them on the site ASAP. I was also curious as to where William Snr and Mary Ann Gallgher were buried as Williams headstone makes no reference to them being in the same plot.
Apologies !!...................I was informed beside the gate on the right hand side and presumed (wrongly) that this was the grave ..........................................

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS

#15 Post by therezecat » Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:42 pm

Here are some photos of William Gallaghers grave at Burren Cemetery
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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS & William Gallagher

#16 Post by northbrook » Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:08 pm

Thanks for that, that gives me a reason to go back to the graveyard and get my databases up to date ........................

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS & William Gallagher

#17 Post by fourthroad » Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:25 pm

have seen this grave its beside my mothers, can also remember Dodds showing me this grave, could be wrong here but think the little cross beside the Gallagher headstone says Delahunt ;--)

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS & William Gallagher

#18 Post by the gap » Thu Jul 30, 2009 4:19 pm

fourthroad wrote:have seen this grave its beside my mothers, can also remember Dodds showing me this grave, could be wrong here but think the little cross beside the Gallagher headstone says Delahunt ;--)
Thanks Fourthroad I will have a look at that next week when iam home :--)

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS & William Gallagher

#19 Post by fourthroad » Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:30 pm

well Gap old friend when you reach Burren chapel as you go through the gates follow the path to the right of the chapel half way at right of chapel turn right walk along that path till you see another path on the right going down hill take that path to the end, the headstone will be on your right (hope you can work that out ) NABS.

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS & William Gallagher

#20 Post by therezecat » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:04 pm

The Gravestone next to Williams does indeed say Delahunt. On the headstone it says that it was "erected by Michael Delahunt, Warrenpoint, in memory of his children Rose E died Dec 1883". The script is not too clear and the headstone itself seems to have sunken over the years. Is this another relative?

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS & William Gallagher

#21 Post by fourthroad » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:16 pm

therezecat wrote:The Gravestone next to Williams does indeed say Delahunt. On the headstone it says that it was "erected by Michael Delahunt, Warrenpoint, in memory of his children Rose E died Dec 1883". The script is not too clear and the headstone itself seems to have sunken over the years. Is this another relative?
hello therezecat im near sure Dodds told me at one time they were related, i will be taking Dodds up to Burren graveyard on Sunday will ask him. :--)

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS & William Gallagher

#22 Post by alana » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:06 am

My dad has a cert.of discharge for "W-Gallagher born Warrenpoint 1863 ,capacity second engineer,
place of discharge Garston 31/07/1899"the ships name seems to be the The Crofthead but not sure
as its not clear...its official number is 94037 port of regristry Whitehaven..
As ever he has it framed and sealed and cannot do a scan on it as the cert is so fragile.

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS & William Gallagher

#23 Post by the gap » Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:41 pm

alana wrote:My dad has a cert.of discharge for "W-Gallagher born Warrenpoint 1863 ,capacity second engineer,
place of discharge Garston 31/07/1899"the ships name seems to be the The Crofthead but not sure
as its not clear...its official number is 94037 port of regristry Whitehaven..
As ever he has it framed and sealed and cannot do a scan on it as the cert is so fragile.
They are the discharge papers of my greatgrand father. He was the father of William who died on the Upas.

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS

#24 Post by nzbhoy » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:09 pm

the gap wrote:
therezecat wrote:i have a copy of the 1911 census which lists all of the Gallagher family who were present at 41 Charlotte Street on sunday the 2nd April. Four family members are missing from the list.
I was told that my grandfather Arthur(Artchie) Gallagher was in Liverpool at that time.I have tried to find him in the census for England, sorry to say i had no success. It is very strange that Aunt Maggie and Kitty are not on the list as they where only 12 and 13 years old at the time.As for Mary she married a man called Duffy iam not sure if they were the parents of Joe Duffy. Northbrook might know.Do you know any thing about Anthony Gallagher who married Cathrine Delahunt in 1857. I found an Anthony Gallagher Born 1822 in Co Mayo and Died in Co Down in 1898 not sure if it was in Warrenpoit.

Hallo Gallaghers
Great fun and very interesting checking all this out on the Gallagher side of my family history.
On the 1901 census Arthur is on that he is 14 years old
Margaret is 16 on the 1901 cencus
Kitty if that is Mary Elizabeth is 13 on the 1901 Cencus
so maybe you have the ages wrong and this would explain why they are not on the 1911 cencus

Greetings to all from New Zealand
Alec O'Donnell

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS & William Gallagher

#25 Post by nzbhoy » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:14 pm

alana wrote:My dad has a cert.of discharge for "W-Gallagher born Warrenpoint 1863 ,capacity second engineer,
place of discharge Garston 31/07/1899"the ships name seems to be the The Crofthead but not sure
as its not clear...its official number is 94037 port of regristry Whitehaven..
As ever he has it framed and sealed and cannot do a scan on it as the cert is so fragile.

I would be very keen to get a copy of this as this is my great grandfather William who was married to Mary Ann Mcardle my Grand mother was Rose Ellen the ninth of eleven children


Alec O'Donnell

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS & William Gallagher

#26 Post by the gap » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:59 am

Alec, the young man named Hugh Gallagher named in the 1901 cencus is a bit of a puzzle to me as i have no info on him and never heard any older family members talking about him.Could we be dealing with William and there never was a Hugh?

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS & William Gallagher

#27 Post by nzbhoy » Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:41 am

Seems you were right in your idea of HUGH being william

glasgow boy confirming it in the newer posts

well done gap

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS & William Gallagher

#28 Post by the gap » Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:45 pm

nzbhoy wrote:Seems you were right in your idea of HUGH being william

glasgow boy confirming it inap the newer posts

well done gap
:D thank you thank you :--)

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS & William Gallagher

#29 Post by Brian » Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:32 pm

Just came across this in some old newspaper scans I am going through, its from the Newry reporter 20th March 1915

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Re: The loss of the S.S.UPAS & William Gallagher

#30 Post by moe » Fri Aug 07, 2015 10:53 pm

Hi! I'm Moe only joined,

Just found this site and I am delighted, I've been looking for years on information regarding the topic you are all talking about, My Mother who turned 90 this year is the only daughter of James Mc Shane one of the survivors of the S.S. Upas. He had two sons also John and James both of whom went to sea just as he did. Although she knew of her Father going down with a ship before she was even born she did'nt know any information about it not even the name. My Grand Mother had told her that she was called to the hospital when it had happened and didn't recognize my GrandFather because his hair had turned white with the shock. They had only married the year before and she was expecting her first son John He was born in June. My Grand Father stayed at sea after that happened until he retired through the war and all. He didn't retire working until he was 72 years. My Mother infact the whole family are so please to have found out this information. I want to thank you for all the information you have provided. I'll be back to visit this site again. Moe

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