29 December 2016
Discover the long-forgotten story of the SS London steamship, which sank on route to Australia from England in 1866, in this book researched and written by regular Family Tree author Simon Wills
The Victorians were sadly used to frequent news of lives lost at sea but the sinking of the SS London on route to Australia from England in 1866 was particularly shocking for the large death toll on what was believed to be a luxury liner. At least 234 people died, including several well-known personalities at the time.
Prompted by his purchase from an antique shop of a cartes de visite from the 1860s, picturing three survivors, maritime genealogist and Family Tree contributor Simon Wills set about researching the SS London’s story in depth. Some 10 years on, the result is this richly detailed book, published 150 years after the disaster, in which readers are transported back to ‘the dangerous world of Victorian ships’, when vessels of the British Empire traversed the world’s seas, with scant regard to safety by shipowners, which in turn was ignored by officialdom.
By unearthing records relating to the disaster from across the globe, including the crew and passenger list from Canada’s Maritime History Archive, Simon weaves together a comprehensive history of the London, the tragedy, its aftermath and many of those involved in its long-forgotten story.
• ISBN: 9781445656540. RRP £15.99, paperback. Amberley Publishing