The Princess Sophia leaving Victoria harbor with troops for First World War, circa 1915. (Maritime Museum of B.C./Facebook)

Headstone to honour family killed in disastrous shipwreck 100 years ago

Maritime Museum of British Columbia is installing a headstone for the O’Brien family members, who were among more than 350 people killed

A family of seven who died in one of the worst nautical disasters in the history of the West Coast will have its final resting place marked in Vancouver, 100 years later.

The Maritime Museum of British Columbia is installing a headstone for the O’Brien family members, who were among more than 350 people killed in the sinking of the SS Princess Sophia, at Mountain View Cemetery today.

READ MORE: Maritime Museum marks 100th anniversary of the ‘Unknown Titanic of the West Coast’

The passengers and crew were stranded aboard the steamship for two full days after it struck the Vanderbilt reef, 50 kilometres northwest of Juneau, Alaska, on Oct. 23, 1918.

Nearby rescue crews were unable to reach the vessel and when high tides and strong winds dislodged it from its perch, the ship sank, killing all those aboard.

The museum’s executive director David Leverton says that despite its high death toll, news of the shipwreck was overshadowed by the First World War armistice on Nov. 11, the same day a ship carrying the bodies of the victims arrived in the Port of Vancouver.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Cache Creek council votes to rejoin local transit system

Details need to be worked out, but hopes are that change can be expedited

Ashcroft residents get information at Community Forum

Water treatment plant, recycling, an Eco-Depot, the budget, and more among items addressed

Elizabeth May’s wedding will be a ‘low-carbon affair’ in Victoria on Earth Day

Green party leader’s wedding party to depart in a cavalcade of electric cars

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Most Read