BORN STONEHOUSE, PLYMOUTH 1877. SON OF MARGARET FINON, OF 3 , CHAPMAN STREET, HULL, (1911 CENSUS ADDRESS). A SHIPS FITTER. A FIREMAN AND TRIMMER, ON THE STEAM SHIP “MEMBLAND” . PRESUMED DROWNED ON 15/02/1915, AGED 33 (CWGC RECORDS). HE WAS ACTUALLY 38. BROTHER TO GEORGE, ANNIE & ALICE FINON.
Membland SS was a 3,027grt, British Merchantshp. On the 15th February 1915 somewhere in the North Sea, believed she was mined and sunk. Date uncertain, listed as 15th, 25 lives lost including Master. From the Board of Trade Inquiry (No. 183) MEMBLAND of Glasgow, O.N. 112422, which left Hull on the 15th day of February, 1915, bound for the Tyne, in water ballast, with a crew of 20 hands, and has not been heard of since the Humber Pilot left her about 10.30 a.m. of the same day, off Spurn lightship. (from the Tyne the Membland was bound for Buenos Ayres with a cargo of coal. An interesting fact from the report tells us:- Messrs. MacBeth purchased her for £30,000-this figure represents the enhanced value, owing to war conditions; 80 white pine deals were put on board at Hull, meant for shifting boards for the homeward voyage from the River Plate. They were mark with the letters B. H. with a silhouette of a crown on the ends. There remained on board on the 12th of February (when the vessel was taken over by the new owners) 60 tons of bunker coal, or sufficient for three days steaming, and as the distance from Hull to the Tyne is only 130 miles, it will be seen she had sufficient coal on board to take her there. The Pilot stated that there were some deals lying on the fore-deck when he left the vessel, they were not lashed down, similar weather continued all day up till about midnight, when the wind backed to S.W. and freshened up to a gale. The Humber pilot had stated that the deals, which he saw on the fore-deck, were not lashed when he left the vessel, but the probability is that, as these were bought for shifting boards, they would have been stowed away in the holds as soon as possible after getting outside Spurn. He last saw the MEMBLAND about 10.40 a.m., steaming away on her course, and going about 8 knots per hour, and from that time, as far as is known, nothing has ever been seen of this vessel. Mr. Wilson Wright of Hornsea, stated that on the 11th of April, when walking along the beach, tide being about three quarter ebb, he picked up a piece of oak stave; it was about 50 yards from the cliff and about the same distance from the waters edge, and it was written in indelible ink “S.S. ‘Membland’ torpedoed engine-room port side, Good-bye, dear.” This witness further stated that he showed it to a soldier who was passing at the time, and who told him to deliver it to the coast guard, which he did. It had been in his possession for about one hour and a half. He had never before picked up anything in the form of a message from the sea. He passed that way every day, but he did not see any wreckage or timber of any kind washed up on this part of the coast about this time, and if there had been any he would certainly have seen it. Search has been made all along this coast, during February and March, for any deals or wreckage, some deals were found, but they bore no marks or numbers by which they could be identified as belonging to this vessel. Read more at wrecksite: https://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?65765