Topham, Arthur

Born Hull 1894. Son of John William and Ruth Topham. Steward on the Steamship ‘Sappho’. Died of exposure, 29/12/1915, aged 22.
During August 1914 the Hull cargo steamer SAPPHO was detained at Hamburg by the Germans on the outbreak of war and 100 tons of sugar compulsorily unloaded before being released.
On 7th December 1915 she was trapped in ice in the White Sea near Archangel while on passage Archangel to Hull with a cargo of pitprops. On the 24th December 1915 she was abandoned by crew who attempted to walk 18 miles across the ice to Cross land Light Vessel. All but three of the crew died of cold and exposure.
On 14th May 1916 the ship was found aground about 30 miles north of Cape Kanin by a Norwegian sealer which took her in tow. On 16th May 1916 sank while under tow.
Leeds Mercury 01/03/1916:- The Wilson Line of Hull issued a statement regarding their Steamer “Sappho”, held up in ice in the White Sea Dec 1915.
Reported only 3 survivors, Mr Ashford 2nd officer, M Hautica AB & J Stork. The crew list is as follows, all are from Hull unless otherwise stated. Capt J Martin, S Brumby (41) chief officer, W Ashford (40) 2nd officer, F Bucknall (51) carpenter Louth, WJ Johnson (28) boatswain, C Johnson (26) AB, F Boyes (16) sailor Flamborough, H Hensen (22) sailor Bergen,JW Ericksen 25 AB Olesund,M Hautica 25 AB Finland, J Stork (17) OSeaman, Flamborough, J Carten (66) chief engineer, Port Glasgow, AM Andrew (62) 2nd engineer, R Bartlett (30) 3rd engineer, J McWilliam (53) donkeyman Melbourne, J Knight (31) fireman London, H Fieldsend (45) fireman, P Hurd (28) fireman, C Armitage (40) fireman, F Bridgeman (31) steward, A Terry (42) cook, Brixam, R Topham (21) engineers steward.

First name:
Date Died
Place died:
Archangel Allied Cemetery, Russian Federation