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In MemoriamBLANCHFLOWER, Ernest Murray
  3rd Engineer (Merchant Navy)
  Killed drowned at sea (08-Sep-1916)




There is no direct evidence that the details here refer to the same Ernest Murray Blanchflower who went to Westoe Secondary School, but the relatively unusual name suggests that it is likely.

Ernest Murray Blanchflower was born in the spring of 1895, son of Norfolk fisherman, Francis Blanchflower, and his wife Ann.

It is not known when he attended Westoe School, but during the war he served as 3rd engineer on board the SS Elswick Park, a steam cargo ship.

Having spent two years in the Baltics, she had sailed to Philadelphia to transport a cargo of coal down to the port of Santos, in Brazil.

She left Philadelphia on 8-Sep-1916, down the Delaware River, and was planning to head south to Santos. She was last sighted just past the breakwater, heading out to sea.

When she failed to arrive, alarm was raised, and by November, as The Journal reports, "[she] is so much overdue as to cause grave anxiety for her safety".

She was later posted missing and the crew, including Ernest Blanchflower and a number of other Tyneside men, were presumed drowned.

There is no indication of whether she was attacked and sunk by enemy action, or whether an accident befell the ship. Her wreck has never been found.

It's worth adding that a replacement SS Elswick Park was built and launched in 1920. She was to be one of the ships scuttled ahead of D-Day to form breakwaters for the Mulberry Harbour.

Known Addresses
1891: 32 Frederick Street
1901: Frederick Street
1911: 16 Dean Road
Last updated: 11-Aug-2014 08:53

If you have any corrections or can provide additional information, please get in touch.
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