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Count Dohna and His SeaGull ©

Ships - Wilston

Wilston, a British collier, struck a sea mine and sank in the early morning hours of February 15, 1916, twenty miles east northeast of Wick, Northern Scotland. SMS SeaGull set the mine.
During the war it was a frequent practice to report the wrong location for a ship lost in waters adjacent to the United Kingdom. While it is believed a mine sank Wilston, the reported location is 45 miles east of the minefields set by SeaGull. German submarines patrolled this area at the time. Wilston was holed at 2:30 AM on a night with an almost full moon and could be the victim of a submarine launched torpedo.

Wilston was build in 1909 by Robert Duncan and Company at Port Glasgow, Scotland. She was a ship of 2,611 tons, 310 feet in length. She was owned by the Wilston Steamship Company and managed by William S. Miller and Company, Glasgow.
Captain Thomas Keay was in command of Wilston when she sailed from South Shields, England with a cargo of coal. She was hauling coal to the British Fleet based at the Orkney Islands, Scotland.

In remembrance of 8 souls lost while serving aboard Wilston, on February 15, 1916.
  • Second Engineer, Allan Campbell, Mercantile Marine, Age 39, Born at Glasgow.
  • Able Seaman John Dadd, Mercantile Marine, Age 39, Born at Margate.
  • First Mate Robert Graham, Mercantile Marine, Age 57, Born at Rothesay.
  • Fireman T. Gray, Mercantile Marine, Age 42, Born at Newcastle.
  • Fireman John Postgate Sleightholm Holmes, Mercantile Marine, Age 35,Born at South Shields.
  • Master Thomas Keay, Age 48.
  • Fireman and Trimmer T. Simpson, Mercantile Marine, Age 50, Born at South Shields.
  • Third Engineer Thomas Kelly Sinclair, Mercantile Marine, Age 22, Born at Glasgow.

Sea Mines


Caithness Archives The Fishermans War 1914-1918.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission Memorial to the UK soldiers and sailors lost in the Great War.

, by J. S. Cowie.
THE HIDDEN MENACE, by Maurice Griffiths.
THE GRAND FLEET 1914-1916, by Admiral Viscount Jellicoe of Scapa.
Last Revision: March 4, 2007.
© Copyright, 2007.
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