One hundred years ago, on May 13th 1915, Ramsey suffered its greatest loss of the First World War when five men from the town among 13 Manxmen lost their lives at the sinking of the battleship HMS Goliath.
To mark what was Ramsey's darkest day of the First World War, on the evening of Wednesday May 13th 2015 Ramsey Town Commissioners arranged for crosses to be placed at the cenotaph in the Courthouse Gardens in memory of servicemen John T Corkish, Daniel Stephen Graham, Daniel Kinrade, John James McCormick and James Quayle. Relatives of Daniel Stephen Graham and John T Corkish, including the latter's great great granddaughters Rebecca Kelly and Samantha Oates, placed crosses on behalf of their respective families, while Ramsey Town Commissioners' deputy chairman Stephen Bevan placed crosses on behalf of the three other men lost.
Also in attendance were representatives and standard bearers of the Royal Naval Association and Royal British Legion Ramsey Branches.
Mr Bevan said: ‘Ramsey are a proud people with an abiding sense of community. The courage and heroism of these five men – and the many others from our town lost in conflict - must never be forgotten.'
On the night of May 12th-13th 1915, HMS Goliath was anchored in Morto Bay off Cape Helles, the southernmost tip of the Gallipoli peninsula, along with HMS Cornwallis and a screen of five destroyers, in foggy conditions. Around 1am on May 13th a Turkish torpedo boat eluded the destroyers Beagle and Bulldog and three others and closed on the battleships. The Turkish boat fired two torpedoes which struck Goliath almost simultaneously abreast her fore turret and abeam the fore funnel, causing a massive explosion. Goliath began to capsize almost immediately and was lying on her beam ends when a third torpedo struck near her after turret. She then rolled over completely and began to sink by the bows, taking 570 of the 700-strong crew to the sea bed, including her commanding officer, Captain Thomas Shelford.
J T Corkish left a wife and four young children. When HMS Goliath was lost his widow received news that he had been invalided off the ship a few days before the sinking and would be returning home. After six weeks he had not returned and she contacted an Agnes Western in England who then contacted the Admiralty to learn that a mistake had been made and her husband had, in fact, been lost with the ship.