Mr. Sigurd Anton Jacobaeus

Sigurd Anton Jacobaeus, 55, was a Swedish national sailing on a saloon ticket, 1686, aboard the last voyage of the Lusitania. His cabin on board the ship was E-60. Jacobaeus had represented Sweden in the Panama Pacific Exposition and was returning home on the Lusitania when the ship was torpedoed. Jacobaeus was lost in the Lusitania sinking. His body was recovered, #84, and is buried in Common Grave C the Old Church Cemetery in Queenstown (now Cobh), Ireland.

The following biography was prepared by Peter Kelly with additional information by Peter Engberg-Klarström:

Biography


Sigurd Anton Jacobæus was born on 16 March 1868, in Skarhult parish, Skåne, Sweden. His parents were Anton Christian and Lykke Catherine Marie Jacobaeus, both of whom had been born in Denmark. Jacobaeus was a ‘gentleman farmer’ who had leased Tulesbo Manor in Skåne, Sweden, where he lived with his wife Ebba (nee Frost). They had married on 7 September, 1901, in St. Petri, Malmö, Skåne. She seems to have been born 21 April 1882 in Malmö; they may have been divorced by the time of his death.

In 1890, he was a supervisor (inspector) at Svenstorp Manor, where his family also lived at the time. Since 1900, he seems to have leased Tulsebo Manor, where he and Ebba resided.

Jacobaeus had disappeared, rather mysteriously, from his home on 31 March 1915. That spring, he had been in the United States of America on business in Savannah, Georgia. He had, however, had bad luck in business recently and he was constantly travelling around and had reputedly spent a lot of money on these trips. He had allegedly not cared properly for his manor and it had fallen into disrepair, and it was rumoured he had had to leave it. Shortly before his disappearance, he was said to have acquired a lot of money for his travels; about 30,000 Swedish Crowns, 10,000 of which through bank loans. His closest friends believed he had tried to go to South Africa, via Berlin, but, having failed to do so, had gone to America via Norway, from whence he may have intended going to Liverpool and the Cape Colony.

For his return to Europe, he booked a saloon passage, (via the Chicago office of his firm), on the sailing of the Lusitania, which was scheduled to leave New York on the morning of 1st May. Leaving Savannah at the end of April 1915 he arrived at the Cunard berth, at Pier 54 in New York harbor on May Day morning and with ticket number 1686 was escorted to room E 60, which was under the control of First Class Bedroom Steward David Critchley, who came from Bootle, Lancashire, on the outskirts of Liverpool.

The Cunarder finally left her berth just after mid-day after a delayed start so that she could take on board passengers, crew and cargo from the Anchor Liner Cameronia which the British Admiralty had requisitioned for use as a troop ship at the end of the previous month.  Then, six days later, on the afternoon of 7 May, Sigurd Anton Jacobæus was dead – killed after Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk off The Old Head of Kinsale in southern Ireland, by the German submarine U-20, only 250 miles away from her home port of Liverpool.  He was aged 47 years.

His body was recovered from the sea fairly soon after the sinking, however, and having been landed at Queenstown, it was taken to one of the temporary mortuaries set up there, where it was given the reference number 84 and described as:

Male 55 years, 5’11“.  Hair turning grey, moustache, long face and head, very stout, black clothes.

Once it had been identified, however, it was buried on 10th May 1915 in The Old Church Cemetery, in Common Grave C, 6th Row, Lower Tier.  It was on this day that most of the dead from the sinking were buried after a long funeral procession which began outside the Cunard offices at Lynch’s Quay on the waterfront at Queenstown.

Property recovered from Jacobæus’ body, which probably aided its identification, was eventually sent to his Swedish home. Found on his body were 25,000 Swedish Crowns as well as his gold watch.

As it was necessary to bury all the recovered bodies as soon as was practicable, for reasons of hygiene, they were all photographed in the temporary mortuaries in Queenstown before being buried.  Anxious relatives of those missing were then invited to identify their loved ones through these photographs.  This was difficult in certain cases because of injuries they had sustained as a consequence of the sinking or because they had been in the water for a long time.  The photographs of the bodies were displayed not long after the sinking in St. George’s Hall, Liverpool, and Mrs. Christina Limburg, the widow of Confectioner Frederick Limburg must have seen them there as later, she wrote to Cunard for more details of corpse number 84, whom she thought might have been that of her husband.

Cunard wrote back to her with the following description:

40 years old, Height 6’ 2” Eyes large blue, Cheek bones high, Deep mark across nose.  Third finger of left hand has the first joint off.

From this, Mrs. Limburg realised that it was not her husband’s body after all, by which time it had already been identified as that of Sigurd Anton Jacobæus.

Bedroom Steward Critchley, who had looked after Jacobæus in room E 60, was also killed in the sinking and never saw his Bootle home again.

On 21st June 1916, administration of Anton Jacobæus’ estate in England was granted to Martin Waldenstein, who was an advocate and his effects amounted to £96-6s-8d., (£96.33p.).  Two days later, a representative of the firm of Kearney, Howes and Williamson of 108, Cannon Street, London signed on his family’s behalf for £91-16s-0d., (£91.80p.), which represented the sum total of monies and drafts that Jacobæus was known to have been carrying and which were presumably recovered from his body.

Contributors:
Jim Kalafus, USA
Peter Kelly, Ireland
Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden
Senan Molony, Ireland
Zachary Schwarz

References:
Molony, Senan ( 2008 ) “Lusitania: Final Voyage Folios,” Gare Maritime (ref: #6316, accessed 13th May 2013 11:31:43 PM) <http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/lusitania-folio.html>.

Svenska Dagbladet, 9 June 1915

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