The Lusitania Resource > Rescue Vessels > Wanderer (Peel 11)

Wanderer (Peel 11)

Black Drawer 3 Wanderer postcard0001Image courtesy Roy Baker, Curator of the Leece Museum, Isle of Man

Wanderer PL11 (Peel 11) was a sail-powered fishing boat from in Peel, Isle of Man, that was fishing off the coast of Ireland when the Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk on Friday, 7 May 1915. Wanderer was the first rescue vessel on the scene for about two hours and picked up 160+ people from four lifeboats (1, 11, 15, and 21), took two lifeboats in tow (presumably 13, 19), and also collected people from the water and collapsibles. However, the Wanderer had difficulty navigating the waters, as she was a sail-powered boat and Friday, 7 May 1915, was a flat calm.

Wanderer was was built in Peel in 1821. Its registration number was 11 and port of registry was Peel (abbreviated PL), so the boat was also known as PL11 or Peel 11. Books such as Hoehling and Hoehling’s The Last Voyage of the Lusitania and Diana Preston’s Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy have erroneously assigned Wanderer the registration number of “Peel 12″ (even saying that the trawler was from Glasgow instead of Peel!), but Manx historians have confirmed that Wanderer‘s registration number was indeed “Peel 11″ and not 12. Wanderer was later sold to Ireland and renamed Erin’s Hope. Later she was fitted with a motor and continued fishing until the 1930s.

The day of the Lusitania disaster, the Wanderer sailed with a crew of seven:

  • William Ball, skipper, of Jurby, Isle of Man
  • Stanley Ball, the skipper’s son
  • William Gell, of Ramsey, Isle of Man
  • Thomas Woods
  • Robert Watterson
  • John Macdonald
  • Harry Costain, age 17

The last four crew members were all from Peel.

wanderercrewLeft to right: Harry Costain, Johnny MacDonald, William Ball (skipper), Stanley Ball, William Gell, Thomas Woods, Robert Watterson at Tynwald Hill, home of the oldest, continuous parliament in the world. Image courtesy Roy Baker, Curator of the Leece Museum, Isle of Man

The crew made tea for the survivors and attended to the injured and overexposed. For the heroism of the crew of the Wanderer, Lord Raglan and the Manchester Manx Society presented a medal to the crew on 5 July 1915.

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Obverse & reverse: Bronze Wanderer medal, which each crew member received. Skipper William Ball received a silver medal of the same design.  Image courtesy Roy Baker, Curator of the Leece Museum, Isle of Man

 

The first lifeboat to arrive was #21, and the first person to be taken aboard was an infant of two months. Next to arrive was #11 and then #15 and #1 arrived together. The small boat was so dangerously overcrowded with survivors and James Brooks’ account even tells of people dangling their legs over the side because of how packed the deck was with people! Wanderer transferred many survivors to rescue vessels that arrived later, most notably the Flying Fish and Stormcock.

52 of 160+ known survivors rescued by Wanderer. If you know more, please contact us.

Name Age Class or Dept Citizenship Residence Lifeboat Transferred to
ANDERSON, Miss Barbara Winifred 2 2nd British/USA (dual) Bridgeport, CT, USA 15, 1
ANDERSON, Mrs. Rowland (Emily Mary Pybus) 26 2nd British (English) Bridgeport, CT, USA 15, 1
BERNARD, Mr. Oliver Percy 34 Saloon British (English) London, England 11 Flying Fish
BIRD, Miss Marian “May” 40 Victualling British Cheshire, England 15 Flying Fish
BRANDELL, Miss Josephine Mary (Brandeis) 23 Saloon USA New York, NY, USA 12, 15
BROOKS, Mr. James “Jay” Ham 41 Saloon USA Bridgeport, CT, USA collapsible Flying Fish
BURDON, Mrs. Andrew Thompson (Ellen Mary Rickwood) 24 2nd British (Canadian) Winnipeg, Mb., Canada 15
BURDON, Master Robert P. 14-months 2nd British (Canadian) Winnipeg, Mb., Canada 15
CLARKE, Rev. Charles Cowley 64 Saloon British (English) Clifton, England 11
COX, Mrs. Samuel J. (Margaret Elizabeth Robinson) 27 2nd British (Irish) Winnipeg, Mb., Canada 15
COX, Master Desmond Francis 17-months 2nd British (Irish) Winnipeg, Mb., Canada 15
DOCHERTY, Mrs. William (Mabel “Millie” Irving) 29 2nd USA Westbury, NY, USA 15 Flying Fish
DOCHERTY, Master Thomas William 2-months 2nd USA Westbury, NY, USA 15 Flying Fish
DRAPER, Mr. Percy 29 Deck British (English) Wallasey, Cheshire, England 15
DUCKWORTH, Mrs. Alfred (Elizabeth Ann Smith) 52 3rd British (English) Taftville, CT, USA 21
FISH, Mrs. Joseph “John E.” (Sarah Mary Rogers) 2nd British (Canadian) Toronto, On., Canada 15
FISH, Miss Sadie Eileen 10 2nd British (Canadian) Toronto, On., Canada 15
FISH, Miss Marion Enid 8 2nd British (Canadian) Toronto, On., Canada 15
GAUNTLETT, Mr. Frederic John 45 Saloon USA Washington, D.C., USA collapsible Flying Fish
GWYER, Rev. Herbert Linford 32 2nd British (Canadian) Saskatoon, Sk., Canada 15 Flying Fish
HARKNESS, Mr. William Herbert 25 Deck British (English) 15
HEIGHWAY, Mr. Edward John 42 Deck British (Irish/New Zealand) Stangford, Co. Down, Ireland 15, 1
HILL, Mrs. Richard (Emma “Emmie”Jane Haynes) 31 2nd British Schenectady, NY, USA 15
HOLBOURN, Prof. John “Ian” Bernard Stoughton 43 2nd British (Scottish) Edinburgh and Isle of Foula, Scotland 15, 1 Stormcock
INCH, Mr. William Ernest 27 2nd British New York, NY, USA 15
JONES, Mr. Arthur Rowland 33 Deck British (English) Ffynnongroew, Flintshire, Wales, 15
KNOX, Mr. Samuel McIlhenny 57 Saloon USA Philadelphia, PA, USA collapsible Flying Fish
LAURIAT, Mr. Charles Emelius, Jr. 40 Saloon USA Boston, MA, USA collapsible Flying Fish
LEHMANN, Mr. Isaac 36 Saloon USA New York, New York, USA 15 Flying Fish
LEITH, Mr. Robert 29 Deck British (English) Wallasey, Cheshire, England 15 Paddle boat
LUKER, Mr. Francis John 30 3rd British (Canadian) Saskatoon, Sk., Canada 11, 15
MacKENZIE, Mr. Robert Anderson 40 3rd British (Irish) Dublin, Ireland 15 Flying Fish
MARICHAL, Prof. Joseph Phillibert René 38 2nd French Kingston, On., Canada 21
MARICHAL, Mrs. Joseph Phillibert René (Yvonne Jessie Emerson) 39 2nd French Kingston, On., Canada 21
MARICHAL, Miss Yvonne “Eve” 6 2nd French Kingston, On., Canada 21
MARICHAL, Miss Phyllis Renée 2 2nd French Kingston, On., Canada 21
MARICHAL, Master Maurice Infant 2nd French Kingston, On., Canada 21
MITCHELL, Mr. Arthur Jackson 45 2nd USA Toronto, On., Canada 15
MORECROFT, Mrs. Herbert (Fannie Jane Chamberlain) 43 Victualling British (English) Liverpool, Lancashire, England 15 Flying Fish
MORTON, Mr. John Clifford 19 Deck British (English) Deserted from Naiad 1 Flying Fish
PENNY, Mr. Algernon Percy 33 Victualling British (English) Liverpool, Lancashire, England 15
PHILLIPS, Mr. Wallace Banta 29 Saloon USA Brooklyn, NY, USA 15 Flying Fish
RANKIN, Mr. Robert 33 Saloon USA Ithaca, NY, USA 11 Flying Fish
RHYS-EVANS, Mr. Arnold Leslie 23 Saloon British Cardiff, Wales 11 Flying Fish
ROGERS, Mr. Percy William 46 Saloon British (Canadian) Toronto, On., Canada Flying Fish
TAYLOR, Mrs. William Harold (Lucy Haddock) 19 3rd British Niagara Falls, NY, USA 15
THOMAS, Mr. David Alfred 59 Saloon British (Welsh) Cardiff, Wales 11 Flying Fish
VEALS, Mr. Albert Edward 31 3rd British Orange, NJ, USA 15
VEALS, Mrs. Albert Edward (Agnes Maud Bailey) 27 3rd British Orange, NJ, USA 15
WHALEY, Mr. Robert William 31 2nd British (Canadian) Victoria, B.C., Canada 15 minesweeper
WICKINGS-SMITH, Miss Nancy Eileen Fenn Infant 2nd British (Canadian) Victoria, B.C., Canada 11
WOLFENDEN, Mrs. Charles (Dora Roden) 49 2nd USA Central Falls, RI, USA 15


wandererplaque
Image courtesy Roy Baker, Curator of the Leece Museum, Isle of Man

Links of interest


PL11: The Wanderer

Contributors
Roy Baker, Curator of the Leece Museum, Isle of Man
Senan Molony, Ireland

References
Molony, Senan. Lusitania: An Irish Tragedy, pages 104-106. Mercier Press, 2004.

Peel Town Commission. PL11: The Wanderer. Online. <http://www.thewanderer100.com/>. Accessed 28 April 2015.

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