The SS Berlin was built in 1894 by Earles Shipbuilding and Engineering Company of Hull for the Great Eastern Railway. The Berlin operated from Harwich to the Hook of Holland.
Benjamin Catchpole died 21st February 1907 when the Berlin upon which Benjamin was a Fireman (the coal shovelling type!), sunk off the Hook of Holland (Hoek van Holland). Over a hundred people died and many of the crew lived in Harwich. A photograph of Benjamin appeared in the Daily Mirror on 22nd February 1907. Administration granted to Eliza CATCHPOLE (wife). Estate value ?. Witnessed by John SPARROW (Shotley) and Charles PRATCHETT (Maria St Harwich).
Benjamin’s death is recorded in a Register of Deaths at Sea (National Archives Reference BT 334/040). The details are as follows :-
CATCHPOLE Benjamin Age 48 Occupation Fireman, British Subject, Residence Dovercourt. Drowned, lost with Vessel at Hook of Holland, 21st February 1907, Vessel Berlin, Vessel Official number 99454, Registered Harwich, Tonnage 586, References C&D 6a and LB 7/07. (Meaning of these references unclear (LB could mean letter book)).
New: Link to transcript of Board of Trade list of passengers and crew that died upon SS Berlin.
Link to official list of the officers and crew as reported in East Anglian Daily Times
SS Berlin Passenger Research Notes (Acrobat Format file)
Link to set of 8 Dutch Posts of SS Berlin Wreck
Link to 1894 picture “The SS “Berlin” the addition to the Great Eastern Company’s Continental Fleet”
Link to Board of Trade Report on SS Berlin disaster (Acrobat Format file)
ssBerlinWills (Acrobat Format file)
Several memorials to Berlin crew are listed in the the National Maritime Museums database to seafarers and victims of maritime disasters at https://memorials.rmg.co.uk/.
Joseph HELFENSTEIN is buried in the Catholic section of the Brookwood Cemetery near Woking Surrey (see photo here) and was featured in an article of “Necropolis News” Vol. 4 No 2 Spring 2003 of Brookwood Cemetery Society.
Louis GYSIN von Liestal Schweiz born 19 November 1880 is buried at the Beukenhauge Cemetery, s-Gravenzande, Netherlands (see photo here).