The RMS Empress of Ireland was an ocean cruise liner built between 1905 and 1906 and was built by Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering at Govan for Canadian Pacific Steamships. The ship departed Quebec City on route to Liverpool at approximately 16:30, at our local time, on May the 28th, 1914 – carrying onboard 1,477 crew and passengers. At the beginning of the month, Henry George Kendall was promoted to the captain of the ship, making this trip his first through the Saint Lawrence River as commander on board the Empress of Ireland.
In the early hours of the next morning on the 29th of May, the ship was on its way down the channel near the Pointe-au-pere in Quebec, sailing through very heavy fog.
At 02:00 hours local time, the Norwegian Collier ship Storstad collided into the side of the Empress of Ireland.
The Storsdad itself did not sink however the damage sustained by the Empress was sufficient enough for it to take on a rapid flow of water. With extremely severe damage to the starboard side of the Empress of Ireland, the ship rolled over and sank – in a total of 14 minutes, claiming 1,012 crewmen and passengers.
Out of the total passengers, only 465 survived, and shockingly, only four of these were children, 134 children were lost. Only 42 women were found and 279 had been killed.
Among the dead was the English Novelist, Laurence Irving. On the other hand, one of the survivors Frank “Lucky” Tower was said to have been one of the few crew men to have escaped. Frank “Lucky” Tower is said to have survived the Titanic, then survive the Empress, and then survive the RMS Lusitanian whilst serving as a crewman during WWI.