I mentioned in this earlier piecethat John Macleod (1879-1911), who became John Kerr when his mother MargaretMaclennan married his stepfather Roderick Kerr, had been a sailor and that hedied at sea.
The somewhat scant details are that sometime on Saturday 13thof May 1911, when the vessel Castlefield was in ‘Genoa Harbour’, John wasdrowned. The circumstances leading to the 31 year-old Able Seaman’s drowningare not recorded.
The 2255 ton (1483 Net Tonnage) Castlefield had been builtin Stockton in 1890 and a record of the life of this ‘iron cargo steamship’from then until her eventual demise in 1958 can be seen here. We can see that from 1906 she was the property of W. S.Miller & Co. of Glasgow whose flag may be seen here.
John’s last place of abode is given on his certificate as 204Kelvinhaugh Street, Glasgow but this is followed by the word ‘Ship’ in bracketswhich is a slightly enigmatic addition? What is certain is that he was Britishand born in Harris for each of these is stated unambiguously.
I can barely begin to imagine the loss felt by his familyback in ‘Obbe’, Harris when they received the news of the loss of their son, aterm I use because I am sure that Roderick was a loving stepfather (he allowedJohn to take his name, for example) and, as the wee lad was only in his secondyear of life when the couple married at Scarista on Tuesday 22nd ofFebruary 1881, Roderick would have been the only father that John would have known.
RIP John (Macleod) Kerr 1879-1911