Inniskillings perish as the Charlotte founders.

Wednesday, 20 September, 1854
Painting depicting the Charlotte as she founders on the reef.

In the summer of 1854, the Inniskillings boarded four Transports bound for Calcutta, India. There were 227 souls aboard the transport Charlotte, including 16 women and 28 children.

En route, she anchored off Port Elizabeth in Algoa Bay (South Africa) to resupply with casks of fresh water. On the evening of 20 September a gale began to blow and all were confined to their quarters and hammocks below with none allowed on decks above. Around 2000 hours, she broke her anchor lines and began to drift with the wind and waves and struck a reef. She was dashed heavily against the reef several times and began to break up.

By 0400 hours on the following morning she was totally destroyed with the loss of 11 women, 28 children, 11 sailors and 63 men of the 27th Inniskillings. An eyewitness account was provided by Ensign George White (who later became Field Marshal Sir George White VC) in a letter to his father written on 5 October 1854. To read his account, click on the letter.