On January 21, 1918, Captain Andrew Wilson guided SS Beverly away from Munn’s dock in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland. Loaded with a shipment of salt cod and cod liver oil, the ship was bound for Greece.
After leaving port on that cold winter’s day, the ship and its crew of twenty-four Newfoundlanders, including the captain and his son, were never heard from again.
Long Overdue: SS Beverly (1885–1918) is the story of a 33-year-old Chesapeake Bay night boat which had been brought to Newfoundland, where it was converted to a cargo ship.
Beverly was only one of many ships that carried out Newfoundland’s foreign-going trade during the First World War. However, it occupies a prominent place in Newfoundland’s maritime history as the enquiry into its loss was the catalyst for a change in the country’s shipping regulations, legislation which was aimed at safeguarding the lives of future merchant sailors.
Authors Suzanne Sexty and Liz Browne say during their research they found little about Beverly in local history books. They hope their book about the vessel will not only fill this voice, but also encourage others to explore the history of Newfoundland merchant marine fleet during the First World War.