Telegraph operator on S.S. Ohio died at his post to send messages that saved 208 lives
On August 26, 1909, Almonte, ON native George Eccles was the radio telegrapher aboard the S.S. Ohio when it hit uncharted rocks off the British Columbia coast and began to sink rapidly. Five lives were lost, but 208 lives were saved due to his efforts to radio for help, and in doing so, Eccles died at his post.
Eccles was the first radio telegrapher to die at sea. His fame was worldwide, and his funeral in Almonte was front-page news, but for reasons unknown, the grave was never marked. Now – 109 years later – that omission will be remedied, thanks to the efforts of C.R. Gamble Funeral Home of Almonte, and Kinkaid & Loney Monuments of Smith’s Falls.
WHAT: Dedication of a stone to mark the grave of George Eccles, a native of Almonte, ON, who in 1909 became the first radio telegrapher to die at sea. Marking the occasion will be, among others, Mayor Shaun McLaughlin, Reg Gamble of C.R. Gamble Funeral Home and John Bowes of Kinkaid & Loney Monuments, and speakers who will explain the historical significance of this forgotten hero.
WHEN: Sunday, June 3, 2018, 2:00 pm, rain or shine
WHERE: The cemetery of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, 135 Wolf Grove Road, Almonte, ON K0A 1A0
The cemetery is approximately 500 metres west of the intersection of County Road 29 and Almonte Rd/Wolf Grove Road.
Please note that the cemetery is not located next to St. Paul’s church; it’s just outside town at the address above.
For more information, photos and to schedule interviews:
Read the Ottawa Citizen feature article about David Frisch’s discovery of this forgotten hero here: