From an account by Tommy Hazell Saltford, Bristol.
In 1943 a group of airmen built the monument on the North-East tip of Masirah near the airfield. It commemorates the massacre of the captain and 21 crew of S.S. Innerdale, a vessel of 3,340 tons, that had run aground on the Kuria Murile islands on 2nd August, 1904. The party left their lifeboat seeking help, and probably thought they had landed on the mainland. A tragic misunderstanding with the natives resulted in the deaths of captain and crew. The ship’s boy was the only survivor. The ringleaders were later executed by the Sultan of Muscat’s forces. The inscription on the monument was misspelt “Inverdale”, and seems to add a unique touch to an unusual piece of history.
A more official account:
The only survivor was a cabin boy who was taken aboard the Dalhousie. Whether the captain had deliberately decided to land, or had simply been driven ashore by the monsoon will never be known, but it appears that on landing, the crew were met by the local sheikh. The Arabs were friendly at first, but at some stage in the proceedings one of the crew fired a pistol. Whether the crew feared for their safety in some way or there was simply an accident cannot be ascertained, but in the resultant fight twenty-one of the seamen were killed. The Arabs buried the bodies in the sand near Ra’s Qudifah, close to the Northern most point of the island. The ringleaders were later captured and punished; some received the death penalty and were also buried on the Northern tip of the island
8 thoughts on “Innerdale Monument Masirah.”
This is so interesting to me. My great grandfather was a crew member and the sad story was related to us by my mum.
Thanks for commenting on this connection that you have with the monument.
A sad story, but as you can see, the monument and memory of the event is still prominently preserved. It is also why (according to local knowledge, although I have not been able to confirm it) HM the Sultan has still not truely forgiven the Islanders for the crime & bringing the country into disreput; even after all these years.
I am a grandson of first officer Carl Peterson and this terrible tragedy was told to me by my mother. In the original photograph the cross was of a different design. It is a place I wish to visit if I can.
Ian Gordon, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Thank you for commenting and I hope you get the chance for a visit.
You say it’s a different cross from the photograph you have; possibly because over the years, it has been well maintained and repaired after storm (Cyclone) damage.
The islands inhabitance were still not fully forgiven for this tragedy even as late as the 1990’s.
a sad chapter of history
Unfortunately yes, but they are remembered, which is a good thing.
Don’t feel to put a Like n this, but certainly is interesting..and a good photo for the story.
I agree: rather a sad end when one thinks of the deprivation they must have gone through. That part of the Island can look quite desolate from the sea even now.