- Alexander (East Indiaman)
East Indiaman merchant ship"Alexander" was shipwrecked while on passage from Bombayto Londontwo miles from the Isle of Portlandon the Dorsetcoast in the English Channel. Only five of the ship's 140 (or 150) crew survived the disaster.
The wreck occurred on
27 March, 1815, when the large ship entered the Channel after a lengthy voyage, and was caught by a very strong galefrom the South-South-West which pushed the ship onto the beachin front of the village of Wyke, Dorsetduring the night. None of the ship's officers survived the wreck, and the incident was not observed by any witnesses on the shoreline, so the circumstances of the disasterremain somewhat unclear.
Early in the morning of the 27th, the local population discovered a large quantity of wreckage scattered along the shore for several miles in both directions. Amongst this wreckage was found the bodies of 39
lascarseamen and seven of the ship's European officers and passengers, whilst five others were found alive, all "lascar", although their nationalities and genders are disputed by sources.
Local people clothed and fed the survivors, and collected the bodies on the beach for burial. The Lascars were buried in a
mass gravein the churchyard, as their names were lost with the ship's papers, but the Europeans were identified soon afterwards, and buried under a memorial erected nearby which stated:
* Arniston, another East Indiaman wrecked in the same year.
*Grocott, Terence, Shipwrecks of the Revolutionary & Napoleonic Eras, Caxton Editions, Great Britain: 2002. ISBN 1-84067-164-5.
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