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Memorial

Cleopatra's needle - crew members lost Cleopatra's needle

Plaque: Cleopatra's needle - crew members lost

Inscription

{A list of 6 names, oddly not in alphabetical sequence - see Subjects commemorated} perished in a bold attempt to succour the crew of the obelisk ship “Cleopatra” during the storm, October 14th 1877.

Site: Cleopatra's needle (3 memorials)

WC2, Victoria Embankment

A misnomer since there is no connection with Cleopatra at all. In 1500 BC Pharaoh Thothmes erected two red granite obelisks at Heliopolis. The Romans took them to Alexandria in 12 BC where an earthquake brought them down. In 1819, following Nelson's victory at the Battle of the Nile, Britain was presented with this (near-buried) obelisk by the Viceroy of Egypt. It was not until 1877 that funds had been raised for shipment to London, which involved building a pontoon barge around the stone.

The 'Cleopatra' was not a lucky ship; it was holed and sunk during the launch. Salvaged, it was then almost lost in the Bay of Biscay in a storm when the barge broke loose from the towing steamer, the 'Olga'. 6 members of the Olga crew died as they tried to board the Cleopatra to bring it under control. But eventually it reached London and the obelisk was erected on a plinth containing a time capsule from that era. Its mate was given to the States and erected in Central Park, New York in 1881. The Cleopatra's needle in Place de la Concorde, Paris is also one of a pair but its mate is still in situ in Luxor.

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This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Cleopatra's needle - crew members lost

Information Subjects commemorated

Show all 6

William Askin

Crew member of the 'Olga'. Died during the voyage bringing Cleopatra's Needle...

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Joseph Benbow

Crew member of the 'Olga'. Died during the voyage bringing Cleopatra's Needle...

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Michael Burns

Crew member of the 'Olga'. Died during the voyage bringing Cleopatra's Needle...

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William Donald

Crew member of the 'Olga'. Died during the voyage bringing Cleopatra's Needle...

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James Gardiner

Crew member of the 'Olga'. Died during the voyage bringing Cleopatra's Needle...

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This section lists the other memorials at the same location as the memorial on this page:
Cleopatra's needle - crew members lost

Information Also at this site

Cleopatra's needle

Pink granite, 68.5 feet high, 186 tons. Vulliamy created, and Youngs cast, th...

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Cleopatra's needle - war damage

Londonist have a eye-witness account of this event.

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