Do YOU know anything about s/s Mary, lost in the North Sea in 1915 ?


Welcome to this page. Its purpose is to 
find out what happened to the steamship Mary (ex Mary Lohden).
If you have any information that could help me, please send an e-mail to 
mary.lohden@gmail.comAlthough these pages are written in English you can also write in Swedish. 

Thanks for your help  
Henrik Jonshammar

My grandfather was on board the Mary, which was lost without a trace in the North Sea in 1915. The accident left my grandmother alone with four little daughters, the youngest one being my mother then two years old. I am now trying to find out as much as possible about this sea accident.
The voyage 
Mary left Seaham Harbour in England on February 16th 1915. She carried a load of 1900 tons of coal and had Malmö, Sweden, as destination.
However, Mary never reached her destination and no word was heard from her since she left Seaham Harbour. It was never possible to determine the cause of her disappearance. Read more.
The ship
Mary was a steamship belonging to the shipping company  "Ångfartygs AB Mary" in Malmö Sweden. Registration number 2937. Originally called the Mary Lohden, she was built in West Hartlepool in 1883 by Irvine & Co. Built in iron, she had a gross displacement of 1367 tons, net 984 tons, and an engine of 520 hp. Read more.
Sea war
Those were dangerous days on the North Sea. When Mary started her last voyage the World War had reached the gray winter sea. Not only were the waters full of mines, but two days later Germany also commenced the "total sea war" against all shipping to and from England. Submarines with torpedoes now threatened all ships. Read more
The crew
Mary was commanded by Captain Anders August Petterson. 
My grandfather, Carl Edvard Pettersson, was chief mate. There was a total of 16 men and 2 women on board.  Read more.
Was Mary torpedoed or mined?
Did Mary meet severe weather?
Did she sink for other reasons?

My research
First of all, let me admit that I am very much an amateur researcher. I am an amateur to maritime matters and maritime terminology, so please forgive me (and help me) if I have got anything wrong. I am also an amateur when it comes to research and I don't know how to best proceed from here. So I need help also to the methods to be applied in the research. What archives to look in, what specialists to contact, etc

I have no idea how hard it would be to create some clarity around the disappearance of Mary. But, after all, they did find the Titanic and the warship Wasa and they did find the lost DC-3 i the Baltic Sea, so why would it be impossible to find the Mary? Okey, actually finding her may be a bit unrealistic, but even collecting all available information in one place would be a great step forward.

Here is what research I have done so far.

I need your help
In these pages I have collected what I know about the disaster. Others might know other things. Let's put together all information and see if we can learn more.
  • Do you know anything about Mary? Any piece information is of interest.
  • Do you know anything about the people on board? Are you a relative to one of them? You might have additional information. Or, we may have a common interest to find out more!
  • Are you specializing in WW I naval warfare? Do you know about German submarines? Could it be, that sinking of a Swedish steamship is recorded somewhere in a German logbook?
  • Do you know anything about the shipping company "Ångfartygs AB Mary"?  Which archive is keeping the records of this company?
  • Are you familiar with the shipping history of Seaham Harbour or West Hartlepool?  Did Mary leave any traces in archives there? 
  • Even if you have nothing to add to this story, you may be familiar with this type of research. Do you have any hints how I shall proceed?

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