Diamond War Memorial Project

Ordinary Seaman James Ferguson

Canadian Volunteer Reserve, serving with the Royal Navy (Royal Naval Canadian Voluntary Reserve), H.M. Trawler 'Ben Lawers'. Regimental Number VR/3912
Born: ---- Died: 1918-08-21 Aged: 31 Enlisted: ------

Name recorded on the Halifax Memorial, Nova Scotia, Canada. Name also commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial.

Son of Edward and Elizabeth Ferguson, 2, Baronet Street, Londonderry.

Ordinary Seaman Ferguson belonged to Waterside Presbyterian Church. His father received a letter from the Canadian Commissioner in London stating that his only son was drowned by the swamping of a small boat when rescuing the survivors of a merchant vessel. The Commissioner wrote ? 'It will be a source of consolation and pride to you to know that your son lost his life in carrying out his duty in endeavouring to rescue the lives of others.' A letter was also received from the Reverend J. A. Bishop, chaplain R.N., H.M. Naval Base, Penzance, similarly intimating that Ordinary Seaman Ferguson lost his life at sea while endeavouring to save the lives of the crew of a torpedoed ship. His boat, the chaplain stated, had picked up sixteen survivors, when she capsized, and, although every effort was made to save him, it was impossible to get him. The skipper and crew of the ship had asked him to say that Seaman Ferguson died like the true sailor he was, and he gave his life for others. 'Your son,' the chaplain added, 'died bravely and nobly for his country.'

Shortly after James Ferguson died, the following sentiments were placed in a Londonderry newspaper by his father, mother, and sisters:

'The sun has set and deep gloom haunts our dwelling,

Dear, absent loved one how your smile we miss;

Thou art where heavenly voices sweet are swelling

Their choral anthems in a world of bliss.'