Diamond War Memorial Project

Able Seaman Francis/Frank Galbraith

Royal Navy. Regimental Number J/28128
Born: ---- Died: 1915-01-13 Aged: 17 Enlisted: ------

Member of Great James' Street Presbyterian Church, Londonderry. Name recorded on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire. Name also commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial.

Son of John and Martha Galbraith. Nephew of Annie Foster, 7, Stewart's Terrace, Londonderry.

Frank Galbraith drowned in H.M.S. 'Viknor.

Built in 1888 by Napier and Sons at Glasgow for the Royal Mail Steamship Packet Company, the 'Atrato (2nd)' was a vessel of 5386 tons. She had accommodation for about three hundred passengers, in three classes, but the first class accommodation accounted for the bulk of it. She was sold in 1912 to the Viking Cruise Company, and was renamed 'The Viking'. In 1914 she was seconded by the admiralty and converted to an armed merchant cruiser and was renamed 'Viknor.' She became part of the 10th Cruiser Squadron and was commanded by Ernest Offord Ballantyne. She had a compliment of 22 officers and 273 ratings in 1915. In heavy weather she was lost off Tory island on the northwest coast of Donegal. All of her crew were lost, with large quantities of wreckage and some bodies being washed ashore along the north coast of Ireland. The admiralty could not find a reason for her loss, but she was in the area of a recently laid German minefield. So she was most likely the victim of a German mine.