The Queen Mary set sail in 1936 and sailed for 30 years before retiring, many people died on board during this time. During her career, she completed many transatlantic voyages and also played a big part in world war two.
The Queen Mary is now a floating hotel in Long Beach, California. I was lucky enough to stay on board the ship and I learned about the onboard deaths. There are many ghost stories told about the Queen Mary and I’m glad that I wasn’t aware of most of these until after my stay.
How Many People Died Onboard The Queen Mary?
There have been 55 reported deaths onboard the Queen Mary since the ship launched in 1936. The majority of these deaths were from natural causes. Death records were not kept during world was two so in reality the true number is likely to be higher.
The Queen Mary offers ghost tours and has taken part in many TV shows including Most Haunted.
At least 16 Crew Members Died Onboard The Queen Mary
The below crew members died onboard the Queen Mary between her launch in 1936 and 1967 when she retired. There haven’t been any fatal accidents onboard the Queen Mary since she has been used as a hotel.
If a crew member was unwell they would be taken to a hospital on land which is perhaps why no natural causes deaths have been reported within the crew since 1967.
|Year of Death||Crew Members Name||Position Onboard||Cause of Death|
|1936||A.J.G Golding||Seaman||Skull Fracture|
|1944||P.A.W Hughes||Night Steward||Natural Causes|
|1949||W.E Stark||Senior 2nd Officer||Accidental Poisoning|
|1950||W. Humphries||Fireman||Natural Causes|
|1951||A.J Lee||Trimmer||Man Overboard|
|1951||J.R Maloney||Master at Arms||Natural Causes|
|1952||H. Healey||Assistant Barkeeper||Natural Causes|
|1955||G. Martin||Bedroom Steward||Natural Causes|
|1956||K. Thomson||Trimmer||Natural Causes|
|1959||A.E Boyland||–||Man Overboard|
|1962||A. Baugh||Master at Arms||Natural Causes|
|1964||F. Royl||–||Natural Causes|
|1966||C. McCarthy||Seaman||Accidental Fall|
|1966||J. Pedder||Fireman||Accidentally Crushed|
|1967||L. Horsburgh||Cook||Natural Causes|
Queen Marys Watertight Door 13 Claimed The Life of J. Pedder in 1966
On July 10th, 1966 an 18-year-old crew member called J. Pedder was crushed to death by a watertight door. The mechanical door was located in the engine room and the ship was sailing across the Atlantic at the time.
The accident happened during a routine safety drill.
This area of the ship is claimed to be one of the most haunted placed on the ship, the mechanical door was removed when the Queen Mary was converted into a hotel.
W.E Stark Accidentally Poisoned Himself
In 1949 W.E Stark accidentally poisoned himself by drinking some acid that he believed to be Gin. W.E Stark instantly released his mistake and reported the accident to the captain’s steward.
Upon hearing about the accident W.E Stark was told to go to the onboard doctor to have his stomach pumped, he refused and by all accounts he laughed and joked about the incident. Three days later he died of Carbon Tetrachloride poisoning.
W.E Stark had been at sea all of his life, starting working on Cargo ships when he was 17 years old.
At least 41 Passengers Died Onboard The Queen Mary
|Year of Death||Passengers Name||Cause of Death|
|1937||Mr. P Chapman||Natural Causes|
|1939||Mr. F Brandt||Natural Causes|
|1943||Capt H.L Fry||Unknown|
|1945||P.H Ashburn USN||Man Overboard|
|1946||Pvt E.W Simons||Natural Causes|
|1946||L.T Smith||Natural Causes|
|1947||Gypsey Rodney Smith||Unknown|
|1949||Mr. H.M Sichel||Natural Causes|
|1950||Mr. W.H Barrett||Natural Causes|
|1950||Mr. H.C Bazett||Natural Causes|
|1950||Mr. P.H Davies||Man Overboard|
|1951||D.J Martin||Natural Causes|
|1951||Mr. A Kacser||Natural Causes|
|1953||Mr. M. Shield||Natural Causes|
|1954||Mrs. M.A Ferris||Natural Causes|
|1954||Mr. G.S Wayman||Natural Causes|
|1955||Mr. P.P O’Sullivan||Natural Causes|
|1955||Mrs. L.I Ford||Natural Causes|
|1956||Mr. W.E Shott||Natural Causes|
|1956||Mr. D.B Blaisdell||Natural Causes|
|1956||Mrs. L. Somino||Unknown|
|1956||Mr. O.S Redfield||Unknown|
|1959||Mrs. F. Buthman||Accidental Death|
|1964||Rev. G. Stutzer||Natural Causes|
|1964||Mrs. E. Griffin||Natural Causes|
|1964||Mr. W.H Pope||Natural Causes|
|1965||Mr. A.E.N Clark||Natural Causes|
|1966||Mrs. C.N Nicholson||Natural Causes|
|1966||Mrs. H. Keller||Natural Causes|
|1966||Mrs. F. Teasdale||Unknown|
|1966||Mr. A. Kondratieff||Natural Causes|
|1966||Mr. J. Owen||Natural Causes|
|1966||Mr. G. W McCreery||Natural Causes|
|1967||Mr. A. Meredith||Natural Causes|
|–||Mrs. A. Waring||Natural Causes|
In 1942 The Queen Mary Sank The HMS Curacoa Causing 300 Deaths
The following deaths didn’t occur onboard the Queen Mary but were caused by the Queen Mary.
The HMS Curacoa was built for the Royal Navy during the first world war. She was acting as an escort for the RMS Queen Mary in 1942 when the Queen Mary accidentally cut through the HMS Curacoa.
At the time of the accident, the Queen Mary was carrying 10,000 troops and was sailing in a zig-zag pattern to evade submarine attacks.
Both the Queen Mary and the HMS Curacoa thought that they had the right of way.
I said to my mate “You know she’s zig-zagging all over the place in front of us, I’m sure we’re going to hit her.”
And sure enough, the Queen Mary sliced the cruiser in two like a piece of butter, straight through the six-inch armored plating.Alfred Johnson (Onboard the Queen Mary) – source.
The Queen Mary was sailing at considerable speed (around 25 knots) and she had to carry on after hitting the HMS Curacoa. It was the policy at the time that for safety reasons, the ship could not stop to pick up survivors as the threat of U-Boats was present.
Accounts differ as to whether the ship did stop to help survivors or not.
The case did go to court a few years later and the Queen Mary was cleared of any blame. It estimated that over 300 people died in the accident.
Ever wondered how the Queen Mary compared to the Titanic? In this post we compare the size, speed and function of the two famous ships: