October 26th 2009 was the 150th anniversary of the tragedy, and the village of Moelfre held a number of commemorative events.
We were delighted and honoured to meet a number of descendants of the victims and survivors, and to be able to talk to them about their ancestors. It was a very moving and somewhat emotional time for us, and we had been deeply immersed in the story and the people of the Royal Charter for 18 months.
In particular we met the relatives of the Davies family, - a mother, father and 4 children who were travelling with the Mrs Davies sister, Mrs Fenwick and her 4 children.
Relatives of the Purser, John Lewis, and his brother Edward, who was a barman, were also present.
Isaac Lewis, a seaman from Moelfre, was lost within sight of his father, one of the Moelfre rescuers. Three of his descendants were there.
William Storey was listed as a passanger on board the ship, his relatives would love to know about his family in Australia.
John Bradbury was the name of one of the people saved. Is anything known about him? We have recently discovered that he was presented with a candlestick from the wreck, numbered 13.
Joseph Rogers, the seaman whose epic swim enabled so many to be saved, never returned to Malta. He is buried in Liverpool, and is known to have lived in Yorkshire at some time, but what happened to him after he left the S.S. Great Britain? Is anything known about him when he was older?
Since then we have had contact with a number of other descendants, including James Tate, who was a cook on board, and Captain Withers, the shipwrecked Captain who was going home on the RoyalCharter. The 19th century newspapers all reported his name as James Withers, but we now know, thanks to his descendants, that his first name was Jarius.
Are you a descendant of someone on the Royal Charter, or do you have information that the family members might welcome? If so, please get in touch and we will try to pass it on.