The owners of the Rohilla, the British India Steam Navigation Company recognised the impact the loss of the hospital vessel and felt duty bound to honour the loss of the vessel and more importantly the loss of many fine men. Their wish to have a memorial monument at Whitby was realised shortly after the funerals.
Messrs George Vint and Brothers were chosen as suppliers of the very best West Yorkshire stone granite for the monument, the names of all those who lost their lives in the tragedy were finely crafted by Thomas Bill and Sons. The monument itself stands nine feet two inches high and is four feet square at its base occupying a central position over an elongated trench. An ornamental anchor rests appropriately on the moulding of each of its four sides. The long graves have been kerbed round and concreted, with the inner ground covered with broken marble, the length of the trench is around one hundred and seventy feet. The design of the wonderful monument was completed by Mr Thomas Bill, senior partner of the monumental stone masons company. The cost of the monument amounted to £200 and was met entirely by the British India Steam Navigation Company.
Having visited the monument on many occasions I am still impressed by the craftsmanship and how prominent the monument is within the cemetery, there is only one other memorial that stands higher than the Rohilla monument. Seeing the long trenches either side of the monument one can get some idea of how tragic the loss of the vessel was and what part the loss of the Rohilla plays in Whitby's maritime heritage.
The front panel bears the following inscription;
THIS MONUMENT WAS ERECTED BY THE BRITISH INDIA STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY LIMITED OWNERS OF THE HOSPITAL SHIP S. S. ROHILLA. TO THE MEMORY OF 31 OFFICERS AND MEN WHO WERE DROWN IN THE WRECK OF THAT VESSEL WHITBY OCTOBER 30TH 1914. 33 BODIES RECOVERED FROM THE WRECK ARE BURIED HERE. THE NAMES OF FOURTEEN OF THOSE IDENTIFIED ARE AS FOLLOWS.
The base also has the following inscription;
I SAW A NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH
AND THERE WAS NO MORE SEA.
Moving clockwise from the front face
The monument rear side
The monument final side
Copyright © Colin Brittain 1999 - 2014