Empress Queen (PS), shipwreck

From Wightpedia

On 1st February 1916 the PS Empress Queen, a 360ft paddle steamer, was returning from France with over 1000 troops on board in poor visibility when she hit the Bembridge Ledge.

The troops were taken off by destroyers leaving just the crew onboard.

The Bembridge lifeboat (the Queen Victoria) was rowed out to her and the 116 crew (and a dog and a cat) were taken off.

Attempts were made to refloat her, but these were unsuccessful and she was a total loss.

Built for the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company in 1897, the PS Empress Queen was used on the Douglas/Liverpool route before being chartered by the Admiralty in 1915, and converted to a troop carrier. She was used to transport troop between Southampton and France for nearly a year before the fateful day.