taking our culture forward

"We have to record one of the most terrible disasters ever occurring on our coast"

This is a short film about one of the Isle of Man's most devastating maritime disasters, the Brig Lily Disaster, which occurred on Kitterland at 7:45am, 28 December 1852.

A shipwreck in a storm left five people dead, but it was in the salvage operation in which the true Manx tragedy occurred; 29 local men died in a terrible explosion which was heard up to 18 miles away. Added to the tragedy was the fact that these 29 men were from the (at that time) very small communities of Port St. Mary and Cregneash, leaving behind 22 widows and 77 orphans.
The disaster sent shock waves through the Isle of Man and beyond, and left a rift through the generations in the South which is still remembered within families to this day.

"The hearts of widows and orphans are torn in bitter anguish! Port St. Mary is in tears! Ye Christians of Mona, for the love of Christ, help these distressed ones!" [Mona's Herald, 29/12/1852]