July 22, 2015 – The explosion on the Kearsarge April 13, 1906

My Great Grandmother was Emily McArdle.  Her brother James married a Mary Anne Smith. They had a son Sarfield born in 1877.  In about 1896 Sarsfield joined the American Navy and went to sea.  I will transcribe the news article about him and his travels.  But the sad thing happened that the Kearsarge was involved in military exercised off Cuba and on the last day – Friday the 13th. There was an explosion and on the 14th it was reported that 7 had died and 14 were in serious condition. Sarfield was one of those who died on from the explosion. He had wired his mother from Caimanera that things looked like he would be okay but then he died.

articles about the Kearsage    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Kearsarge_%28BB-5%29

http://navsource.org/archives/01/pdf/010564a.pdf   this one would be great except there is a second page with the rest of the story.

BB-5 Kearsarge

The following is an article, undated, from a Kingston paper.

“The remains of the late James Sarsfield McArdle, electrician, 1st class, United States Navy, who lost his life in the turret accident on board the Admirals ship Kearsage, last Good Friday, were sent home for interment by the American Government and reached this city on Monday, the 12th,inst.  They were received at the wharf by his mother, Mrs Mary A. McArdle of Wolfe Island, who was accompanied by her son Mark, who is attending Regioplis College and her nephew, Dr. O’Connor, who is House Surgeon at the Hotel Dieu, Kingston and other friends of the family.   The remains were respectfully borne to the Cemetery of the Church of St. Barnaby’s Brewer’s Mills, and on the following morning after requiem mass had been celebrated for the repose of his soul, the massive casket containing all that was mortal of him was lowered into the grave in the family  plot. Although he died at the early age of twenty-seven years, he has spent ten of those years in the American Navy, and during that time had visited very continent in the world. He was in the battle of Manilla, which terminated the Spanish-American War and returned to the United States on Admiral Dewey’s ship Olympia. He had visited Rome and with the officers and men of his ship had been received in audience by the Pope Leo XIII. He was beloved by companions, and as a mark of esteem and love for him the officers and men of the steamship Kearsage took up a collection in the sum of nine hundred and forty-two dollars was subscribed and forwarded to his mother, Mrs A McArdle of Wolfe Island, His sister Helena who is in religion, Sister St. Thomas of Loretto Abbey is at present teaching in Loretto Academy in Chicago and his sister Sadie is attending the normal School at Ottawa. His relatives have our sincere sympathy in their bereavement.”

In another article it states that his mother had moved to Michigan with her husband but then he met his death in a waggon accident. Then she moved back to the Kingston area. In this article they mention two sisters, one Sister St. Thomas in Guelph Convent and a teacher in Glenburnie. One brother Mark, in an assistant in Eaton’s department store in Toronto and a brother Leo is in the west. near Calgary.

Anyway that is story one about a relative you probably did not know about if you are related to the McArdles as I am.

Now for a letter from WWII and more on Sheila. She certainly does not relate stories of all the fellows she meets as Pat does, but then maybe she was totally different.

Dr + Mrs Fergus O’Connor, 193 Earl Street, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

19 July 1944

Dear All:

I have from 1 to 3 off, so am lying on the top of my bed and writing this so excuse the writing. I reread Mom’s and Mary’s + Connie’s letter of yesterday and was so glad to get them all, shall not send them to Pattsy till I get her new address, as I have discovered here, it is faster than letting them sit in a post-office here as indirect mailing service is wild here, no kidding, it is really crazy the way they go on, it takes weeks if it isn’t the correct address.

In reading mother’s letter, I realize this is really the first time you have ever had letters from me, funny isn’t it.

20 July ‘44
Got mislead writing this yesterday and now am on duty and decide to finish this.

We are not busy right now and I’m still on a Medical ward, we have very interesting cases of all kinds, but I often wish I were on surgery, but maybe it is just as well.

I received 2 letters this morning forwarded and reforwarded, one from Mary and one from Margaret and was so glad to hear from them.

I am awfully glad, Mary won the blanket. She must have been very thrilled because I know the way I felt when I won the stockings.

I’m thinking of buying a bike now but so far haven’t found one I like well enough yet but when I do I shall buy one as you can sell them very easily here. Doylie bought one last week.

We are still waiting to hear from Mary Fleming and I’m hoping that you might have and had my news and told her we were at No 13 so she can join us there.

I had a simply wonderful letter from Connie and it was grand all about the family along with the local news.

Well dears I must close and I shall write soon again. I miss you all and wish you all could see some of this.
Love and good-bye
Sheila S.O’Connor N/S C.A.O.

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