Lieutenant Owen Gough, M.C.

Lieutenant. Owen Gough M.C., 12th Indian Cavalry. He was lost at sea, aged 28, on the SS “Persia” on 30th December 1915. Despite the advice of his batman to abandon ship speedily he had gone below to retrieve his ceremonial cavalry sword and unfortunately was lost when the ship suddenly went down.  He had been born in York in 1887 and was the son of Maria Gough and the late Colonel Bloomfield Gough of Belchester House, Leitholm. He is commemorated on the Chatby Memorial, Alexandria, Egypt. He had been commissioned into the East Lancashire Regiment in 1907 before transferring into the Indian Army in 1910.  He was in Dublin on the outbreak of War  and was posted to France with the 5th ( Royal Irish ) Lancers where he served as an A.D.C. to his cousin Sir Hubert Gough. He was then ordered to Mesopotamia to re-join his Regiment. The ship was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Crete by U-38 while on passage between London and Bombay. There were 519 passengers and crew on board and 343 lost their lives. Many of the lost were Indian Army Officers on their way back to their Regiments in India. Among the passengers who survived was John Douglas Scott Montagu, 2nd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu, younger son of the Duke of Buccleugh. His secretary and mistress Eleanor Thornton who was the model for the Rolls Royce  “Spirit of Ecstasy” mascot was aboard with him but did not survive.  The ” Persia ” was a passenger liner  of 8,000 tons built by Caird & Co., Greenock for P and O and launched in 1900.

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