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William Masterman Carter

Captain's Tragic End - Fatal Sleeping Draught

On Thursday last week, the distressing intelligence was received at Robin Hood's Bay that Captain William Mastermen Carter, who was in command of the steamer "City of Carlisle" (Messrs Ellerman and Bucknall Steamship Comapny Ltd London and lIverpool) had died suddenly in hospital in Glasgow. Deceased worked as a relief captain to the fleet of steamers and joined the City of Carlisle on the 8th of March. Early last week Mrs Carter, whose home is at Coast Guard Hill, Robin Hood's Bay, joined her usband staying aboard his ship. He had not been well and had complained of sleeplessness. Early on Thursday morning he said he had not had any sleep although he had taken some aspirin. Between six and seven o'clock he got up and went to the medicine chest for a sleeping draught. When he returned he said he felt he would be able to get to sleep and did so.. When an early morning cup of tead was brought shortly afterwards, Mrs Carter noticed that her husband's lips were turning blue and she sent a stewart for one of the officers and shortly afterwards for the First Engineer.. On the latter's arrival they failed to arouse Captain Carter, and a doctor was sent for. He ordered his removal to Western Infirmary, which was the nearest hospital to Queens Dock. Restoratives were applied for some time but deceased died witout having recovered consciousness. It was thought that the death was caused by the action of the aspirin and the sleeping draught on a weakened heart. At the inquest held on Friday a verdict of death by misadventure was returned.

Captain Carter who was well known and respected in the district, came of old seafaring stock, his father being Captain George Carter, and his untimely death has cut short a promising career. He had a distinguished war record in the Royal Naval Reserve serving on HMS Tigris and since then has been in the employ of the Ellerman Bucknall line. He was a devoted father of three children and widespread synpathy is extended to Mrs Carter, who is the daughter of Captain W.E.Wedgwood, Hawsker, in her bereavement. Deceased was thirty seven years of age. The funeral took place on Monday at Robin Hood's Bay, the service being conducted by the vicar (Rev.B.D.Lloyd Wilson). There was a large attendance, the merchant navy being stronglyrepresented.

Presentation by Brian Tyerman