Bridge of Weir

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Third Engineer Peter Whitehill Houston

SS Strathnairn, Mercantile Marine

torpedoed 15th June 1915

aged 30

Tower Hill Memorial, London
Freeland Church Memorial, Bridge of Weir

Morton Terrace, Bridge of Weir
Son of James Houston and Jane Whitehill

His Life

Peter Whitehill Houston was born on 29th April 1885 in Bridge of Weir the sixth child of James Houston, a master joiner from Damhead, Bridge of Weir and Jane Whitehill, also from Bridge of Weir, who had married there on 5th June 1873.

In 1881 James (37), Jane (32) and four children were living in Burngill, Bridge of Weir. James was a master joiner employing two men and two boys.

In 1891, the family, now with five children but without father James, were living in Gryffe View, Bridge of Weir. David was an apprentice tanner, John was an apprentice wool turner and the other children including Peter (5) were at school. The family took in two lodgers, James Coghill (23), a sandstone builder from Caithness, and William Thomson (31) a cabinet and brush turner from Edinburgh.

In 1901 Peter (15) was an apprentice tanner living at Gryffe View with his widowed mother Jane and four of his siblings. David worked as a tanner; Alice was a stationer's shop assistant, Elizabeth a clerkess in a mill and James a mercantile clerk.

Peter Houston Tower HillIn 1911 Peter was living in Morton Terrace, Bridge of Weir and by then was a student marine engineer. He was living with his older siblings Alice, of private means and head of the household, and John, by then a stone cutter. Alice was active in Freeland Church, as colelctor for Ranfurly and later as treasurer of the Women's Foreign Missions.

Peter served in The Mercantile Marine. He was lost at sea when serving as third engineer on the SS Strathnairn a 4,300 ton cargo ship built in 1906 by A Rodger & Co, Port Glasgow and owned by Wm Burrell & Son, Glasgow. The ship was taking a cargo of coal from Penarth to Archangel when it was torpedoed by the German U-boat U22 off the Scilly Isles and sunk. It was the third of a total of 43 ships sunk by U22. Only 12 from a crew of 32 survived.

Peter's name is recorded on the Mercantile Marine War Memorial at Tower Hill, London.

S S Strathnairn S.S. Strathnairn


1881 Census 1891 Census 1901 Census 1911 Census Birthplace
Name Age Name Age Name Age Name Age
David6David16David26Bridge of Weir
John W*4 John W14John W*34Bridge of Weir
Alice A2 Alice12Alice A22Alice A*32Bridge of Weir
Elizabeth M3 mo Elizabeth M20Bridge of Weir
James8James18Bridge of Weir
Peter5Peter W15Peter W*25Bridge of Weir

* = not in James and Jane Houston's family home - see text for details


TO CITE THIS PAGE: MLA style: "Bridge of Weir Memorial". Date of viewing. http://www.memorial.co.uk/profile-houstonpeter.html