Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Sinking of the SS Queensmoor

The Queensmoor

The sinking of the SS Queensmoor off Cape Recife in September 1934 was captured on film and presented on “News in a Nutshell” on BBC. 

Attached is a link to the British Pathe copy of the film on YouTube.

Main picture: The Queensmoor in the process of breaking up 

The Queensmoor was probably wrecked on the Thunderbolt Reef which is named after ‘HMS Thunderbolt,’ a wooden paddle-wheeled sloop which struck it on 3 Feb 1847, and sank in Algoa Bay.


The movie contains five sequences viz:

  • Shots of the British cargo ship ‘Queenmoor’ wrecked on rocks.
  • People in the water are collecting wood – cargo from the boat which has been swept off.
  • The camera pans across from two women standing on the shore to show the ship, with her back broken, floundering in the rough seas.
  • Shots of piles of wood on seashore
  • The ship begins to break up






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