LOSS OF THE KOWSHING
Finding and Order of a Naval Court, held at H.B.M. Consulate, Nagasaki, on August 7, 1894.
The s.s. Kowshing was an iron vessel, schooner rigged, of 1355 tons registered tonnage, official number 8700, built at Barrow-in-Furness, and belonging to the port of London. It appears from evidence given before this court that she sailed from Taku on or about the 23rd day of July, 1894, bound for Gasan, in Korea, with no cargo but 1100 Chinese troops on board, that everything went well until the morning of the 25th July, when about 9 a.m. the Naniwa, a Japanese man-of-war, signaled to her to stop and to anchor, with the island of Sho-pei-oul bearing about N. by E., distant 1 ¼ miles. That after communicating with the Kowshing twice by boat, and ordering the officers to quit the vessel, which they were prevented doing by the Chinese troops, the Naniwa, about 1 p.m., discharged a torpedo at the Kowshing, and this not striking her the Naniwa fired a broadside of five heavy guns at her and continued firing both heavy and machine guns from deck and tops until she sank, about an hour later. That when firing commenced a number of the crew and Chinese troops jumped overboard, amongst them the master, Thomas Ryder Galsworthy, the first mate, Lewis Henry Tamplin, and a quartermaster, Lucas Evangelista (a Manilla man), who are the only members of the crew at present known to be saved. The court, having regard to the circumstances above stated, find as follows:-
1. That the ship was sufficiently seaworthy and found well in all necessary
2. That the conduct of the officers and crew before and up to the time of the sinking of the vessel was satisfactory and free from blame.
3. That the cause of the sinking was due to her having been repeatedly struck by heavy cannon shots from the Naniwa, a Japanese man-of-war.
4. That no efforts on the part of the master or crew would have availed to avert the catastrophe.
5. That the court attaches no blame whatever to the master, Thomas Ryder Galsworthy, or any of the officers or crew.
6. The expenses of the Court are merely approved.
Dated at Nagasaki, the 7th day of August, 1894.
John J. Quin,
H.B.M. Consul, president.
source: The Imperial Japanese Navy, Fred T. Jane, 1904