BECKMANN, Ludvik

Name:BECKMANN, Ludvik
Born: 
Died:18 November 1912
Age:28
Cemetery:Body repatriated to Norway
Grave Ref:
Register:18

In his book ‘Logbook for Grace’ (Robert Hale Ltd., London, 1947) Robert Cushman Murphy says:

December 6 [1912]: Here at South Georgia we have a tragedy in a fatal accident to Captain Beckman, who had the reputation of being the best whaling gunner in the world. He was a pioneer here with Captain Larsen, and was idolized by the members of his crew. This afternoon, while returning from a trip in the mountains, I was alarmed by seeing the Daisy, on the cove far below, with the Stars and Stripes flying at half-mast. Hurrying down to the station, I learned that the recoil of the whaling gun on the Don Ernesto, the newest of the hunting steamers, had broken its mountings, instantly killing Beckman. He was only twenty-seven years old and leaves a wife and four children. His body is being prepared for shipment back to Norway, instead of being interred in the lonely little graveyard of Cumberland Bay.

and later in the book:

Today’s [23 Jan 1913] trip to Beckman Fiord (commemorating the captain of the ‘Don Ernesto’, who was killed during our stay in Cumberland Bay) enabled me to take much needed bearings from the eastern end of the bay.

The Register of Deaths entry tells us that Beckmann was killed after being struck by the recoiling harpoon gun that he had just fired, and that his body was transported to Norway on the steamship ‘Ocean’ in January 1913.

In his book ‘Pesca’ Ian Hart tells us that according to the coroner’s inquest he was killed ‘by a complicated fracture of the skull due to being accidentally struck and thrown onto the ships deck’ when the recoil of the for’ard port harpoon gun on Don Ernesto broke its mountings on firing, killing him instantly. He left a wife and and four children, in Norway to where his body,embalmed and placed in a zinc coffin, was returned.’

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