Statue in St. Patricks
Anglican Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland
Erected by the citizens of
To The Memory of
John McNeil Boyd, RN (Royal Navy) Captain HMS Ajax
Born at Londonderry 1812 and lost off the rocks at Kingstown
February 9, 1861 attempting to save the crew of the Brig. Neptune
Safe from the rocks, Whence
swept thy manly form
The tide white rush, The stepping of the storm
Borne with a public pomp, By just decree
Heroic sailor! From that fatal sea.
A city vows this marble unto thee,
And here in this calm place, where never sin
of earth great waterfloods shall enter in
When to our human hearts, two thoughts are given,
One, Christ's self-sacrifice, the other heaven
here is it meet for grief and love to grave
The Christ-taught bravery that died to save
The life not lost but found beneath the wave.
All Thy billows and Thy Waves
passed over me, yet
I will look again toward Thy Holy Temple
Thought you all might enjoy
the following ......forwarded with the kind
permission of Deb Romilly admin. of the Ireland list, George and friends
at the Irish Heritage group.
Ghosts of Ireland
St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin
The ghost of a black Newfoundland
dog has been seen many times at the
Cathedral, sitting at the base of a memorial statue to Captain John McNeill
Boyd who was lost in February, 1861 whilst attempting to rescue drowning
seamen at Dun Laoghaire. The apparition is said to be that of Captain
Boyd's devoted dog which has also been seen many times lying on his
master's grave at nearby Glasnevin Cemetery.
On the night of Saturday 8th
February, 1861, the Irish Sea was swept by
one of the worst gales of the century. The harbour at Kingstown, now Dun
Laoghaire, was littered with debris and the wreckage of battered
vessels. Scores of bodies of drowned people were found on the
shoreline. Among those who helped to recover the bodies and clear the
wreckage was Captain Boyd, in command of the coastguard vessel Ajax.
Three stricken vessels, the
Neptune, the Industry and the Mary, were
trying to get to the shelter of the harbour. The Neptune and the
Industry were to be smashed against the rocks whilst the Mary was
wrecked further along the coast at Sandymount. Captain Boyd and some of
his men were on the rocks trying to rescue the men from the stricken
vessels. Together with three of his men he was swept into the sea by a
giant wave. When a lifeboat from the Ajax later went to search for
Captain Boyd and the three other men, his faithful Newfoundland dog was
in the rescue boat.
When the body of Captain Boyd
was finally recovered it was brought
ashore and he was given one of the biggest funerals ever seen in Dublin.
During the funeral procession his faithful dog walked beside the coffin
and followed it to Glasnevin Cemetery where Captain Boyd was interred.
When the grave was filled in the dog, so devoted to his master, lay on
top and refused to be moved, eventually dying of hunger. Shortly
afterwards the memorial statue to Captain Boyd was erected in the
Cathedral by the people of Dublin.
One of those who saw the dog
many times at the base of the statue in the
Cathedral was Dean Wilson, who died in 1950.
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