On Monday 3rd September 1878 the passenger steamer Princess Alice collided with cargo ship Bywell Castle on the Thames near Woolwich Pier. All of the 700 passengers of the Princess Alice were thrown into the heavily polluted river or trapped below the decks of the sinking vessel. Fewer than 100 passengers survive. Among the dead was 16 year old cabin Boy Henry Robert Hughes from Deptford. His body was recovered and interred in Brockley Cemetary. Also saved was the Rev J.C. Gill of Lewisham, while the dead and missing included 4 members of the Crawford family from New Cross.
Thames Police Museum
London Metropolitan Archives image