Return of the Obra Dinn Wiki
Return of the Obra Dinn Wiki

George Shirley was an English seaman onboard the Obra Dinn during her last voyage in 1802. He died when he was shot point-blank by a cannon.

Story and fate

George Shirley was likely a close friend of the four Chinese topmen among the crew, as he can be seen sleeping close to them,[1] gambling with Jie Zhang,[2] and sharing a drink with Wei Lee.[3]

When the Kraken attacked the ship, Shirley joined the gunnery crew, commanded by Christian Wolff.[4] During the fight, the Kraken reached through a porthole and grabbed a lit cannon, crushing seaman Abraham Akbar and pressing Wolff against the muzzle. As Shirley attempted to break Wolff free, the cannon went off, killing them. Shirley's body could not be found in Wolff's memory, but a scream is heard following the cannon blast. That could be Shirley screaming as he was blown out of the porthole.

The East India Company insurance assessment of the Obra Dinn incident found extraordinary valour in Shirley's actions. His estate was awarded £25 in outstanding wages and reward.[5]


Shirley is identified by association. During A Bitter Cold, part 1, it can be seen that most groups of sailors from the same country stay together. The only exception is George Shirley, whose hammock (#59) hangs close to those of the four Chinese topmen. In The Doom, part 2, he can be seen sitting opposite Wei Lee, sharing a drink, although his hammock is not fully up and the number cannot be seen

He is also identifiable as a seaman due to Soldiers of the Sea, part 1 and part 2, where he works alongside other seamen on the main deck.

Shirley was part of the cannon crew in The Doom, part 3. Akbar had lit a cannon, but during the fuse the Kraken wrapped a tentacle around Wolff and the cannon, pressing him against the muzzle which eventually blasted him point-blank. The body is missing from the scene, it is implied that he had flung out of a porthole.

Shirley can also be identified by his shoes, seen in hammock #59 in A Bitter Cold, part 1.


Seamen George Shirley (left), Alexander Booth, and Lars Linde carrying the Formosan chest into lazarette in Unholy Captives, part 4.


  1. In A Bitter Cold, part 1
  2. In the Under Way sketch
  3. In The Doom, part 2
  4. The Doom, part 3
  5. Stated in the insurance assessment book in the epilogue of Shirley's fate is deduced correctly.