ROYAL NAVY LOSSES
30th December 1915
Under the command of Captain Eric Back, HMS Natal was a Warrior-class
armoured cruiser and assigned to 2nd Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet. While
lying in the Cromarty Firth the Captain threw a party in the wardroom with
civilian guests including children, when an internal ammunition explosion
possibly due to faulty cordite ripped through the rear part of the ship. She
capsized five minutes later 421 crew and civilian visitors died in the
explosion, including women and children.
400 of the crew survived. Captain Eric P. C. Back died in the explosion
The fire spread rapidly and a small explosion took place.
This was followed immediately afterwards by a series of small explosions and
then a final very large and violent explosion, the whole sequence taking only a
few seconds. The explosions were followed by a fierce fire with smoke and fumes
enveloping the after part of the ship and soon spread forward. The men were
ordered to quarters and the forward magazines ordered to be flooded, but this
was frustrated by the thick smoke and a power failure. A list to port developed
which steadily increased and five minutes after the explosions she capsized and
settled with her bilge keel clear of the water. Four hundred and four men died
in the explosion and fire. Several causes were suggested, but the most likely
was the ignition of old cordite charges, as it was found that she was carrying
several lots of cordite with a very questionable history. This had started a
fierce fire, which then spread to the after magazines, initially in the 3pdr
magazine, then small arms followed by the after 9.2in magazine.
26th December 1915
Under the command of Lt-Cdr William Foster, HMS.E.6 was one
of 57 submarines of the "E" class and assigned to Harwich-based 8th Flotilla:
While on anti-U-boat patrol hit a mine and was sunk with the loss of all 32 of
the submarines company.
HMS Duchess of Hamilton
29th November 1915
Under the command of Lt-Cdr Hugh Archer, HMS Duchess of Hamilton was an ex-Clyde excursion steamer and
was converted to an auxiliary paddle minesweeper assigned to the to the
flotilla based at Sheerness. While on minesweeping duties with HMS Westward Ho
she hit a mine laid by UC.3.Of the ships company 9 were killed in the action. Lt-Cdr
Hugh Archer survived.
9th November 1915
Under the command of Hugh
Leopold Phillips, Irene was an Admiralty armed yacht and was assigned to the Dover Patrol: The Irene was hit by a mine laid by the German submarine UC1 and sank
with the loss of all her 21 man crew.
5th November 1915
Under the command of Lt-Cdr Clyfford Warren, HMS E.20 was
one of 57 submarines of the "E" class and was under orders to
rendezvous with the French submarine Turquoise. However the Turquoise was
captured intact with its confidential papers. The Germans now knew of the rendezvous
and despatched UB 14 to intercept the unsuspecting E20 On the 5th
November from a range of 550 yards UB14 fired a single torpedo scoring a direct
hit On E20. 21 of E20s crew were killed in the action, Lt-Cdr Clyfford Warren
and nine other survivors were rescued and interned. Lt-Cdr Clyfford Warren
survived the Great War.
5th November 1915
Under the command of Captain Gwatkin-Williams. HMS Tara was a
steam passenger vessel converted to an armed boarding steamer and was assigned
to the Mediterranean Station. On the 5th November she was caught in the cross
hairs of The German U-boat Commander Arnauld de la Perière on U-35. HMS Tara was hit by a torpedo and began to
sink. 12 members of the ships company were killed in the action. Capt. Gwatkin-Williams
and 92 of his crew were taken prisoner and interned and held as prisoners by
the Senussi at Bir Hakim, seventy miles from Sollum North Africa.
The 2nd Duke of Westminster having been made aware of British
prisoners being held in the desert set out on a rescue mission with nine
armoured cars, twenty six other cars and ten moror ambulances traversing 115
miles of desert. They reached the camp on the 18 March 1916.
On seeing the cars, the Senussi guards fled, but were pursued and
killed, the 91 prisoners who had been treated “Barbarously" by their Turkish and
Arab guards were on the point of starvation when rescued, they were brought back to Sollum. Two prisoners,
George Cox and John Hodgson, died in early January 1916 due to severe
malnutrition. Two more of the Tara’s prisoners died in late January and early
February, the first was Robert Williams and
then Owen Roberts.
Captain Gwatkin-Williams survived the Great War and went on
to become a successful author.
HM T.B. 96
1st November 1915
Under the command of Chief Gunner John D. Sumner, H.M. T.B.
96 was one of ten first-class torpedo boats of the 140 Footer class. And was on
a patrol 5 miles East of Gibraltar, when she came in collision with the
mercantile SS Tringa and sank rapidly. 2 officers including her commander and 9
ratings were lost.
31st October 1915
Under the command of Lt-Cdr H. R.D. Calder RNR, H.M.Y. Aries
was an ocean-going steam yacht converted to an Auxiliary Patrol Yacht and was
assigned to the Dover Patrol On the 31st October she struck a mine laid down by
the German submarine UC-6, 21 of the yachts company were killed in the
explosion including Captain Calder.5 men were rescued
28th October 1915
Under the command of Lt-Cdr Arthur Bird RNR, HMY Hythe was a
cross-channel paddle-driven ferry converted into an auxiliary screw minesweeper
and was assigned to the Dardanelles Campaign. On the 28th October was under
orders to land men of the 1st/3rd Kent Field Company, Royal Engineers near Cape
Helles, Dardanelles when she was in collision with armed boarding steamer
Sarnia who was steaming away from shore after disembarking her troops.10 men of
the ships company were killed in the collision and subsequent sinking. 145
troops were lost.
FOOTNOTE: AN EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT OF THE TRAGEDY:
The Hythe’s crew had just time to give a warning blast on
the siren before the heavier ship hit them forward of the bridge, ploughing
into the little vessel’s side, almost cutting her in two. The Hythe’s
commander, sensing that the ship was about to go down, called to Captain Salomons,
“Come on, jump. This is your last chance. I am going now." But Salomons
stood firm, saying, “No, I will see my men safe first”. He was seen with
Company Sergeant Major John Carter, trying to launch a lifeboat. They stood on
the bridge, Salomons exhorting his men to keep cool and try to save themselves.
They went down with the ship as it slid under the waves.
28th October 1915
Under the command of Captain James Tancred. HMS Argyll was one
of six Devonshire-class armoured cruisers and was assigned to the Grand Fleet.
On the 28th October she ran aground on the Bell Rock near Dundee during a night
storm when the special permission required to have the Bell Rock lighthouse
turned on failed to reach the lighthouse keeper. Two destroyers, Hornet and
Jackal, were sent and rescued her entire crew without serious injury. Captain
James Tancred survived the Great War and was promoted to Vice-Admiral He died on
the 9th December, 1943.
6th October 1915
Under the command of Lt Frank Pattinson RNR. HMS. Velox was one
of forty destroyers of the "C" class and was assigned to the to the
local patrol flotilla at Portsmouth. On the 6th October she hit a mine laid by
the German submarine UC-5 off the Nab Lightship Attempts to tow Velox to safety
were unsuccessful, and Velox sunk. 4 members of the ships company were killed. Lt
Frank Pattinson RNR went on to captain H.M.S. Arab and HM TB. 041. He survived
the Great War
HMS. Brighton Queen
6th October 1915
Under the command of Lt Eric Rees RNR. HMS. Brighton Queen was
an excursion steamer converted into an auxiliary paddle minesweeper and was
assigned to the Dover Patrol. On the 6th October she hit a mine laid by the
German submarine UC.5 The explosion under her paddle book was sufficient to
break the steamer in two and sinking almost immediately. 8 members of the steamers
company were killed.
25th September 1915
Under the command of Lt-Cdr Henry Gartside-Tipping RN Rtd. HMY
Sanda was an Admiralty yacht and converted into an auxiliary patrol vessel and
was assigned to the Dover Patrol. On the 25th September while coming under
attack from the shore batteries at Blankenberge she was hit near the deckhouse
and sank almost immediately 13 members of the yachts company were killed in the
action including her captain.
FOOTNOTE:Lt Cmdr H T Gartside-Tipping returned to naval
service during the Great War at the age of 67, he was the oldest serving British
naval officer of the Great War. Shortly after her husband’s death Mrs Mary
Gartside-Tipping joined the Women's Emergency Corps for service in the in France, where on the 4th March 1917 she was shot by a soldier
whose mind was “disordered”. The French military authorities did everything
possible to express their sympathy; the Croix de Guerre which had been withheld
from women since November 1916 was conferred at once; and a full military
4th September 1915
Under the command of Lt Cmdr. Cochrane. HMS E7 was one of 57
of the "E" class submarines and was assigned to the Dardanelles
Campaign. On 4th September the E7 starboard propeller became entangled in anti-submarine
nets at Nagara. When hand-dropped mines exploded near to E7's hull Lt Cmdr. Cochrane
(having destroyed the confidential papers and set explosive charges to scuttle
the boat) was forced to surface to avoid being depth charged to destruction. All
of the crew survived and were made Prisoners of War by the Turks and were
imprisoned in local jails until the end of the war. Soon after the crew had
been taken, E7's charge exploded and she sank to the bottom.
FOOTNOTE:Lt Cmdr. Cochrane made two attempts to escape. He
was recaptured after the first try but on the second attempt, he managed to
steal a boat and sail to Cyprus. He survived the Great War becoming a Member of
Parliament (MP) in 1924 and the Governor of Burma in 1936. Captain Sir
Archibald Douglas Cochrane, GCMG, KCSI, DSO died on the 16th April 1958.
29th August 1915
Under the command of Lt William Schofield. HMS. C.29 was one of 38 C. Class submarines and was assigned to the 7th Flotilla Rosyth based. Its duties were to be towed by a Trawler which was acting as bait for German raiders, on the 29th of August while on anti-U-boat patrol with the trawler Ariadne, C29 was submerged and in telephone contact with the Ariadne when an underwater explosion occurred, the assumption being that C29 had hit a mine with the loss of all hands. 2 officers and 15 ratings.
18th August 1915
Under the command of Lieutenant-Commander Geoffrey Layton. HMS.E13
was one of 57 E Class submarines and was assigned to the Eighth Submarine Flotilla.
Ordered with E.8 to join E.1 and E.9 to the Baltic to intercept German
shipping, particularly vessels carrying iron ore shipments from Sweden in order
to maintain the British naval blockade of Germany. On the 18 August, the
submarine ran aground in neutral waters near Saltholm Island between Malmö and
Copenhagen. On the 19 the Danish torpedo boat Narhvalen arrived to
inform the captain that there was a 24 hour limit for getting off, no
assistance could be given and a guard ship would anchor nearby. When the German
destroyer G.132 came up but left when two more Danish TB's arrived, by this time
it was accepted that E.13 could not be refloated and the crew were waiting to
be taken off. About 0900 (or 0930) two German destroyers approached from the
south flying the signal "abandon ship immediately", the leading destroyer
G.132 fired one or two torpedoes which hit the bottom but failed to damage
E.13, then both opened fire with machine guns, the crew jumped into the water
and swam for the shore or the Danish vessels but the Germans opened fire on
them until the torpedo boat Soulven positioned herself between the German vessels
and survivors in the water. The German destroyers left and the surviving men
picked up by the Danes. 15 members of E13's company were killed in the attack. 15
survivors including the submarines captain Lt-Cdr Layton landed in Copenhagen
that evening and were interned.
FOOTNOTE: Lieutenant Lt Cdr Geoffrey Layton and Lt Paul
Leathley Eddis, leaving dummies in their beds absconded from their internment camp.
Dressed as American tourists they boarded the SS Venus a Norwegian ferry bound
for Newcastle. Lt Cdr Geoffrey Layton survived the Great War and advanced to
the rank of Admiral he died 4th September 1964. Lt Cdr Eddis survived the Great
War but would be killed on the 10th January 1924 when his submarine HMS
L24 was sunk with the loss of all hands after a collision with the battleship HMS.
9th August 1915
Under the command of Cdr John Cole. HMS. Lynx was an Acasta-class
destroyer and was assigned to the Fourth Destroyer Flotilla. Its duties were to
intercept board and search neutral vessels in order to maintain the British naval
blockade of Germany. On the 9th August while on patrol with two other
destroyers in Moray Firth she struck a mine which had been laid by the German
ship Meteor and sank almost instantly. 70 members of the ships company were
killed in the action including her captain Cdr Cole. Four officers and
twenty-two ratings survived picked up by SS Vocana later that morning.
8th August 1915
Under the command of Cdr Harry Raby RNR. HMS Ramsey was an Admiralty
armed boarding steamer and was assigned to the Grand Fleet. Its duties were to
intercept board and search neutral vessels in order to maintain the British
naval blockade of Germany. On the 8th August she intercepted a steamship flying
the Russian flag (Meteor), The Ramsey signalled the stranger to stop, and closed
to about 80yds to lower a boat, when the German ensign was hoisted by the
Meteor and attacked with gunfire and torpedoes at point blank range. The Ramsey
badly damaged sank in three minutes. 53 members of the ships company were
killed in the action including her captain Cdr Harry Raby. 46 survivors were
picked up by the Meteor and held as POWs until the next day when Meteor was
herself intercepted by superior British forces having transferred her prisoners
to neutral ships was then scuttled. The surviving members of Ramsey's crew
returned home in HMS Undaunted.
8th August 1915
Under the command of Cdr William Kennedy: HMS. India was a passenger
ship converted into an armed merchant cruiser and was assigned to the 10th
Cruiser Squadron Northern Patrol; Its duties were to intercept board and search
neutral vessels in order to maintain the British naval blockade of Germany.
Whilst carrying out these duties she was hit by a torpedo fired by the German
Submarine U22 and started to sink. 9 officers and 107 of the ships company were
killed in the action, Cdr William Kennedy and 188 of his men survived the
sinking by being rescued by Swedish SS Gotaland and HM Trawler Saxon, and
landed in Norway where they were interned.
6th August 1915
Under the command of Walter Richmond RNR. HMT Leandros was
an Admiralty trawler converted into a minesweeper and was assigned to the Dover
Patrol. On the 6th August she hit a mine laid by the German submarine UC5 near
the North Knock Sand Buoy, off Thames Estuary and sank with the loss of 7
4th August 1915
Under the command of Capt. Thomas Walker (retired Vice
Admiral) was a hired Admiralty yacht and used as an auxiliary patrol vessel. On
the 4 of August was involved in a collision with the SS Adam Smith
In order prevent her from sinking was run aground and beached nearby. No lives were
lost at this time, but Walter B Dines an Assistant Engineer RNR died on 20
September 1915 from injuries sustained.in the collision. Capt. Thomas Walker
survived the war and died 27 August, 1932.
4th August 1915
Under the command of Lieutenant Gerald Ernest Berkeley
Carter was one of 38 submarines of the "C" class. C33 was involved in the U-Boat trap tactic.
The tactic was to use a decoy trawler to tow a submarine. When a U-boat was
sighted, the tow line and communication line was slipped and the submarine
would attack the U-boat. She was mined off Great Yarmouth while operating with
the armed trawler Malta: With the loss of all hands.
20th July 1915
Under the command of Lt-Cdr George Wellburn RNR. HMY.
RHIANNON was a hired Admiralty yacht and used as an auxiliary patrol vessel. On
the 20th July 1915 was ordered to investigate sightings of mines near the wreck
of the Norwegian steamer Peik, when she herself detonated a mine which had been
laid by the German submarine UC3 in the Thames Estuary. HMY. RHIANNON sank with
the loss of 5 of the ships company including her captain Lt-Cdr Wellburn.
30th June 1915
Under the command of Lt James Cavendish RN, HMS Lightning
was an A-class destroyer and was assigned to the Nore Local Defence Flotilla. On
the 30 June she was on patrol off the Thames estuary with HMS Vulture,
searching for Floating mines when HMS Lightning hit a mine laid by the German submarine
UC.1 earlier that morning. 15 ratings were killed in the action Lt James
Cavendish survived and would captain H.M.S. Midge at the Battle of Jutland he
survived the Great War.
10th June 1915
Under the command of Lt-Cdr John McLeod RN, HMTB. 10 was
a Cricket class torpedo boat and was assigned to the Nore Local Defence
Flotilla. On the 10 June she was on patrol off the Thames estuary,
searching for reported submarines when having witnessed HMTB 12 hit a mine she immediately
went to her aid whilst trying to take HMTB 12 in tow she to hit a mine and broke
in half. With the loss of 22 crew members. Lt-Cdr John McLeod survived the
Great War but died on 23rd September 1920.
10th June 1915
Under the command of Lt Edward Bulteel, HMTB. 12 was a Cricket
class torpedo boat and was assigned to the Nore Local Defence Flotilla. on the
10 June she was on patrol off the Thames estuary, searching for
reported submarines when she hit a mine and managed to stayed afloat long
enough for TB.10 to came alongside and
take her in tow. Lt Bulteel and 22
members of his crew were killed.
27th May 1915
Under the command of Captain Mervyn Cobbe R.N, HMS Princess
Irene was a GRT ocean liner converted to an auxiliary minelayer and was moored
in the River Medway. Her crew and naval personnel were preparing the ship to
lay mines in the North Sea. Additionally on board civilian workers from
Sheerness Dockyard who were carrying out repairs and modifications to the ship.
Mines were also being loaded from barges and stowed on the ship's two mine
decks. At about 11.15 hours there was an explosion and the Princess Irene
disintegrated. A small steam ship and two barges lying alongside were also
destroyed . A total of 352 people were killed, including 273 officers and men,
and 76 dockyard workers.
The following telegram was sent to Admiralty informing them
of the loss.
& Superintendant, Sheerness.
Commander-in-Chief, The Nore.
“Princess Irene” blew up about 11.15 this
morning, lying at No.28 buoy. Of the
vessel nothing remains visible.
“Angora” lying at No.27 buoy suffered minor damage to
cabins, glass etc. by force of explosion.
Oil Fuel Depot, Port Victoria, has been severely damaged by
portions of vessel being blown through Tanks & Pumping Station.
Four Full Tanks perforated and oil escaping to about half
Pumping Station and main pump line damaged and out of
action, caused by large fragments of ship’s side falling on them.
Oiling Pier also damaged.
As far as can be ascertained only one Survivor – Stoker
David Wills picked up alive but burnt.
Several men belonging to vessels lying close to
were wounded by falling splinters
27th May 1915
Under the command of Captain Henry FitzRoy George Talbot, HMS
Majestic was a Majestic-class pre-dreadnought battleship and was assigned to
the British Dardanelles Squadron in February 1915. HMS Majestic was anchored
inshore amongst transports and escorts. Despite her anti-torpedo nets being
out, the torpedo fired by the German Submarine U.21 passed straight through the heavy anti-torpedo meshes and hit
her amidships and was quickly followed by another, within seven minutes the
ship had capsized. Forty of HMS Majestic ratings were killed in the initial
explosions. Captain Henry FitzRoy George Talbot survived the Great War but died
suddenly at sea on 3rd July whilst in command of the light cruiser
25 May 1915
Under the command of Captain Maurice Swynfen Fitzmaurice, HMS
Triumph was the second of two Swiftsure-class pre-dreadnought battleships and
was assigned to the British Dardanelles Squadron in January 1915. HMS Triumph
was torpedoed through her deployed anti-torpedo netting by the German submarine
SM U-21 who managed to shoot her torpedos moments before being spoted and coming
under fire from the crew of HMS Triumph.
The resulting explosion severely crippled the ship which began to sink
slowly, Three officers and 75 members of the ships company died. Captain Fitzmaurice survived the sinking
having been thrown into the water He was picked up by a destroyer after several
minutes in the water, apparently with his monocle still firmly in place. Sir
Maurice Fitzmaurice reached the rank of vice-admiral in 1926 and died on 23
January 1927 aged 56.
13th May 1915
Under the command of Captain Thomas Lawrie Shelford, HMS
Goliath, was one of six Canopus-class pre-dreadnought battleships and was
assigned to the British Dardanelles Squadron on the 25 March 1915 to
participate in the Gallipoli campaign. On the night of 12–13 May, while at
station and being screened by five destroyers the Turkish torpedo boat Muavenet
manned by a combined German and Turkish crew managed to evade the screen and fire two torpedoes which struck
Goliath causing a massive explosion. Goliath began to capsize almost immediately.
570 of the ships company lost their lives including her Captain Thomas Shelford,
with only 130 of her crew surviving the sinking.
7th May 1915
Under the command of Commander Benjamin W. Barrow, H.M.S.
Maori, was one of twelve destroyers of the "Tribal" class and was
Sixth Destroyer Flotilla based at Dover, On the 7 May was under
orders with HMS Crusader to carry out a reconnaissance of the German positions
off Ostende. H.M.S. Maori struck a mine and began to sink; A boat was sent from
HMS Crusader to rescue the crew of the Maori but was unable to remain at
station to retrieve the survivors due to accurate bombardment from shore
batteries. all 95 of MAORI’s crew plus the 4 men from Crusaders’ boat became
POWs of the Germans. Commander Benjamin W. Barrow survived the Great War.
1st May 1915
Under the command of Commander Charles A. W. Wrightson, HMS
Recruit, was a Clydebank three funnel "C" class destroyer and was
assigned to Nore Local Defence Flotilla, Her duties included anti-submarine and
counter mining patrols in the Thames Estuary. On 1 May 1915, she
was torpedoed by the German submarine UB-6, off the Galloper Light Vessel in
the southern North Sea. The explosion cut the vessel in two and the two halves
quickly sank. 34 members of the ships company were killed. 4 officers and 22 men were rescued including
Commander Wrightson who survived the Great War and died after a short illness
on 7th February 1953.
30 April 1915
Under the command of Lieutenant-Commander Henry H. G. D.
Stoker, HMAS AE2, was one of 57 submarines of the "E" class and was
assigned to the British 2nd Submarine Flotilla, British Dardanelles Squadron. In
April 1915 the Australian submarine AE2 passed undetected through the perilous
mine fields of the Dardanelles and into the Sea of Marmara where it was able to
threaten Turkish shipping and prevent reinforcements reaching Gallipoli. On 30
April, while attempting to rendezvous with E14, AE2 was confronted with the Ottoman
torpedo boat Sultanhisar. As AE2 attempted to dive, it encountered mechanical
problems and was forced to the surface where it was attacked and fatally
damaged. All on board were forced to abandon the submarine and were taken
captive. Stoker and his crew ensured, however, that AE2 sank to the bottom of
the sea so that the Ottoman forces would not be able to take possession of it. Lieutenant-Commander
Stoker and his crew would spend the next three-and-a-half years in a Turkish
prison camp. Four ratings died in captivity the remainder were released
following the Armistice in 1918.
HMS. (SS) River Clyde
25th April 1915
Under the command of Commander Edward Unwin, HMS (SS) River
Clyde, was a GRT British collier and requisitioned by the Royal Navy in 1915 and
was assigned to the British Dardanelles Squadron and participated in the Gallipoli
landings at the Seddul Bahr end of V-beach (the other end was Cape Helles) under
"murderous fire" only 200 troops disembarked in the first three hours
as the hopper grounded too far from the shore for the gangway to reach this was
only made possible by Cdr Unwin and members of the crew who in full view of the
Turks, secured and held the lighters and hopper as the troops passed over. Cdr
Unwin stood in the water holding lines and although wounded, later rescued
other wounded from the shore by boat, Midshipman Drewry in command of the
hopper was also wounded but carried on until Midshipman Malleson took over, AB
William stayed in the water holding the pontoon fast until he was killed and
Seaman Samson worked on the lighters all day before being badly wounded. The
main body of troops only landed that night. Mid George Leslie Drewry RNR (from
Hussar), Mid Wilfred St Aubyn Malleson (battleship Cornwallis), Seaman George
McKenzie Samson RNR (Hussar), Cdr Edward Unwin (Hussar), AB William Charles
William RFR (Hussar) posthumously, were all awarded the Victoria Cross.
17th April 1915
Under the command of Lieutenant-Commander Theodore S. Brodie,
HMS E15 was one of 57 submarines of the "E" class and was assigned to
the British Dardanelles Squadron. On the 17th April, while submerged she ran
aground near Kepez Point directly under
the guns of Fort Dardanus, Chlorine gas began escaping from the subs damaged batteries
which forced the crew to evacuate the sub and surrender to the Turkish army. Lieutenant-Commander
Theodore S. Brodie and six other crew members were killed in the action a
further six more members of HMS E15 crew would die while being incarcerated in
a Turkish prisoner war camp near Istanbul.
FOOTNOTE:A number of attempts to destroy E15 by the British
had failed, until two picket boats one from HMS Triumph and another from HMS Majestic
crewed entirely by volunteers managed to sink E15 with a torpedo. One crew man
was killed when Majestic picket boat was hit by shell fire, her crew being
rescued and returned to safety by Lieutenant Commander Eric Robinson in command
of HMS Triumphs picket boat.
21st March 1915
Under the command of Gunner James Cottrell, Torpedo boat 064,
a Mediterranean-based patrol boat which was assigned to the British Dardanelles
Squadron. On the 17th April, Ran aground and wrecked East side of Lemnos
island; no lives lost.
18th March 1915
Under the command of Captain Arthur Hayes-Sadler, H.M.S.
Ocean was a Canopus-class battleship and was assigned to the British
Dardanelles Squadron in late February 1915. On 18 March 1915, HMS Ocean took part in the
attack on the Narrows forts of Çanakkale and Kilitbahirwas. When the battleship HMS Irresistible was disabled
by a mine Ocean was sent in to tow her to safety but ran aground during the attempt, having
freed herself and with the remaining crew members from HMS Irresistible on board Ocean herself struck a drifting mine and was
abandoned with one fatal casualty Albert HARRIS Stoker 1st Class . Captain
Arthur Hayes-Sadler survived the Great War and went on to achieve the rank of Admiral
he died on the 9th February, 1952.
18th March 1915
Under the command of Captain Douglas L. Dent, HMS
Irresistible was a Formidable-class pre-dreadnought battleship and was assigned
to the British Dardanelles Squadron in February 1915. She was badly damaged
when she struck a mine while participating in the bombardment of the Narrows
forts of Çanakkale and Kilitbahirwas. The starboard engine room flooded, killing
all but three of the men on duty. Without power and listing she drifted into
the range of the Turkish forts guns which opened fire on her. All the surviving
crew, except for the captain and a few volunteers were transferred to the destroyer
HMS Wear. Attempts to Tow HMS Irresistible by HMS Ocean were abandoned but Ocean
did manage to rescue the remaining crew members. HMS Irresistible was eventually sunk
by the Turkish shore batteries. Eleven men died when she sank, with two more to
succumb later. Captain Douglas L. Dent survived the sinking and went on to reach the rank of Admiral. He died on the 11th July, 1959.
11th March 1915
Under the command of Commander H.C. Carr, HMS Erne was a converted
Armed Merchant Cruiser. She was on route from Glasgow to Liverpool on the 11th
March 1915 when she was torpedoed off Corsewall Point, Galloway, Scotland by
U-27. She sank rapidly with only four officers and 22 ratings Surviving.Fourteen officers, including Commander Carr and 181 ratings were killed
An account published in 1918 gave further details: 'Twenty
four half-dead men, some on a couple of rafts, others on a ship's boat floating
wrong side up. One or two, the strongest or the most determined, were trying to
attract attention by flag-wagging with shirts tied to oars. So far their ebbing
energy had been altogether wasted, though the exercise served to keep them
warmer than their mates. Not much of the romance of the sea here; rather all
tragedy, and cold, and hunger, and the bitterness that enters into a man's soul
at such times. Bruises and blood were common to most of the poor fellows. They
had been badly buffeted. Three and a half hours in the water, ill-clad, exposed
to the searching wind, helpless and well-nigh hopeless and to the north a large
liner pursuing her course without regard for their sufferings. If those on the
look-out on the passing vessel saw the flotsam at all, which is scarcely
likely, they probably regarded rafts and boat as a cluster of seaweed. The next
ship that came their way mistook the little group for a submarine. At a
distance the floating things merged into one. No blame to the captain had he
given the black mass a wide berth; ships had been lost in the Irish Sea before
through inquisitiveness. He approached a little closer, without becoming too
venturesome. If the object on which his glasses were focussed were a U-boat, it
was without a conning tower. Presently the captain picked out figures, an
upturned boat and rafts. It is not easy to effect a rescue in a small boat,
particularly when those needing succour are almost past help. Eighteen men were
lifted or helped in, and transferred to the steamer, a coaler named the
Balmerino, commanded by Captain James Foster. Before the boat returned for the
others an armed merchantman had come up and taken them off. They were survivors
of the Bayano, a vessel of the Merchant Service engaged on patrol duty. She was
'carrying on ' when a torpedo hit at five o'clock in the morning, when many of
her 220 men were below. The nature of the explosion was such that few of them
were afforded an opportunity to get away from the stricken steamer. She heaved
for a few minutes only after having received the wound, and disappeared with
the majority of her company. Dead bodies floating in lifebelts, and a quantity
of wreckage were discovered by the SS Castlereagh, which was obliged to give up
searching the spot for possible survivors owing to the appearance of a German
submarine. The enemy saw to it that this humanitarian task was not accomplished
by chasing the steamer for twenty minutes. The Bayano was submarined, and took
some 200 men to the bottom with her in four minutes'.
6th February 1915
Under the command of Lieutenant-Commander John Landon, HMS
Erne was a Palmer Type River Class Destroyer and was assigned to the 9th
Destroyer Flotilla based at Chatham. During a severe easterly gale she was
driven ashore on the Scottish North Sea Coast at 800 yards South of Rattray
Head lighthouse north east of Aberdeenshire with no lives lost. After failing
to refloat her she was abandoned as a wreck
HMS. Clan MacNaughton
3rd February 1915
Under the command of Commander Robert Jeffreys
RN, H.M.S. Clan MacNaughton was a converted armed merchant cruiser and was
assigned to the 10th Cruiser squadron. Clan MacNaughton sank off the north coast
of Ireland and is believed to have been destroyed by an enemy mine. Although it
was believed at the time that alterations made to her upper structure may have
made her un-seaworthy and questions were asked in the House of Commons. Dr
Thomas James Macnamarathe Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the
Admiralty responded The "Clan MacNaughton," a nearly new vessel of the
Clan Line, classed by the British Corporation Registry, was fitted out for His
Majesty's service at Tilbury under the supervision of naval, constructive, and
engineering officers deputed to act for that purpose. The armament placed in
the vessel was light in comparison with her size, and all necessary stiffening
to take it was fitted. Investigations as to the loading and the stability of
the vessel were made at the Admiralty, and instructions were issued to the
commanding officer of the ship. The Admiralty are satisfied that the vessel was
in good condition and seaworthy, and that she possessed ample stability.”.. All
hands were lost... 278 officers and men
HMS. E 10
18th January, 1915
Under the command of Lieutenant-Commander William St. J.
Fraser, H.M.S. E 10 was one of 57 submarines of the "E" class. HMS
E10 sailed from Harwich for operations NNW of Heligoland. No further contact
was made with the submarine after parting company with HMS E5 on the evening of
the 18th. It is believed that E10 was destroyed by an enemy mine. All hands
were lost... 31 officers and men...
13th January 1915
Under the command of Commander. Ernest Ballantyne, H.M.S.
Viknor was an armed merchant cruiser and was assigned to the 10th Cruiser squadron
to patrol between Scotland and Iceland. Viknor Sunk after either hitting a mine
or encountering bad weather or a combination of both. All hands were lost... 22 officers and 273 ratings.
4th January 1915
Under the command of Lt. George Pilkington. HMS C31 was a
C-class submarine and was assigned to the Fourth Submarine Flotilla. Sunk after
either hitting a mine or destroyed by land batteries off Zeebrugge, with the
loss of all hands including Lt. George Pilkington.
1st January 1915
Under the command of Captain Arthur N. Loxley., H.M.S.
Formidable was the lead ship of the Formidable Class of battleship and was
assigned to the 5th Battle Squadron which was stationed at Nore. While on Channel patrol off Portland Bill H.M.S. Formidable
was struck by a torpedo fired from U 24 which hit her on the starboard side and almost immediately began to list, 45 minutes later she was struck
by a second torpedo. In the Darkness and worsening weather conditions with
swells of 30 ft. (9.1 m) it made it difficult to get men and boats over the
side, just the pinnaces and other lifeboats (one of which
capsized soon after) were launched. Two of
the squadrons light cruisers came alongside Formidable and managed to pick up
80 men. Of HMS Formidable compliment, 547 officers and men died, including the
ship's captain, Arthur N. Loxley, with only 233 survivors. HMS Formidable was the third British battleship to be sunk and the second to be sunk by enemy action, during the The Great War.