Gallery Solace - Royal Navy losses 1916
Gallery Solace - The Great War 1914-1918
ROYAL NAVY LOSSES

1916










HMS. E 17
6th January 1916
Under the command of Lt Commander John Robert Guy Moncreiffe, HMS E 17 was one of 57 submarines of the "E" class. While submerged she hit an uncharted sandbank north of Texel Island. On surfacing to inspect the damage to the sub a cruiser was spotted by lookouts. E17 tried to dive but was unable to stay submerged due to the damage inflicted. The Dutch cruiser Noord Brabant rescued the subs company of thirty three men who were interned at Den Helder before being moved to Groningen POW camp (HMS Timber). Lt Commander John Robert Guy Moncreiffe (Sir John Robert Guy Moncreiffe, 9th Baronet) survived the Great War and died 7th September 1934

 

An excerpt from Noord Bradant’s log describes the incident:

 At 0915 changed course northward after receiving wireless orders from Naval Commander-in-Chief. Getting sight of a submarine at 1000, just about in line with Buoy Middelrug and Buoy Noorderhaaks. While approaching observed distress signals of the submarine. Position of submarine W by N of Buoy Nooderhaak, distance 1,600 metres. Came to stop and lowered the lifeboats and officers sloop. Took on board the ship captain, two officers, and thirty members of the crew of the British submarine E17. Hoisted the boats and stayed near submarine until sank at 140 in bearing WNW of Buoy Haaksgronden and increase speed to 63 revolutions and 70 revolutions successively…At 1545 picket officer and armed escort accompanied crew of E17 ashore.



HMS King Edward VII
6th January 1916

Under the command of Captain Crawford Maclachlan , HMS King Edward VII was the lead ship of her class of Royal Navy pre-dreadnought battleships. As flagship for the 3rd Battle Squadron was assigned to the Grand Fleet and based at Rosyth. She struck a mine that had been laid by the German auxiliary cruiser SMS Möwe off Cape Wrath. The explosion occurred under the starboard engine room. Despite efforts to tow her to safety King Edward VII capsized and sank some nine hours after the explosion, Able Seaman ALFRED WILLIAM LEWIS of H.M.S. "Musketeer.” was the only casualty when he fell between the battleship and his own during the operation to transfer King Edward VII Company to safety. Captain Crawford Maclachlan survived the Great War and was promoted to Admiral. He died on the 21stApril 1952.


HMY Hersilia
6th January 1916

Under the command of Lieutenant-Commander F. Whitfield, HMY Hersilia was a steam yacht and assigned to Auxiliary Patrol in the Stornoway to hunt submarines and their bases, suspicious ships and destroy mines.  On the 6 January she ran aground and was wrecked on Eilean Chuai, Hebrides with no reported casualties.



HMS.H6
19th January 1916
Under the command of Lieutenant R.N.Stopford, HMS.H6 was one of 44 submarines of the "H" class and based in Harwich. HMS. H6 was part of operation HRH an attack on the Zeppelin sheds at Hoyer on the Schleswig coast, her role was to deal with any threat from the German navy and to keep a watch for any aircraft downed going to and from the raid. However On the night of 19th January in thick fog she ran aground near Frieschezee, Holland. 11 members of the submarines crew were extricated by a motor boat from HMS. Medea, Lieutenant R.N.Stopford and the remainder of his crew were interned by the Dutch.   

H.M. T.B. 13
26th January, 1916
Under the command of Lieutenant Richard E. Hollings, H.M. T.B. 13 was one of thirty-six first-class torpedo boats of the Cricket class. On the night of 26th January TB 13 was involved in a Collision while on patrol in the North Sea. 9 crew members lost their lives. Lieutenant Richard E. Hollings survived the Great War.


HMS. Arabis
10th February 1916
Under the command of Lieut.-Cmdr. Robert Raymond Hallowell-Carew. HMS Arabis was an Arabis-class minesweeping sloop and was assigned to the Tenth Minesweeping Division. On the night of 10th/11th February HMS Arabis was in the company of three other minesweeping sloops (Poppy, Buttercup, and Alyssum) While marking out the search grid and detached from the other sloops she was spotted by a large number of German torpedo-boats. HMS Arabis was initially engaged by three of the German torpedo boats, having managed to see of this attack, she was less fortunate when a second salvo of six German boats attacked and was sunk after being struck by a torpedo. 54 of her crew died in the action Lieut.-Cmdr. Robert Raymond Hallowell-Carew with a further 28 members of the ships company were interned for the duration.   

The KING has been graciously pleased toApprove of the award of the following honour, to the undermentionedOfficer

To be Companion of the Distinguished Service Order:

Lieut.-Cmdr. Robert Raymond Hallowell-Carew,R.N.For gallantry whilst in command ofH.M.S. “Arabis “in an engagement withGreatly superior enemy forces. on the nightOf the 10th/11th February, 1916.
HMS Arethusa
11th February 1916

 Under the command of Captain Reginald Y. Tyrwhitt, HMS Arethusa was a light cruiser and assigned to 5th Light Cruiser squadron of the Harwich force. On 11 February 1916 she struck a mine off Felixstowe laid by UC-7, Despite rescue efforts by tugs, she could not be brought under control, drifted ashore and was wrecked. In the explosion 6 crew members lost their lives. SIR Reginald Yorke Tyrwhitt, First Baronet survived the Great War and was promoted to the rank of Admiral of the Fleet on 31 July, 1934. Tyrwhitt died at Ellenden, Sandhurst, Kent, on 30 May, 1951, from perforation of the duodenum causing peritonitis.

HMS. Alcantara
29th February 1916

 Under the command of Captain Thomas Wardle, HMS Alcantara was an armed merchant cruiser and assigned to 10th Cruiser Squadron. When on patrol northeast of Shetland she encounter the German merchant raider Greif masquerading as the Norwegian merchant ship Rena. Suspicious of the vessel Captain Wardle brought his crew to action stations and trained her guns on Greif and ordered her to stop for inspection, the Greif complied and watched the Alcantara lower a cutter to put an armed guard aboard. After lowering the Norwegian ensign Greif opened fire, the initial salvo inflicting substantial damage and casualties on Alcantara. Both ships continued to exchange fire from virtually point blank range. HMS. Andes joined the fight firing from 3 miles distance, the damage on the Grief was now so severe she began to sink; within an hour HMS Alcantara would join her at the bottom of the ocean. 70 members of HMS Alcantara Ships Company were killed in the action.  Captain Wardle was later criticized for manoeuvring too close to the German raider before knowing its true identity. Despite this he was recognized for bravery and awarded the Distinguished Service Order and eventually became a rear admiral.


HMS. Coquette
7th March 1916
Under the command of Lieutenant R.N.R. Vere Seymour, HMS Coquette was one of eleven destroyers of the "D" class (one of the two-funnelled "30 knotters".) and assigned to The Nore Local Flotilla based at Sheerness. On 7th March 1916 while on patrol and accompanied by HMTB 11 she struck a mine laid by the German submarine UC-10 and sank. In the explosion 22 of the ships company were killed including her captain Lieutenant Vere Seymour. 40 crew members survived.

 

HMTB. 11
7th March 1916
Under the command of Lieutenant John A. P. Legh, HMTB 11 was one of thirty-six first-class torpedo boats of the Cricket class. (Originally named H.M.S. Mayfly) and assigned to The Nore Local Flotilla based at Sheerness. On 7th March 1916 while in the effort to assist the stricken HMS Coquette she too struck another mine laid by the German submarine UC-10 and sank. In the explosion 23 of the ships company were killed, one further crew member Ernest E,Mitchell  a Leading Stoker died of wounds sustained a week later. Lieutenant John A. P. Legh survived the sinking and would go on to captain a further four ships.



HMS. E5
7th March 1916
Under the command of Lieutenant-Commander Harrington Douty Edwards. HMS. E5 was one of 57 submarines of the "E" class. When she failed to return from her patrol a number of theories resounded to explain her loss. Her loss has been attributed to a depth charge attack by torpedo boats escorting the battlecruiser Seydlitz while rescuing survivors of the trawler Resono just north of Juist in the North Sea or possibly mined off the German the coast. HMS.E5’s company of 30 including her captain Lieutenant-Commander Edwards where lost to the sea.


HMS. Fauvette
9th March 1916
Under the command of Lieutenant Commander Joseph T Henry, HMS. Fauvette was an armed boarding steamer. While steaming towards the Thames Estuary She hit two mines which had been laid by the German submarine UC 7. HMS.Fauvette sank within four minutes, drowning two officers and twelve naval ratings. Lieutenant Commander Henry and the remaining 47 members of the ship’s crew managed to board the port side lifeboats to safety. Lieutenant Commander Henry survived the Great War.


HMS. 24
24th March 1916
Under the command of Lieutenant-Commander George W. E. Naper, HMS. E24 was one of 57 submarines of the "E" class and assigned to The 9th Flotilla based at Harwich. E24 was ordered to lay mines in a zigzag formation in the Helgoland Bight. When she failed to return from her mission she was logged as missing and believed to have sunk after hitting a mine with the loss of all hands