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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

"Drowned in a foreign port" 1916 - help requested


clive_hughes

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Hi,

in trying to amplify the references I have for Anglesey casualties, I revisited the following man's details recently:

Newspaper Holyhead Chronicle on 7 April 1916 refers to a local man Seaman John Jones, "drowned in a foreign port" apparently on 26 March.

He was said to be 52 years old (though the papers often get that wrong), and to have worked since age 14 for the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company. At the same time he had served about 25 years with "the Navy" and received a Long Service medal.

On this basis I am assuming he may have been ex-RNR, but CWGC has no mention of either an RNR, MMR, or Merchant Navy casualty for that name and date. He isn't on the CDSPCo. registers for 1914, but maybe rejoined 1915 when so many local sailors were called to the colours and replacements were needed?

There is an Able Seaman John Jones, HM Transport Connaught on the Holyhead War Memorial, no other details given. I understand that this local vessel ex-RMS Connaught was taken over as a troop transport on 5 May 1915 and served on the Southampton-Le Havre run. She was torpedoed in 1917 with 3 fatalities, but not this man.

Is it possible that Jones was drowned accidentally at Le Havre, and as a Mercantile Marine/MMR member involved in such circumstances (perhaps even happened off-duty), wasn't eligible for CWGC commemoration?

So could someone with access to the GRO Indices of Deaths of British Subjects Abroad / Deaths At Sea for 1916 please have a look-up and let us know whether there's someone who fits the bill (whether at Le Havre or anywhere else)?

This would help myself and a couple of other members with related interests. Any other insights into this case would be appreciated.

LST_164

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He was said to be 52 years old (though the papers often get that wrong), and to have worked since age 14 for the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company. At the same time he had served about 25 years with "the Navy" and received a Long Service medal.

Have you tried to find his RN register of seamans's services?

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Navy War Deaths have 7 John Jones - 1916 - 2 John, 1 -John A, 1 John H, 1-John H G, 1 John L and 1 - John W.

3 on Hampshire, 1 on Invincible, 1 Diamond, 1 Trawler Lena Melling and 1 - Defence.

Is it possiible to find any of these in La Havre at that time?

stevem

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Hi.

The date doesn't really match but thought I'd mention this anyway, if only to record these names.

On the 31 Jan 1916, The Times reported the missing crew of H.M. Boarding steamer Tara, sunk in the Bay of Sollum on the frontier of Egypt and Tripoli early Nov 1915, as follows:

BARBER, Frederick, steward

JACKSON, W., cook

JONES, John E., greaser

JONES, Thomas, acting stoker

JONES, William, leading stoker

PARRY, John, greaser

PHILLIPS, R. L., assistant engineer

PHILLIPS, Robert, leading stoker

ROBERTS, G. H., assistant engineer

WILLIAMS, Owen, carpenter

The article said that all lived at Holyhead and all were married.

As I say, this doesn't really fit in with 26 Mar 1916.

regards,

Martin

p.s. But Jones is a fairly common name in Wales.

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Per ardua

no, I haven't - though someone else who's interested has had a go at the Seaman's Papers I think, and couldn't quite get a respectable birthdate match. As someone else has said, J.Jones is a very common name all over Wales, which complicates matters.

stevem-

if your list is based on CWGC the dates for these men won't match the reported one or even passably close, I'm afraid. That applies to Merchant Navy also.

martin-

thanks for looking it up, but he definitely isn't the Tara casualty. That's a saga in its own right. He may be the HMT Connaught casualty named on the same local memorial, hence my tentative link to Le Havre?

Bless you all for responding: anyone out there had any luck with the GRO indexes?

LST_164

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