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wulsten

HMS Hogue Sailors account

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wulsten

Just thought i would share this chaps account of how he survived the sinking

post-9296-1239971617.jpg

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wulsten

2nd bit

post-9296-1239986998.jpg

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Clio

The Signaller's account has been carefully milled for public consumption.

And we now know that six submarines did attack Hogue and naturally five were sunk....a prime example of Fleet Street and the Admiralty propaganda machine lying through their teeth...

The real tragedy is that people out there, including members of my own family, really swallowed this ordure.

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wulsten

At least Signaller Grocott did survive, the caption is i suppose a reflection of the times and more Stokey than Fleet street

Should add Newcastle under Lyme not on Tyne

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Gary Charles

I am just so sick and tired of the lies and jingoism of the British press. It just means none of their accounts or articles can be believed.

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melliget

Thanks for posting that, wulsten. Was there a date indicated?

Following the brief statement by the Admiralty on 23 Sep 1914 in The Times, there was this:

TWO SUBMARINES REPORTED SUNK

The British cruisers were attacked by five

German submarines. Other British cruisers

and torpedo-boats rushed to the scene of the

fight and succeeded in destroying two of the

enemy submarines. Steamers and luggers are

on their way to Ymuiden.- Reuter

(The above, which does not appear in the

official statement, must be received with

reserve.)

I hadn't noticed that caveat at the end before.

The following day The Times conceded that it was "very doubtful, however, if any German submarine was sunk", although still saying "submarines". Elsewhere in the same edition, they mentioned reports from Berlin which had reached Amsterdam that the attack was the work of a single submarine, the U9.

The day after that, though, The Times' were once again back to speculating wildly. A special correspondent from Harwich, after talking to survivors, reported:

"The exact number of submarines is still un-

certain. All whom I questioned are positive

that the attack was made by a large flotilla.

Some put the number as high as nine or ten,

but it would seem that five, or possibly six,

would be the truer figure."

The Times published the U9 commander's (Kapitänleutnant Otto Weddigen's) narrative of the sinkings 12 Oct 1914. On the number of torpedoes fired, he said he fired one at the middle ship (Aboukir), which struck under one of her magazines. After Cressy and Hogue had turned and steamed to their dying sister, he fired one torpedo at the Hogue and then two at the Cressy.

I'm curious as to how this dissemination of propoganda worked. Did newspaper reporters and editors, like those at local newspapers such as the Sentinel or those of the larger newspapers, take it upon themselves to always exaggerate in favour of Britain or was it done in a more calculated, structured way, with direction by the Government, the Admiralty, the censors, etc. I notice that Reuter is the source of one of the earlier inaccurate reports.

Of course, both sides did it.

Fortunately Grocott is not listed on the CWGC site, so seems to have survived. I imagine he related the events of that fateful night to his children and grandchildren many times.

regards,

Martin

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melliget

Though a resident of Newcastle, Frank Grocott seems to have been born in Chorlton, Lancashire.

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Clio

I doubt whether a single eye witness account appearing in any newspaper during the years 1914-1918 (or 1939-1945 for that matter) bore any resemblance to the words used by that witness and not merely because the witness was deemed inarticulate by authority. It is improbable that reporters would be allowed direct access to wounded men or survivors, unless the resultant account was sieved by military intelligence in advance of publication. The War Office laid down the ground rules for reporting/censorship and Fleet Street simply aquiesced from a spirit of patriotism.

It is far more likely that the name of a given eye witness was authentic but the account itself originated from Room 16 in the Admiralty, where a clutch of lieutenants was housed to invent material for public consumption. Embroidery and lies are the warp and wept of this tissue of deception. Necessary ? Perhaps. It nevertheless leaves one with a nasty taste.

This phenomonon is even more striking if you examine newspaper coverage of say, the first day on the Somme. An overwhelming victory was expected and Fleet Street ensured an overwhelming victory was delivered. The Thiepval Memorial and Serre CWGC Cemetery No 2, tell a quite different story, of course. On the other hand Repington's reports were used to undermine the Asquith Ministry back in 1915, so military and Fleet Street could combine to relax censorship in pursuit of wider political goals. All in the national interest of course...

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wulsten

Martin, the edition was 9th October 1914, Staffordshire Weekly Sentinel, PM sent

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oscarquebec

Unearthed this picture entitled "Naval Heroes From HMS Hogue" Illustration from The War Pictorial shows three Whitby sailors from HMS Houge. George Murfield, James Paul Wood and Richard Gush who apparently picked up survivors from HMS Aboukir while under fire from the Germans

hms-hogue2.jpg

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PRC

You might want to add this picture to this thread as well

Cheers,

Peter

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Malcolm12hl

The three men were part of a large draft of R.N.R. seamen from Whitby posted to H.M.S. HOGUE, many of whom had been fishermen.  There is no Richard Gush on the list of survivors, and the man in question is probably Robert Gash.  George Murfield was one of four brothers serving on the ship, all of whom survived the sinking.  He was invalided out of the service soon thereafter, the cause being given as neurasthenia.  The supposed "hail of fire" must be a journalistic invention as the only German vessel in the vicinity was U 9, which was submerged...

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oscarquebec

Thank you correct name is indeed Richard Gash.

 

A lot of information about the sinking and survivors available at the British Newspaper Archive.

hogue1.jpg

hogue2.jpg

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RNCVR
6 hours ago, Malcolm12hl said:

The three men were part of a large draft of R.N.R. seamen from Whitby posted to H.M.S. HOGUE. 

George Murfield was one of four brothers serving on the ship, all of whom survived the sinking.  

 

 

This (4 Murfield brothers) really surprises me, I thought I had read somewhere that all the brothers of one family would not be drafted to one ship for just this reason, a sinking could result in all of them being KIA.  I can only imagine the devastation these 3 Cruisers sinkings would have devastated their families, but imagine if all 4 brothers were KIA?


Can a mate enlighten me\us on this situation pls?

 

Thanks, Bryan

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Wexflyer
2 hours ago, RNCVR said:

 

 

This (4 Murfield brothers) really surprises me, I thought I had read somewhere that all the brothers of one family would not be drafted to one ship for just this reason, a sinking could result in all of them being KIA.  I can only imagine the devastation these 3 Cruisers sinkings would have devastated their families, but imagine if all 4 brothers were KIA?


Can a mate enlighten me\us on this situation pls?

 

Thanks, Bryan

 

You may be thinking of the US Sullivan brothers in WWII.  Five brothers, all serving on USS Juneau, went down with the ship.

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MikB

"Sea Fights Of The Great War" by W.L. Wyllie (outstanding illustrator) and M. F. Wren is a book well-suffused with patriotic propaganda and published in 1918, and contains a description of the sinking of the three cruisers, making it quite clear only one submarine was involved - though it claims that belief at the time suggested two or three, not five or six.

 

I think the wartime public were quite used to speculative claims being made in the immediate aftermath of any action, and being changed thereafter as the details became clearer. Fog of war, Truth the first casualty and all that...

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RNCVR

Very tagic indeed,  their mother would have been absolutely devastated!

No, I was unaware of that as I do not collect USN.

 

Thanks,

Bryan

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