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stiletto_33853

WW1 Prison Hulks

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stiletto_33853

Not sure quite where to put this, I am looking for information on Prison Hulks more specifically prison ships moored off Southend On Sea, Essex during WW1.

Reason of Interest is on night of May 10/11th 1915 Zeppelin LZ38 bombed Southend, his first bomb landed at 0245hours where this Zeppelin, commanded by Hauptmann Erich Lanz dropped an incendiary bomb that fell near the moored prison hulk S.S.Royal Edward. He then commenced to drop numerous bombs on the town which i have been able to research.

Any knowledge of this or other prison ships would be greatly received.

Andy

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Guest Pete Wood

I'm sure you know that the Royal Edward was only used for a short time, in this role of housing Prisoners of War and 'aliens' also.

There is a small mention of the Cunard ships: Saxonia, Ivernia and Royal Edward being used as Prison Ships at http://www.southendmuseums.co.uk/history/s...soshistory3.htm

The Royal Edward resumed service as a requisitioned tranpsort ship. She sailed from Avonmouth, commanded by Commander P. M. Watton R.N.R., on the 28th July 1915, with a crew of 220, 31 officers and 1335 men, bound for Gallipoli.

The Royal Edward was sailing without an escort to Mudros. She was sighted by German submarine UB14, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Heino von Heimbury on the 13/14 August.

The UB14 fired a torpedo which hit the Royal Edward's stern. The Royal Edward sank within six minutes. Of the 1586 on board, less than 500 were rescued.

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Guest Pete Wood

If you are looking for more information on the actual bombing of Southend, I might be able to help you further.

For example, there are a few pitiful photos of wounded children, in the IWM, injured in the Southend raid.

A list of Southend streets which were bombed, is listed in the book The Baby Killers.

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stiletto_33853

RT,

Thank you very much for that information, any pictures or references to the bombing of Southend would be great. There are a few pictures in "I was there" and references in "Zeppelin A Battle for Air Suprmacy in World War 1."

A lot of the bombing by Zeppelins and later on Gothas seems to be centred around the town centre and the railway lines, Victoria Avenue, Baxter Avenue, Harcourt Avenue, North Road and West Road area.

Andy

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Guest Pete Wood

Streets bombed in Southend that night include:

Ashburnham Road

York Road East

Ambleside Drive

Victoria Avenue

Richmond Avenue

Baxter Avenue

Toledo Road

Royal Terrace

Prittlewell Square

Essex Street

Scratton Road

St Vincent's Road

St John's Road

Coleman Street

Clifton Mews

Grange Gardens

Princes Street

Rear of London Road

Rear of Cambridge Road

Tudor Road

Westborough School Playground

West Road

Rear of Harcourt Avenue

Flaxman's timber yard (Southchurch Road) was burnt out.

Have a look at the Southend Standard newspaper, just after the raid. The editor broke all the rules and reported, in full, the damage caused - and named casualties.

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stiletto_33853

Kath,

Many thanks for the links, interesting. The tie in with this ship and Southend does not seem to end. A couple of local people were killed on her when she was sunk and there were also a couple who survived her sinking only too become casualties later on in the war.

Andy

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stiletto_33853

RT,

Many thanks for that, yes the local paper publishd a whole article on this. unfortunately the microfilm held in Southend Library is not in the best of condition so some of it is hard to fathom out.

Thanks again.

Andy

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Guest Pete Wood

Other useful records to look at, if they survive, are the local police and fire brigade papers. See the thread by a relative (JemimaJane) of someone killed in a London airship raid http://1914-1918.org/forum/index.php?showt...4591&hl=conduit

You might also look for compensation claims, against the government, for bomb damage.

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Kath

Andy,

Thought I'd look in C.W.G.C. cemetery records for Southend on Sea.

Only WW2 civilian casualties found.

Is this usual?

Kath.

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stiletto_33853

RT,

Thanks for that bit of information, will see if they have the police and fire brigade records in the Essex record centre on my next visit.

Andy

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stiletto_33853

Kath,

There are numerous WW1 graves in Southend what with three WW1 hospitals here at that time and many locals who died in hospitals at home or of illness. I have the CWGC lists on Excel if they of use to you, or if you have something specific let me know and i will see what i have in my files.

Andy

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Guest Pete Wood
Andy,

Thought I'd look in C.W.G.C. cemetery records for Southend on Sea.

Only WW2 civilian casualties found.

Is this usual?

Kath.

Kath

Sadly it was not part of the CWGC charter, to record civilian deaths by enemy action, in WW1.

Because of the reporting embargo at the time, this often means that the name of a casualty was never published at the time.

WW2 civilian casualties of war are, as you have found, recorded.

If you wish to find civilian casualties, you often have to be creative. For example, I found some Zeppelin casualties (from a raid on London) by looking at the newspapers exactly 10 years (25 years and 50 years etc) after the event. A reporter will often write a small article saying "10 years ago, the German airship.... etc."

Then I look in the letters page for the following couple of weeks, as the readers write in with their memories.

More and more casualty names are being discovered, also, thanks to Genealogy groups.

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Tom Morgan
If you wish to find civilian casualties, you often have to be creative. For example, I found some Zeppelin casualties (from a raid on London) by looking at the newspapers exactly 10 years (25 years and 50 years etc) after the event. A reporter will often write a small article saying "10 years ago, the German airship.... etc."

Then I look in the letters page for the following couple of weeks, as the readers write in with their memories.

What a good idea!

You can also look at the local authority's burial records. The present Local Authority Cemetery Department should have these. In my case, when I was looking for civilian victims of a 1916 Zeppelin raid, the clerk at the time had conveniently bracketed the names together in pencil and added the comment "Zeppelin".

Tom

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stiletto_33853

RT & Tom,

Great hints as to finding these, thanks.

Kath,

There is also a book titled "The Southend & District Roll of Honour" by Jeffrey Jervis, limited to 100 copies. It does list civilian casualties for Zeppelin/Gotha raids in the area and what cemeteries they are buried in, also a few who died in Air raids on London.

I do have a copy of this so if it is of any use let me know and i will gladly look them up.

Andy

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Kath

Andy,

A bit off topic, but I'm wondering if any German aliens or POWs died while on the internment ships.

Can't find any Logs of the ships for that time.

I've just sent for "The Zeppelin Fighters" : Arch WHITEHOUSE.

Kath.

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stiletto_33853

Kath,

Cant find any records to that effect, two local men were on her crew and died when the ship was sunk and another two local men in the Army died on her also when she was sunk.

Andy

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Kath

Andy,

Have been through Tower Hill list, but can't see Southend crew members.

Kath.

:huh:

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stiletto_33853

Kath,

Looking for the other one for you, the one to hand is:

DOWNING, Harry W, Pantryman

Harry Downing had lived in Southend all his life, and was the son of Mr. Downing, a well known painter and decorator. A year before his death he moved to 63, Ashley Down Road, Horfield, Bristol, having prviously lived at 39, Farringdon Place, Southend On Sea. He had for some years worked as a steward, and joined the HMT Royal Edward as Chief Pantryman. He was killed in action at the Dardanelles on 14th August 1915, aged 38, leaving a widow and four children. He was for many years a gunner in the 1st Essex R.G.A. Volunteers( Southend Company ).

Southend Standard 23-9-15 for obit & photo.

Andy

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Kath

Andy,

Thanks.

In the crew list for the penultimate voyage in June, H.W.Downing has STEEPLE, Essex as his birthplace. (A district of Southend?)

Age is 35, address 419, Gloster Rd. Horfield, Bristol.

His previous ship was the Tortuguero. when a shipmate was J.N.Edwardes, also of Gloster Rd.

He was killed, presumed drowned, when the Royal Edward was torpedoed 13th.August, 1915.

I'll ask Toby Evans for copy of obits.

Kath

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stiletto_33853

Kath,

In your details of this ship are you able to tell me the dates the Royal Edward was moored of Southend and how many people she had aboard her/composition.

Steeple is not a part of Southend but is a village in Essex.

Andy

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Kath

Andy,

Southend Librarian sent me "The Southend & Westcliff GRAPHIC for 20th.Nov.1914 which has pics. of German aliens arriving at Southend on Wed. the 18th. It says the ships had been lying off Southend for some days.

The Royal Edward had accommodation for 344-1st, 210-2nd and 560-3rd class passengers. Crew numbers would vary, around 220.

In March 1915, questions were asked in Parliament about the expense of hiring the ships for internment. It was stated that this would end by the middle of April, but as you said, the ships were still at Southend in May.

The prisoners could pay for 1st, 2nd, 3rd class cabins.

" When Mr. John B. Jackson, of the American Embassy in Berlin, visited this country to report on the treatment of German prisoners of war in England, he inspected the Royal Edward, which was then being used as an internment vessel. In his report he stated as follows:- Of the ships, the Royal Edward was obviously the show ship. On board, the interned were separated into three classes dependent to a certain extent upon their social standing, but to a greater extent to their ability to meet extra expenses. prisoners were permitted to avail themselves of the regular first-class cabins upon payment in advance of from 5s. to 2s. 6d. a week, according to the number of persons occupying a cabin. At that time the ship was lying off Southend, and Mr. Jackson reported that all the prisoners were locked below decks at night, which caused some nervousness among them owing to the apprehension of danger from Zeppelins. "[THE TIMES Tue. Aug. 18, 1915]

Harry Downing is in the 1901 census-age 24; born Steeple Essex; census place Prittlewell. Decorator /Painter

Kath

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stiletto_33853

Kath,

Many thanks for that, will pop down to the library tomorrow see what else i can dig up on that.

Andy

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Peter Beckett

here is an article from Tuesday, Aug 14, 1917 which has some casualty figures at the bottom (just spotted them)

Peter ;)

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