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Remembered Today:

HMS HOGUE


Gordon Caldecott
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Hi,

If anyone has an interest in HMS Hogue, I`d very much like to hear from you. I`m about to start researching on the of crew who went down on her, and would be really interested in chatting with anyone who has an interest in the ship.

Gordon.

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Hello Gordon,

I can not be called 'really interested' but I bumped into a few graves of Hogue men. Below the only memorial/grave which I took that shows the name Hogue (G.F. Woolley, right top). Enjoy!

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Regards,

Marco

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I am interested in the Aboukir, a vessel that went down with the Hogue and the Cressy. All three were Cressy class cruisers and were sunk inside an hour by U-9 on 22 September 1914. As I am sure you know, the incident forms the subject of the book Three Before Breakfast by Alan Coles (Kenneth Mason, 1979). I have yet to see this book. If you know it, I would be very glad to have your opinion of it.

My interest stems from my hometown memorial at Southborough in Kent. Chief Yeoman of Signals Alfred Assiter is commemorated there. He perished with the Aboukir. Less than a month after he died, U-9 sank the Hawke and accounted for two more Southborough men, Chief Petty Officer George Henry Penfold and Marine Private George William Walton.

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Gordon

Here's some info to start you off re a member of the crew. This chap is comemorated on a memorial local to me & I've done some basic research on him

Painter Second Class Arthur Ward M6330

H.M.S. Hogue, Royal Navy

Lost at Sea Tuesday 22nd September 1914 age 19.

Arthur was the son of Mr & Mrs D Ward of 69 Western Road, Wolverton, Buckinghamshire & he is commemorated on the Wolverton Memorial.

Arthur was born in Wolverton in 1895 & joined the Navy in 1912 at the age of seventeen. Prior to this he was employed as an Apprentice Painter at the Wolverton Railway Carriage Works.

He was remembered at a memorial service held at the Wolverton Railway Carriage Works in May 1915 for the former employee’s who had died on active service.

This information was sourced from

CWGC.

The Wolverton Express & Bucks Weekly News – 25th September 1914.

The Wolverton Express & Bucks Weekly News – 9th October 1914.

The Wolverton Express & Bucks Weekly News – 7th May 1915.

The Wolverton Express & Bucks Weekly News – 16th July 1915.

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Cheers Guys,

My interest in this ship stems from a medal, that I recently bought via ebay. Its a GVR 1911 Coronation Medal to a City of London Bobby, who was recalled to the colours and went down on the Hogue. His name was William Bruce Drayner......PC70A Drayner was a reserve rating, he join the CLP, on the 10th July 1910. If I can find anything else out about him, I`ll be sure to post it on the site.

Gordon.

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I haven't had time to research him yet, but I do have this seaman's Victory Medal, along with several commercial German postcards I have found like the one below, which display well with the medal. Best of luck to you with your project.

Name: BAKER, EDWIN JOSEPH

Initials: E J

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Able Seaman

Regiment: Royal Navy

Unit Text: (RFR/CH/B/6773). H.M.S. "Hogue."

Date of Death: 22/09/1914

Service No: 189515

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: 2.

Cemetery: CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL

Chris

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  • 2 weeks later...

Anyone any idea, how long she`d been at sea, when she sank?

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Anyone any idea, how long she`d been at sea, when she sank?

She had briefly been to sea to patrol Dogegr Bank with the Flotilla on the 19th Sept but I believe the cruisers returned with the destroyers to harbour due to bad weather. If this is correct then the next day the ABOUKIR, CRESSY and HOGUE again went on patrol and were at sea until sunk by U-9. As you know they left harbour without their screening destroyers and patrolled some way south of Dogger Bank in the Broad Fourteens. Therefore they had been at sea approx. 48 hours when found by Weddigen.

I have researched a couple of local men - both RMLI that were killed in the loss of these cruisers. Also a couple of other local men survived ... I cant remember which ships they were attributed to but will look up my notes if yr interested.

Also in case anyone can help, I would be interested in any private/career info on Acting Gunner Charles Brooking, lost with the ABOUKIR.

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Found this picture of Drayner.....but for some reason can`t post it up? Which is a shame!!!!

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Gordon,

Managed to go through the Roll of Honour for Southend On Sea in Essex and there is one man from the Hogue in it, five from the Aboukir and one from the Cressy.

EASTERBROOK, William Thomas.

Able Seaman, Royal Navy.

William Easterbrook lived on Canvey Island, and had served at the battle of Heligoland Bight. He was lost when H.M.S. Hogue was torpedoed in the North Sea on 22nd September 1914, aged 31.

Southend Standard 8th October 1914 for obit.

Hope this helps

Andy

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Gordon,

Your man Drayner is in "The Roll of Honour" by the Marqus De Ruvigny, but only a very brief bio.

DRAYNER, William Bruce, A.B. (R.F.R. B.6684), 205138, H.M.S. Hogue; Lost in action in the North Sea, 22nd September 1914.

Hope this helps

Andy

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  • 3 months later...

My Great Grandfather was a Stoker on HMS Hogue, and he went down with her. I've been doing research into the incident, and have found an Honour Roll on the net naming the men.

HMS Hogue Honour Roll

My Great Grandfather's entry:

BOWES, Stoker, WILLIAM EDWARD, 2652T. Royal Naval Reserve. . Age 27. Son of William Edward and Mary Bowes, of Hartlepool; husband of Margaret Bowes, of 7, Blaydon St., Hartlepool, Durham. 8.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

He missed the birth of my Grandfather (Edward Bowes) by a couple of months.

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:D

Cheers Guys, you`ve all been really helpful. Most interesting!!!!

Thanks very much.

Gordon.

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  • 3 weeks later...

A little bit on the Hogue as told to me by my grandfather who was in training aboard her in October 1904 when the Russian Fleet, on their way to their disastrous meeting with the Japanese, sank some British trawlers in the North Sea (they said they they thought the trawlers were Japanese warships!). HMS Hogue was 'cleared for action' but nothing came of it.

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Talk about being trigger happy. I guess the Russians needed some gunnery practice. Didn't do them much good though when they met the real Japanese fleet.

What was the outcome of this? Did it spark off a major diplomatic incident?

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Yes.

At the time, although UK was finding common ground with France through the Entente Cordiale, Russia, France's formal ally, was still viewed with suspicion and her autocratic regime reviled by liberal politicians. (Arguably she had overtaken France as the principal potential adversary of the British in the latter part of the 19th C., especially post-1871, and until 1904 the combination of both was a worrying prospect for the British.)

Apparently the Home Fleet was mobilised and shadowed the Russians until they reached Spain, waiting for the order to attack, and only when he went ashore at Vigo was the Russian admiral (Rhozechevsky?) informed of his mistake. An apology from him, the Tsar and the establishment of a tribunal that blamed Russia and ordered subsequent financial compensation helped mend relations.

In fact, the belief that British trawlers were Japanese torpedo boats is not that ludicrous. The Anglo-Japanese Alliance had been signed a year earlier and UK built most of their Navy. Given that Anglo-Russian relations were hardly amicable, it is not inconceivable the Japanese warships could have come straight from the shipyards to attack them in the North Sea.

Would be an interesting idea if the RN had engaged the Russians: would the French have come to their aid, and would Germany have capitalised on it to draw UK into their camp or neutrality?

Richard

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Thanks for that Richard.

So we nearly came to blows over the incident. What an interesting scenario if we had. It could well have altered the whole course of twentieth century history.

I didn't realise Anglo - Russian relations had reached such a low, especially as the Tsar and the King were cousins. Still, the family connection didn't prevent the Great War did it?

Cheers

Rich.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest kevinlittle

I think my Gt Grandfather was on the Hogue and survivred the sinking.

My grandmother always told me his ship was sunck in the arctic. I know the hogue wasnt. I have a photo of him with HMS hogue on his hat, so I know he served on her. I have also found out the the other two ships that i know he served on survived the war

Thers a lot o info regarding casulties, but does anyone know where i can find out about survivors

His name was Victor Moore

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Otto Weddigen’s account of the sinking of HMS Aboukir, Hogue and Cressy.

“It was ten minutes after 6 on the morning of last Tuesday when I caught sight of one of the big cruisers of the enemy. I was then eighteen sea miles northwest of the Hook of Holland. I had then travelled considerably more than 200 miles from my base. My boat was one of an old type, but she had been built on honour, and she was behaving beautifully. I had been going ahead partly submerged, with about five feet of my periscope showing.

“Almost immediately I caught sight of the first cruiser and two others. I submerged completely and laid my course so as to bring up in the centre of the trio, which held a sort of triangular formation. I could see their grey-black sides riding high over the water. When I first sighted them they were near enough for torpedo work, but I wanted to make my aim sure, so I went down and in on them. I had taken the position of the three ships before submerging, and I succeeded in getting another flash through my periscope before I began action.

“I soon reached what I regarded as a good shooting point. Then I loosed one of my torpedoes at the middle ship. I was then about twelve feet under water, and got the shot off in good shape, my men handling the boat as if she had been a skiff. I climbed to the surface to get a sight through my tube of the effect, and discovered that the shot had gone straight and true, striking the ship, which I later learned was the Aboukir, under one of her magazines, which in exploding helped the torpedo’s work of destruction. There was a fountain of water, a burst of smoke, a flash of fire, and part of the cruiser rose in the air. Then I heard a roar and felt reverberations sent through the water by the detonation. She had been broken apart, and sank in a few minutes.

“The Aboukir had been stricken in a vital spot and by an unseen force; that made the blow all the greater. Her crew were brave, and even with death staring them in the face kept to their posts, ready to handle their useless guns, for I submerged at once. But I had stayed on top long enough to see the other cruisers, which I learned Were the Cressy and the Hogue turn and steam full speed to their dying sister, whose plight they could not understand, unless it had been due to an accident. The ships came on a mission of inquiry and rescue, for many of the Aboukir's crew were now in the water, the order having been given, ‘Each man for himself’.

“But soon the other two English cruisers learned what had brought about the destruction so suddenly. As I reached my torpedo depth I sent a second charge at the nearest of the oncoming vessels, which was the Hogue. The English were playing my game, for I had scarcely to move out of my position, which was a great aid, since it helped to keep me from detection. On board my little boat the spirit of the German Navy was to be seen in its best form. With enthusiasm every man held himself in check and gave attention to the work in hand. The attack on the Hogue went true. But this time I did not have the advantageous aid of having the torpedo detonate under the magazine, so for twenty minutes the Hogue lay wounded and helpless on the surface before she heaved, half turned over and sank.

“By this time, the third cruiser knew of course that the enemy was upon her and she sought as best she could to defend herself. She loosed her torpedo defence batteries on boats, starboard and port, and stood her ground as if more anxious to help the many sailors who were in the water than to save herself. In common with the method of defending herself against a submarine attack, she steamed in a zigzag course, and this made it necessary for me to hold my torpedoes until I could lay a true course for them, which also made it necessary for me to get nearer to the Cressy. I had come to the surface for a view and saw how wildly the fire was being sent from the ship. Small wonder that was when they did not know where to shoot, although one shot went unpleasantly near us.

“When I got within suitable range I sent away my third attack. This time I sent a second torpedo after the first to make the strike doubly certain. My crew were aiming like sharpshooters and both torpedoes went to their bull’s-eye. My luck was with me again, for the enemy was made useless and at once began sinking by her head. Then she careened far over, but all the while her men stayed at the guns looking for their invisible foe. They were brave and true to their country’s sea traditions. Then she eventually suffered a boiler explosion and completely turned turtle. With her keel uppermost she floated until the air got out from under her and then she sank with a loud sound, as if from a creature in pain. The whole affair had taken less than one hour from the time of shooting off the first torpedo until the Cressy went to the bottom. Not one of the three had been able to use any of its big guns.

“I knew the wireless of the three cruisers had been calling for aid. I was still quite able to defend myself, but I knew that news of the disaster would call many English submarines and torpedo boat destroyers, so, having done my appointed work, I set my course for home. My surmise was right, for before I got very far some British cruisers and destroyers were on the spot, and the destroyers took up the chase. I kept under water most of the way, but managed to get off a wireless to the German fleet that I was heading homeward and being pursued. I hoped to entice the enemy, by allowing them now and then a glimpse of me, into the zone in which they might be exposed to capture or destruction by German warships, but, although their destroyers saw me plainly at dusk on the 22nd and made a final effort to stop me, they abandoned the attempt, as it was taking them too far from safety and needlessly exposing them to attack from our fleet and submarines.

“How much they feared our submarines and how wide was the agitation caused by good little U-9 is shown by the English reports that a whole flotilla of German submarines had attacked the cruisers and that this flotilla had approached under cover of the flag of Holland. These reports were absolutely untrue. U-9 was the only submarine on deck, and she flew the flag she still flies, the German naval ensign. The Kaiser conferred upon each of my co-workers the Iron Cross of the second class and upon me the Iron Cross of the first and second classes.”

Otto Weddigen, Commander of the U-9.

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