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Remembered Today:

HMS Aboukir - Leading Telegraphist Thomas Harry Paine


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Hi, I am starting to research another member of my family who was in the forces.

He was Thomas Harry Paine and the Leading Telegraphist on the HMS Aboukir.

I checked the CWGC website and his service number was 239741. He was lost when the Aboukir was sunk on 22/09/1914, aged 22. He was born on 22/09/1914.

I would love to find out more if anybody is able to access his service record atall or if there is any other information about him.

Would appreciate any help. Thank you.

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Welcome to the forum.

Thomas's service records are available online at The National Archives in the Documentsonline section, for £3.50. At the search screen ype in 'Thomas Harry' for first name and 'Paine' for the second. You will get only 1 result.


Alf McM

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Some notes I made years back:

The Aboukir, Cressy and Hogue:

Following on from their first success achieved with the sinking of HMS Pathfinder, the German U-boat arm were able to add to their new found notoriety as pirates of the seas when Kapitanleutnant Otto Weddigen's U-9 sank the three aged cruisers, Aboukir, Cressy and Hogue, in the Broad Fourteens (20 miles north of the Hook of Holland), on Tuesday 22 September.

In this action the Royal Navy added to their own downfall when Captain Drummond of the Aboukir, believing he had struck a mine, ordered the other two cruisers to stop and rescue survivors from his sinking ship, thus presenting Weddigen with the opportunity of three kills rather than one.

The three cruisers had been steaming at two miles abreast and barely 10 knots without zigzagging as protection against U-boats. Just before 6:30 am the Aboukir suffered an explosion and Capt Drummond believing he had struck a mine ordered the other cruisers (the Hogue and Cressy) to close up. The Aboukir began to list and abandon ship was called. Only a single cutter could he released and most of the crew had to take to the water. The Hogue went in to pick up survivors whilst the Cressy kept look out for U-boats.

As the Hogue closed she was struck by two torpedos. A U-boat surfaced on her port quarter and the Hogue opened fire with her guns but within five minutes she was obviously sinking and abandon ship was called. Her boats had already been dispatched to pick up the Aboukir survivors, as were the Cressy's. The Cressy remained at her station and sent a signal of the disaster which was picked up at Lowestoft.

As the Hogue slipped beneath the sea the Cressy was struck in quick succession by three torpedoes. There were Dutch trawlers close at hand and one of these, the Flora, without regard for its own safety and unaware whether a U-boat was in the area, went to the aid of the British seaman. She was soon joined by another vessel, the Titan, and together they saved over 800 lives. Sadly nearly 1500 perished. It had been thought there had been several U-boats involved in the attack but subsequently it was discovered that U9 had been working alone. She managed to slip away without detection from a pack of chasing destroyers that had left Lowestoft upon receipt of the Cressy's signal.

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