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AB Jones - HS Britannic


Dannemois
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I am trying to make sense of the service record of Able Seaman S.L. Jones RND Z/1500 who was reported accidentally drowned from the HS Britannic, 6 Jan 1916. I would appreciate any help with the abbreviations etc. Can someone please explain this entry on the service record of ‘Lowland C.D.W. Mudros’

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I'm afraid that Z/1500 Seaman Samuel Jones is also a bit of a problem for me.

The CWGC lists his dates of death as 6th January 1916, but in fact Britannic's log gives the date as 5th January. I did send the information to the CWGC but so far they don't appear to have taken any action (it seems that they have a great reluctance to want to change dates) so for now the only information that I can give to you from the log states that he was an AB in Drake Battalion of the Royal Naval Division.

I'm afraid that I cannot help you re. the reference to Lowland, but I can confirm that Britannic departed Mudros (on the Greek island of Lemnos) on 3rd January 1916, bound for Southampton.

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From comparison with CWGC this would also appear to be the Samuel Lloyd Jones, official no. SS108656, whose record is here?

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D7074364

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Thanks for the details; the following line from his records makes sense of your details

It reads: Tel. recd. fr. OC HMS Britannic dated 6.1.16. Gibraltar lost overboard

Roy

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Ancestry has the following = accidentally drowned lost overboard on route to the UK (invalid) 6-1-16. enlisted 29-6-15 draft for the MEF 26-10-15 Joined Drake Batt . 2-12-15 - 5 12 15 pains in chest. Invalided to UK per Brittanic disordered action of the heart . Born 20-9-1894 a collier.

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I believe the "CDW Lowland" reference may be to the No.29 British (Lowland) Casualty Clearing Station on Mudros. It was also a convalescent depot, so perhaps "CDW Mudros" = Convalescent Depot W(est) Mudros.

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Hm, that last bit is quite telling.

:poppy:

-Daniel

The reference to Samuel Jones drowning is largely correct, but it makes no mention of the fact that he seems to have jumped overboard deliberately. The entry in Britannic's log reads as follows:

5.1.16 At Sea: Evidence given at Court of Inquiry held at 3 pm on board shows that No. Z 1500 S. Jones AB Drake Bn. R.N.D. jumped overboard about 6.00 am & the court found that "It is reasonable to assume that he is dead."

Signed: Charles A. Bartlett (Master)

H.S. Anderson (Lieut. Col., S. M. Officer Commanding Troops on Board)

(Another RAMC officer also signed his name but it is illegible)

In peacetime the vessel would have been stopped in order to attempt a rescue or retrieval of the body if possible, but in a war zone Britannic had to keep going in order not to endanger the ship.

The log also gives the position of the apparent suicide, which was 37.10 N, 11.25 E. I think that puts the location somewhere in the strait between Sicily and Tunisia.

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Thanks for the details; the following line from his records makes sense of your details

It reads: Tel. recd. fr. OC HMS Britannic dated 6.1.16. Gibraltar lost overboard

Roy

I guess that's why the CWGC still have Jones listed as dying on 6th January 1916, because that's the date that the information was sent to Gibraltar. Even so it might be worth giving them another nudge...

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I note reference made to "Britannic's log"; is the log availble on line?

I'm afraid not but if you can send me your e-mail address via PM then I can send you an image of the relevant entry -- once I've found it...

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  • 1 month later...

Hello Simon

Just to say I have your book "The Unseen Britannic" and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Even though my main interest was on page 53 (Pte Samuel Jones) I couldn't put the book down until I had finished reading the whole story of such a magnificent ship. The photographs and diagrams bring the story to life; you must have done a tremendous amount of research. Well done and thank you for your help.

Regards, Roy

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Hello Roy,

Thanks for the nice plug re. the book. Sorry to be a bit slow in responding but I've been away for the weekend trying to sort out the chaos where I live, what with all the flooding. Fortunately I wasn't deluged myself but one of my neighbours wasn't so lucky and although the Thames river level is now dropping fast the consequences of the upheaval where I live are still pretty apparent, with two boats sunk at their moorings and two more high and dry after they drifted over the land before the water level began to drop. God knows how the owners will get them back in the water! There's also one boat missing completely, apparently swept down the river when the lines gave way...

Glad to know that you enjoyed the read. Actually it didn't take as long as I thought it would as it was an old manuscript that I had lying around in a dusty and forgotten corner of my computer, although it did need quite a bit of updating. I had never previously been able to use it as Hostage to Fortune (2002) was so much more detailed -- I think maybe four or five times the length of Unseen Britannic -- but I like to think that the two volumes compliment each other. The Unseen Britannic is probably the better volume in terms of getting people started on the story of the ship, with the greater detail in the older book if people want to read more, but I hear that the divers are also pretty keen on the new book because it's the first time we've used so many of the wreck images...

Thanks again,

S.

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