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Stoker 1st Class Arthur Thomas Gale, Jutland Casualty, HMS Queen Mary


ph0ebus

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Hi all,

I was stunned to discover the other day that a cousin (2nd cousin, twice removed) of mine was a casualty at the Battle of Jutland. Stoker 1st Class Arthur Thomas Gale was born 15 Jun 1893 in Southampton, Hampshire, England, and he served aboard the HMS Queen Mary. On the 31st of May, 1916, his ship was hit multiple times by shells fired by SMS Derfflinger and SMS Seydlitz. The ship was blown apart and sank with 1,266 officers and men still aboard. Arthur was one of them. The following extract is from the document available via his entry in the CWGC database:

10433113_10204020490325232_6763984279972

His CWGC entry:

Arthur Thomas Gale

I found a service extract document at the National Archives UK, which, albeit brief, seems to sum up his service nicely. He joined up with the Royal Navy pre-war and his pre-service profession was a 'Bottler', which I am assuming is exactly what it sounds like (i.e., he bottled things for a living). The relevant extract:

post-32240-0-61558300-1417967498_thumb.j

I found an interesting German postcard online (via the website Rudgwick Remembers) that encapsulates that fatal moment when the ship exploded:

HMS%20Queen%20Mary%20at%20Jutland.jpg

The Battle of Jutland had been one of many aspects of the Great War that had interested me over the years, though until now, I had no personal connection to it. I even have one of those little teak barrels made from the salvaged wood from the Iron Duke on my desk at work. I want to dig deeper into events that fateful day now, and want to see if I can find any other records for Arthur that may be out there. I found the first-hand account written by Kaptain zur See von Egidy, Captain of SMS Seydlitz, quite compelling:

SMS Seydlitz at Jutland

Any advice, additional leads on where to find service records for Arthur and further reading recommendations and the like for a rookie Jutland researcher like myself would be most welcome!

Best regards,

-Daniel

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Ancestry has his medal records, showing entitlement to the 14/15 Star as well as the Victory and War medals.

Keith

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Ancestry has his medal records, showing entitlement to the 14/15 Star as well as the Victory and War medals.

Keith

Hi Keith,

Thanks for that; I had not found them in my first sweep, as it were, but I am slated to go to the library shortly and will recheck.

-Daniel

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Daniel

Two books you could consider reading is Jutland 1916 by Nigel Steel & Peter Hart and V.E. Tarrant's book, Jutland : The German Perspective. Possibly some kind moderator could move this thread to Ships and Navies.

Douglas

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Daniel

By the look of the extract you have posted you seem to have the normal service record. ADM188/1119/113066? NA header page suggests enlistment in RN in 1912.

In that year a fair few of the men of that District of the port town left on another vessel which didn't return, the TITANIC.

In the 1911 Census he was a Labourer with a timber merchant, living with parents William and Sarah and 6 brothers and 2 sisters at 93 Bevois Street Southampton,a few doors away from my wife's grandparents and uncles/aunts.

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Daniel

By the look of the extract you have posted you seem to have the normal service record. ADM188/1119/113066? NA header page suggests enlistment in RN in 1912.

In that year a fair few of the men of that District of the port town left on another vessel which didn't return, the TITANIC.

In the 1911 Census he was a Labourer with a timber merchant, living with parents William and Sarah and 6 brothers and 2 sisters at 93 Bevois Street Southampton,a few doors away from my wife's grandparents and uncles/aunts.

You are correct, that's the very record that snippet was taken from. I had not thought about the Titanic in the context of the year and location, but indeed, it appears he dodged one bullet to be caught by another.

The census information is also interesting, as is Arthur's proximity to your family...it's a small world, eh?

Keith and Douglas, my thanks for your help and advice...greatly appreciated!

I also came across the document below, which contains first hand accounts of the loss of HMS Queen Mary...quite a read.

The Destruction of Queen Mary at Jutland

Lastly, I now understand that Arthur is commemorated on the Southampton Cenotaph, and I hope to get a picture of his appearance on that memorial one of these days.

-Daniel

PS: in reviewing the casualty list for Queen Mary I noted two other men surname Gale, who were also Stokers, who also perished. As far as I presently know, they are not related to Arthur, but who knows what new information tomorrow may bring?

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Daniel

My pleasure to take a photo for you,my "handle" here means that I am from the Southampton area and will make a visit this week.

The Cenotaph is crafted in Portland stone,which by it's nature can wear over time. Names still appear around the structure but they are becoming indistinct and were in recent years supplemented by also being listed on glass panels. I will cover both .

http://www.southampton.gov.uk/libraries-museums/local-family-history/cenotaph.aspx

Your man seems to have only an initial for his Christian name,there is a mechanism here for adding it,based,I assume,on demonstration of accuracy.

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Daniel

My pleasure to take a photo for you,my "handle" here means that I am from the Southampton area and will make a visit this week.

The Cenotaph is crafted in Portland stone,which by it's nature can wear over time. Names still appear around the structure but they are becoming indistinct and were in recent years supplemented by also being listed on glass panels. I will cover both .

That would be fantastic! :thumbsup:

If I can ever be of help in any research you are undertaking please don't hesitate to ask.

Best wishes,

Daniel

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OK. Take another look at my previous post as I have supplemented it !

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Daniel

Do you have a photograph of his name on the Portsmouth naval memorial? I'm not far from it, so can easily oblige.

Keith

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Daniel

Do you have a photograph of his name on the Portsmouth naval memorial? I'm not far from it, so can easily oblige.

Keith

Hi Keith,

I do not; I had not even heard of that memorial. That too would be greatly appreciated!

-Daniel

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Daniel

My pleasure to take a photo for you,my "handle" here means that I am from the Southampton area and will make a visit this week.

The Cenotaph is crafted in Portland stone,which by it's nature can wear over time. Names still appear around the structure but they are becoming indistinct and were in recent years supplemented by also being listed on glass panels. I will cover both .

http://www.southampton.gov.uk/libraries-museums/local-family-history/cenotaph.aspx

Your man seems to have only an initial for his Christian name,there is a mechanism here for adding it,based,I assume,on demonstration of accuracy.

That is interesting...the name list linked via that website has his full first and middle name, but the memorial itself has only an initial?

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It's one of the main naval memorials - Chatham, Portsmouth and Plymouth where all the RN personnel lost at sea are commemorated. Some general images here: http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/144703/PORTSMOUTH%20NAVAL%20MEMORIAL

Keith

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It's one of the main naval memorials - Chatham, Portsmouth and Plymouth where all the RN personnel lost at sea are commemorated. Some general images here: http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/144703/PORTSMOUTH%20NAVAL%20MEMORIAL

Keith

I am learning there is a lot for me to learn, here. Royal Navy research (and associated memorials, resources, etc.) is the undiscovered country for me. My focus has been on the German army for so long, I apparently have not absorbed much else.

I see to recall a mention in your (?) recent post about being kind to new Pals and a follow up comment adding to be kind to Old Sweats entering uncharted waters (in terms fo new areas of research), and I seem to fit the bill there in spades. :)

-Daniel

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Daniel

Thank you for some excellent links that are now in my Bookmarks

bill

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That is interesting...the name list linked via that website has his full first and middle name, but the memorial itself has only an initial?

Sorry,I forgot the name Gale and found only an A Thomas !! Your man's name is correct on the glass wall.

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"PS: in reviewing the casualty list for Queen Mary I noted two other men surname Gale, who were also Stokers, who also perished. As far as I presently know, they are not related to Arthur, but who knows what new information tomorrow may bring?"


1911 Census does not match the other two Stoker Gales with the Southampton family.

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Phoebus,

By coincidence I have a Filsell relative who was a stoker who died on HMS Queen Mary in the battle. Although I understand he is on the memorial, I have not researched him. His brother was killed on October 30th 1914 serving with the RWF at First Ypres around Zandvoorde. I attended the dedication to the new memorial to the battalion in the village in October. Again, by coincidence my birthday is 31st October.

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Daniel

Pics en route about now !

It gave me a good reason to get a close look. I have passed the panels by several times and meant to stop,but parking is a different matter !

So it's down to you that I have now seen them up close.

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Daniel

Pics en route about now !

It gave me a good reason to get a close look. I have passed the panels by several times and meant to stop,but parking is a different matter !

So it's down to you that I have now seen them up close.

Thanks! I am out and about at the moment but look forward to seeing them when I am home and settled.

Daniel

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I found an interesting German postcard online (via the website Rudgwick Remembers) that encapsulates that fatal moment when the ship exploded:

HMS%20Queen%20Mary%20at%20Jutland.jpg

Hi

just a FYI. While illustrative, that photo is editted. They've taken the famous photograph of Queen Marys smoke cloud and super-imposed it on a photo of, I believe, Lion under fire. Can Notice the sea has two types of wave pattern? :)

If it was real, the ship extreme left under fire would need to be Tiger, if she was Tiger you'd see her 3rd funnel between shell splashes, plus, imho, the smoke cloud wouldn't be so high so quick.

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Hi

just a FYI. While illustrative, that photo is editted. They've taken the famous photograph of Queen Marys smoke cloud and super-imposed it on a photo of, I believe, Lion under fire. Can Notice the sea has two types of wave pattern? :)

If it was real, the ship extreme left under fire would need to be Tiger, if she was Tiger you'd see her 3rd funnel between shell splashes, plus, imho, the smoke cloud wouldn't be so high so quick.

Interesting! An early case of 'Fotogeschäft'? :D

I am assuming this other photo has not been messed with?

Destruction_of_HMS_Queen_Mary.jpg

-Daniel

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Interesting! An early case of 'Fotogeschäft'? :D

I am assuming this other photo has not been messed with?

Yes, and this is the photo of Lion. If you look at the top edge of the funnel smoke, just above X turret both images show a noticable dip or indentation.

p.s. Fotogeschäft: = camera shop? :whistle:

post-44205-0-74566900-1418556340_thumb.j

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Hi Keith,

I do not; I had not even heard of that memorial. That too would be greatly appreciated!

-Daniel

Daniel

Do you have a photograph of his name on the Portsmouth naval memorial? I'm not far from it, so can easily oblige.

Keith

Keith

At the risk of imposing on you, would you be able to photograph John Willie HAYCROFT (my grandfather) and Joseph/Joe MARMONT (also connected), both Stokers on HMS Queen Mary.

Chris

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