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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Just another forgotten story

Terence Munson

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Just over 100 years ago (3rd May 1915), the Boston trawler "Sutterton" [bN 39], rescued the crew of the Grimsby trawler "Uxbridge" [GY 469], which had been sunk by a mine. Some 23 months later the "Sutterton" [bN 39], was stopped by the German mine-laying submarine UC 44 (Kurt Tebbenjohanns), the trawler's crew were ordered to abandon the trawler which was then sunk 65 miles E.S.E. of St. Abb's Head. The trawler's Fireman Tom HADDINOTT, (45) Born at Wolston. Died of exposure 17 April 1917. He is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial for Merchant Seamen Who Have No Graves But The Sea. CWGC Link

However he most probably lies in an unmarked municipal grave of the said East Coast Port, not identified yet!
I’ve searched (including the alternative spelling of the name in the transcript below), the indexes for burial registers of Boston, Grimsby and Cleethorpes but he is not listed. Can anyone help?
From the Boston Guardian, Saturday, April 28, 1917 p.9:
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Naval History net has this

UXBRIDGE, trawler, 164/1898, Consolidated Steam Fishing & Ice, Grimsby-reg, fishing. Caught mine in trawl, exploded and destroyed her 90 miles E by S of Spurn LV. The 30 miles long minefield, laid by surface ships on the Swarte Bank, was believed aimed at Grand Fleet movements and discovered by trawler Sutterton (+L/Lr/Mn/gy)

The North Sea fishing fleet seems to have provided rich pickings for Uboats, not only by scuttling but from mines caught in their nets etc...

Whilst there may have been an inquest, perhaps his mates then buried him at sea, rather than a grave?

Had he died in the lifeboat some while before rescue, they would have had to put him over the side, so perhaps that's what eventually happened and why he's on the Tower Hill Memorial?

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at that period in time for there to be an inquest there had to be a body well at least from all of the cases that I have investigated.


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One slight correction to the above: Uxbridge sank on a mine laid by the German light cruisers Stralsund and Straßburg on April 17, 1915. This minefield accounted for at least three other trawlers.

Best wishes,


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Seems a big chance was missed for more propaganda by covering the funeral & burial of the dead man. Maybe a search a few days later in the papers would have such a story published to rouse more anger at the enemy. Worth a look & good luck.

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