Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Lieutenant William Wellington Sharland (HMS Pebble)


David Earley
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am currently researching William Wellington Sharland who died at Mudros on 2 February 1917. His CWGC  record is here.

 

At the time of his death, he was an Engineer Lieutenant on HMS Pebble. As I can find no "incident" relating to HMS Pebble, I assume that he died of illness rather than through enemy action. He doesn't appear to have a file at the National Archives, so can anyone help in identifying the cause of death.

 

Previously to joining the Pebble (which was requisitioned in July 1915), he was on HMS Hythe, about which there are several threads on this forum. 

 

 59ef455f9f7ba_HMSHytheApril1915.png.4ceac60698e932fc2a1506f7e5dfe393.png 59ef456d89cfe_HMSPebbleOctober1916.png.a64bc667567cf4912387417f6944b785.png

 

On this site Pebble is referred to as "a Fleet Messenger" - what exactly were her duties?

 

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Ken. I don't subscribe to FMP, so I will need to visit the library. 

 

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Jane- I don't know how I missed that.

 

This is the entirety of the contents of the TNA item:

59ef657dd1ff4_ADM240-39-309.png.ef716f99903a6804db90cc4a015d9fd8.png

 

From this, would I be correct in assuming that he was on board HMS Hythe when it sunk following the collision with the Sarnia on 28 October 1915. Although there is a list of the casualties, I haven't seen a list of survivors.

 

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It certainly looks as if he was a HYTHE survivor, with a replacement commission sent to him wherever he was in England afterwards.

 

I note "T.L.'s appreciation expressed of creditable conduct on occasion of collision between "Sarnia" and "Hythe" 7.11.15" - whoever T.L. was.

 

How terribly sad. I wonder if there was any report in the local papers.

 

According to one source https://livesofthefirstworldwar.org/lifestory/7680634#evidence his grave is in Southampton, but CWGC has him at the East Mudros Cemetery https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/626529/. I suspect he is memorialised on a family stone.

Edited by seaJane
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, kenf48 said:

There is a record on FMP if you subscribe it's here (British RNR 1899-1930)

 

He committed suicide

 

Ken

 

also on Ancestry

As Ken says suicide

died of wounds to the throat

 

Ray

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Ken. I have now found the documents on Ancestry.

1 hour ago, seaJane said:

I suspect he is memorialised on a family stone.

Judging from the photo on the Lives of the First World War site, he is merely commemorated in Southampton cemetery.

thanks everyone for your input.

I still have one question -.

6 hours ago, David Earley said:

On this site Pebble is referred to as "a Fleet Messenger" - what exactly were her duties?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, seaJane said:

I note "T.L.'s appreciation expressed of creditable conduct on occasion of collision between "Sarnia" and "Hythe" 7.11.15" - whoever T.L. was.

TL = Their Lordships (of the Admiralty).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks h2!

 

No idea about Pebble I'm afraid David.

 

Try asking the librarian at the National Museum of the RN , Portsmouth? Google will find her (I am not she).

 

sJ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 25/10/2017 at 02:38, seaJane said:

Try asking the librarian at the National Museum of the RN , Portsmouth? Google will find her (I am not she).

 

I have now had a response from the museum which says:

"Fleet messengers were small vessels which carried parcels, reports and despatches that could not be signalled due to their size. They would also carry bags of fleet mail to the sailors that had arrived from the UK and other small auxiliary duties. "

 

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

It's nearly two years since my original post and, regrettably, I have not taken this any further for various reasons, but now wish to put William Sharland's story together.

 

William was born in Southampton on 18 June 1884. His mother was the licensee of a public house in Southampton, and his father gave his profession as a "sales representative". His father was a violent man, who was regularly in court on various charges (violence, drunkenness etc.) and spent some time in prison, before his death, aged 53 in 1895, shortly after which William's mother remarried. The stepfather, Andrew Liston, was a marine engineer and, presumably, arranged for William to attend King Edward VI Grammar School in Southampton, where he was a student from 1895 to 1899, and later  arranged for him to take up a career as a marine engineer.

There are several gaps in my knowledge of William Sharland. He is in the 1901 census (aged 16 with no occupation stated), living with his mother and stepfather at the Sussex Hotel in Southampton, but I have not been able to find him in the 1911 census. Presumably, he would have been at sea if he had joined the Merchant Navy.

It is not until January 1915 that he appears again in any available records, when he is gazetted as Assistant Engineer in the Royal Naval Reserve.

He is then recorded in the crew list of SS Hythe as 2nd Engineer. This gives his previous ship as the Kildonan Castle.

To fill in the gap between 1901 and 1915, is there any way to find out where he served his apprenticeship, what company/companies he worked for etc?

The Kildonan Castle was a Union Castle Line ship - are that company's archives available for research?

 

As referenced above, he was on HMS Hythe on 28 October 1915, when she was in collision with Sarnia, with a horrendous loss of lives. There are several references elsewhere to the Board of Inquiry into the collision - is the report of the Board available for inspection? 

On 24/10/2017 at 20:43, seaJane said:

"T.L.'s appreciation expressed of creditable conduct on occasion of collision between "Sarnia" and "Hythe" 7.11.15"

As Their Lordships expressed their appreciation for William's conduct, is there any record of what he actually did to merit such appreciation? (Presumably, 7.11.15 is the date of the Board of Inquiry.)

Are the ship's logs for either Hythe or his next vessel, Pebble, available in the archives? 

Presumably, if he committed suicide at sea, their must have been an inquest. 

In the King Edward VI School journal, there is a brief mention of him in the Easter 1916.edition. This refers to the sinking of the Majestic, which occurred in May 1915.  Is it possible that he was on the Majestic, before a brief sojourn on Kildonan Castle, before joining Hythe. If so, he was extremely unlucky to be involved in the sinking of two vessels within 6 months.

 

I realise that I have asked a lot of questions, and any help would be greatly appreciated.

David

 

 

 

  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's weird isn't it? Same happens to me sometimes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just come across the Crew List Index Project which describes itself as "a not-for-profit volunteer project, set up to assist research into the records of British merchant seafarers of the late 19th and early 20th century." It looks like it will cut out a lot of legwork locating details of mariners' careers.

 

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...