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WyS

HMS Vanguard 1917 Crew Photos

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WyS

Hi

I am working on a project to find a photograph of all crew members lost aboard HMS Vanguard when she exploded in 1917.

 

My Great Uncle was one of those killed and one of the photos I have of him shows him in his Marine uniform with another chap.  I have no idea who he is and this inspired me to find out and expand my search to find the face of ALL those killed that tragic evening.

 

Since beginning this quest in July 2017, after attending the Centenary Commemoration in Orkney, I have found 175 pictures (out of 843).   I have been lucky enough to have some extra help from BBC Radio Orkney who wrote a piece about my project.  Now I just have to make this know as far and wide as possible to make contact with relatives of the crew.  If you know of a photo or can help spread the word in any way (radio, newspaper etc)  I would love to hear from you.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-42341653

 

Many thanks, WyS

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keithmroberts

Hi, we have been in touch via Facebook. My three vanguard casualties we ahve no images for unfortunately. The Portsmouth papers didn't do a good job in that respect.

 

It might be good to post a list of the names that you have found photographs for.

 

Have you posted the images on line, or how do you plan to make them available?

 

Keith

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Indefatigable

Good Evening

 

I have been researching a friend's family tree whose has a distant relative who also died on HMS Vanguard, he is James William Ladson Allwright born 26th February 1884. His parents were James William Allwright and Emma Louisa Ladson Wright. Apparently his name appears as the first-named person on the War Memorials at both Slade Green and at Erith Christ Church, having family connections in both parishes.

 

As yet I have not come across any photographs.

 

regards

 

Indefatigable

 

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PRC
27 minutes ago, keithmroberts said:

It might be good to post a list of the names that you have found photographs for.

 

 

Second that sentiment :-). Plus if you can give some area information for the outstanding names it might help -  WW1 Naval Casualties would give you place of birth and address of next of kin notified of the death.  Certainly if you identify any in my area I'll take a look in the County Archive.

 

Speaking of which, have you already got:-

Alfred Charles Buttle

https://norfolk.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/FULL/PICNOR/BIBENQ/11954993/30963684,1?FMT=IMG

Lieutenant Sidney Wodehouse Upcher

https://norfolk.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/FULL/PICNOR/BIBENQ/11954993/2214991,2?FMT=IMG

A.B. Edward Bunn.

https://norfolk.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/FULL/PICNOR/BIBENQ/11954993/2214623,3?FMT=IMG

Sub-Lieutenant Gerard Younghusband Harrison.

https://norfolk.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/FULL/PICNOR/BIBENQ/11954993/2214853,5?FMT=IMG

Chaplain Hatfeild Arthur William Back.

https://norfolk.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/FULL/PICNOR/BIBENQ/11954993/2214566,6?FMT=IMG&IMGNUM=1

 

I have some Great war stuff from some of the newspapers for Norfolk and North Suffolk, but the source material was low quality to begin with and I have barely scratched the surface of transcribing it all and trying to clean up the photographs. Here's the only one I've identified who died aboard the Vanguard - I seem to have had more cause to look into the survivors who were being housed at HMS Pembroke, Chatham, only to die in the air raid in early September. Clicking on the photo should take you through to the write up on my Flickr account.

 

Petty Officer Arthur Reeve ("Roger") Jarvis, from Lowestoft.

 

34283889395_80933f20bb.jpgPetty Officer Arthur Jarvis, Lowestoft, Killed in the blowing up of HMS Vanguard 1917 by Moominpappa06, on Flickr

 

Hope that helps,

Peter

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WyS

Hi all, thank you for replying. 

 

I shall in due course list all the names I have so far.  I don't know currently what to do with the photos and information although several people have suggested putting it into some sort of book, which I would actually really like to do at some point in the future. 

I am constantly making contact with relatives and relations who are extremely interested in keeping the Vanguard memory alive, hence my project. 

 

*Indefatigable* I have found a photo of James Allwright, he is number 52 on my list!

 

*PRC, Peter* Thank you for your input and links. I have found all photos of the crew you mention except for Alfred Buttle. 

 

Once I have processed the long list of names, making a spreadsheet of where they were born/grew up/worked, I am planning on contacting those areas to highlight my project to see if I can raise the profile and generate awareness. I have done an interview with BBC Radio Orkney recently which produced 2 New pictures and am hoping something goes out on local radio in the Thanet, Kent area tomorrow. 

I am aiming now to just contact as many local media sites as possible.

 

Offers to look in County Archives would also be fabulous as I am unable to travel the country and here in Suffolk, most of the photos have been found. 

 

Many thanks, I hope that answers some questions. 

Wendy 

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PRC
25 minutes ago, WyS said:

Once I have processed the long list of names, making a spreadsheet of where they were born/grew up/worked,

 

Wendy,

 

Hopefully not teaching you to suck the proverbial egg, but if you go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and use the "Find War Dead" option you should be able to export as a spreadsheet all the details they hold for any particular search. I've just used the tick box "First World War" and the additional search option of "Unit" I completed with criteria *Vanguard*. That produced 849 matches which can then be exported. Some of them may not be on the day, but a simple filter on the spreadsheet should allow you to weed those lines out. I would have thought that would save you a lot of re-keying and allow you to concentrate on QA'ing what you've downloaded rather than run the risk of adding your own transcription errors - in my experience its usually easier to check someone elses work than it is to check your own :-)

 

As a little personal exercise I then went back and added the search option "Additional Information" and used the search criteria *Norfolk*, which gives me 18 names, all of whom died on the 9th July 1917. Amending the criteria to *Suffolk* gives me 12 names. Of course there could be all sorts of reasons why those words are included, but I take a closer look and see if I can find anything more in the Newspapers held at the Norfolk County Archive.

 

On a separate note, most English County Library Services have access to the online British Newspapers Archive. As a Norfolk Library member I have free access both on site and at home - although the home access is restricted to up to 1900, so not much use for this particular requirement. That will give you access to papers from all over the country and so could be worth checking out. Not every paper is in there, and the Optical Character Reader software they have used for a first pass transcription is diabolical, but could be worth trying your local library in Suffolk to see if you can get access.

 

All the best,

Peter

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WyS

Thank you Peter for your suggestion! I hadn't actually known that feature about CWGC site, so will certainly be implementing that...it will save me hours! 

I have a subscription to BNA and found many photos there, so wanted to get the project 'out there' for the photos and newspapers that aren't yet digitized or online. 

Your Norfolk links you previously have were great and I am just waiting to hear from Norfolk County Council about permission to use some of the images (I also hadn't got Edward Bunn, so that was 2 you found for me!).

 

I am most grateful for all that have engaged in my request so far...2 more images found, so it was worth it :-) 

 

Best wishes, Wendy 

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clive_hughes

If it is of interest, I can send an image I took of a gravestone in an Anglesey churchyard commemorating William Albert "Bertie" Edwards RNVR of Liverpool, who was killed on the Vanguard?  The stone was for his grandparents who, going by the verse in Welsh, raised him when he became an orphan.  

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WyS

Hi Clive, thank you for the very kind offer but I am trying to concentrate the research to actual photographs of the sailor. 

Thank you for the information though, I didn't know he was an orphan. 

Kind regards, Wendy 

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PRC

Wendy,

 

Have you got a copy of the official casualty list? Its just I see from one that was printed in the Aberdeen Press and Journal that there were four civilian canteen workers on board. I’ve attached the relevant page.

 

If you run the search I’ve suggested you will end up with four Civilian Canteen Workers, but whereas the Casualty List shows the Manager as F.C. Jackson, CWGC records him as Frederick Claude Percival, “who served as Jackson”

https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/3053419/percival,-frederick-claude/

 

I take it you also have the Japanese Naval Officer that was serving aboard.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ky%C5%8Dsuke_Eto

 

And the names of the two Australian sailors who died:- Robert Houston and Leslie Roberts

http://www.scapaflowwrecks.com/wrecks/vanguard/people.php

 

4388 Robert Thomas Houston’s service record can be seen here:-

https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=5245955

Born Strabne, Ireland on the 25th February 1881, his next of kin was his mother living at Paisley, Glasgow, Scotland.

 

4029 Leslie William Robert’s service record can be seen here:-

https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=4438977&S=1&R=0

Born Wallington, England on the 28th May 1886, it looks like his next of kin was living in Balinan, New South Wales.

 

See also: http://www.navy.gov.au/history/feature-histories/those-they-left-behind-ran-memorials-lyness-naval-cemetery-orkney

 

Do these all come within the scope of your project.

 

BTW – I understand this is already a big project but it is inextricably linked to another tragedy a few weeks later that I’ve alluded to already – the bombing at Chatham. Ninety-five men survived the sinking of the Vanguard as a result of being on leave. Without a ship, these men were ordered to report to the naval base at Chatham, HMS Pembroke. As a result of a number of other losses and ship damages, the base was full to overflowing. The newly arrived Vanguard men and others were put in temporary accomodation in the hastily converted glass-roofed gymnasium. It was the shattering of the glass roof when two bombs fell through it that led to most of the deaths and injuries rather than the explosion when the bombs hit the floor.

 

Among the dead were men like Stoker 1st Class Frederick Isaac Diver. According to his Seaman’s record, Frederick had been stationed aboard the Vanguard since the 15th September 1916, so would have known, and been known by, many of the names you will look to remember.

 

38603136724_fd534f1861.jpgStoker Frederick Diver, Thetford - Chatham Air Raid Victim 1917 by Moominpappa06, on Flickr

 

Peter

 

Aberdeen Press and Journal - Monday 16 July 1917 Casualty List.pdf

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WyS

Hi Peter, thank you for the links.  I am working on the basis that anyone who was immediately killed when the ship exploded will be in my search.  That means that the Japanese Commander Eto is included (I have a photo as widely available on the web), as well as the Australian's and either one or two sailors from Malta.  I have read into the Chatham bombing, it was and still is horrifying to read, and as much as I would like to profile those lost there also, I'm afraid I can't. 

 

I have yet to still download the CWGC list to check against the naval history one I am using as reference (time!!) but will do.  I had seen the Aberdeen Journal before and glanced through it - it has missed off Frederick Allender to name one, unless it was added to the end.

 

I had been in touch with the Australian Archives to see if they had any further information on the sailors, but unfortunately not.  In the meantime though, I did discover a photo of Robert Houston.  There was a third Australian, who's photo I also have - his name was Frederick Witheridge, from NSW.

 

I have found one of the Canteen Civilian Worker's photos, Reginald Ventham.

 

Thank you for passing on all the information - I am still waiting to hear back from Norfolk County Council to seek permission to show two of the crew photos in my closed group.

I am going to focus on Norfolk as my next area to promote the project and raise some awareness, as there were many crew members from the county (my Great Uncle was born there, although moved away when he was young).

 

Best wishes, Wendy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PRC
12 hours ago, WyS said:

I am working on the basis that anyone who was immediately killed when the ship exploded will be in my search.  That means that the Japanese Commander Eto is included (I have a photo as widely available on the web), as well as the Australian's and either one or two sailors from Malta.  I have read into the Chatham bombing, it was and still is horrifying to read, and as much as I would like to profile those lost there also, I'm afraid I can't.

 

 

Wendy,

 

I quite understand - there's nothing quite like "mission creep" for deflating your enthusiasm to get a project completed. My only thought was that while you were soliciting pictures from around the country you might turn up other men who served aboard the Vanguard. Your opening statement was that this was sparked by seeing a picture of your Great Uncle with another chap - who could of course have been a survivor or someone who didn't even serve aboard the Vanguard.

 

I'll give the Norfolk Archive a try during the course of the next couple of weeks - my daily schedule often sees me nearby.

 

Good luck with the search,

Peter

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WyS

Thank you Peter, I appreciate that.

 

You are completely correct about coming across other sailors photographs and information...it happens all to often.  And you are also correct that the chap photographed with my Great Uncle could have survived, but as the Vanguard was the only ship he ever served on from training, I did presume they were serving together, although it is quite possible that they could have been best buddies and had the shot taken before they departed for different vessels. 

To be truthful, whatever I come across with the Vanguard name I'm interested in, but I have to focus on the task I have set my mind to do! 

 

Best wishes, Wendy

 

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WyS

I have been working quietly behind the scenes....I managed to get permission from Norfolk Council, so have been allowed to show two more crew members photos on my site, plus their Navy profiles. The found photos figure currently stands at 185, with another 3 photos I know of, but literally can't get to! 

I am now currently focusing on areas of the country where the men were born/came from. 

If anyone is able to visit their local archives could you contact me?! 

Many, many thanks 

Wendy 

 

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PRC

The Norfolk County Archive has a local studies area at the City Centre Library, so I've checked there for four Norwich based papers and haven't found any additional photographs. They were the Eastern Daily Press, (Norwich Edition), Eastern Evening News, (Norwich Edition), Norwich Mercury and the Norfolk Chronicle. I'm told there are additional newspapers held at the County Hall main archives, plus copies of local papers at Kings Lynn, Cromer and Great Yarmouth - but none of those are within easy walking distance for me :-)

 I've not seen anything to indicate any of the Vanguard men are associated with those area's, and a lot of these local titles were owned by the same companies and so pictures that appear in one tend to appear in all the others in the same stable

 

Don't be fooled by the titles. The Norwich Mercury had a regular photographic gallery in the Saturday edition which was as likely to feature men from Lowestoft and Beccles in Suffolk as it was to show men from Norwich and the villages of central Norfolk. I suspect this is because the same newspaper group included the Lowestoft Mercury.

 

I will keep you in mind though - I have lots of uncatalogued pictures from earlier and later of naval men. The photo-galleries frequently not only the family member who has died \ been wounded \ received a medal \ come home on leave, etc;, but also other family members who were serving. As the war went on this also included those who ahd died earlier.

 

Good luck with your search,

 

Peter

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WyS

Hi again Peter - thank you for checking the Norwich Papers; saves me a visit at present!  Off the top of my head (notes are in another room) there were a couple of men who were born in Great Yarmouth killed on the ship, Beccles, Downham Market, Swaffham and my Great Uncle who was killed also was born in Cromer.  I will keep note of all the papers you have mentioned and when I go to the archives, will search again.

 

I am currently up to 197 photos found (22%), but have faltered just before the 200 mark, so any portraits you can find would be great. 

 

Many thanks, it is most appreciated, Wendy^_^

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sdparker

Hi Wendy

Seven men from Deal/Sandwich area are recorded in a Roll of Honour book issued by T F Paine & Sons after the war.

Five have photographs.There were 4 of these Roll of Honour books, and they were brought together in a new book

called Faces From The Front by local Deal historian Judith Gaunt in 2014. I had a small part in helping with info

on family members for this book.

Do you have these names and photos already?

The names are_

CPO W G Storkey

1st Class PO WR Cory

1st Class PO J H Jordan

Pte E G Bean

W T A Palmer

A B W Attwood

Boy P Betts

I may be able to put you in touch with Judith Gaunt

Regards

Geoff

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WyS

Hi Geoff, thank you for getting in touch.

 

I have all the photos you mention except for Walter Attwood and Percy Betts.  If you have photos of these two  that would be fantastic.

 

If you would like to contact me outside the forum, I will send you my email on request.

 

I will try and obtain a copy of the book for reference.

 

Many thanks, Wendy

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WyS
On 27/01/2018 at 21:41, PRC said:

Wendy,

 

Have you got a copy of the official casualty list? Its just I see from one that was printed in the Aberdeen Press and Journal that there were four civilian canteen workers on board. I’ve attached the relevant page.

 

If you run the search I’ve suggested you will end up with four Civilian Canteen Workers, but whereas the Casualty List shows the Manager as F.C. Jackson, CWGC records him as Frederick Claude Percival, “who served as Jackson”

https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/3053419/percival,-frederick-claude/

 

I take it you also have the Japanese Naval Officer that was serving aboard.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ky%C5%8Dsuke_Eto

 

And the names of the two Australian sailors who died:- Robert Houston and Leslie Roberts

http://www.scapaflowwrecks.com/wrecks/vanguard/people.php

 

4388 Robert Thomas Houston’s service record can be seen here:-

https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=5245955

Born Strabne, Ireland on the 25th February 1881, his next of kin was his mother living at Paisley, Glasgow, Scotland.

 

4029 Leslie William Robert’s service record can be seen here:-

https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=4438977&S=1&R=0

Born Wallington, England on the 28th May 1886, it looks like his next of kin was living in Balinan, New South Wales.

 

See also: http://www.navy.gov.au/history/feature-histories/those-they-left-behind-ran-memorials-lyness-naval-cemetery-orkney

 

Do these all come within the scope of your project.

 

BTW – I understand this is already a big project but it is inextricably linked to another tragedy a few weeks later that I’ve alluded to already – the bombing at Chatham. Ninety-five men survived the sinking of the Vanguard as a result of being on leave. Without a ship, these men were ordered to report to the naval base at Chatham, HMS Pembroke. As a result of a number of other losses and ship damages, the base was full to overflowing. The newly arrived Vanguard men and others were put in temporary accomodation in the hastily converted glass-roofed gymnasium. It was the shattering of the glass roof when two bombs fell through it that led to most of the deaths and injuries rather than the explosion when the bombs hit the floor.

 

Among the dead were men like Stoker 1st Class Frederick Isaac Diver. According to his Seaman’s record, Frederick had been stationed aboard the Vanguard since the 15th September 1916, so would have known, and been known by, many of the names you will look to remember.

 

38603136724_fd534f1861.jpgStoker Frederick Diver, Thetford - Chatham Air Raid Victim 1917 by Moominpappa06, on Flickr

 

Peter

 

Aberdeen Press and Journal - Monday 16 July 1917 Casualty List.pdf

Peter

 

"Mission Creep" seems to have crept into my head and I am starting to expand my research into those who survived the Vanguard explosion; to see where their lives lead afterwards. 

 

To begin with I delved into Frederick Diver, who you mentioned. As you said, he was killed in the Air Raid.  I discovered that he had a son also called Frederick who was only 7 months old when his father died. He had been given the middle name of Vanguard and passed away in 1998. 

 

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bill24chev
6 hours ago, WyS said:

Peter

 

"Mission Creep" seems to have crept into my head and I am starting to expand my research into those who survived the Vanguard explosion; to see where their lives lead afterwards.

 

A number of Officers and at least one Midshipman survived because they attended a concert on HMS Royal Oak.

 

One midshipman survivor was ,coincidentally, Commander of Royal Oak when she was torpeadoed and sunk in October 1939. He is mentioned ina book I have read about Scapper in both World Wars.

Edited by bill24chev

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seaJane

Wendy,

 

VANGUARD's surgeons were Fleet Surgeon Edmund Cox, Staff Surgeon William George Barras RNVR, and Surgeon Edward Rayner RN.

 

I will look in an album at work on Monday and see if I have a photograph of them - proviso regarding the first two that they will be in their 20s. Surgeon Rayner was only 21 and may have been in fact a probationary surgeon straight out of university with no RN hospital training, in which case there's less likely to be a photo.

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WyS

Hi seaJane.

Thank you for the offer of photo lookups. I have already got images of both Barras and Rayner, so if you just have Edmund Cox, that would be fantastic and it would bring my found images up to 26%.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Wendy 

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seaJane

Thanks for the filter, Wendy.

 

Noting for my own purposes (because it tells me the year that the photograph was most likely taken) that the London Gazette reports him among the qualified candidates for the RN Medical Service appointed to be surgeon in HM Fleet, order dated 11th February 1901.

 

And his obituary in the JRNMS tells me that he trained at Haslar, so I have every hope of finding his picture on Monday. Unless he was off sick the day the photographer came!

 

sJ

 

For those interested, the obituaries of all three of VANGUARD's surgeons are here: https://archive.org/details/JRNMSVOL3Images/page/n550

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seaJane

Wendy,

 

Just confirming that I have Edmund Cox in the group entry photograph for May 1901 - but I have forgotten my phone/camera. I will try to get other half to bring it when he comes to collect me later :)

 

All best

 

sJ

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WyS

Hi seaJane, that is brilliant news, I'm so chuffed to hear that. I have sent you a pm. 

 

Best wishes, Wendy 

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