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Malcolm12hl

Crew Losses on H.M.S. ABOUKIR, CRESSY and HOGUE

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Malcolm12hl

I would be very interested to know if anybody has information which might shed light on the variation in crew losses suffered by H.M.S. ABOUKIR, CRESSY and HOGUE when they were torpedoed and sunk by U 9 on 22 September 1914.  Casualties were appalling in all three ships, but for some reason those suffered by the HOGUE were significantly lighter than was the case with either of her sisters.  In brief, the first ship sunk, the ABOUKIR, lost 528 men, and the CRESSY, the last to go, lost 562, but the HOGUE, sunk between the two, lost 373.  The HOGUE is reported to have sunk in about 10 minutes, at least as quickly as her sisters (if not more so), and had already launched at least some of her boats to rescue survivors from ABOUKIR when she was hit.  I have yet to see the Report of the Court of Enquiry (ADM 137/47 at the National Archives) which might hold the answers, but until I do, I would be grateful for any insights members might be able to offer.

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JWK

That disaster happened just off the coast here!Totally forgotten in the Netherlands, apart ofcourse from ardent historians, and the occasional pop-up in a newspaper.

Victims are buried in 's Gravenzande (112), The Hague (55), Noordwijk (18, I think), and Haarlem (1, died in hospital)

 

No answer to your question (unless "had already launched some of her boats" is part of the answer), but have you seen the documentary "The Live Bait Squadron"?

Breathtaking cinematography. Tells the story, and follows a relative of one of the victims who ends up diving his ship.

https://www.windmillfilm.com/product/the-live-bait-squadron/

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johnboy

From what I have read, all her watertight doors were open.  This being the case, men could have been washed out of the ship?

Edited by johnboy

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horatio2
13 hours ago, johnboy said:

men could have been washed out of the ship?

Very unlikely but it would have made escape from below decks much quicker.

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Malcolm12hl

I wonder if the higher HOGUE survival rate might simply have been due to the rescue ships reaching them front.  Using the chart in Goldrick's Before Jutland as a guide, the CRESSY and HOGUE went down roughly two miles apart, with the ABOUKIR roughly half way between them.  There were four rescue ships: two Dutch steamers (the FLORA and the TITAN) and two British fishing trawlers (the CORIANDER and the J.G.C.).  If the first of these arrived from the east/inshore, they may have encountered the HOGUE survivors first.  One of the factors influencing rates of survival must have been the time men spent in the water.  I am not sure what the sea temperature was like, but it was probably cold enough to be a factor.

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PRC

Few snippets from the local Norfolk Press that may be of relevance - emphasis is mine:-

 

Eastern Evening News 28 September 1914 - Lost Cruisers. Thrilling Stories from Norfolk Men.

 

William Read of 20 Belsize Road, Thorpe Hamlet, Royal Fleet Reserve. HMS Hogue.

 

"The early morning of September 23rd was fairly clear, and the Hogue with the Aboukir was on patrol duty. The sea was choppy. Two watches of the Hogue were on the decks, while the third watch was asleep below. I was with the third watch. About 6.30 we were suddenly aroused by an order to clear the lower decks. In a twinkling we were up. We slipped a few clothes on and rushed to the deck. We noticed the Aboukir heeling over to starboard, but we could not see where she was damaged. We suspected that she was the victim of a mine. We received orders to lower our boars for rescue purposes. The Aboukir had no boats for use as they had been damaged during a storm a day or two previously. We had encountered severe weather for several days. The launch was the first of our boats to go to the Aboukir's assistance. Then we prepared to get out the picket boat, and threw overboard two lifebuoys and all articles that might help to save life"

 

After describing being hit and the ship sinking "in under five minutes" he goes on to say.

 

"When the order was given 'Each man for himself' I jumped over the side of the Hogue, as the water was washing her decks. I was wearing a flannel shirt, trousers, collar, belt and pants. At this time I could see that the Aboukir was sinking fast, and many of her crew swimming about. A cutter with some of the Aboukir's crew had just got alongside the Hogue as the latter received her first damage. . In consequence of this the cutter shoved away from the Hogue. I am a strong swimmer, and after I was in the water and found I could not get to our picket boat I tried to make for the Cressy. Many others of the Hogue's crew were doing the same. A number of the Aboukir's crew were saved through catching up with the lifebuoys and other things we had previously thrown over from the Hogue. But the Hogue's crew went into the water from the other side and therefore had nothing to catch at."

 

After the sinking of the Cressy:-

 

"Seeing that the Cressy was being struck I turned to swim away from her, and saw the Hogue's launch in the distance. I made for her, but she was pulling in the opposite direction. I hailed her, but I could not have been seen or heard. I came to the conclusion that it was no good exhausting such strength as I had left by hard swinning, so I made up my mind to try and keep afloat with as little effort as possible, hoping that a piece of wreckage might come in my direction. But unfortunately it did not.....

Eventually the Hogue's launch came my way and I used all my remaining strength I had to reach her. I got alongside her and had just strength enough to get hold of her gunwale, but had not the power to grip it. A Maltese mess-man saw my coondition and grasped my wrist. He held me until I had mustered a little strength, and then assisted me into the boat. I had been for over two hours in the water. I was not injured in any way, but was exhausted. The boat picked up a few more men, and, as no others were to be seen we made for the direction of a sail, which proved to be that of a Lowestoft trawler. She was the J.C.C., LT 639."

 

From the same article - Benjamin Gibbs, Royal Fleet Reserve who had been aboard the Cressy for 8 weeks and lived at Great Yarmouth.

After the sinking of the Aboukir and Hogue.

"The Cressy went to the rescue of both crews, putting out her boats and throwing overboard everything that would help to support men in the water."

After the sinking.

"Our boats were away picking up the other people, and we had thrown overboard all our woodwork to help them, so that we had nothing for ourselves, and our order was for every man to look out for himself. I was on the quarter deck when I had to jump for it over the port side, and it was a drop of about 40 ft. into water. I was something of a swimmer when I was younger, so I struck out at once to get clear of the wreckage. The sea was choppy, but the wind had died away as the sun got up, and the water was not so cold. For a time I could not see anything making for us. The Dutch steamer Titan was the first to come near, and she was towing our captain's gig, which was in charge of a cadet and petty-officer. It was a four-oared boat, but it was the means of picking up 88 altogether.

 

Eastern Evening News 30 September 1914.

 

Edward Sturley, Rotterdam Road, Lowestoft. HMS Aboukir.

 

"He then made his way forward, and slid down on to the ram, upon which he sat for about five minutes, with another man standing on his shoulders, the vessel gradually settling meanwhile. At last he reached the water's level, and having waited till the order was given "Every man for himself", slid gently off the ram and swam for the Aboukir's cutter, which had about 85 on board, besides others hanging on to her sides by ropes, Sturley himself towing astern of her. The cutter was pulled towards the Hogue, which was then only about 200 yards away, having come up considerably since the Aboukir was struck. No sooner, however, had they got alongside the Hogue, and started to take the men aboard her, than that vessel was torpedoed also. The cutter was shoved away immediately, and an attempt made to reach the Cressy, but before they reached her she too shared the fate of her sister ships...At about this time Sturley scrambled over the stern of the cutter, and relieved a mate of the tiller, having himself been in the water half an hour......

Sturley has the impression that many of the crew of the Hogue lost their lives in their efforts to jump clear of the vessel as she settled, as they alighted on the bulwarks, or "chocks", or some other obstacle, and fell stunned into the sea. "

 

So eye-witness testimony with all the short comngs that ensures. However I suspect there is a kernel of truth which might have an implication for the disparity in lives lost.

 

What I'm taking from that is that there was a shortage of boats between the three ships if the three crews had to abandon ship. Given the pre-war experience of ship losses like the Titanic, that is probably a given, but it was exacerbated by the losses to the Aboukir - losses caused by the same weather experienced by the Hogue and the Cressy so they may have had issues themselves. So my speculation is:-

 

Following the sinking of the Aboukir, the men are seen swimming close to the ship - presumably in anticipation of rescue from ships and boats coming to them. Very quickly the ship nearest to them is the Hogue, but she in turn is sunk probably before she can make a meaningful contribution to rescuing the crew of the Aboukir. Now those men have a choice - swim for the Cressy though or round the wreckage of the Hogue, or wait for the Cressy to send boats. Remember they had already probably been treading water for 15 to 20 minutes. The sea has been choppy and, drawing on William Reads experience, any floating wood & lifebuoys thrown overboard by the Hogue or the Cressy to aid survivors was fairly quickly moved out of the area by the action of the sea. Water temperature doesn't appear to be as much of an issue it could have been - from personal experience I would rather be swimming in that part of the North Sea at the end of a summer of the sea soaking up the suns heat than in June. They may also have decided to stay closer to the Aboukir because of the floating aids provide by the Hogue.

 

For the Cressy in some ways its a similar situation - they have sent their boats to the aid of the other two ships. Now full, those boats have no room for the members of the latest crew to end up in the water.

 

So it seems to me the beneficiary of what boats were to hand was the Hogue. A cutter from the Aboukir pulls alongside as the Hogue is torpedoed. Probably fully laden but expecting to unload and return to the rescue, I suspect like so many of the small boats on that day she was pushed beyond the manufacturers safety limits, picking up crewman from the Hogue rather than rowing back towards the Aboukir and after seeing the Cressy sinking. In the same time frame the Hogue has got it's own boats into the water, initally intended for the Aboukir but now very much to hand for the crew of the Hogue. Meanwhile the crew of the Hogue, having given flotation aids to the men of the Aboukir, had little choice but to swim towards the Cressy, thus meeting any boats on their way to the rescue.  Finally the boats from the Cressy, rowing round the Hogue to get to the Aboukir now find themselves going through waters containg the Hogues crew. It would be very hard to say "sorry mate, we'll come back for you later", especially if you think you can swiftly drop them off and set out again. But filling up with the men from the Hogue becomes an issue when you then find the Cressy is no longer there either. What do you do - push them back in the water to concentrate on the crew that has been in the water longest, or in order to rescue your shipmates. Not an easy decision to make or to accept.

 

I must reiterate it's speculation - i'm sure there are more authoritative accounts out there - but would seem to tally with the eyewitness testimony.

 

Hope that helps,

Peter

 

 

Edited by PRC
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Malcolm12hl

Peter

 

Thank you very much for these survivors' stories.  They are both interesting and helpful, and I am very grateful to you for the time and effort you put into finding and recording them.  As there were over 700 survivors, and the sinkings themselves must have attracted considerable media attention, there are probably many more to be dug out of regional newspaper archives (particularly in London and Kent where the largest portion of the crews came from - all three ships were Chatham manned).  I will open a file and begin to collect them.  Thank you again.

 

Malcolm

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PRC

I thought the Chatham Division took man from all along the east coast as well as south-east England - certainly there is no shortage of recalled reservists from the Norfolk & Suffolk ports and fishing villages who lost their lives on that day.

 

I'm told that the Eastern Evening News and the Eastern Daily Press have recently been added to FindMyPast - well at least there is a sign up in the Norfolk County Archive saying so!

You will find they have a number of pictures of survivors as well as those who lost their lives.

 

I've just looked at some of the titles I have not got round to transcribing as yet.

 

Norwich Mercury 26th September 1914.

 

From a news report on the losses. "The men of the Aboukir afloat in the water hoped everything from the arrival of her sister cruisers, and all the survivors agree that when they also sank many gave up the struggle for life, and went down."

 

In an interview with Skipper George Jacobs of the Trawler "J G C"

 

"We were fishing (he said) about 65 miles S.E. of Lowestoft early on Tuesday morning. The weather was very fine and clear, with a smooth sea. Not far from us was three big cruisers, and we watched then with a good deal of curiosity. We had been looking for a little while when we saw an explosion, and one of the ships began to settle down. She disappeared in about four minutes."

What happened next queried the interviewer.

"Well", said the skipper, "it gave us a bit of a shock, I can tell you. But before we could realise what had happened, another of the three was blown up. Down she went in about ten minutes, and then away went the third - sunk in less than two minutes. We then thought of nothing but saving life, so we cut the trawl warp and sailed down quickly. We saw a lot of men in the water. Some were swimming, and others had hold of wreckage. Others were in boats and launches. We got a lot aboard, till we were full up - they were packed on deck like sardines in a tin. Other boats were filled up, and my third hand, William Simpson went in a boat to save more lives. About two hours later two Dutch steamer traders came along, and a lot of men got aboard them."

 

In reply to further questions, the skipper said that the men on his smack were from the Aboukir and the Hogue.

 

So a few additional observations - note the difference in the description of the sea conditions between a fisherman and the Royal Navy men.

Also the nearest ship to the sinking ship only rescues men from the Aboukir and the Hogue - undoubtedly because it was already overfilled before it got anywhere near the area where the crew of the Cressy might be expected to be found.

 

I have not got round to looking at the Norfolk Chronicle for this part of September 1914 as yet - as its coverage was particularly strong along the North Norfolk coast and there were men aboard from Cromer, Sheringham, Blakeney, Morston, Wells and Kings Lynn, I suspect there may be a fair bit there.

 

Good luck with your search,

Peter

 

Edited by PRC
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Malcolm12hl

Thank you again Peter.  You are quite right about Chatham Division recruiting from East Anglia.  I have not yet run a detailed analysis, but my impression is that Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk together were the biggest contributor to the three crews after London and Kent.

 

Malcolm

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voltaire60
1 hour ago, Malcolm12hl said:

Thank you again Peter.  You are quite right about Chatham Division recruiting from East Anglia.  I have not yet run a detailed analysis, but my impression is that Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk together were the biggest contributor to the three crews after London and Kent.

 

Malcolm

 

       Over Metro. Essex way, we have noticed the  greater than expected numbers of  AHC casualties-esp. among policemen. The answer seems to be that crews were made up from recalled reservists-  and manned through Chatham.  Woodford lost 2 policemen-  a common enough occupation for ex-RN chaps

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Malcolm12hl

Thank you Voltaire.  My interest in the AHC tragedy was triggered initially by the discovery that the first man of my village (Thames Ditton, Surrey) to die on active service in the war was a Stoker lost with H.M.S. HOGUE, but I have moved on to what has become a major project profiling the crews of all three vessels.  If you get a chance, please do give me the names and any details you have of your two Woodford policemen, and indeed those of any other men from your area that you might have information on.  I have already compiled quite a detailed roll of the men lost on ABOUKIR and CRESSY, and am on my way now with HOGUE.

 

Malcolm

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voltaire60

Hi Malcolm- I have done Wanstead, a friend has done Woodford- I will get the entries from his listing (soon to be published online anyway) and get them over to you.

 

     I have one casualty only from AHC- and I enclose the rather uninteresting entry from him below- all info from Ancestry,FMP and  service record.

 

By the way, I also found a good account of Coronel in our local newspaper (not on BNA) with some stuff on Good Hope- Would you like that as well???

 

Pip,pip

Mike

 

GOULD, CLAUDE

 

Chief Yeoman of Signals, 199951    Royal Navy

 

Killed in action with the loss of H.M.S.Hogue off the Broad Fourteens, North Sea, 22nd September 1914 aged 32

 

 

 

   Claude Gould was born in Greenwich on 12th December 1881. His father, George Atkinson Gould was for many years, as “Johnstone Gould” a player at the old Theatre Royal in Stratford but latterly worked as an insurance clerk.  In the 1901 Census, the family was at 15 Warren Road, Leyton but by 1911 they were at 20 Spratt Hall Road, Wanstead.  But Claude was never  a true resident of Wanstead. Having worked as an office boy after elementary schooling at Cann Hall School, Leytonstone  he  enlisted in the Royal Navy on his eighteenth birthday, 12th December 1899, to make the navy his career. On the 12th December 1911, he extended his enlistment to complete for pension.

    Claude Gould’s pre-war career was typical of most, a series of alternating  engagements on ships on foreign stations around the empire, alternated with home service and training ashore.  He enlisted as a Boy Second Class and was trained up on “Impregnable”, an old wooden-wall training ship at Devonport. He was promoted Signaller and posted to the cruiser “Minerva” at Gibraltar on 23rd June 1900, where he stayed until September 1901. That he was a signaller showed that he was both intelligent and reliable, as the job required far more professionalism and training than that of an ordinary matelot. From March 1903 to February 1905 he was a Leading Signaller on the armoured cruiser “Sirius” on the China Station. After shore training, he was promoted Yeoman of Signals and served on a succession of cruisers, and pre-Dreadnoughts. In 1905 he was a Yeoman in HMS “Vindictive”, an “Arrogant” class armoured cruiser, then spending time at Devonport on  HMS “Hyacinth”, a “Highflyer” class scout cruiser, from November 1905 to February 1907.  From November 1909 to November 1910 he was Yeoman in HMS “Boadicea”, the name-ship  of a class of fast scout  cruisers designed for the North Sea. The ship would act as a command ship for a destroyer flotilla, which would put a high premium on fast and accurate signalling.

     Claude Gould passed his exams for promotion to Petty Officer on 9th December 1908. His promotions and service on larger ships of the navy showed where his talents lay. The construction of the battleship “Dreadnought” in 1905-1906 ushered in the beginnings of a naval race with Germany, as all previous warships were rendered obsolete at a stroke by a big-gunned ship, with oil powered turbine engines and heavy armour. In addition, the United States and Japan  forged ahead on naval developments so that by 1914, although nominally still ahead on a “Two Power Standard”-that the Royal Navy should be at least the size of the next 2 fleets put together- Britain was struggling. Many of the early Dreadnoughts were already obsolete and could not be risked in a general sea action against the Germans in the North Sea.  From November 1910 to January 1911. Claud Gould was put through his paces on HMS “Victorious”, a pre-Dreadnought battleship based in the reserve at Devonport. Thereafter, he  spent 2 years until June 1913 as a Yeoman on HMS “Lord Nelson”, the last pre-Dreadnought battleship to go in service and the flagship of the Channel Squadron until relegated to the Second Division of the Home Fleet. Claud Gould’s successive sea services showed his increasing professionalism-each ship larger and closer to home as the German threat grew.

      As  well as developments in ship construction and armaments, the years after the launch of Dreadnought in January 1906 , the rapid introduction of the use of radio at sea revolutionised communications. The first radio signals across the Atlantic by Gugliemo Marconi in 1897 showed that ships could stay in contact without the use of flag books  that had prevailed since Nelson’s time. Semaphore and signal lamps were only effective if ships were in sight of each other. Radio meant that large numbers of ships could be controlled and manoeuvered from a flagship, even though out of sight. The Admiralty developed the concept of a Grand Fleet, based at Scapa Flow and the expectation of a large fleet action against the German equivalent, the High Seas Fleet. Thus, Claude Gould’s job as a Yeoman of Signals was vital and increasingly so in the years before 1914-and his promotions reflected that his role carried important responsibilities.

      By the beginning of the war , Claude Gould was serving on the battleship Lord Nelson, the last of the pre-Dreadnoughts. Every year the Grand Fleet practised its fleet manoeuveres across the Summer months but in July 1914, the First Lord of the Admiralty ,Winston Churchill ordered the fleet to mobilisation on a war footing instead of dispersal to base . Thus, on 30th July 1914, Claude Gould was “lent” to  the cruiser “Hogue” as an Acting Chief Yeoman of Signals. He had spent some time at Chatham being trained and assessed  for Chief Yeoman status and “Hogue” was intended as a trial before appointment to a battleship as Chief Yeoman

   “ Hogue”, along with two sister cruisers, “Aboukir” and “Crecy”, was sent to patrol the southern North Sea and in September 1914 all 3 ships were off the Belgian coast to protect transports landing men and supplies for Winston Churchill’s scheme to land men of the Royal Navy at Ostend and Antwerp to stem the German advance through Belgium.  On the morning of 22nd September 1914, all 3 ships were making 10 knots off the Belgian coast, their destroyer screen having been put back to Home Waters by dirty weather.  At the same time, a German U-Boat, K9, commanded by Kapitan-Leutnant Otto Weddigen was similarly forced out to sea by the same dirty weather and kept submerged. At about 6.30 a.m. U9 surfaced and immediately sighted the cruiser “Aboukir”. What happened next proved an embarrassment and disaster for the Royal Navy and cost Claude  Gould his life.

     At 6.15 a.m. on 22nd September 1914 “Aboukir” was hit by a torpedo and began to list. Her captain thought he had hit a mine and asked the other two cruisers to come alongside and take off his wounded –and the crew if she started to founder. This made “Crecy” and “Hogue” sitting ducks for U9. At about 6.55 a.m. “Hogue” was struck by two  torpedoes- her lookouts had failed to spot U9.  Random fire from Hogue forced U9 to submerge. The end of “Hogue” was swift. Although fitted with a series of watertight doors and bulkheads, these had been left open as was the custom of the day. By 7.15 a.m. “Hogue” had capsized.  Claude Gould was last seen going inside “Hogue” to take and destroy her confidential books, which were his responsibility as Chief Yeoman. He was one of 48 men lost with “Hogue”.  All three cruisers were sunk, a considerable disaster for the Royal Navy and a portent of the submarine war to come.

     Claude Gould  was lauded as a “Wanstead hero” in fulsome tributes to him in the local Press. He was described as “a man of exceptionally fine physique, handsome presence and frank, engaging manners” His father subsequently moved to Ilford and seems to have had no further connection with Wanstead. Claude Gould is not remembered on the Wanstead War Memorial but only on the Royal Naval Memorial at Chatham.

 

Essex County Chronicle 9th October 1914,   Register of Seaman’s Services, ADM 188/503/308339, TNA,  Sir Julian Corbett: History of the Great War…Naval Operations, Vol.I (Second edition), London,1938-1940. Leyton Schools Book of Remembrance

 

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Malcolm12hl

Thank you very much Mike.  I look forward to the Woodford material, and, yes, please, on Coronel.  One thing you might want to change in your Gould narrative is his date of enlistment.  He enlisted aged 16 as a Boy 2nd Class on 18 July 1898, and 12 December 1899 really just marked the beginning of his 12-year Continuous Service, which began on his 18th birthday.

 

Thank you again

 

Malcolm

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voltaire60

Thanks Malcolm-  Phew- I had sent you an old draft-  But thanks for making my check my own idiocy(a constant battle)

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PRC

Had a quick run through the newspaper reports I've transcribed so far, (in addition to those already posted).

Note the source is low quality, so the photo's leave a lot to be desired.

 

Eastern Evening News 24th September 1914

 

LOCAL MEN ON LOST CRUISERS.

 

LOWESTOFT

 

So far as can be ascertained there were four Lowestoft men on board the ill-fated cruisers – Joe Corbyn, of 29, Sandringham Road, and Case Silom, 10, Queen’s Road, both on board the Cressy; Tom Lanchester, 15, Grove Road, one of the crew of the Hogue: and Jack Button, 47, Park Road, one of the crew of the Aboukir.

 

NORWICH

 

Eddy Steward, of Turner’s Buildings, Rose Lane, was an able seaman on H.M.S. Cressy.

 

FAKENHAM

 

We are informed there were at least two men belonging to Fakenham on the three cruisers, one being Mr. Blake, caretaker of the Y.M.C.A., and the other Bob Winn, of Forester’s Yard. The relatives and friends are anxiously waiting for news.

 

CAISTER-ON-SEA

 

Some anxiety prevails at Caistor-on-Sea, from which village three men at least are reported to have been on one or other of the three lost cruisers, in regard of whom no news has to-day been received.

 

Eastern Evening News 24th September 1914

 

ABOUKIR SURVIVOR’S STORY AT YARMOUTH.

Another survivor, this time from H.M.S. Aboukir, also reached Yarmouth on Saturday in A.B. Cooper. This cruiser was manned mainly with men of the Royal Naval Reserve with a kernel of active service ratings. Cooper said he had been on watch from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., and was consequently in his bunk when the Aboukir was torpedoed. It seemed to him that the cruiser gave a jerk and trembled. He tumbled out at once, but found the crew perfectly calm and waiting for orders. A lot of them thought it was nothing more than a boiler explosion, which would not really concern them much. He roused out several of the men who had slept through the first shock He slipped into the sea when the Aboukir turned turtle, and was for three-quarters of an hour in the water, after which he was picked up by a cutter. He took an oar, and also assisted others into the boat, which saved in all eighty, who were put on a destroyer, and five hours from the time the Aboukir was struck by the torpedo from the German submarine he landed at Shotley. Cooper says he saw three submarines, and they even fired their torpedoes from behind the shelter of the boats that were out picking up survivors, so that the guns on the Cressy could not be trained on them. One torpedo which missed the Cressy passed underneath the cutter in which Cooper was seated. He witnessed several acts of self-sacrifice on the part of swimmers in the water, who gave up ;ifebelts to men who needed their support. There was not, he declared, the smallest vestige of panic in any section of the men, and everything was carried out in a business-like way, calmly and coolly.

 

-----------------------------

 

One of the saved is Mr G. Noel Cracknell of Hendon, assistant paymaster on the Aboukir. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. G.P. Cracknell of Hendon. Mr. G.P. Cracknell has many friends in Norfolk, where he resided 25 years, having been in the London and Provincial Bank at Diss, North Walsham, Lynn, and Hunstanton.

 

Eastern Evening News 28th September 1914

 

(Photo) WILLIAM READ,

of Norwich, a survivor of H.M.S. Hogue, whose vivid story of the lost cruisers appears elsewhere.

 

(Photo) CASE SILOM,   a Lowestoft man, saved from H.M.S. Cressy

Eastern Evening News 30th September 1914

 

(Photo) THOMAS MARTIN ALLEN, R.N.R., of West Lynn, who was lost in H.M.S. Aboukir. He was captain of one of the Lynn Conservancy Board’s steam tugs.

 

48301324441_5143a15b37_m.jpgThomas Martin Allen, (West Lynn), lost with the sinking of the Aboukir 1914 by Moominpappa06, on Flickr

 

ON BOARD THE LOST CRUISERS

 

(Photo) COASTGUARD WILLIAM EALES, one of the survivors of H.M.S. Hogue, and his wife. He has been married at Morston since his return.

 

Eastern Evening News 2nd October 1914

 

LYNN SURVIVORS OF THE ABOUKIR, HOGUE, AND CRESSY.

 

(Photo) Top Row – Harry Welham, Robert Downelly, W.Gill.

Bottom Row – William Irwin, Charles Green, William Allen, John Gill, John Roberts, and Matthew Potts, photographed in company with local friends.

 

(Photo) CHIEF PETTY OFFICER GUNNERY-INSTRUCTOR AUGUSTUS E. BLAKE.

 

Born at Grimston, Norfolk, in 1873. Joined the Navy when only 15, and served twenty-five years, thus retiring on a pension when only 40 years of age. He was appointed caretaker of the Y.M.C.A. at Fakenham in May of this year. He was called up as a Naval Reserve on August Bank Holiday, and joined H.M.S. Aboukir. He was on board that vessel when sunk by the German submarine, and was evidently drowned as nothing has since been heard of him. He leaves a widow and four children. Mrs. Blake would be pleased to get into communication with any survivor off the Aboukir.

 

(Photo) W. TICE OF SHERINGHAM, one of the Hogue survivors. Although he had served his time in the Navy, he was one of the first to volunteer on the declaration of war. He was picked up after being in the water one and a half hours.

48297572997_1b2c8310ce_m.jpgSPO2 William John Tice, survivor of the sinking of HMS Hogue and Sheringham Coastguard by Moominpappa06, on Flickr

 

ABLE SEAMAN ROBERT WINN, of Fakenham, who was on the ill-fated Cressy and was drowned. He entered the Navy in 1900, and served nine years, being invalided out in 1909. He joined the Reserve Fleet early in 1913.

48243390231_4a310ffb15_m.jpgAble Seaman Robert Winn from the ill-fated Cressy, 1914 by Moominpappa06, on Flickr

 

Norwich Mercury 3rd October 1914.

 

(Picture) CHIEF PETTY OFFICER A.E. BLAKE.

Of HMS Aboukir (sunk in the North Sea last week), who is not reported as amongst the saved. He was born at Grimston, Norfolk, and was appointed caretaker of the Fakenham Y.M.C.A. this year. He leaves a widow and four children.

 

(Picture) HENRY ARTHUR CATCHPOLE

R.N.R.. one of the Yarmouth survivors of H.M.S. Hogue, sunk by a German submarine last week. Catchpole, who resides at No.5. Money’s Buildings, Kitchener Road, is now enjoying some liberty.

 

(Picture) BENJAMIN GIBBS

Of No.18, Row 147, Yarmouth, one of the survivors of H.M.S. Cressy, which was lost in the North Sea last week.

 

(Picture) PETTY OFFICER THOMAS JOHNSON

(eldest son of Mrs. Berry, of Yarmouth), who was serving on H.M.S. Cressy, and is believed to have been either killed or drowned in the North Sea disaster last week, as no news has been received concerning him.     

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

(Picture) J WELLS

Of 65, Spencer Street, Norwich, (formerly with the Norwich Tramway Company), who was on board HMS Cressy (sunk in the North Sea disaster last week), and of whom no news has been heard.

 

Eastern Evening News 6th October 1914

 

(Photo) PERCY ERNEST GREEN, R.N.R. (of Wells) missing from H.M.S. Hogue and believed to be buried at Ymuiden, Holland.

 

(Photo) F.FOWLER, one of the injured from the Aboukir, and now making a good recovery in Hospital in Lowestoft.

 

Norwich Mercury 10th October 1914.

 

(PHOTO) GEORGE HENRY GOLDSMITH.

Of Wells, a leading seaman, who was saved from H.M.S. Hogue.

 

(PHOTO) V. OLDMAN

Of Erskine Place, Factory Street, Lowestoft, who was lost from H.M.S. Hogue.

 

HUNSTANTON.

 

Killed : R.C. Eglington, A.B. (R.F.R. Ch.B. 1 075) whose name recently appeared among the Army and Naval Reserve men, etc, called out on mobilisation, is now returned as lost in the disaster which befell H.N.S. Cressy on the 22nd September.

 

NEW BUCKENHAM

 

Mr. and Mrs. Bolton have received news of the loss of their son, Charles Bolton, stoker of H.M.S. Cressy. He was called up with the Reserves, and had written home regularly. The last letter they received from him was about two days before his ship was lost.

 

WINTERTON

 

Able Seaman J.R. Watson, of this village, is among those who went down with H.M.S. Aboukir in the recent disaster. He was in the Royal Naval Reserve, and leaves a widow and one child.

 

(PHOTO) ROBERT CHARLES WINN.

Of Fakenham, who went down with H.M.S. Cressy.  (also in the EEN 02/10/1914)

 

(PHOTO) JOHN JAMES CLARK.

The landlord of the Dolphin Inn, Saham Toney, who was a Petty Officer serving on H.M.S. Cressy, and is reported missing.

 

(PHOTO) BERTIE EDWARD STONE.

Of Howe, a leading signalman of H.M.S. Cressy, who was drowned.

 

Norwich Mercury 17th October 1914.

 

(PHOTO) JAMES CRISP,

Of 28(?) Norwich Road, Lowestoft, who was lost from H.M.S. Aboukir

 

(PHOTO) NAME WANTED,

Our photo is of a seaman who was lost from H.M.S. Aboukir, and whose name is at present unknown. Can any of our readers identify him? If so, will they please notify us.

 

(PHOTO) J.B. BUTTON,

Of 47, Park Road, Lowestoft, who was lost from H.M.S. Aboukir.

 

(PHOTO) A.J. CORBYN,

Of Lowestoft, who was lost from H.M.S. Cressy.

 

(PHOTO) W.S. BUCKNOLL,

Of Lowestoft, who was lost from H.M.S. Cressy.

 

(PHOTO) C. BENSTEAD,

Of Lowestoft, who was lost from H.M.S. Cressy.

 

Eastern Daily Press 10th March 1915

 

(Picture) A.T. HARVEY, of Sutton Bridge,

Who escaped from two battleships torpedoed by the Germans, but went down with the Clan McNaughton. He nearly met his death on the outbreak of war, when, owing to the collapse of a wireless apparatus, he and another sailor were thrown into the water, His companion was instantly killed, but Harvey was picked up uninjured. He was on the Hogue when it went down, and being thrown into the water swam to the Cressy just as that ship was torpedoed. He then made his way to another boat, and was eventually rescued. He came home, but stayed for only one day, and then joined the ill-fated Clan McNaughton.

 

Norwich Mercury 21st September 1918

 

In memoriam

BUCKNOLE – In ever loving of our dear brother Walter, who lost his life through the sinking of H.M.S. Cressy, September 22nd, 1914, aged 21.

 

“Friends may think that we forget him.

When at times they see us smile;

But they little know the sorrow,

Which that smile hides all the while.”

 

“Death divides, but memory clings.”

 

From his loving Brothers and Sisters, 44, Windsor Road, South Lowestoft.

 

Hope that helps,

Peter

 

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Malcolm12hl

Peter

 

Thank you very much, this is all wonderful stuff.  I have only had a chance to look into one of the men mentioned.  The unfortunate chap from Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire, who survived the sinking of the HOGUE, only to die a few months later when the Armed Merchant Cruiser CLAN McNAUGHTON was lost with all hands was actually 37-year-old Blacksmith Edward Albert Harvey 342578 who had been serving in the R.N. since 1899.  He probably had a bit more than one day at home, as the CLAN McNAUGHTON was not taken up for naval service until mid-November, and he wasn't posted to her from the Chatham Barracks until 22 December.  He left a widow, Annie, and the family home was at 164 Kings Place, Sutton Bridge.

 

Thank you again and please do keep it coming, and I will dig into more of the individual stories.

 

Malcolm

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Lindsey Talbot
On 23/08/2019 at 12:10, Malcolm12hl said:

Thank you Voltaire.  My interest in the AHC tragedy was triggered initially by the discovery that the first man of my village (Thames Ditton, Surrey) to die on active service in the war was a Stoker lost with H.M.S. HOGUE, but I have moved on to what has become a major project profiling the crews of all three vessels.  If you get a chance, please do give me the names and any details you have of your two Woodford policemen, and indeed those of any other men from your area that you might have information on.  I have already compiled quite a detailed roll of the men lost on ABOUKIR and CRESSY, and am on my way now with HOGUE.

 

Malcolm

Hi Malcolm,

 

The information you have is fantastic.

 

Would you be able to point me in the right direction for ny grandad as listed below:

ABOUKIR

Armoured cruiser, torpedoed and sunk by U.9 in southern North Sea, 22 September 1914, survivors and wounded

McCoy, Thomas, Stoker, RNR, 3632S

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Malcolm12hl

Lindsey

 

You can download your grandad's R.N.R. service record from the National Archves website here:

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D8539841

Downloads are free for the duration of the Covid-19 closure - all you have to do is register.

 

Malcolm

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Lindsey Talbot
29 minutes ago, Malcolm12hl said:

Lindsey

 

You can download your grandad's R.N.R. service record from the National Archves website here:

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D8539841

Downloads are free for the duration of the Covid-19 closure - all you have to do is register.

 

Malcolm

Fantastic thank you Malcolm!

 

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PRC

Malcolm,

 

Another one - this time from the edition of the Norwich Mercury dated Saturday October 10, 1914.

 

Seaman 5635A Frederick Rudd, Royal Naval Reserve, lost with HMS Cressy.

 

49998129812_4c6b6f2c72.jpgSeaman Frederick Rudd (Lowestoft) Missing from HMS Cressy 1914 by Moominpappa06, on Flickr

 

Civil records & De Ruvignys have him as Frederick Thomas Rudd and there is a year discrepancy over date of birth.

 

Cheers,

Peter

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snailybailey
On 23/08/2019 at 12:10, Malcolm12hl said:

Thank you Voltaire.  My interest in the AHC tragedy was triggered initially by the discovery that the first man of my village (Thames Ditton, Surrey) to die on active service in the war was a Stoker lost with H.M.S. HOGUE, but I have moved on to what has become a major project profiling the crews of all three vessels.  If you get a chance, please do give me the names and any details you have of your two Woodford policemen, and indeed those of any other men from your area that you might have information on.  I have already compiled quite a detailed roll of the men lost on ABOUKIR and CRESSY, and am on my way now with HOGUE.

 

Malcolm

I have the memorial plaque to Lieutenant Oscar William Tottie who went down with the Aboukir...in a tragic coincidence his brother was KIA the same day on the Western Front

I 2033290087_OWTottieLondonIllustratedNews.png.e71a0c31495268dcfac61dedc6054099.png have the memorial plaque to Lieutenant Oscar William Tottie who went down with the Aboukir...in a tragic coincidence his brother was KIA the same day on the Western Front

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Malcolm12hl

Thank you both for these details.  Oscar William Tottie's younger brother, Eric Harald Tottie, was indeed killed on the Aisne aged 19 with the 1st Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers on 22 September 1914 - a truly awful coincidence.

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PRC

Current thread listing a couple of men who were aboard these ships but not on the crew list.

 

Cheers,

Peter

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seaJane

@Malcolm12hl,

 

I can supply details and possibly images of the medical officers of Aboukir, Hogue and Cressy should you be interested.

 

Best wishes,

 

seaJane

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oscarquebec
Posted (edited)

Kapitanleutnant Otto Weddigen commander U9 on 22nd September 1914 sinking HMS Aboukir, Hogue and Cressy. Later would perish with all hands in U29 when rammed by HMS Dreadnought 18th March 1915.

IMG_2382.JPG

Edited by oscarquebec

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