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Hedley Malloch

HMS Queen Mary

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Hedley Malloch
Posted (edited)

 

This is doing the rounds on Facebook. This is the Ill-fated Battlecruiser HMS Queen Mary during final fitting out Palmers ship yard at Hebburn near Newcastle in 1913. Geordie through and through with guns from Armstrong at Elswick, four turbine engines from Parsons. She blew up early in the Battle of Jutland in 1916 after her magazines were hit by shots from the Derfflinger - or was it the Serdlitz? 1266 crewmen lost their lives. There were 18 survivors.

 

Youtube footage of the remains of the wreck at 

 

 

 

Geordies here may be able to identify the works on the north bank of the Tyne in the background. Too far west for Swan Hunters, I think. Walker Naval Yard? 

Queen Mary.jpg

Edited by Hedley Malloch

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Malcolm12hl

This photo also appears in The Battleship Builders by Ian Johnston and Ian Buxton, where it is identified as being taken of the Queen Mary fitting out at Palmers' yard at Jarrow on 18 March 1913.  There are a number of different firms side-by-side on the opposite (north) bank, of which the largest are Northumberland Shipbuilding, Tyne Iron Shipbuilding, Wallsend Slipway and North East Marine Engineering.

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Hyacinth1326
Posted (edited)

Visible just to the left of Queen Mary's control tower is the hammer head crane at what was Armstrong's Walker Naval Yard on the North bank of the Tyne.  The Yard is long gone but the crane remains.  On the other side of the Tyne opposite to Palmer's fitting out berth in the image above is the area West of Willington Gut which was indeed the heart of Swan Hunter's empire. Peter Coppack in his book 'Tyneside and the Battle of Jutland' suggests that the crew of Queen Mary had a NE flavour and that the ship was known as 'Jarrow's Own'

Hammerhead_Crane_at_Walker_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1396258.jpg

Edited by Hyacinth1326

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Falloden

Far from the sea in the pretty little Hertfordshire hamlet of Newsells is this memorial to those locals lost in the Great War.  The bottom name is R H Willis who lost his life in the destruction of HMS Queen Mary at Jutland:

RH Willis HMS Queen Mary memorial.jpg

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Hyacinth1326
Posted (edited)

There may be others but the only casualty with a grave from Queen Mary that I am aware of is 18 year old Midhsipman Humphrey Durrant in South Queensferry.  Presumably he was picked up by a Rosyth based warship and died of wounds. See stone left of cross in photo.  The Cemetery fascinated me since I was a child.  My parents used to pass it in their car when they drove up to the Forth Bridge viewing point for a lunch stop on their way North.  They never allowed me to visit the place and would not take me as they thought my interest was 'morbid'.  It was many years before I visited.  The Cemetery is full of Jutland dead and memorials.  

S Qferry 001.JPG

Edited by Hyacinth1326

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rolt968

There are a number of threads which mention Midshipman Durrant, including one which I started when I found his death certificate a couple of years ago:

https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/260841-naval-hospital-near-south-queensferry/?tab=comments#comment-2642264

(Thank you for the picture of his grave - I have wanted to see it since then.)

 

(I believe there are Jutland casualties buried in Denmark. I'm sure that sometime in the 1970s I saw the grave of an unidentified British sailor with the right date in a coastal churchyard in Denmark.)

RM

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Hyacinth1326
Posted (edited)

I recall a TV documentary fronted by Innes Macartney which featured some Jutland graves in Esbjerg New Cemetery but I think there is another cemetery at  Frederikshavn which has a handful.   There are quite a few Jutland graves in Kviberg, Sweden and some at Tonsberg and Frederikstad in Norway.

 

 

Many thanks for the thread on Midshipman Durrant.

Edited by Hyacinth1326

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ianjonesncl
On 03/07/2020 at 16:45, Hyacinth1326 said:

Peter Coppack in his book 'Tyneside and the Battle of Jutland' suggests that the crew of Queen Mary had a NE flavour and that the ship was known as 'Jarrow's Own'

 

Intrigued by the NE Tyneside link, I downloaded the casualties recorded on CWGC 31st May to 1st June for HMS Queen Mary and it returned 1,267 casualties. Looking at the addresses recorded for each casualty, and appreciate that this may not provide an exact correlation, it shows 1 casualty from Jarrow, and another 23 from Tyneside.

 

 

JARROW 1
   
BENWELL 2
BYKER 1
ELSWICK 2
GATESHEAD 8
NEWCASTLE 3
NORTH SHIELDS 1
SOUTH SHIELDS 1
TYNE DOCK 1
WALLSEND 3
WILLINGTON QUAY 1
  24

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PhilB

Was it maybe built largely by Jarrovians?

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RNCVR

Thanks for posting the video of the wreck of HMS Queen Mary Hedley, I enjoyed viewing it.

 

Best Wishes,

Bryan

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PhilB

The crane in post #3 - is that the hydraulic crane that a local pub was named after? 

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ianjonesncl
6 hours ago, PhilB said:

Was it maybe built largely by Jarrovians?

The whole community was reliant upon Palmers Shipyard. When it it closed the resulting high level of unemployment would lead to the Jarrow March in 1936.

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PhilB

So it was probably why it was called Jarrow’s Own? Did the yard make any other notable ships of WW1?

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ianjonesncl
2 hours ago, PhilB said:

The crane in post #3 - is that the hydraulic crane that a local pub was named after? 

The Hydraulic Crane pub I am aware of was on Scotswood Road, further up on the Tyne in Elswick.

https://www.twsitelines.info/SMR/10193

 

This was the area of Armstrong's Elswick works which produced warships and armaments.

 

 

 

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PhilB
11 minutes ago, ianjonesncl said:

The Hydraulic Crane pub I am aware of was on Scotswood Road, further up on the Tyne in Elswick.

https://www.twsitelines.info/SMR/10193

 

Yes that’s the one. During a visit there, I was informed that it was designed to lift gun turrets into battleships.

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Hedley Malloch

I think that Palmer’s yard was in Hebburn rather than Jarrow. I grew up in Wallsend and attended school assembly where the Lord’s Prayer was intoned by many children as ‘Our Father who art in Hebburn ...’, because Palmer’s Yard in Hebburn was precisely where Dad was.

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ianjonesncl
Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, Hedley Malloch said:

I think that Palmer’s yard was in Hebburn rather than Jarrow. I grew up in Wallsend and attended school assembly where the Lord’s Prayer was intoned by many children as ‘Our Father who art in Hebburn ...’, because Palmer’s Yard in Hebburn was precisely where Dad was.

This is the location I was thinking about is shown on the first map.  The eastern end I believe is where the Tyne Tunnel is now located. There was also a Palmers yard in Hebburn - see second map and photograph. Area has changed so much over the years.

Palmers_Yard2-plan.jpgRepair-Stephenson3.jpgPalmers-HebburnDD.jpg

Edited by ianjonesncl

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ianjonesncl
14 hours ago, PhilB said:

Yes that’s the one. During a visit there, I was informed that it was designed to lift gun turrets into battleships.

I think there were a number of Hydraulic Cranes in the Elswick Works over the years. Only one pub though. 

 

HydraulicCrane.JPG

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Hedley Malloch

Ian: From your photos and maps, the photograph of the Queen Mary suggests it was taken at the second site opposite Swans. Although I was brought up in Wallsend, my knowledge of the south side of the river was vague. The river was a major barrier. There were no bridges or tunnels - just the ferry marked linking Hebburn and Wallsend marked on your map, and that cost money. Speaking of which, it was this ferry which was the setting for Tyneside's second greatest contribution to the history of modern cinema, 'Get Carter'. Here is Michael Caine sorting our Ian Hendry and other villains on the Wallsend landing stage shown on the ferry crossing on your map.

 

But I digress. HMS Queen Mary struck a chord with me in connection with my book 'The Killing of the Iron Twelve': see various threads on this site. The leader of the the British soldiers in Iron was James Moffatt. His address in 1914 was in Hunslet where he was staying with a family called Lee, to whom he Moffat appeared to be related. In the 1911 Census, there was a 14-year-old boy called Charles. He joined the Royal Navy and was serving on HMS Queen Mary when she sank. Charles did not survive. Some of Charles' correspondence with his parents survived and was published in the Leeds and Bradford papers at the time of the 2014 centenary.

 

 

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Hyacinth1326
Posted (edited)
On 06/07/2020 at 14:32, PhilB said:

Was it maybe built largely by Jarrovians?

 

 

It was certainly built by some Jarrovians but the book seems to imply there was a strong NE manning element which I must say that I have not detected from casualty lists either but the author of the book did have access to the holdings of Newcastle Central Library and there are some intriguing primary sources

Edited by Hyacinth1326

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Hyacinth1326

I like Palmers' Yard's  sliding cranes.  There is something elegantly mechanical about them.  HMS Queen Mary.

HMS_Queen_Mary_LOC_10459.jpg

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PhilB

I was surprised to see how much experience Palmers had in building warships:-

 

Ships built by Palmers included:

Naval[edit]

Battlecruisers[edit]

Battleships[edit]

HMS Defence, a battleship of 1861, as she looked after 1866
 
Battleship HMS Defence of 1861, as she appeared from 1866
refer to caption
 
Battleship HMS Resolution of 1915, as seen in the 1930s

Cruisers[edit]

the cruiser HMS Orlando of 1886
 
Cruiser HMS Orlando of 1886, as seen in the 1890s

Destroyers[edit]

HMS Spiteful, launched in 1899: it became the first warship to be powered only using fuel oil in 1904.
 
Torpedo boat destroyerHMS Spiteful, built by Palmers and launched in 1899, became the first warship to be powered only using fuel oil in 1904.
HMS Diana in 1933
 
Destroyer HMS Diana of 1932, as seen in 1933

Monitors[edit]

HMS Marshal Ney in 1915
 
Monitor HMS Marshal Ney in 1915

River gunboats[edit]

river gunboat HMS Spey of 1876
 
River gunboat HMS Spey of 1876

Merchant and leisure[edit]

SS John Bowes of 1852
 
SS John Bowes of 1852, the first iron screw collier
SS Meriones of 1922
 
SS Meriones of 1922

Cable ships[edit]

Cargo ships

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ianjonesncl

Hedley

 

I worked in Willington Quay, Wallsend and North Shields, decades ago, my wife is from Hebburn ( we met at work in Wallsend), so I have some knowledge of the area. Post lockdown we drove from Tynemouth along the river and could not recognise many places, quite disorienting.

 

I watched the program 'Draining the Sea' which outlined that HMS Queen Mary exploded and sank so quickly as a result of ammunition safety doors not being operated as designed. The amount of time, effort and money, that went into the building of the vessel, all negated in in such a sort time, and with such tragic loss of life, is brought home by the video showing the vessel languishing at the bottom of the North Sea.  

 

I am not sure if you have seen this interesting website: http://www.tynebuiltships.co.uk/

 

The site lists HMS Queen Mary as built at the Jarrow Yard: http://www.tynebuiltships.co.uk/Palmer2.html 

 

and that the Hebburn Yard opened in 1912: http://www.tynebuiltships.co.uk/BuildersP.html.

 

HMS Queen Mary was launched 20 March 1912, so she could have fitted out at Hebburn. The information on HMS Queen Mary shows the picture on your original post and details that the ship a fitting out in Jarrow. http://www.tynebuiltships.co.uk/Q-Ships/queenmary1913.html

 

I have managed to look at the background to the picture and identified some hill features on the north bank of the Tyne. A look on a contemporary map and it looks like they could be ballast hills at Willington Quay. I have tried to outline a possible viewpoint. If it is Jarrow, then it might suggest that the large crane on the left in the background is Swan Hunters at Wallsend. 
 

Ian

 

PalmersYard.jpg

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ianjonesncl
On 07/07/2020 at 20:49, Hedley Malloch said:

The river was a major barrier. There were no bridges or tunnels - just the ferry marked linking Hebburn and Wallsend marked on your map, and that cost money. Speaking of which, it was this ferry which was the setting for Tyneside's second greatest contribution to the history of modern cinema, 'Get Carter'.

and immortalised the the 'Get Carter Car Park'. There was some thoughts that it should be retained as a listed building !

Get_Carter_carpark.jpg

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Hyacinth1326

Owen Luder atrocity.  All gone now

 

PS the 'large crane' is the distinctive former Walker Naval Yard (ArmstrongII) crane and it survives (see above).  I can see it from my office window

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