Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Submarine H8 - March 1916 - help with crew list


Recommended Posts

Hello all!

I'm trying to put together a piece about submarine H8, and particularly the incident of 22 March 1916, when she struck a British mine which caused considerable damage to her bow section.  Sinking to the bottom, the crew (under Canadian B. L. Johnson, RNR - the only RNR officer to command a submarine during the war) managed to resurface the vessel and make the journey back to Harwich.

I had promised to put together some detail for the relative of an ERA4 who was on the boat during the incident (which only came to light after discovering a yellowing newspaper cutting, written by an American journalist at the time of the event - though mentioning no vessel by name of course).

I've got a couple of questions - one of which is more of a unobtainable wish I expect!

Firstly, does anyone have a crew list for H8 at the time of the incident (I know - a big ask!) or for the opening months of 1916.

Secondly, the compliment of the H-class submarines was 22.  Can anyone explain how this compliment was made up - I know there would, of course be variations, but, typically, what did the crew consist of (what trades, officers etc)

I'd really appreciate your help guys

With thanks, as always.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why start a new thread on pretty much the same topic as your previous one? It just makes things messy and difficult to follow - for that reason, we generally try to avoid doing it on the Forum.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apologies MB,

However, I started a new thread because I felt the title of this new thread was far more specific, (including the specific submarine and date) and may attract attention by forum members who might not otherwise have taken a look - my earlier request showed neither.

Best wishes

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For example, the loss of H.6 afew weeks aerlier on 19 Jan 1916 (from naval-history.net):-

H.6, submarine, ran aground on Dutch coast, all crew survived, two officers, coxswain, chief ERA and 8 ratings taken off, rest interned

Beebe, Arthur William, Stoker 1c, K 11810, survivor, interned

Beer, John William Bath, Stoker 1c, K 4194, survivor, interned

Brown, Cuthbert Leslie, Lieutenant, RNR, survivor

Burnett, John, Ordinary Telegraphist, J 26636, survivor, interned

Chandler, Harry, Able Seaman, J 1795, survivor, interned

Charman, William Albert, Boy Telegraphist, J 31362, survivor

Cooper, David William, Able Seaman, 219705, survivor, interned

Darvill, Frederick Albert, Able Seaman, 236159, survivor

Davis, Frederick Charles, Stoker 1c, K 11937, survivor

Dudley, Leonard, Able Seaman, 236955, survivor, interned

Elderfield, William Francis, Stoker 1c, K 10483, survivor, interned

Gibson, Arthur, Petty Officer, 179798, survivor, interned

Hawkins, Sidney Victor, Leading Stoker, 308323, survivor

Keys, Frank, Engine Room Artificer 3c, M 5105, survivor

King, Cecil Hanks, Able Seaman, J 790, survivor

Manley, Joseph, Engine Room Artificer 2c, 272478, survivor

Ridding, Ernest Henry, Leading Seaman, 220966, survivor, interned

Robinson, Frederick James, Stoker Petty Officer, 308214, survivor, interned

Ryder, Dudley William, Lieutenant, RN, survivor

Saunders, Henry George, Petty Officer, 194067, survivor

Stopford, Robert Neville, Lieutenant, RN, survivor, interned

Whitelaw, Thomas Broomfield, Engine Room Artificer 1c, 936 EA, survivor, interned

Edited by horatio2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, brimacombe said:

.. the crew (under Canadian B. L. Johnson, RNR - the only RNR officer to command a submarine during the war) managed to resurface the vessel and make the journey back to Harwich.

Worse than being RNR (in the eyes of regular navy submariners) Barney Johnson was officially serving as an RNCVR officer up until after he’d already completed the trans-Atlantic delivery voyage. This utterly appalled his fellow RN officers (as can’t have people believing that amateur sailors might be capable of commanding advanced naval technology) and before he was begrudgingly allowed to take command of an operational submarine, he was required to accept an RNR commission (based on his prior mercantile marine experience and Master Mariners qualification).


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks MD

Apparently, he was initially offered a commission in the RN, which he refused, accepting (as you say) a commission in the RNR.


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
  • Create New...