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Remembered Today:

HMS Hawke survivors


Guest geoffb
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There is quite a lot of information on the demise of HMS Hawke that was torpedoed on 17th October 1914 in the North sea. It is stated that there were 71 survivors and aproximately 500 were lost. I believe that my grandfather, who I never met, was one of the survivors. I would like to know if the list of survivors exists anywhere as I would like to verify this information.

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I remember seeing conflicting figures on the number of survivors a couple of years ago, and I concluded that from a ship’s company of 550 men only 66 survivors were landed at Aberdeen.

One of the dead was seventeen year old Clifford Pollard from Holmfirth, and I was able to use the National Archives website to get a copy of his record, which they emailed to me. It states that he was discharged dead on the 15th October 1914.

If your relative was on the Hawke his record seems to be your best bet for confirmation of that.

Tony.

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There is quite a lot of information on the demise of HMS Hawke that was torpedoed on 17th October 1914 in the North sea. It is stated that there were 71 survivors and aproximately 500 were lost. I believe that my grandfather, who I never met, was one of the survivors. I would like to know if the list of survivors exists anywhere as I would like to verify this information.

My grandfather was a telegraphist on HMS Swift which was one of three destroyers despatched from Scapa on 15th October 1914 when Hawke was reported missing. The other two being Contest and Christopher.

The following are extracts from his diary:

Swift arrived on the scene in the early hours of the 16th and was able to pick up the survivors from two of the life-rafts numbering 6 in total from approx 50 originally. The others had died in the water overnight. Contest and Christopher picked up 12 more between them. The only surviving cutter from Hawke had approx 30 hands aboard and had gone away for help on the 15th after the attack.

During the rescue Swift was herself attacked by submarines but escaped unscathed.

On the return to Scapa one of the survivors died and was buried at sea. All three destroyers arrived back at Scapa through Holm Sound at 9am on the 17th., where the survivors were transferred to the hospital ship.

Hope this helps

Pat

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Geoff,

My Granddad was just a boy serving in HMS Theseus (one of Hawke's sister-ships) on the day the Hawke was sunk.

You’re right; there seems to be plenty of conflicting figures regarding the tragedy. One particularly galling point is the fact that new Admiralty orders at the time forbade large ships from assisting sinking vessels in danger areas, following the sinking the previous September of His Majesty's ships Aboukir, Cressy and Hogue.

PJ

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I would like to know if the list of survivors exists anywhere as I would like to verify this information.

Try this file at Kew - ADM 1/8398/374 Loss of HMS HAWKE 15 Oct. 1914. Casualty and survivors list

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Guest geoffb
I remember seeing conflicting figures on the number of survivors a couple of years ago, and I concluded that from a ship’s company of 550 men only 66 survivors were landed at Aberdeen.

One of the dead was seventeen year old Clifford Pollard from Holmfirth, and I was able to use the National Archives website to get a copy of his record, which they emailed to me. It states that he was discharged dead on the 15th October 1914.

If your relative was on the Hawke his record seems to be your best bet for confirmation of that.

Tony.

Hi Tony

There seems to be a lot of info on the event itself.

I am getting really interested

How do I get in touch with the National Archives

Many thanks

Geoff Burford

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The cost is £3.50 which is not bad I suppose. The Link below should take you to the right page at the National Archives.

Seamen's records.

But if you want to go through the whole thing the method I used is given below.

Go to the National Archives website click the “Shop online” button on the top right and select “Documents online” from the drop down menu.

Look for the “Royal Naval Seamen” box and click “Search now.”

The table that appears has a space of the surname and Christian name, number if known and/or other keyword.

And this is where the fun began:

Now for some reason that I do not understand I was not able to find a Clifford Pollard when I put his full name in, but I was able to find him when I entered just Pollard, and in the keywords box - Holmfirth. (His place of birth and residence.)

It looks like you just have to persevere with it until you find the way to the record you want. I have just managed to get the record of Arthur Roodhouse just by typing in his surname and nothing else, and all I need to do now is decipher the handwriting.

Good luck with it.

Tony.

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Guest geoffb
I remember seeing conflicting figures on the number of survivors a couple of years ago, and I concluded that from a ship’s company of 550 men only 66 survivors were landed at Aberdeen.

One of the dead was seventeen year old Clifford Pollard from Holmfirth, and I was able to use the National Archives website to get a copy of his record, which they emailed to me. It states that he was discharged dead on the 15th October 1914.

If your relative was on the Hawke his record seems to be your best bet for confirmation of that.

Tony.

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Guest geoffb

Thanks for the info you fellows have supplied

Jonothan Saunders ADM 1/8398/374 Loss of HMS HAWKE 15 Oct. 1914

and Tony Lund's link have shown that my Grandfather Fred Burford was not on the HMS Hawke as thought but was on the HMS St George at the time HMS Hawke was sunk. Tony's link has supplied his full navel record from 1890 to 1919 -- great stuff :) but no record of him on the HMS Hawke

He was on HMS Hawke from 1904-1906

He got a medal:

Long Service and Good Conduct, Frederick Burford Acting C.P.O. HMS Hawke

This made me think he must have been on HMS Hawke when it was sunk and there were also rumours through the family - wrong!

Thanks again

Geoff Burford

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