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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

HMS Glatton


wulsten

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Kyn, may i say a very welcome addition to the topic and a very warm welcome to the forum, Geoff

Thank you very much Geoff, i hope i can add something to the forum :)

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  • 1 year later...

I have just been given my Grandfathers Royal Navy records/ Certificate of service by my Aunt who has kept them for many yaers after my Grandmother died and have just found out he was on the Glatton the day she was destroyed.

My Grandfather was Thomas Henry Matthews and the time was 18 or 19 years old and had been on the Glatton from the 1st of July 1918. He survived the tragic event and died when i was four in 1968 and i never really knew him but family rumours persisted that the full truth was never told about the ship he had been on that had been partially destroyed by an accidental fire and then torpedo shots from her own side.

My own Father who passed away recently couldnt remember the name of the ship and niether could anyone else in the family but he could remember the vivid descriptions of what had happened to it from his own Fathers eye witness testimony and who had said some of the survivors from the intial accidental explosion were killed when she was hit by the torpedo's that her own side fired at her in order to stop the ship from exploding further and causing damage to ships nearby and that the survivors were told to keep quiet about the event because of the Official Secret Act. I am now very curious to know if these family tales have any truth to them.

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There are several accounts on this thread. I would recommend the files at Kew; they are original documents so you will need to have a readers ticket and view them in situ - or pay for copies.

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There are several accounts on this thread. I would recommend the files at Kew; they are original documents so you will need to have a readers ticket and view them in situ - or pay for copies.

Thankyou, i will look into this.

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  • 3 years later...

One of the men I am researching from Bamber Bridge was aboard HMS Glatton:

Rank: Ordinary Seaman. Birth Place: Preston, Lancashire, England. Service Number: J/83010. Birth Date: 12/01/1900. Date of Death: Killed or died by means other than disease, accident or enemy action, 16/09/1918. Age: 18. Regiment or Service: Royal Navy, H.M.S. Glatton. Grave Reference: Naval. 15. 804-6. Cemetery: Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery, Kent. Additional Information: Son of Thomas and Alice Clifton, of 86, Station Rd., Bamber Bridge, Preston, Lancs

Preston Guardian, September 28, 1918, Pg.6, Col.c.

Mr. and Mrs. Clifton, 44, School-lane, Bamber Bridge, have received a message from the Admiralty informing them that their son, Able Seaman Clifton, has lost his life at sea. Deceased was 19 years of age, and joined the navy over a year ago, prior to which he was engaged in the local cotton industry. Two other brothers are serving in the army.

The two brothers mentioned were Richard and William. In 1911 they all lived at 41 School Lane, Bamber Bridge.

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Just to add a bit to the story, Sub-Lieutenant David Hywel Evans RNVR of Nant Villa, Pen'rallt, Llangefni, Anglesey was (with four other Naval personnel) awarded the Albert Medal for his bravery in rescuing casualties from the Glatton (London Gazettes of 31 January and 20 May 1919)

http://www.naval-history.net/WW1MedalsBr-AM.htm

He survived to exchange it for the George Cross in 1971, the only one of the five to do so.

Born Llangefni 1898, died North Yorkshire 1985. Educated Llangefni School, University of Wales Aberystwyth, and Christ Church Oxford (MA, B.Sc.). Joined Mersey Division RNVR WW1 and served in 13th Submarine Flotilla and HMS Trident (Dover Patrol). Regained an RNVR commission 1921 and was a science teacher at Radley College 1923-25, then joined the RN as a Naval Instructor, becoming an Instructor Commander 1939 and retiring 1947. Senior Lecturer and Warden of Devonshire Hall, University of Leeds 1947-63. Married 1932, with one daughter.

Clive

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Thanks for resurrecting and adding to this thread, Clive. Looking back at the recommendations to consult the enquiry documents at Kew, I thought it might be worth linking to another thread on Glatton in which I recorded some of the findings, when I eventually got there in 2010 on the recommendation of per ardua per mare per terram, even though my interest was the role played by one officer so the picture given is far from complete.

http://1914-1918.inv...7495&hl=glatton

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Aboard Glatton at the time was Surgeon Captain Edward Leicester Atkinson, RN. This is an extract from his obituary (died February 1929) in the Journal of the RN Medical Service, vol. 14 (1929), p.157.

"September, 1918, he was awarded the Albert Medal for gallantry in saving life at sea. A serious explosion occurred on board H.M.S. Glatton which was followed by an outbreak of fire. At the time Atkinson was rendered unconscious, but on recovery he made his way through dense smoke to the quarter deck and brought two unconscious men up on to the upper deck, and when attempting to bring up a third man a secondary explosion occurred which blinded him, and a piece of metal was driven into his leg in such a manner that he was unable to move until he himself had extracted it. After bringing up two more men Atkinson was found on the upper deck unconscious, wounded, badly burnt and his life was despaired of for some time."

In 1910 Atkinson had been one of the two surgeons RN to go with Captain Scott to the Antarctic; he led the expedition after Scott's death in 1912. He also served at Gallipoli.

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Martin - WOW - Post 9 - what a great way of giving info asked for re casualties. Have never seen it done like that before.

Well done - well done indeed !!!

Sadsac

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Have been reading this interesting thread, my own personnal interest on HMS Glatton is that my Great-Uncle, Stoker Petty Officer Ralph Genee was one of those who lost his life on board that fateful day back in 1918.

To give a bit of background ( although I don't have all my info at hand while I am typing this) he joined the navy prior to WW1 and served on various ships before being posted to HMS Kent where he served for nearly most of the war by which time he had worked his way up from Stoker 2nd class to Petty Officer by 1918.

And now for a bit of a twist to my story....

I have got a few faded photos of my Great -Uncle taken from his time on Kent, in the few photos I have there was always a slightly younger looking sailor with him, a stoker judging by their insigna but unfort there was no names on the photos and any knowledge had been lost over time when older relatives had passed on long before I started my research.

Last October (2011) I was just doing a Google serach on Glatton when I came across the story of a Reginald Wells who was a leading Stoker on Glatton and died of his wounds approx one week later after the Dover accident, intrigued I noted that he joined HMS Kent the same day as my Great- Uncle back in 1914, served on Kent for most of the war before transferring to Glatton.. the same day as my Great-Uncle.

Given their common background I was pretty certain that both Reginald and my Great-Uncle would have certainly known each other, esp moreso as they both transferred to HMS Galtton on the same day, I contacted the secretary of the local Effingham history group and attached a few of my photos asking if they had any to compare with as I had a hunch that given his age this Reginald Wells could be the same chap in my photos.

The secretary emailed me back and while agreeing with my possible theory they had no photos of Reginald Wells to which to compare with my photos so my theory had come to an end.

However... in late Septemeber this year the secretary contacted me, they had been lent an old photo album of photos taken at the time of WW1 by a local lady who had the foresight to take photos of all the local Effingham men serving and also had written their names of the back of each photo, the one confirmed photo in the album of Reginald Wells was the same young chap who appeared in the few photos I had so after nearly 100 years I can finally put a name to the unidentified sailor in my photos.

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Its always special to place a face & name to a sailor or soldier, and very rewarding when an end result is gained after trawling through microfilms etc, you must be well chuffed, Geoff :thumbsup:

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I too have a copy of the account of the explosion from 'I was there' jounal (part 45) and whilst it's a little embellished with floral deciriptions and some creative jornalism, it feels like a fairly honest account to me.

If the account of the rush to aid the stricken ship is accurate, these chaps on Lady Brassey deserved medals for their bravery though.

Alec

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I happened to be looking at the catalogue of the CWGC archives earlier today, and in passing spotted that there were some documents about the recovery of bodies from Glatton, and how the graves were to be treated etc (I think it was in part II of the catalogue)

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Hope to post the photos on the website, just have to ask if it is ok to use the original Reginald Wells photo to add as a comparison to mine.

One thing I do recall being told about the funeral for the crew was the fact that on the day of the funeral it lashed down with rain ( as per press reports of the time), at the time some of the family travelled from Jersey for the funeral, I visited the grave some years ago, the naval cemetary in Gillingham (Kent) is a big place and it took me a little while to locate the grave.

One strange thing I did come across a few years ago while surfing on the net was film footage of what was listed as the funeral of that day, somewhat bizarrely playing in the background was the Everley Brothers song 'Wake up little Suzie' somehow attached to this file! can't find the link now but I think is was ITV archive footage (?)

T&C

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