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Remembered Today:

HMS Viktor and Antwerp!

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Hope this contribution is of some use to someone. Thanks for Hawke help.

Portglenone man lost of HMS Viktor.

We regret to state that Saml. M. Gourley A.B. of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve lost his life in the sinking of HMS Viktor. Young Gourley, who was only 21 years of ahe, was a son of Mr. James Gourley, Portglenone.

He was called up at the outbreak of war and took part in the defence of Antwerp, and was amongst those who made their escape towards Ostend.

SAMUEL M. Gourley, Portglenone, son of Mr. James Gourley, senior Postmaster in Portglenone, was with the Royal Naval Volunteers in the trenches at Antwerp.

He returned to Portglenone on a few days furlough on Thursday October 15 and he left Ballymena on Sunday last to report himself at Dublin on Monday morning.

Before going he received a presentation of a beautiful Bible from Miss Young, Portglenone House and a presentation of cigarettes and money from several of his companions in Portglenone.

The Naval Marine was one of a party of the defenders (of Antwerp ) who, mud-stained, dirty and unshaven, returned to Dover from Ostend.

Only a week previously he had left Dover and with his comrades embarked for a port unknown. They landed in France (?) and were sent direct to the trenches where they were underfire at once.

Several chaps around him were struck but he escaped ..... on the retreat he experienced any thrilling adventures.

At one time they were almost led into the German lines but through the intervention of a Belgian officer they were put on the right track and the treacherous guide was shot.

Most of them got back to England safely after about eight days but some strayed into Holland and were interned there and a few, alas, were left lifeless in the trenches.

C.G. McConaghy, formerly of Ballymena, was killed by a German mine while serving on board HMS Amphion. He was a pupil of Ballymena Academy and his first ship when he joined the service was HMS Queen. He was a great

favourite with his schoolmates at the Academy.

Ballymena Observer 12th February 1915

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This is really interesting to me Desmond, as one of the Bewdley men went down with this ship.

I think however, it is the VIKNOR:


Initials: S

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Able Seaman

Regiment: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve

Unit Text: H.M.S. "Viknor."

Age: 21

Date of Death: 13/01/1915

Service No: Clyde 3/2177

Additional information: Son of James Gourley.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: 10.


If anyone else is interested in the ship, I have a bit on her. Lost due to a German mine the Irish coast - all hands lost.


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This is why this forum is special - cheers any more naval obits and I will post

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Here's the 'Viknor':

Boy 1st Class John BISHOP Royal Navy HMS “Viknor” J/28161 died 13/1/15 Aged 17

Son of John C. and Rose Bishop of 44 Lax Lane Bewdley

Commemorated at the Naval Memorial, Portsmouth, Hampshire

Panel 8

‘Viknor’ was an Armed Merchant Cruiser (1888, 5386 tons), a merchantman formerly known as the ‘Viking’ and the ‘Ataro’ and owned by the Viking Cruising Company and taken over by the Navy in 1914. At the time of her loss on 13th of January 1915 was in the 10th Cruiser Squadron blockading the seas between the North of Scotland and Iceland, and was commanded by Ernest Offord Ballantyne. She had a complement of 22 officers and 273 ratings, and was lost in rough weather off Tory Island on the north-west coast of Donegal. All of her crew perished, with large quantities of wreckage and some bodies being washed ashore along the north coast of Ireland. 25 seamen were of the Newfoundland Division of the Royal Naval Reserve. 24 are commemorated on the Beaumont Hamel Memorial in France. One body was washed ashore and is buried in Colonsay. The Admiralty could not find a reason for the loss, but apparently she was in the area of a recently sown German minefield.


Edited by Simon_Fielding
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Thanks for posting the picture. Would it be OK to reproduce elsewhere? Could you possibly e-mail me a copy to btphoto@mortonnewspapers.com ?

Have posted elsewhere that I'm trying to collate a 'home town GW supplement'

It's rapidly turning into a bloomin' volume!

I would like to give the forum a major 'plug' in this supplement for the help received.

I'll keep posting naval stuff from the files as I get time to key them in ... scanner out of operation at home at moment.

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If you have a look at page II of the thread regarding “Two Brothers who died on the Same Date!, What are the odds?” then you’ll find there another couple of ex-RND lads who, after Antwerp went afloat, only to die together when the Viknor went down

AB David Henry Wright RNVR [serv.no. Mersey/4/18]


AB Alfred Wright RNVR [serv.no. Mersey/4/22]

Best of luck with your ‘home town GW supplement’


Michael D.R.

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When this sort of thing started to happen did anyone in the admiralty debate whether family members should be allowed to sail of same vessel? Forgive my lack of naval affairs! Thanks for your encouragement on supplement.

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Sorry, no firm info on that

but I have a fancy that my father told me that in WWII it was not permitted

Regret can't be more helpful


Michael D.R.

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Hi Desmond -

I got the image from here:



and they sent me a very decent copy when I asked nicely and told them what it was for!!

Michael - Thansk for the tip about these two.


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