HMS ABOUKIRStoker (1st) Norman Sidney Burrard, born Monaghan, died aged 20 Stoker (1st) Matthew Cleland, born Belfast, died aged 26 Stoker (1st) Hugh Donnelly, born Belfast, died aged 26 Stoker (1st) John Foster, born Dromore, lived Belfast, died aged27 Stoker (1st) William James Gordon, born Downpatrick, died aged 27 Stoker (1st) William Johnston Kerr, born Belfast, died aged 25 Stoker (1st) William Martin, born Belfast, died aged 22 Stoker (1st) Gilbert McBride, born Belfast, died aged 26 Stoker (1st) Francis Leonard McLoughlin, lived Ballycashon, died aged 21 Stoker (1st) Edward Thomas Quinn, lived Belfast, died aged 29 Stoker (1st) Hugh Sands, lived Belfast, died aged 24 Able Seaman Edward Henry Everall, born Annalong, died aged 26 Sick Berth Steward Reuben John Johnston, born Belfast, died aged 37 Able Seaman Frederick Charles Hamilton, born Lisburn, died aged 35
HMS CRESSYStoker (1st) Peter Breslin, born Ardara, Donegal, died aged 27 Stoker (1st) Samuel Chancellor, born Belfast, died aged 22 Stoker (1st) Joseph McBride Hilland, born Belfast, died aged 24 Stoker (1st) Thomas Joseph Hughes, born Belfast, died aged 29 Stoker (1st) Alexander Jamison, born Doagh, lived Belfast, died aged 28 Stoker (1st) David Lewis, lived Belfast, died aged 25 Stoker (1st) John Logan, born Belfast, died aged 23 Stoker (1st) Isaiah Marshall, born Belfast, died aged 23 Stoker (1st) Henry McMurran, born Whitehead, lived Carrickfergus, died aged 27 Stoker (1st) Thomas Murphy, born Newry, died aged 31 Stoker (1st) Charles Neill, born Belfast, died aged 26 Stoker (1st) William Joseph Redmond, lived Belfast, died aged 29 Leading Carpenter’s Crew Joshua Singleton, born Hillsborough, died aged 37 Engine Room Artificer William Wright, born Belfast, died aged 31 Lieutenant Philip Arthur Graham Kell, linked to Portrush, died aged 37
HMS HOGUEStoker William Clair, born Belfast, died aged 41 Stoker (1st) David Graham, born Whiteabbey, lived Whitehouse, died aged 36 Only one of these men’s bodies was recovered for burial, most remaining where they drowned. They are remembered at either Chatham or Portsmouth Naval Memorials. The wrecks of the three cruisers still rest on the seabed, the mass graves of so many men, although these are not protected and it is alleged that the wrecks are being salvaged for metal. The anniversary on 22nd September will be marked at the Historic Dockyard, Chatham with a Drumhead service and fall of 1,459 poppy petals, one for each life lost. Research by Karen O’Rawe, Chair of History Hub Ulster. Servicemen images courtesy of History Hub Ulster Member, Nigel Henderson at http://www.greatwarbelfastclippings.com
Shared History Lecture Series "Ireland and the First World War 1914-1922"Chaired by Dr Éamon Phoenix (Political Historian, author and broadcaster) Iveagh Movie Studios, Banbridge town. Series commences on Wednesday 24th September for 7 weeks. All talks commence at 7pm sharp on successive Wednesday evenings. Admission is free and their is no need to book. Wednesday 24 September "Ireland and Europe on the Brink: from Home Rule to the Guns of August" - Dr Éamon Phoenix Wednesday 1 October "Volunteering: Carson's Army from the Old Town Hall to Kitchener's Call 1913-1916" – Alan Parkinson (author, lecturer, formerly of University of London Southbank) "The North Began': The Rise of the Irish Volunteers 1913-1916" - Éamon Phoenix Wednesday 8 October "The Battle of the Somme" – Philip Orr (playwright, historian, lecturer) Wednesday 15 October "Irish Nationalists and the Great War" - Sean Collins (historian) "Airbrushed out of History? The Great in Modern Memory, North & South" – Jim McDermott (historian) Wednesday 22nd October "Women in Ireland, the Vote and the War" – Dr Margaret Ward (author on Irish Women's History; Visiting Fellow in Irish History, Queen's University, Belfast) Wednesday 29th October "Ireland 1918-1922: Revolution, Partition and Civil War" - Dr Éamon Phoenix Wednesday 5 November "Postcards and Memorabilia of Home Rule and The Great War" – Ashley Forbes (historian) "Researching Ancestors in the First World War" - Dr Gavin Hughes (military historian, Trinity College Dublin) This programme is delivered by Banbridge District Councils Good Relations Programme, part-financed through OFMDFM.
The first ship ever to be sunk by a locomotive torpedo fired by a submarine was HMS Pathfinder, a Pathfinder-class scout cruiser, on 5th September 1914. She was sunk off St Abbs Head in the Scottish Borders while on patrol, by U-21 commanded by Kapitänleutnant Otto Hersing, taking with her 6 men from Ulster. Despite the event having been easily visible from shore the authorities attempted to cover up the sinking and HMS Pathfinder was reported to have been mined.
The majority of crew below decks had neither the time nor opportunity to escape and went down with the ship. There was some confusion at the time over the exact number of crew on board, but research indicates that there were 261 deaths and only 18 survivors.
One of these survivors of HMS Pathfinder was Captain Francis Martin Leake who had started his career as a young Lieutenant on HMS Caroline. Captain Leake stayed with his ship as she went down by the nose but was lucky to be picked up and saved.
He writes in a letter to his mother; “The torpedo got us in our forward magazine and evidently sent this up, thereby killing everyone forward”. He says of Pathfinder; “She then fell over and disappeared leaving a mass of wreckage all around, but I regret very few men amongst it, for at the time they were all asleep on the mess decks and the full explosion must have caught them, for no survivors came from forward.”
Another survivor was County Down man, Staff Surgeon Thomas Aubrey Smyth who gave an account of his experiences in a letter to his mother who lived at Bedeque House, Dromore.
“The explosion blew a great hole in the side of the ship. I was at the time in the wardroom, but ran up on deck immediately, and it was then evident by the way the bow was down in the water that she would sink rapidly. I should say the whole thing occurred in about ten minutes which time was spent in throwing overboard the few articles which would float (the reason there was not more of these was that in preparation for war all unnecessary woodwork is got rid of to prevent fire). I was then thrown forward by the slope of the deck and got jammed beneath a gun (which I expect is the cause of my bruising) and while in this position was carried down some way by the sinking ship, but fortunately after a time I became released and after what seemed like interminable ages I came to the surface, and after swimming a short time I was able to get an oar and some other floating material with the help of which I was just able to keep on the surface. After holding on for a long time - I believe it was an hour and a half – I must have become unconscious for I have no recollection of being picked out of the water. You see we were alone when it happened, so it took a long time for the reserve torpedo boats to come out and it was too quick to get any of our own boats out, besides most of the few we had were splintered into pieces.”
There were at least 6 Ulster casualties on board HMS Pathfinder:
These Ulster men were:
Ordinary Seaman HERBERT DALEY born in Lurgan, died aged 20
Stoker (1st class) CHARLES JOHN GORMAN born in Belfast, died aged 24
Leading Stoker JAMES HERBERT HILLIS born in Banbridge, died aged 26
Stoker (1st class) WILLIAM SWANN born Glasgow, lived in Belfast, died aged 23
Stoker (1st class) ANDREW WEST born Belfast, died aged 23
Stoker (1st class) GEORGE SINCLAIR BELL born Belfast, died aged 28
None of these men’s bodies were recovered for burial and as such they still remain were they died. All six men are remembered at Chatham Naval Memorial. The wreck site of HMS Pathfinder is designated under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986. The anniversary on 5th September will be marked by the British Sub-Aqua Club who will lay a wreath for the centenary of her sinking.
On the Centenary of HMS Pathfinder’s sinking on 5th September, HMS Bangor will arrive in Bangor, County Down. She will be open to the general public on the afternoons of Sat 6th and Sun 7th. HMS Bangor is a 600 tonne Sandown Class Minehunter, commissioned by the Royal Navy and launched by Lady Lisa Spencer in 1999 at Southampton Docks. She is named after Bangor and is the second Royal Navy vessel to bear the name. She is 52.5m in length and has a max speed of 13 knots.
Research by Karen O'Rawe Chair of History Hub Ulster.
Pictures courtesy of History Hub Ulster Member, Nigel Henderson at http://www.greatwarbelfastclippings.com