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Newly discovered ancestor killed in 1914

Article about: Report on the Sinking of the Cressy, Aboukir and Hogue by Commander Bertram W. L. Nicholson Sir: I have the honour to submit the following report in connection with the sinking of H.M.S. Cre

  1. #11

    Default Re: Newly discovered ancestor killed in 1914

    Report on the Sinking of the Cressy, Aboukir and Hogue by Commander Bertram W. L. Nicholson

    Sir:

    I have the honour to submit the following report in connection with the sinking of H.M.S. Cressy, in company with H.M.S. Aboukir and Hogue, on the morning of the 22nd of September, while on patrol duty.

    The Aboukir was struck at about 6.25 a.m. on the starboard beam. The Hogue and Cressy closed and took up a position, the Hogue ahead of the Aboukir, and the Cressy about 400 yards on her port beam.

    As soon as it was seen that the Aboukir was in danger of sinking all the boats were sent away from the Cressy, and a picket boat was hoisted out without steam up. When cutters full of the Aboukir's men were returning to the Cressy the Hogue was struck, apparently under the aft 9.2 magazine, as a very heavy explosion took place immediately. Almost directly after the Hogue was hit we observed a periscope on our port bow about 300 yards off.

    Fire was immediately opened and the engines were put full speed ahead with the intention of running her down. Our gunner, Mr. Dougherty, positively asserts that he hit the periscope and that the submarine sank. An officer who was standing alongside the gunner thinks that the shell struck only floating timber, of which there was much about, but it was evidently the impression of the men on deck, who cheered and clapped heartily, that the submarine had been hit. This submarine did not fire a torpedo at the Cressy.

    Capt. Johnson then manoeuvred the ship so as to render assistance to the crews of the Hogue and Aboukir. About five minutes later another periscope was seen on our starboard quarter and fire was opened. The track of the torpedo she fired at a range of 500 to 600 yards was plainly visible and it struck us on the starboard side just before the after-bridge.

    The ship listed about 10 degrees to the starboard and remained steady. The time was 7.15 a.m. All the watertight doors, deadlights and scuttles had been securely closed before the torpedo struck the ship. All the mess stools and table shores, and all available timber below and on deck, had been previously got up and thrown over side for the saving of life.

    A second torpedo fired by the same submarine missed and passed about 10 feet astern. About a quarter of an hour after the first torpedo had hit, a third torpedo fired from a submarine just before the starboard beam hit us under the No. 5 boiler room. The time was 7.30 a.m. The ship then began to heel rapidly, and finally turned keel up, remaining so for about twenty minutes before she finally sank, at 7.55 a.m.

    A large number of men were saved by casting adrift on Pattern 3 target. The steam pinnace floated off her clutches, but filled and sank.

    The second torpedo which struck the Cressy passed over the sinking hull of the Aboukir, narrowly missing it. It is possible that the same submarine fired all three torpedoes at the Cressy.

    The conduct of the crew was excellent throughout. I have already remarked on the bravery displayed by Capt. Phillips, master of the trawler L.T. Coriander, and his crew, who picked up 156 officers and men.

    The report of the Admiralty of Commander Reginald A, Norton, late of H.M.S. Hogue, follows:

    Commander Norton's Report

    I have the honour to report as follows concerning the sinking of the Hogue, Aboukir, and Cressy: Between 6.15 and 6.30 a.m., H.M.S. Aboukir was struck by a torpedo. The Hogue closed on the Aboukir and I received orders to hoist out the launch, turn out and prepare all boats, and unlash all timber on the upper deck.

    Two lifeboats were sent to the Aboukir, but before the launch could get away the Hogue was struck on the starboard side amidships by two torpedoes at intervals of ten to twenty seconds. The ship at once began to heel to starboard.

    After ordering the men to provide themselves with wood, hammocks, etc., and to get into the boats on the booms and take off their clothes, I went, by Capt. Nicholson's direction, to ascertain the damage done in the engine room. The artificer engineer informed me that the water was over the engine room gratings.

    While endeavouring to return to the bridge the water burst open the starboard entry port doors and the ship heeled rapidly. I told the men in the port battery to jump overboard, as the launch was close alongside, and soon afterward the ship lurched heavily to starboard.

    I clung to a ringbolt for some time, but eventually was dropped on to the deck, and a huge wave washed me away. I climbed up the ship's side and again was washed off. Eventually, after swimming about from various over-laden pieces of wreckage, I was picked up by a cutter from the Hogue, Coxswain L. S. Marks, which pulled about for some hours, picking up men and discharging them to our picket boat and steam pinnace and to the Dutch steamers Flora and Titan, and rescued, in this way, Commander Sells of the Aboukir, Engineer Commander Stokes (with legs broken), Fleet Paymaster Eldred, and about 120 others.

    Finally, about 11 a.m., when we could find no more men in the water, we were picked up by the Lucifer, which proceeded to the Titan and took off from her all our men except about twenty who were too ill to be moved.

    A Lowestoft trawler and the two Dutch ships Flora and Titan were extraordinarily kind, clothing and feeding our men. My boat's crew, consisting mainly of Royal Navy Reserve men, pulled and behaved remarkably well. I particularly wish to mention Petty Officer Halton, who, by encouraging the men in the water near me, undoubtedly saved many lives.

    Lieut. Commander Phillips-Wolley, after hoisting out the launch, asked me if we should try to hoist out another boat, and endeavoured to do so. The last I saw of him was on the after-bridge, doing well.

    Lieut. Commander Tillard was picked up by a launch. He got up a cutter's crew and saved many lives, as did Midshipman Cazalet in the Cressy's gig. Lieut. Chichester turned out the whaler very quickly.

    A Dutch sailing trawler sailed close by, but went off without rendering any assistance, although we signalled to her from the Hogue to close after we were struck.

    The Aboukir appeared to me to take about thirty-five minutes to sink, floating bottom up for about five minutes. The Hogue turned turtle very quickly - in about five minutes - and floated bottom up for several minutes.

    A dense black smoke was seen in the starboard battery, whether from coal or torpedo cordite I could not say. The upper deck was not blown up, and only one other small explosion occurred and we heeled over.

    The Cressy I watched heel over from the cutter. She heeled over to starboard very slowly, dense black smoke issuing from her when she attained an angle of about 90 degrees, and she took a long time from this angle till she floated bottom up with the starboard screw slightly out of water, I consider it was thirty-five to forty-five minutes from the time she was struck till she was bottom up.

    All the men on the Hogue behaved extraordinarily well, obeying orders even when in the water swimming for their lives, and I witnessed many cases of great self-sacrifice and gallantry.

    I have the honour to submit that I may be appointed to another ship as soon as I can get a kit.
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  2. #12

    Default Re: Newly discovered ancestor killed in 1914

    Hi Andy, it is certainly something I would recommend doing. It does take up a lot of time, but by joining an online resource like Ancestry you can soon build up the basics in a few hours.

    I am now back to 1580 for my direct Stevenson bloodline which is as good as it gets.

    Cheers, Ade
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  3. #13

    Default Re: Newly discovered ancestor killed in 1914

    Very interesting Ade, I was doing a little reaserch this summer and found out I had a cousin die at Beaumaont Hamel with the Newfoundland Regiment in 1916.

    Larrry

  4. #14

    Default Re: Newly discovered ancestor killed in 1914

    The best thing about family history research for me is that it places your own family in amongst the events that have shaped your own nations history, and in the case of the world wars, the entire planets history. Great stuff Ade, well done for sharing yours with the rest of us.

  5. #15

    Default Re: Newly discovered ancestor killed in 1914

    Interesting indeed Ade. Good info from your Mum, and great job in
    researching the information and finding photos yourself !

    On a curious note, there is a teacher at the elementary school
    I work at named 'Prete' - Not a very common
    name I'd say.........
    Regards,


    Steve.

  6. #16

    Default Re: Newly discovered ancestor killed in 1914

    Thanks Guys!

    If any one wants any help or advice on family history research please drop me a line.

    I have another big sucess story here, which I have now updated:

    http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/histor...-please-29447/

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  7. #17

    Default Re: Newly discovered ancestor killed in 1914

    That's very interesting info Ade, I have a close family relation and they traced back to around 1750. Very interesting to find out about my ancestors.
    I also have a family member from the Irish guards regiment killed in the Somme.
    I would recommend watching the tv show " heir hunters"if your interested in genealogy.
    Im looking for an a case to an 1936 olympics medal and a case to entry to austria medal. pm me If you have any spare.

  8. #18

    Default Re: Newly discovered ancestor killed in 1914

    Hi Daniel, I do watch that show if I am home.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  9. #19
    ?

    Default Re: Newly discovered ancestor killed in 1914

    Great research Ade , i love to get stuck into researching history as do you and with this there is so much info available to learn of the tragic fate of someone from your family tree !

    As for the ships i always thought that sunken Warships were War Graves so why are the Government and CWWG not kicking up a large fuss ??
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  10. #20

    Default Re: Newly discovered ancestor killed in 1914

    Hi Paul, thanks! I love it too.

    Turns out the Govt of the day in the 1950's flogged off the salvage rights to a German Company. I never knew this kind of thing ever happened. I always though that War Graves were sacrosanct. It appears that a fair bit of fuss was kicked up last year in the British Press but nothing done in the way of prosecutions to the current two Dutch ships involved. But a lot of Dutch people are unhappy about it too. On one forum someone published pics and details of the boats involved.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

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