Ministry of Defence
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Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion

H.M.S. HERMES (1899)

Crew List Compiled & Copyright © Don Kindell 2009

HMS Hermes was Highflyer class cruiser which served with the Royal Navy. She is historically notable for being refitted in April-May 1913 to act as the first experimental seaplane carrier of the Royal Navy, with a launching platform and room to stow three seaplanes (the French La Foudre preceded her by about a year).

She was built at the yards of Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Govan, being laid down in April 1897, launched on 7 April 1898 and commissioned in October 1899. She initially served as the flagship of the East Indies station and then the Cape station (1907-1913). In May 1913 she was re-commissioned as a seaplane carrier. The conversion involved fitting a stowage platform at the rear of the ship and a launching platform at the front. The aircraft took off using wheeled trolleys and were then retrieved by cranes. Two seaplanes were carried during trials in 1913. The results of these trials were used to help design HMS Ark Royal, completed as a seaplane carrier using a pre-existing hull after her purchase in May 1914.

After the trials ended in December 1913 the aircraft equipment was removed from the Hermes. She was converted back into a cruiser and commissioned in May 1913, but taken out of service at the end of the year and placed in reserve. At the start of the First World War Hermes was once again converted to a seaplane tender, delaying her re-entry to service until 31 August 1914. She was then part of the Nore Command and used to ferry aircraft to France. On 30th October she arrived at Dunkirk with one load of seaplanes. The next morning she set out on the return journey. She was then recalled because a German submarine was known to be in the area, but before the order could be obeyed, she was torpedoed by U-27 off Ruylingen Bank in the Straits of Dover. She sank with the loss of 22 of her crew.

[Source: Wikipedia - HMS Hermes (1898)]

List of crew members killed

COLLIER

Tom Donald

Air Mechanic 1st Class F 48, Royal Naval Air Service. Aged 37. Husband of Lillian Mary Collier, of 65, Windsor Rd., Holloway, London. Native of Islington, London. No known grave. Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 7.

CRODDEN

Alfred James

Petty Officer 2nd Class 134672 (PO). Aged 45. Husband of Mrs. K. Dawson (formerly Crodden), of 241, Buddle Rd., South Benwell, Newcastle-on-Tyne. No known grave. Commemorated on PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Hampshire. Panel 2.

DARVILL

Alfred

Private (RFR B 1844) 11827 (CH), Royal Marine Light Infantry. Aged 32. Son of the late Arthur and Mary Louisa Darvill, of Battersea, London. No known grave. Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 7.

DODDS

John Dickinson

Chief Armourer 164607 (CH). Aged 41. Husband of Esther Elizabeth Kemp Dodds, of 30, Lawson Rd., Southsea, Portsmouth. No known grave. Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 6.

FERGUSON

Alexander

Air Mechanic 1st Class J 8185 (PO), Royal Naval Air Service. No known grave. Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 7.

FREEMAN

Alfred William

Stoker 1st Class SS 101080 (CH). Son of Richard and Francis Freeman, of London; husband of Jane Freeman, of 20, Coronation St., South Shields. No known grave. Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 5.

GREENLAND

George Edward

Able Seaman (RFR B 150) 101643 (CH). Aged 52. Son of George and Harriet Greenland. Buried in WOODLANDS CEMETERY, GILLINGHAM, Kent. Naval Section 14. Grave 705.

HARRISON

Samuel

Private, 8310 (CH), Royal Marine Light Infantry. Aged 38. Son of James and Louise Harrison, of Camberwell, London; husband of Charlotte Harrison, of 119, St. John's Rd., Walthamstow, London. Buried in CAMBERWELL OLD CEMETERY, London. 100. 23569. Screen Wall.

HART

Maurice William

Assistant Paymaster (Ret). No known grave. Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 1.

IRVIN

Ernest Sydney

Stoker 1st Class (RFR B 8095) 293174 (CH). Aged 35. Son of William and Lottie Irvin, of Upstreet, Canterbury; husband of Eliza Irvin, of 14, The Wall, Sittingbourne, Kent. No known grave. Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 5.

JEFFERS

Claude Herbert

Leading Seaman 206682 (CH). No known grave. Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 1.

LITTLEFIELD

Alfred William

Private (RFR B 460) 6700 (CH), Royal Marine Light Infantry. Aged 40. Son of Jacob and Julia Littlefield, of London; husband of Ellen Littlefield, of 94, Russell Scott Buildings, Jamaica Rd., Bermondsey, London. Awarded East and West Africa Medal (Brass River Expedition). No known grave. Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 7.

McINNES

Norman

Seaman, Royal Naval Reserve 1698 C. Aged 39. Son of Angus and Catherine McInnes; husband of the late Annie McInnes. No known grave. Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 8.

McLEOD

Donald

Seaman, Royal Naval Reserve 3477 B. Aged 37. Son of Angus and Annie McLeod, of Ness, Stornoway; husband of Mary McLeod, of 30, Cross, Ness, Stornoway. No known grave. Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 8.

NASH

Henry Charles

Chief Stoker (RFR B 1718) 154256 (CH). Husband of Annie Nash, of 3, King Edward Rd., Stanford-le-Hope, Essex. No known grave. Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 4.

PHIPPS

Thomas

Stoker 1st Class (RFR B 1436) 280900 (CH). No known grave. Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 5.

PRICE

Charles Robert

Private (RFR B 1259) 6634 (CH), Royal Marine Light Infantry. No known grave. Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 7.

RICHARDS

Paul W

Carpenter's Crew M 8141 (CH). No known grave. Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 6.

ROBERTSON

George James

Officer's Steward 1st Class 176673 (CH). No known grave. Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 7.

SIMPSON

Maurice Charles

Petty Officer 1st Class 123763 (CH). No known grave. Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 1.

WAITE

Isaac

Stoker Petty Officer (RFR B 5300) 283584 (CH). No known grave. Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 4.

Last updated 17 September, 2009

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