Wednesday 13 January 1915 – We Lost 371
HMS Viknor (Commander Ernest Orford Ballantyne) is sunk off Tory Island while on blockade duty in heavy weather in an area recently mined by the Germans. She is a five thousand three hundred eighty-six-ton Blue Star Line ship, formerly the Viking. She was requisitioned by the Royal Navy as an armed merchant cruiser and is part of the 10th Cruiser Squadron blockading the seas between the North of Scotland and Iceland. She has a complement of twenty-two officers and two hundred seventy-three ratings mostly of the Royal Naval Reserve. All are lost.
Losses on HMS Viknor include:
- Two sets of brothers lost together
- A man who has a brother who will be killed later in the war
- A Naval Surgeon
- The son of a Justice of the Peace
- Commander Ballantyne dies at age 29 and he has a younger brother who will be killed in action in November 1917.
- Assistant Engineer James Alfred Greer is killed when the ship is sunk. He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
- Surgeon Vernon Lickford Matthews is killed age 31. He is the son of Thomas Matthews JP.
- Able seamen and brothers Alfred age 17 and David Henry Wright age 19 are both killed while serving with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve on the Viknor.
- Brothers Seaman Thomas (age 26) and Seaman George (age 25) Youden are also lost.
The minesweeper Roedean is sunk after she breaks her moorings in a gale at Hoy, Orkney and drifts into the ram bow of the depot ship HMS Imperieuse, sinking at the entrance of Scapa Flow in the Sound of Hoxa
The War Council concludes provisionally that the Admiralty should prepare for a naval expedition in February to bombard and take the Gallipoli Peninsula with Constantinople as its objective.
Today’s losses include:
- Major J K Strick (Royal Marines) dies in Paris while serving as the Representative of the Ministry of Shipping.
- Private Frederick Thaxter (Dorsetshire Regiment) is killed at age 25. His brother will be killed in October 1916.