Monday 5 June 1916 – We Lost 1,260
The cruiser HMS Hampshire sets out at 16:45 from Scapa Flow despite furious gales and awful conditions carrying Lord Herbert Kitchener and all his staff on a mission to Russia via Archangel. An hour later Captain Herbert John Savill decides to turn back due to the weather conditions. At 19:40 when the Hampshire is only one and one half miles from shore between the Brough of Birsay and Marwick Head, there is an explosion which tears out the center of the ship and within fifteen minutes she sinks with almost here entire crew. Many, including Kitchener perish due to the stormy sea and exposure rather than the explosion. The ship stikes a mine laid on the night of 28/29 May by U-75. There are six hundred fifty casualties including her Captain and only twelve survivors.
HMS Hampshire casualties include:
- Field Marshall the Right Honorable Horatio Herbert Kitchener, Earl of Khartoum, KG, KP, PC, GCB, OM, GCMG, GCIE, Secretary of State for War drowns. He is traveling to Russia with a military mission to confer with the Czar on the military conduct of the war. His party consists of
- Lieutenant Colonel Oswald Arthur Gerald Fitzgerald CMG (Lancers) age 40, his Aide de Camp and Personal Military Secretary who is the son of the late Colonel ‘Sir’ Charles Fitzgerald,
- ‘Sir’ Frederick Donaldson, Technical Adviser to the Minister of Munitions and Chief Superintendant of the Royal Ordnance Factories Woolwich,
- L S Robertson, ‘Sir’ Frederick’s adviser,
- H J O’Beirne, Counselor at the British Embassy in Petrograd,
- Brigadier General Wilfred Ellershaw who commanded the 113th Battery Royal Field Artillery in the first months of the war in France along with clerks, servants and Kitchener’s personal detective. He is the son of the Reverend J Ellershaw Rector of Chewstoke.
- Percy Garnons Williams is the Hampshire’s Surgeon. His brother will be killed in October 1917 and they are sons of the Reverend Arthur Garnons Williams.
- The Chaplain of the Hampshire is the Reverend Philip George Alexander. He dies at age 33.
- Sub Lieutenant Thomas Henry Wilfred Sharples is killed at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend Henry Milner Sharples Rector of Finghall and his brother will be killed in January 1918.
- Ordinary Seaman Francis John Foney is killed at age 18. His brother will die on service in December 1918.
- Able Seaman Harry Mitchiner drowns at age 26. His younger brother died of wounds last December.
- Able Seaman George Houghton is killed at age 31. His brother was killed on Gallipoli in May 1915.
- Able Seaman William Arthur Freeman is also lost. His brother was killed in the explosion of HMS Bulwark in November 1914.
- Private Edward Daniels (Royal Marine Light Infantry) is killed at age 30. His brother was killed on HMS Invincible at Jutland last week.
- Cooks Mate 2nd Class Frederick Spedding is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed on HMS Partridge in December 1917.
- Clerk Ralph Twisden Butler is killed. His brother will be killed in October 1917 and they are grandsons of the late General the Honorable H E Butler who fought in the Peninsular War and nephews of Major James Armart Butler “the Hero of Silistria” in the Crimea War and sons of the Reverend Pierce Armar Butler Vicar of Winterslow.
Today’s losses include:
- The Secretary of State for War and his Aide de Camp
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- Multiple grandsons of the member of the clergy
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
- The grandfather of the 13th Earl of Cavan
- A man who will have three cousins killed in the Great War
- A Welsh International footballer
- A General
- The grandson of a General
- A Naval Chaplain
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Captain Aubrey Noel Carew Hunt (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 24. He is the son of the Reverend Robert Walter Carew Hunt Vicar of Albany who will lose another son in December.
- Lieutenant Charles Edward Kilcoursie Lambart (Canadian Mounted Rifles) is killed at age 38. He is the grandfather of the 13th Earl of Cavan.
- Second Lieutenant Dysant Wyatt Spankie (Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 21. His brother will die on service in 1919.
- Lance Sergeant Frank Gordon MacAulay (Manitoba Regiment) is killed at age 29. He has lost three cousins in military service including one last January and he is the grandson of Canon John MacAulay and related to Lord MacAulay.
- Private Frederick William Kenward (Royal Canadian Regiment) is killed at age 34. His brother was killed in September 1914.
- Private John William Williams (Middlesex Regiment) is killed at age 30. He is a Welsh national footballer who scored 56 goals in 142 matches for Crystal Palace and made two appearances for Wales in 1912.
- Private Jack Crawley (Canadian Mounted Rifles) is killed at age 23. He is the grandson of the Reverend Charles Yonge Crawley.