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Theatre of death 'At sea'

 
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Graham



Joined: 01 Feb 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:02 pm    Post subject: Theatre of death 'At sea' Reply with quote

Could anybody help please, I've been researching my great uncle who was killed in WW1. He (Arthur Rathbone 53093) is recorded in the CWGC data base as serving in the RFA 97th Bty and was killed on the 16-04-1915. I believe he died at sea but thats all I know. Whilst searching for information I came acoss the serviceman listed below and found that he died on the same day and was also in the RFA and his memorial reference is the same as my great uncles (panel 21 and 22) recorded on the Helles Memorial.

Does anyone know the circmstances that lead to this event or could point me in the right direction please.

Many thanks

Graham
Name: MATCHETT, JOHN
Initials: J
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Driver
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery
Unit Text: 147th Bde.
Date of Death: 17/04/1915
Service No: 6865
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 21 and 22.
Memorial: HELLES MEMORIAL

Surname MATCHETT
Firstname John
Service Number 6865
Date Death 16/04/1915
Place of birth Glasgow
SNWM roll ROYAL HORSE AND ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY
Rank Dvr
Theatre of death At Sea.
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Kenneth Morrison



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 6379
Location: Rockcliffe Dalbeattie

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graham - something a bit "odd" here.
To take Matchet first. 147 RFA were part of 29th Division.
See http://www.1914-1918.net/29div.htm
The 29th started to embark from Egypt for Mudros on 7 April 1915 and landed at Gallipoli on 25 April so it could be he died while in transit.

As for your man I suspect a transcription error and that he was also in 147th Battery RFA. The 97th RFA were part of 21st Division had not left England in April 1915.

You'll need a Gallipoli expert to see if both were lost in a "sinking".
You could try the Great War Forum at http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php
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Ken
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DelBoy



Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 4862
Location: The County of Angus

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graham,

Was Arthur Rathbone born in Scotland? I cannot find him in the war returns.

Derek.
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Graham



Joined: 01 Feb 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ken/Derek, thanks very much for the replies.

To answer your questions please see below the info from the CWGC. Also Arthur was not born in Scotland (he was born in Warrington England). It was just that it seemed such a coincidence that the two (Arthur and John) both died at sea on the same day and are commemorated on the same panel on the Helles memorial, as such I was trying to see if anyone knew what the circumstances of the sinking were.

Many thanks to the both of you for your time,


Casualty Details
Name: RATHBONE, ARTHUR
Initials: A
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Gunner
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery
Unit Text: 97th Bty.
Date of Death: 16/04/1915
Service No: 53093
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 21 and 22.
Memorial: HELLES MEMORIAL

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DelBoy



Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 4862
Location: The County of Angus

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graham,

I just wondered about his nationality as he wasn't on the Scottish war returns. No relation to Basil I suppose? Laughing

A quick search on SNWM shows up 6 men to have died the same date from the R.F.A. and all are listed as died 'At Sea', well except one who has 'Mediterranean' listed.
A look at these men on the Scottish war returns lists them as being on board H.T. Manitou.

More detail about this tragedy here: http://www.atlantictransportline.us/content/27Manitou.htm

"…General Hunter-Western and his headquarters staff left Alexandria, and safely reached the bay of Mudros in the island of Lemnos. The rest of the division followed, the only unit to suffer loss being the 147th Brigade R.F.A. as the result of a sensational incident. The brigade embarked on the 15th on the Manitou, a vessel of some 7,000 tons. The guns were stowed in the hold, and the small ammunition was in the magazine. So great was the confidence that the seas had been swept of hostile craft other than submarines, which had not yet appeared in the Mediterranean, that no preparations had been made to meet an attack. The astonishment of all can be well imagined when, on the morning of the 17th, ten miles off Skyros, a Turkish torpedo-boat signalled the Manitou to stop. An officer, apparently a German, gave those on board three minutes (afterwards extended to eight) in which to leave the ship. Somewhat inconsistently, he thereupon fired a torpedo, before the expiry of three minutes, which missed. Meanwhile boats were being lowered, and men were going over the side in large numbers. In one case the davits were strained to breaking point, and with a crash the occupants of the boat were hurled into the sea. To add to the excitement, the enemy loosed off a second torpedo, which also missed, whereupon, possibly to make sure of his range, the torpedo-boat retired for at least half a mile, only to wheel about and return to the Manitou. From short range the third and last torpedo was fired. It struck but did not explode, or else did not strike, and the destroyer made off with all speed for Asia; and it was afterwards ascertained that she had run ashore on Chios, and blown up after an unsuccessful attempt to escape the pursuit of British destroyers. This tragic-comic incident was witnessed by Major (now Lieutenant Colonel) A. F. Thompson R.F.A. What might have been the destruction of an entire brigade of artillery resulted in a regrettable but comparatively small number of casualties by drowning and bruises."

{EDIT}
Googling the Manitou I belive 51 men perished in the incident. I haven't seen a list of casualties however.

http://www.naval-history.net/WW1NavyBritishBVLSMN1504.htm

Cheers,
Derek.
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Malcolm Macdonald



Joined: 26 Jun 2007
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know of two soldiers wounded at Gallipoli and who died on hospital ships when being evacuated to Egypt and were buried at sea. Both were Royal Field Artillery men.

With the heat of the Meditteranean Sea, it was deemed the best way in terms of a quick burial.

Rathbone might not have been buried at sea, but until you find a definitive answer, then it is advisable not to discount this possiblity.

Malcolm Macdonald
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Graham



Joined: 01 Feb 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Derek/Malcolm, thanks for the replies. I also wondered about the Manitou but couldn't find any definite link. I'll just keep searching, many thanks for your help.

regards

Graham
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DelBoy



Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 4862
Location: The County of Angus

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graham,

I should have added that Matchett you mention was among those with Manitou on his death return. Here's all those Scottish casualties I found, plus an exerpt of a return with the manitou mentioned, which they all have on theirs.



At Sea
H.M.T(S?). Manitou


Cheers,
Derek.
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Graham



Joined: 01 Feb 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks very much Derek.

regards

Graham
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Graham



Joined: 01 Feb 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Derek/Malcom, great news I've found Arthur, please see below an extract from the Gallipolion (97th Battery). He was on the Manitou and died as a result of a lifeboat accident as detailed below. Your man John Matchett is the first casualty named.

Regards

Graham


Tl-IE S. S. MA!'J I TOU
By Tom Brooks (1002)
Al~10ugh it is not well-publicized, over eleven hundred
British soldiers were lost at sea while on route to,
or all route frolll, Gallipoli. The S.S. Royal Edward
was sw1k on 13 August 1915, with a loss in excess of
850 soldiers. The S.S. Southland was torpedoed on 2
Septen1ber, with--:tlle loss of 32 Australiall soldiers.
The S.S. Hythe, conveying the lst/3rd Kent Field Company,
Royal Engilleers, of the 52nd Lowland Division, was lost
in a collision with anotl1er vessel. One hundred and
fifty-five officers and nEn perished. The S.S. Mercian
wellt down all the 3 l'Jovember.
On 16 April 1915, nine days before the British landings
in Gallipoli, the transport the S.S. Manitou was accosted
b}! a Turkish torpedo boat, the Timur IIissar. The ship
was carrying the 147th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery,
the artillery component of the 29th Division, nWllberirlg
sone 650 men. At about terl o'clock in the norning,
the Turkish vessel came alongside the British ship
and gave \varning of the impe.nding demise. Accounts
vary, but the passengers and crew were given from three
to ten nlinutes -to evacuate the transport. The British
ship \vas equipped with life-boats enough for only 240
persons. As one life-boat, containiIlg sixty soldiers,
was being lowered, a davit broke, causing the life-boat
to crash into tIle side of the vessel and overturn,
spilling the BleIl illto the sea. Fifty of these men
\vere to dro\VT1.
At the prescribed tilne, alld for a period of about twenty
rni11utes, frorn ranges of frOlll 50 yarcls to 900 yards,
the Turkish cre\v law'lched three torpedos at the stationary
target. There is sonlething to be said for consistency,
but this is 110t it. All tlrree torpedos missed.
In response to urgent wireless-calls, H.M.S. Dartmouth
arrived upon the seelle, and the Timur Hissar fled.
The Turkish vessel was run-aground on the islal1d of
Khios, and destroyed. The S.S. Manitou proceeded on
her 'vay to the is land of Lemnos.
1 h
Alone, on the quiet of the Aegean tide, were the bodies
of fifty British soldiers, dead from drowning. .
Euphemistically, the names of these dead are inscribed
on the Cape Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, as, "soldiers
buried at sea".
HQ 147th Brigade, R.F.A.
Matchett, Driver J., 6865
10th Battery, 147th Brigade
Cooper, sty. Q.M.S. William E., 10637
Creer, Driver A., 86232
IX>ran, Gunner H., 50263
Kay, Gunner W.M., 67781
Meadth, Driver J., 41807
Piddington, Driver W.F.T., 34471
147th Brigade Ammunition Col.
Brown, Driver J., 55847
Chadwick, Driver J., 4619
Clark, Driver J., 80821
Cleminson, Gunner W., 35996
Dean, Driver F.W., 30967
Evans, Driver R., 56007
lDcke, Driver W., 30757
Mooney, Driver H., 26122
Pittman, Shoe-Smith W., 11643
Rand311, Driver W.H., 84322
Ryan, Driver B., 82539
Snackleton, Driver S.~.26402
Shepherd, Driver J.H., 43755
Tetlow, Corporal Shoe-Smith J., 58913
368th Battery, 147th Brigade
Cox, Gunner P., 60128
Harding, Driver W., 86182
Hlyllaul,DrlveL· J., 86182 (?)
Lirnmex, Sergeant C.H., 17060
Mabey, Bomb3rdier C.W., 52988
McDonald, Gunner W., 31105
Martin, Act,/Bornbardier W.H., 48407
17
Morse, Driver T.J., 82380
Mulherns, Gunner P., 55348
Patrick, Gunner A.R.,49793
W~odthorpe, Gunner A., 58260
2nd South Wales Borderers
Hogg, Private H., 9983
97th Battery, 147th Brigade
Bancroft, Driver R., 23252
Barnes, Gunner J., 56064
Bayne, Gunner J.D., 25160
Bryan, Gunner W., 6752
Cannon, Gunner G., 55511
Cox, Sergeant G.H., 42767
Crammer, Gunner T.H., 99963
Jones, Driver C.H., 32478
Kent, Sergeant G., 23522
Law, Driver E., 60300
Lawrence, Driver B., 82329
Moffatt, Sergeant R.M., 33674
Musgrave, Driver J.W., 35955
Pettit~ Driver H., 78135
Rathbone, Gunner A., 53093
Wallace, Gunner P., 60904
Willis, Gunner T.A., 54881 Laughing Laughing Laughing
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DelBoy



Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 4862
Location: The County of Angus

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Graham,

That's one little mystery solved. Sometimes there's no real answer to find with a casualty, oither than a date and rough location.

Derek.
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Graham



Joined: 01 Feb 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Derek.

Kind Regards

Graham
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