New book to commemorate centenary of loss of HMS Hampshire

The countdown continues – it is now just over three weeks until people from far and wide gather in Orkney to remember the sinking of HMS Hampshire 100 years ago and the 737 men who died on that stormy June night in 1916.

Relatives of those lost with HMS Hampshire – or HM Drifter Laurel Crown – should by now have heard from Orkney Islands Council about arrangements for the commemorative events. If you have not heard, and think you should have done, please contact Susan Learmonth by email – Susan.Learmonth@orkney.gov.uk – or telephone 01856 873535.

If you live in Orkney look out in this week’s edition of The Orcadian for a programme of events, published by Orkney Islands Council, marking the centenaries of the Battle of Jutland and the loss of HMS Hampshire.

For those of you elsewhere please keep an eye on this page on the council’s website which is being updated with further information:

http://www.orkney.gov.uk/Service-Directory/S/first-world-war-commemorative-cultural-programme.htm

Meanwhile, as promised in this blog’s headline, we can bring you exciting news of a new book about HMS Hampshire. The Orkney Heritage Society announcement follows.

Graham Brown

book4
The cover of the book – HMS Hampshire: A Century of Myths and Mysteries Unravelled

Orkney Heritage Society announces the forthcoming publication of a book to commemorate the centenary of the loss of HMS Hampshire:

HMS Hampshire: a Century of Myths and Mysteries Unravelled

by James Irvine, Brian Budge, Jude Callister, Kevin Heath, Andrew Hollinrake, Issy Grieve, Keith Johnson, Neil Kermode, Michael Lowrey, Tom Muir, Emily Turton and Ben Wade

The book assembles hitherto unused contemporary evidence to explore the causes and circumstances of the loss of HMS Hampshire on 5 June 1916 and the associated myths and mysteries.

It will include the new Roll of Honour, accounts of Hampshire, Lord Kitchener and the mission to Russia, the rescue efforts and associated rumours and outrage, the conspiracy theories, the minelaying and minesweeping operations, the loss of HM Drifter Laurel Crown, the Kitchener Memorial, the diving expeditions on the wreck, the artefacts, and the centenary events, and notes on the survivors and many of the men who lost their lives (brief contributions still welcomed).

This A4 120 page illustrated case-bound book will be launched on 30 August 2016 and retail at £25 plus postage & packing. All proceeds, including authors’ royalties, will go to the Orkney Heritage Society for the Kitchener Memorial refurbishment project.

Two pre-launch offers are available for orders placed before 20 August 2016 (this has been extended from 30 June 2016):

Either: Copies may be ordered for £25 with free UK postage and packing
(plus £5 supplement for Europe, £10 supplement for rest of world);

Or: Copies may be ordered for £20, ie 20% off, for personal collection in exchange for receipt at the launch on 30 August, or thereafter from Lucy Gibbon at The Orkney Archive, Junction Road, Kirkwall.

Payment for the above pre-launch offers may be by:

Either: cheque payable to “The Orkney Heritage Society” and sent to the OHS Treasurer, PO Box 6220, Kirkwall, KW15 9AD. Please enclose name, email address (for receipt), and (for postal option) delivery address;

Or: cash or cheque at the Birsay Community Hall on 3 to 5 June, 11am – 5pm and evenings.

A PayPal payment facility is also available via this Orkney Heritage Society page.

Queries to jamesmirvine@hotmail.co.uk

Please note: this blog was amended on 13 May 2016 to change the url of the Orkney Islands Council webpage giving information about centenary events and to add a link to Orkney Heritage Society’s PayPal facility. It was further amended on 5 July 2016 to reflect the new final date of 20 August 2016 for book pre-launch offers.

The 746 names to be engraved on Orkney’s HMS Hampshire commemorative wall

scott_mcivor2
An aerial view of restoration work at the Kitchener Memorial, showing the arc-shape of the planned HMS Hampshire wall (image: Scott McIvor)

It is less than six months until the centenary of the sinking of HMS Hampshire, just off Orkney on 5 June 1916, when 737 men were lost, including Britain’s Secretary of State for War Earl Kitchener. Later that month, HM Drifter Laurel Crown sank in the same area, with the loss of all nine crew. Both ships hit mines.

Next year a new commemorative wall, engraved with the names of all 746 men lost with the two ships, will be unveiled. It will be built on Orkney’s Atlantic coast next to the existing Kitchener Memorial, unveiled in 1926, and now being restored.

The wall’s arc shape was chosen following a public consultation. The names will be engraved in block letters, arranged alphabetically in panels facing the memorial. There will be separate panels, within the wall, for Kitchener’s party and for the Laurel Crown crew, which included George Petrie from Burray, Orkney.

The restoration and the new wall are being created as part of the Orkney Heritage Society’s Kitchener & HMS Hampshire Memorial project, run by volunteers, writes Graham Brown.

Today on this blog we publish a list of the 746 names, the result of research by local military historian Brian Budge and by memorial project member Andrew Hollinrake.

Andrew is also launching a new website, www.hmshampshire.org, and explains more: “The new website, for now, will just show a list of names. But we hope to have much more in the way of detail online later, including information and photographs we’ve gathered through our research, and from family members of the casualties.

“The final list of names comes from a number of sources including the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, the National Archives at Kew, family history websites, relatives and newspaper archives.

“It has taken many hours of work but it is an honour to do this to remember the men from HMS Hampshire, Kitchener’s party and the Laurel Crown.

“I invite everyone with an interest in this project, particularly family members, to look at our list and please let us know if you think amendments are needed before the names are, literally, carved in stone.”

The project members estimate they are more than 90% of the way towards the funding needed for the restoration and the wall, with less than £10,000 still to find.

Anyone who wishes to donate towards the project can do so online at justgiving.com/orkneyheritagesociety/ or send a cheque payable to Orkney Heritage Society.

Relatives who would like to contact Andrew and the team about the published list of names, or who may have artefacts suitable for a planned exhibition around the time of the centenary, may email kitchener.memorial@gmail.com or write to Orkney Heritage Society, PO Box 6220, Kirkwall, KW15 9AD.

Alternatively, the volunteers can be contacted through Facebook (@Kitchener.Memorial), Twitter (@kitchenerorkney) and via this blog.

IMG_20151210_071859
Three men whose names will be on the wall: George Petrie of Orkney (left), JWH Beechey (top right) and AG Watts (bottom right)

HMS Hampshire crew [list updated 15 February 2016]

Update – 13 May 2016: Please note that some further amendments have been made to get the final list of names which will appear on the commemorative wall. This final list can be viewed in full on our history website, hmshampshire.org.

ABURROW J A
ADAMS H
ADAMS W F
ADAMS W H
ALEXANDER P G
ALLEN E A
ALLEN F H
ALLEN W B
ALLUM G A
AMEY N P
AMEY W J
AMOS J J
AMY W M
ATTWOOD C E
ATTWOOD G
AUSTIN A E
AYLING C G J
AYTON G
BAGLEY J L
BAILEY C
BAILEY G
BAILEY H R
BAILEY J C
BAINES S
BAKER F G
BAKER P
BALLARD R G
BANCROFT I
BANWELL E J
BARBEARY C H
BARGEN T E
BARNARD J E T
BARNETT J
BARROW N
BARTLETT F H
BARTLETT G 284537
BARTLETT G Sussex 4/172
BARTLETT V G
BATES A
BATES B E
BATES G
BAULK A S
BAYNES G A
BEAN F F
BEAR J V
BEARMAN W J
BECK G E
BEECHEY J W H
BEESTON G S
BELCHAMBER E
BELL W A
BENNETT L S
BENNETT W H
BENTLEY F
BEVERLEY R
BEX W L
BILLINGHAM B
BILLINS W E
BIRTLES R
BISHOP G S J
BLACK R B
BLACKSHAW G
BLAKE E A J
BLANDFORD S T
BLOOR T
BOBBETT J J
BOND G H
BONNICK H A W
BORAMAN R J
BORNE J H
BOSWORTH M J
BOWEN G W
BRAGG J A
BRAIN W H
BRIDGES W F
BRINDLEY J
BRISCOE J
BROAD W H
BROCKWAY A G C
BROWN R
BROWN W
BROWNING H
BUCKENHAM J T
BUCKINGHAM R A
BUNTING T
BURDEN E
BURFOOT C N N
BURREN G P
BURROWS A
BURTON J R
BURY F
BUSBY W S
BUTLER F E
BUTLER G I
BUTLER R T
BYNG J
CADBY W G
CADMAN C
CAKE W
CAMERON W J
CANNON J A
CARD W G B
CARTER C C W A
CARTER T E
CARVIN C
CHAMBERS A H
CHAPLIN H G
CHARLTON A C
CHEATER H J
CHESWORTH A
CHILD A E
CHITTY A
CLARK W
CLAY F
CLAYTON W
CLEARY F W
COLBECK P
COLE F G
COLLECOTT F G
COLLETT J W
COLLIER S
COLLINS S
COLLIS W T
COMPTON A W
CONNELLEY P
CONSTABLE L A L
COOGAN J
COOK F
COOKE H N
COOMBS J R
COOPER G H
COOPER W L M
COPE H
COSSEY A E
COULTHARD T
COVEY J E
COWLEY G W
COX H
COX J
COX J C
COYLE J
CROMPTON E
CROSS A
CRUSE P
CULLINGTON F T
CUMMING D
CUNNINGHAM H
CUNNINGHAM J
DABBS H
DAGWELL F
DALLAS W A E
DANIELS E
DARBY W G
DASENT M
DAVEY E
DAVIS A
DAWSON A W A
DAWSON J B
DE STE CROIX W B
DEAN F P
DENHAM H S
DENNIS H
DEVESON P W
DEVLIN J
DIAMOND C H
DIAPER H J
DODD W
DOHERTY M
DOHERTY R
DOMINEY C J
DONNELLY G N
DOOLEY S
DOVE G W
DOWLAND S J
DOWNES J
DOWSON J
DRUMMOND F G
DUFF P
DUFFIN A J
DUNCAN A J C
DUNN L G A
DURRANT G W
DYER G
EADES J
EAST E R
ECCLESTON N
EDWARDS I S R R
ELLISON V
ELMER G J
ELSON R M
EPPS J F
EVANS G M
EVANS J
EVANS P
EVANS R
EVANS W A
EVERETT W
EWING W
EYRE J
FALLOWFIELD R
FARINDON A
FARTHING W T
FEAR E C
FELLOWES E E
FELLOWS B
FERRETT S J F
FERRETT T C J
FERRIMAN G F W
FIELD G
FIELDING P
FINCKEN C A T
FISKEN P
FITCH J W N
FITZGERALD J H
FLACK F
FLANAGAN B
FLAVIN M
FLEMING J H
FLEMING M T
FLEXMAN E F
FONEY F J
FORREST G H
FORREST J
FOSTER E
FOSTER J
FOTHERGILL E
FOWLER A T
FRASER C S
FREEMAN W A
FREEMAN W C
GALE H A
GALE W
GANDER J
GARDNER W F
GARRETT S
GARRETT W J
GARSDEN J W V
GEARNS J C
GEORGE E C
GERRARD F E
GIBBS W J
GIBSON W
GILDERSLEEVE H
GILES H
GISBORN J F
GLOVER F
GLOVER G A
GOBLE A E
GOMM C
GOODFELLOW B
GORDON J E G
GRACE W E
GRANT S A
GREEN G
GREEN J J
GREEN J
GREENAN J
GREENHILL B P K
GREENWOOD B T
GREY E V
GRINYER C E
GROOMBRIDGE V A
GROVES T P
GROVES W E
HACKEN R F
HAGAN J
HAGAN J S H
HAINES A W
HAINSWORTH H
HAMLIN C H
HANSELL A
HARDEN C
HARDING J
HARGREAVES J H
HARMAN D J
HARPER A H
HARRIS L W
HARRIS S J
HARRISON E G
HARRISON J W
HARRISON T
HART C G C
HART G
HARVEY J R
HARWOOD T J
HAWKINS E
HAWKINS J C
HAWKINS W
HAYES H J
HAYLER J
HAZEL S
HAZEON C S
HEAD G H
HEATH M
HEDGES E T
HEGGS J H
HENEAGE V
HENNESSAY J E
HENRY T W
HENWOOD D
HESELWOOD R
HEWITT F
HICK H
HIGGINS F A
HILL E T
HILL G H
HILL J J
HILL R
HILL T P
HILLS H G
HIRTZEL G H
HISCOCK J T
HOBBS F N
HOBSON M B
HOCKLESS L H
HODGKINSON J
HOLBROOK W
HOLDEN J
HOLL G W
HOLLAMBY F H
HOLLEY J F
HOLLIS S
HOLLOWAY F
HOLTOM H E
HOOK F C
HOOKER B H
HOOKHAM B
HOPE C
HORROCKS A W
HOUGHTON G
HOWDEN W H
HOWE H W
HUDSON S A
HUGHES R L
HUMPHREY A
HUNT F
HUNTER E
HUNTER E F
HUNTER F A
HUNTER G M
INNOLES W F
IRESON W
ISHERWOOD F
IVES J
JAMES G
JAMIESON W
JARVIS B
JARVIS J E
JEFFRIES H
JELLEY T W
JENNINGS G T M
JENNINGS H J
JENOURE A S
JEWITT L
JOELS E J
JOHNSTON J K/24401
JOHNSTON J 8299(S)
JOHNSTONE L H
JONES C
JONES E
JONES H
JONES J
JONES J A
JONES T
JONES W G
JORDAN A H
KANAAR J A G
KEBBLE A A
KEEPING T L
KENDALL A
KENNEDY J
KENNY T
KENWARD H C
KIMBER W J
KIRBY J H
KIRBY W J
KIRKUP F
KNIGHT G H
KNIGHT H
KNIGHT J G
KNOWLSON J W
LACEY R
LACY A
LAITY J H
LAMB J H
LAMPARD A E
LAMPITT J
LARKING A G
LARKINS H
LATTER W T
LATTIMORE G C
LAWLER W
LAWLER W G
LAWRENCE L J
LEACH T W
LEADER L J
LEDGER A E
LEDWOOD J W
LEE W H
LESLIE F P
LEWIS J G
LEWIS J H
LILLEY A L
LIND C N
LIPSCOMBE C W
LITTLE R T
LITTLEWOOD H R
LOCKER G W
LOVEGROVE T G
LOWE J
LOWE T
LOWE W C
LOWERY H
LYFIELD A G
LYNCH J
LYNN A E
MacGREGOR J D
MALLARD J A
MALLET C S B
MALLETT H F
MANSER F S J
MARINER E
MARNER G A
MARSHALL A
MARSHALL F G
MARSHALL G E
MARTIN C
MARTIN G F
MARTIN R P
MASKELL J E
MASTERS B W
MATTHEWS H
MAXTED H
MAYHEW E G
McADAM W
McCALL D
McDONELL P
McFARLANE R M
McGARRIGLE D
McGARVIE W C
McGOWAN F G
McGRATH H
McINTYRE A
McLAUGHLIN J
McLOUGHLIN R J
McNALLY H F
McNEILL R
McPHERSON A J
MEDHURST C A
MELHUISH W J
MERRITT C H
MERWOOD R
MEW J
MIDDLETON R C
MITCHNER H
MOORE G W
MOORE R
MORETON W A
MORLEY A
MORPHEW G A
MORRIS E O
MORRIS F S
MORRIS F A
MORTIEAU A J
MORTON A F
MORTON C E A
MOULD A C
MUDIE D B
MULLEN D
MULLENS F C
MULVEY P
MUNTON A
MUSSON T
NAYLOR A G S
NEELD A W
NEWBEGIN J
NEWMAN J
NINEHAM W E
NOEL H
NORRINGTON T E
NORRIS A C
NORTH A
NORTH G
NORTHOVER S J
NOVICE J A
NOWLAND F
NUGENT M L O
NYE C W
O’CONNELL A A
OLIVER F C
OLIVER J W
ORMONDE W A
OUBRIDGE W B
OULTON W H
OWEN N
PAGE J H
PAMPLIN J H
PARKER G H
PARKER J
PARKHURST A J
PARKS W
PARSONS H
PARSONS S C
PARSONS W R
PASHLEY A E
PATON D
PATTENDEN A
PAYNE A
PAYNE H
PAYNE H E
PEARCE A J J
PELLETT E A
PENGILLY P W
PERRY D
PERRY P E
PESSELL P J
PETERS W R
PETTETT E
PETTETT W J
PHILLIPS A
PIPER F S
POLLARD J
PONSFORD C H
PORTER A J
POTTER F
POWELL J
POWELL W G
PRAGNELL G V
PRAGNELL W
PURNELL E
QUINTON W E
RAGLESS P J
RAMSEY P R
RANDELL G
RAWLINS W E
REDFERN T H
REED G E
REED W
REES W H
REEVE G E
REYNOLDS G
REYNOLDS P
REYNOLDS S H
RICHARDS E
RIGBY J E
RILEY E
RIORDAN T J
ROBERTS P B
ROBERTSON J W
ROBERTSON W H
ROBEY W C
ROBINSON A F
ROBINSON E F H
ROGERS E J
ROGERS W
ROGERS W E
ROSE R J
ROSSITER T
ROWELL W G
ROWLEY J
RUSSELL F
RYAN S
RYAN W
RYLES M
SALISBURY W H
SALOWAY W L
SANDOM G C
SAUNDERS A
SAVILL H J
SCHEURER A L
SCRIVEN T G
SEE C W
SEMPLE R
SEXTON R P A
SEYMOUR H J
SHAILL T E
SHANKS J 270194
SHANKS J K/27968
SHARP W H
SHARPLES T H W
SHAW J P
SHEARMAN C N
SHEPHERD F R
SHEPHERD W
SHERWIN C E
SHIELDS W
SHORT W H
SIDEBOTHAM W
SILK E G
SILLS E E
SIRDIFIELD J T
SKINNER W
SKYNNER W W
SMEDLEY J H
SMITH A K/18646
SMITH A SS/114387
SMITH A PO/15494
SMITH B
SMITH E
SMITH G E
SMITH G S
SMITH G W
SMITH H W
SMITH W J/38334
SMITH W K/2353
SNELL S S
SNOW V G
SNOWDEN J N
SOWDEN W R
SPARKES S J
SPARROW W C J J B
SPEDDING F
SPENCER E G
SPIERS O A
SQUIRE W C
STABLES G
STAFFORD W E
STALLARD G T
STANLEY S
STARMORE E S
STEAD E
STEELE C T
STEPHENS S W
STEVENSON W
STEWART F G
STEWART R C
STRINGER A D
STRINGER C T
STRINGER H
STRINGER J E
SUCKLEY W V
SUTTON A L
SWEETZER H D
TAILBY G A
TAPPER S C
TAYLOR E E
TAYLOR H d P
TAYLOR J A
TERRY P W
THOMPSON R A
THOMPSON W
THORNTON W J
THWAITES W H
TIDEY S W
TILBURY W
TILLING H C
TINGLEY J C
TIPPING E
TIZARD P L E
TOONE S
TREFFRY F C
TRODD H V
TROTT J H
TRUE E B
TUCK C E A
TUCKER C A E
TUNNICLIFFE J
TURNER E J
TURNER F
TURNER F H
TWOMEY L J
VARNDELL E H
VEALE M
VERLANDER G C
VERNON H F
VINCE S J H
VIVIAN R C
WAGSTAFF A H
WAIGHT F E
WALDEN E
WALKER A
WALKER A E
WALLER W J
WALTERS C C
WATERMAN W F
WATERMAN W G
WATERS H
WATTHEW F H
WATTS A G
WATTS C W
WAUGH J
WEBB J H
WELSBY W
WENHAM W F J
WEST C
WHEELER C W
WHEELER G B
WHEELER W A
WHELAN H A
WHITE B
WHITE E
WHITE F K/15718
WHITE F SS/114743
WHITE G V
WHITE J
WHITE W E
WHITLOCK H
WHITNEY F W
WHITWORTH J
WICKENS T J
WICKER R A
WIGFALL T B
WIGG W J
WILDEN G P
WILKINSON C W
WILLIAMS C
WILLIAMS E H
WILLIAMS G
WILLIAMS J G W
WILLIAMS P G
WILLIAMS W
WILLS W S
WILSON A
WILSON B J
WILSON W
WITHINGTON C
WOOD F
WOOD J
WOOD W
WOODGER J E
WYMER F L H
YEATES C H
YOUNG J G

Kitchener’s party

BROWN D C
DONALDSON H F
ELLERSHAW W
FITZGERALD O A G
GURNEY J W
KITCHENER H H
McLOUGHLIN M
MACPHERSON R D
O’BEIRNE H J
RIX L C
ROBERTSON L S
SHIELDS W
SURGUY H
WEST F P

Laurel Crown crew

BAKER T J
COULL J
DURRANT C
MITCHELL R
MURPHY A
NICOLSON M
PETRIE G
SLATER R
STEPHENSON C P

Laurel Crown crew to be remembered on HMS Hampshire memorial

It’s been a notable week for naval history here in Orkney.

On Monday the UK Government announced plans for the centenary commemoration of the Battle of Jutland, the largest naval battle of the First World War, in which 6,000 British and 2,500 German personnel died.

Orkney will play a central role in the events on 31 May 2016 with a service at St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall and a ceremony at the Royal Naval Cemetery, Lyness, Hoy.

Also this week, on Wednesday, it was the 76th anniversary of the HMS Royal Oak disaster, which is always marked with poignant commemorations here in Orkney. She was torpedoed by a U-boat while in Scapa Flow with the loss of 834 lives in the early days of the Second World War.

Meanwhile our work on the Kitchener & HMS Hampshire project continues – we are restoring Orkney’s Kitchener Memorial and creating a memorial wall engraved with the names of all 737 men lost with HMS Hampshire in time for the centenary on 5 June 2016.

George Petrie, lost with HM Drifter Laurel Crown (believed to be a family photograph published in The Orcadian when his death was announced)
George Petrie, lost with HM Drifter Laurel Crown (believed to be a family photograph published in The Orcadian when his death was announced)

Today we make a significant announcement. We are going to include on the wall the names of nine men who died when HM Drifter Laurel Crown sank in the same minefield as Hampshire on 22 June 1916. They include George Petrie, who came from Burray, Orkney.

Below is the press release we issued to the media this week. You may have heard about our plans to remember the Laurel Crown on BBC Radio Orkney this morning, or read about them in today’s The Orcadian (page 5) and in the Press & Journal.

Graham Brown

Kitchener & HMS Hampshire Memorial project press release

Laurel Crown crew to be remembered on Hampshire memorial

Volunteers creating a memorial wall for 737 men lost with HMS Hampshire in the First World War will also commemorate nine more men – including an Orcadian – lost in the same minefield later the same month.

HMS Hampshire sank near Orkney’s Atlantic coast on 5 June 1916 after hitting a German mine while sailing to Russia. The dead included Britain’s Secretary of State for War, Earl Kitchener.

On 22 June HM Drifter Laurel Crown was one of eight vessels on their way to sweep for mines near the site of the disaster when she too struck a mine and was lost, with all hands.

The names of the nine Laurel Crown men who died will be engraved on the HMS Hampshire commemorative wall being created next to the Kitchener Memorial at Marwick Head. They include George Petrie, aged 32, a married man with one son from Burray.

Military historian Brian Budge has researched his background: “George Petrie was born at Wart, Burray on 8th August 1883, the oldest son of Crofter George Petrie and Betsy Petrie (née Brown). George’s parents had both died and he was working as a fisherman when he married Flora Taylor on 10th September 1914. They made their home at Wart and had a son, also called George.

“George enrolled into the Royal Naval Reserve at Kirkwall on 15th May 1916. He reported to HMS Zaria, an Auxiliary Patrol depot ship based at Longhope in Scapa Flow and soon joined the crew of HM Drifter Laurel Crown as a deck hand.”

After the sinking Engineman Thomas Baker’s body was recovered, identified and buried in Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery, Hoy. George Petrie and four more of the crew are commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, on Southsea Common, Hampshire. George is also remembered on a family gravestone in Burray Cemetery.

The loss of the Laurel Crown was brought to the attention of Orkney Heritage Society’s Kitchener & HMS Hampshire Memorial project by marine historian Kevin Heath, of SULA Diving, after he heard about the group’s plans at a public meeting.

Neil Kermode, project chair, said: “We started this project wanting to ‘better remember’ the men who died alongside Earl Kitchener in 1916. It seems entirely fitting that we should also commemorate those lost shortly afterwards on the Laurel Crown in the same minefield.”

The project’s volunteers are restoring the Kitchener Memorial and creating the commemorative wall in time for events on 5 June 2016 marking the centenary of the warship’s loss. Many donations of money, time and goods have been received but the volunteers estimate they need a further £15,000 to ensure work is finished before the centenary.

Anyone who wishes to donate towards the project can do so online at justgiving.com/orkneyheritagesociety/ or send a cheque payable to Orkney Heritage Society.

The project committee would also like to hear from anyone who may have artefacts linked to HMS Hampshire for a planned exhibition around the time of the centenary. Please email kitchener.memorial@gmail.com or write to Orkney Heritage Society, PO Box 6220, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 9AD, UK.

Follow the progress of the project on Facebook (@Kitchener.Memorial), Twitter (@kitchenerorkney) and via a blog at kitchenerhampshire.wordpress.com/.

End of press release

Links

BBC News on Battle of Jutland centenary – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34506679

Battle of Jutland centenary press release on Commonwealth War Graves Commission website –

http://www.cwgc.org/news-events/news/2015/10/uk-government-announces-plans-for-battle-of-jutland-centenary.aspx

The Orcadian reports on the Royal Oak 76th anniversary –

http://www.orcadian.co.uk/2015/10/memorial-service-marks-76th-anniversary-of-royal-oak-disaster/

BBC Radio Orkney reports on our Laurel Crown announcement. One of our committee members, Andrew Hollinrake, is interviewed, together with Brian Budge, towards the end of the programme –

https://soundcloud.com/radio-orkney/around-orkney-thursday-15th-october-2015

HMS Hampshire and 737 men were lost 99 years ago today

Aerial view of the Kitchener Memorial (image: Frankie Tait)
Aerial view of the Kitchener Memorial (image: Frankie Tait)

Ninety-nine years ago tonight the British warship HMS Hampshire sank just off the coast of Orkney, in the north of Scotland, leading to the loss of 737 men, including Britain’s Secretary of State for War, Earl Kitchener.

The ship was taking Kitchener to Russia for secret talks when, at about 7.45pm, she hit a mine in atrocious weather conditions and sank in about 15 minutes.

For many years it was thought more than 600 men were lost, including Kitchener, but now our Kitchener & HMS Hampshire Memorial project has discovered the true figure to be 737.

This week we issued a press release – reproduced below – to mark the anniversary and to announce, and explain, this shocking new death toll figure.

Our project is to “better remember” all the men who were lost by building an HMS Hampshire commemorative wall, engraved with all the men’s names, alongside Orkney’s Kitchener Memorial, which we plan to restore.

There is still an annual memorial service for Earl Kitchener at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, this year on Sunday 7 June. You can find more about this on the Kitchener Scholars website: http://kitchenerscholars.org/copy-of-memorial-service-at-st-pauls-cathedral-1-1

Graham Brown

Kitchener & HMS Hampshire Memorial press release: 4 June 2015

Volunteers working on a planned commemorative wall to more than 700 men lost on HMS Hampshire in the First World War believe they have identified all the men on board, 99 years after the sinking.

The warship sank off the coast of Orkney on 5 June 1916 while taking Earl Kitchener, Britain’s Secretary of State for War – famous for the “Your Country Needs You!” recruitment posters – to Russia for secret talks. There were only 12 survivors.

Ten years later the Kitchener Memorial, a 48-feet high stone tower overlooking the site of the sinking, was unveiled on cliffs at Marwick Head, on the Atlantic west coast of Mainland Orkney. It has a plaque which only makes brief reference to the men lost with Kitchener.

But those working for Orkney Heritage Society’s Kitchener & HMS Hampshire Memorial project want to “better remember” all those lost by building an arc-shaped low wall, engraved with their names, alongside the memorial.

It was long believed that 643 men died after HMS Hampshire hit a mine in stormy weather but recent research by Orkney historian Brian Budge discovered the names of more than 730 men who were lost, with many of the additional names being part of Kitchener’s party.

Now project committee member Andrew Hollinrake has researched online and travelled from Orkney to spend hours digging through hundreds of files at The National Archives in Kew, London, to arrive at a final figure of 737 men lost, including Kitchener. Part of his research involved untangling two family names which had been wrongly joined together.

Andrew explains: “Brian Budge had compiled a list of names from various sources including the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. This included 723 members of the ship’s complement, and most of Kitchener’s party. But more than one source referred to other, previously-unnamed civilian staff on the mission to Russia, suggesting that there were as many as 13 accompanying Kitchener.

“One of the party, Kitchener’s personal servant, was named by many sources as Henry Surguy-Shields. I discovered that this was an error, and the name listed had been a misreading of a press bulletin naming Henry Surguy and “—- Shields”, with a dash in place of Shields’ forename being mistaken for a hyphen, and so misread as a double-barrelled name.

“I visited the National Archives and, after sifting through several large volumes of documents relating to the sinking, I found not only a detailed list of the sailors lost, but also a complete list of Kitchener’s party. This included William Shields, a former soldier, valet to Lt Col Fitzgerald, Kitchener’s military secretary.

“Also listed was Frank West, personal servant to Sir H.F. Donaldson, another key member of the mission as a technical advisor to the Ministry of Munitions. I was already on the trail of West, since I’d found a reference to him in a family tree published on Ancestry.co.uk, but it was good to confirm his presence from an official, primary source!

“We’re now fairly sure we have the complete list, bringing the total to 737.”

The proposed commemorative wall’s arc shape was chosen following a public consultation. Planning permission for the wall, a little over a metre high, is being sought from Orkney Islands Council.

The project team also plan to restore the existing Kitchener Memorial to its original condition, retaining its iconic profile.

The restored tower and the commemorative wall are to be officially unveiled at events marking the centenary of the sinking on Sunday 5 June 2016. Relatives of those lost, including Kitchener, are expected to attend.

Anyone who wishes to donate towards the £200,000 cost can do so online at justgiving.com/orkneyheritagesociety/. The project committee is also applying for grants towards the cost and has already secured a £50,000 grant from Orkney Island Council’s Community Development Fund.

Neil Kermode, leading the project for Orkney Heritage Society, says: “As the centenary of the loss approaches, we believe the hundreds of men who died deserve to be better, and appropriately, remembered. The project committee is working hard to get grants towards the cost but we will also rely on public donations. We would be grateful for any help, large and small.”

Follow the progress of the project on Facebook (@Kitchener.Memorial), Twitter (@kitchenerorkney) and via a blog at kitchenerhampshire.wordpress.com/.

Anyone without computer access who wishes to donate may send a cheque, payable to Orkney Heritage Society, to Orkney Heritage Society, PO Box 6220, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 9AD.

Kitchener & HMS Hampshire Memorial project update: JustGiving page launches

We are delighted to announce the Kitchener & HMS Hampshire Memorial project has launched a JustGiving page to allow anyone who would like to help the project financially to donate.

This is an important step towards our aim of restoring the Kitchener Memorial and creating a commemorative wall around the memorial, engraved with the names of more than 700 men who were lost on HMS Hampshire in 1916.

Here is a link to our JustGiving page…

Donate with JustGiving

We announced this development with press releases to the media both in and out of Orkney. As a result we received handsome coverage in our local newspaper The Orcadian and in the Press & Journal. Neil Kermode, who chairs our project, was interviewed by Fionn McArthur from the ever-helpful team at BBC Radio Orkney (Interview at 24:30).

Press & Journal article of 3 February 2015
Press & Journal article of 3 February 2015

The Orcadian also published a shorter online article, and The Scotsman newspaper published a story in its online edition.

Look out for more coverage to come.

To allow those of you following the project an insight into our thinking, and the story of HMS Hampshire, we reproduce below the press release which went to the media outside Orkney.

Thank you for your interest in the project, and for the generous donations we have already received. 

Graham Brown

Press release dated 2 February 2015

Kitchener & HMS Hampshire Memorial: A project to better remember more than 700 men lost on HMS Hampshire

A commemorative wall bearing the names of more than 700 men lost when their warship sank in the First World War is to be built in Scotland.

The wall will surround Orkney’s Kitchener Memorial in order to “better remember” those who died alongside Earl Kitchener on HMS Hampshire.

A web page allowing people to contribute to the project is officially launched this week.

HMS Hampshire sank in a storm off Orkney on 5 June 1916 after hitting a mine. It was long believed that 643 men died but recent research suggests it was 737. There were 12 survivors.

The Kitchener Memorial, a 48-feet high stone tower, was unveiled in 1926 on cliffs at Marwick Head, on the Atlantic west coast of Mainland Orkney. The site is within an RSPB reserve and offers stunning views.

Earl Kitchener was a member of the British Cabinet and Secretary of State for War when he died. He was travelling to Russia for talks. He is perhaps best known today as the face of the “Your Country Needs You!” recruiting posters.

A plaque on the memorial only makes brief reference to the other men lost that day.

Orkney Heritage Society aims to restore the Kitchener Memorial to its original condition, retaining its iconic profile, and to build a low wall of local stone around the memorial, on which will be engraved in granite the names of all those lost. The wall itself will be of local stone.

Anyone who wishes to donate towards the £200,000 needed is welcome to do so online at justgiving.com/orkneyheritagesociety/. The project committee is also applying for grants towards the cost.

The restoration and commemorative wall are to be officially unveiled at events marking the centenary of the sinking on Sunday 5 June 2016.

Neil Kermode, who is leading the project for Orkney Heritage Society, says: “As the centenary of the loss approaches, we believe those 737 men deserve to be better, and appropriately, remembered. I also believe there is unanimous agreement locally for this idea and great interest further afield.

“The project committee is working hard to get grants towards the cost but we will also rely on public donations. We would be grateful for any contributions, large and small.”

A planning application has been submitted to Orkney Islands Council for work to restore the Kitchener Memorial. Soon a planning application will be submitted for the wall, which will be a little over a metre high and built around four sides of the memorial.

Follow the progress of the project on Facebook (@Kitchener.Memorial), Twitter (@kitchenerorkney) and via a blog at kitchenerhampshire.wordpress.com/.

Anyone without computer access who wishes to donate may send a cheque, payable to Orkney Heritage Society, to Orkney Heritage Society, PO Box 6220, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 9AD.

The Kitchener Memorial on Orkney's Atlantic coast
The Kitchener Memorial on Orkney’s Atlantic coast

Background notes to the press release

The Kitchener Memorial

The plaque on the Kitchener Memorial reads: “This tower was raised by the people of Orkney in memory of Field Marshal Earl Kitchener of Khartoum on that corner of his country which he had served so faithfully nearest to the place where he died on duty. He and his staff perished along with the officers and nearly all the men of HMS Hampshire on 5th June 1916.”

The memorial cost £734 to build, paid for by public subscription from Orcadians.

HMS Hampshire and the sinking

HMS Hampshire, a Devonshire-class armoured cruiser, was launched in 1903 and went into service with the Royal Navy in 1905.

She took part in the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916.

A few days later, on 5 June, she left the Royal Navy’s anchorage at Scapa Flow, Orkney, bound for Russia. Earl Kitchener was on board, heading for secret talks with Britain’s war-time ally.

But at about a quarter to eight in the evening, in stormy conditions less than two miles from shore, she struck a mine laid by a German u-boat. Only 12 crewmen survived.

It was long thought that Earl Kitchener was one of 650 men lost from HMS Hampshire. But recent research by local historian Brian Budge suggests the final death toll was as high as 737.

The restoration project

A planning application has been submitted to Orkney Islands Council for work to restore the Kitchener Memorial. The plans would see the stonework restored to its original condition, the roof inspected and repaired, the ventilation reinstated and the former inspection doorway in the memorial restored.

A second planning application is being submitted for a low wall, a little over a metre high and made from local stone, around four sides of the Kitchener Memorial. The names of the 737 men lost would be inscribed in granite on this wall.

Research

Relatives of those who were on board HMS Hampshire, or others with knowledge about those lost, are invited to contact the project to share memories and information (email: kitchener.memorial@gmail.com). Decisions about how the interpretive material will be displayed have not yet been made.

Orkney Heritage Society

Orkney Heritage Society is undertaking the project as its contribution to the centenary of World War 1, to preserve the existing tower and to enhance the environment.

Founded in 1968, the society is a charitable body whose objectives are: to stimulate public interest in, and care for, the beauty, history and character of Orkney; to encourage the preservation, development and improvement of features of general public amenity or historic interest; to encourage high standards of architecture and planning in Orkney.