Work Experience submarine research

This work was done by a student on work experience at the Museum. They have collected some information about the men from Poole who served on Submarines from the Roll of Honour.

Only two men from Poole served on Royal Navy submarines and didn’t return – this was because the British admiralty thought at the time that submersible warfare was scandalous, and the only ‘right and proper’ way to do battle at sea was on the surface. Only eighty were in service when the First World War began in 1914, but by the end of it the Royal Navy had employed around 350 (Germany had more, at about 375).

Charles Trickett served on the Royal Navy HM Submarine L.55. Based in Tallinn, Estonia, it was part of the Baltic Battle squadron fighting for Baltic independence against the Soviet Union. On the 9th July, 1919, she attacked two Soviet minelayer-destroyers in the Gulf of Finland. But she missed her targets and was forced into a minefield, where she was sunk by soviet gunfire. The wreck was recovered by Soviet salvage crews in 1927, and raised in August 1928 – the remains of the 34 crewmen were returned to Britain to be buried in Portsmouth. The submarine was repurposed and later used for training crews in the Soviet Union.

Hedley Alexander Grant served on the HM Submarine L.10. One of the first of the L-Class boats serving in the Royal Navy, she was sent to the North Sea to try to prevent German minelaying over British naval routes. On the 3rd October 1918, only four months old, she came across a raiding party of four destroyers who had stopped, as one of them had detonated a mine. As they were distracted, her commander Alfred Edward Whitehouse was able to take them by surprise and hit a destroyer with a torpedo, sinking it. However, L.10 was forced to surface and was spotted by the other members of the raiding party, as well as another lone destroyer. She attempted to escape, but was outmatched and too slow to evade them. She was sunk 11:03 (CET) with all 38 crewmen lost.L.52

 

Information and picture from www.naval-history.net

War Poetry

Austin Threlfall Nankivell (1884-1942) was Poole’s Medical Officer of Health between 1914 – 1921.  He was called up in 1915 and became a captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps until 1918, when he returned to his post in Poole.

He published articles and a book during the war, about trench fever and hygiene for soldiers.  He also penned a war poem:

THE HOUSE OF DEATH

SURELY the Keeper of the House of Death
Had long grown weary of letting in the old—
Of welcoming the aged, the short of breath,
Sad spirits, duller than their tales oft-told.
He must have longed to gather in the gold
Of shining youth to deck his dreary spaces—
To hear no more old wail and sorrowing.
And now he has his wish, and the young faces
Are crowding in: and laughter fills Death’s places;
And all his courts are gay with flowers of Spring.

 

Taken from A treasury of war poetry, British and American poems of the world war, 1914-1919

by George Herbert Clarke, 1917

Thanks to Poole’s Health Record for the information.