Charles William Wood
J/11863 Able Seaman Charles William Wood, age 21
HMS Aboukir, Royal Navy
Died 22 September 1914
Able Seaman J/11863, Royal Navy, HMS Aboukir. Died 22/09/1914.
The only son of Charles Wood, a hospital porter, and Mary Ann nee Meadows, of 36 Ranelagh Road, Felixstowe. Charles also had four younger sisters, Eva, Elsie, Ivy & Daisy.
Commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial. HMS Aboukir, an old 1st Class armoured cruiser, was part of Cruiser Force C, in an area of the North Sea known as the Broad Fourteens (HMS Eurylus, HMS Cressy and HMS Hogue were the other three cruisers). HMS Eurylus had technical problems and returned to port. Early on September 22nd 1914 the German submarine U9 under the command of Commander Otto Weddigen sighted the Cressy, Aboukir and Hogue steaming NNE at 10 knots without zigzagging. Although the patrols were supposed to maintain 12-13 knots and zigzag the old cruisers were unable to maintain that speed and the zigzagging order was widely ignored as there had been no submarines sighted in the area during the war. HMS Aboukir was hit by a torpedo first and rolled over within half an hour of the attack. HMS Hogue was picking up survivors when she was hit by two torpedoes, sinking within 10 minutes. HMS Cressy had stopped to pick up survivors, but got underway before she was hit by a torpedo and damaged. Shortly afterwards, a second torpedo hit her and she sank within 15 minutes. 837 men were rescued but 1459 men were killed in total