William Frederick Hall

294862, Stoker 1st Class William Hall, age 37
HMS Aboukir, Royal Navy
Died 22 September 1914

William was born in Felixstowe 9th Feb 1877.  His father William was a general labourer and his mother Elizabeth was a housewife.  He had 2 older brothers and one younger.   His father died when William was 3 in 1881.  It is believed his mother also died before William but no date has yet been confirmed.

William joined the Royal Navy in March 1900 as a Stoker 2nd Class.  During the war he served on HMS Aboukir as a Stoker 1st Class.  He died, age 37, when his ship was sunk by a German torpedo on 22nd September 1914.  His next of kin was his brother George Hall of The Gas Works, Beach Station, Felixstowe.  He is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial.

HMS Aboukir, an old 1st Class armoured cruiser, was part of Cruiser Force C, in the 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

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HMS Aboukir

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Royal Navy

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Chatham Naval Memorial