Built By: Vickers (Barrow)
Build Group: C
Fate: C16 which was dived and at periscope depth was in a collision with HMS Melampus on 16th April 1917. The submarine was damaged and hit the bottom at 60 feet. It appears that all the crew survived the collision and the bottoming but, through a series of misfortunes, all attempts at escape failed and the whole crew was lost.

The submarine was later recovered and refitted and saw further war service. The submarine was sold for scrap to C A Beard of Upnor on 12 August 1922.
C16, C18, C15 and C10 at Torquay
C16, C18, C15 and C10 at Torquay

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Able Seaman James Hill O/N J3361

James Hill was a member of the crew of the Submarine C16 (Depot Ship HMS Bonaventure) and he is reported to have died on 28th Mar 1915 and to have been accidentally drowned after falling overboard from the Submarine whilst securing the boat to a buoy. James Hill was born in Portsoy in Banffshire in Scotland on 26th Jun 1892 and he was the son of Mr & Mrs Hill. His body was not recovered until Saturday 15th May and was returned home to Moretonhampsted on Thursday 20th May 1915. He was buried in the North Bovey Churchyard in Moretonhampstead. A report appeared in the Western Times of Tuesday 25th May 1915 as follows:

Funeral of Moretonhampstead Sailor of Submarine C16

The body of James Hill, who was drowned by accident whilst serving on HM submarine C16, on March 28th, was recovered on Saturday last, and conveyed to Moretonhampstead Station on Thursday morning. The funeral took place at North Bovey Churchyard at 12 o'clock, amid tokens of great respect from the village.

The chief mourners were: Mr. and Mrs. Hill (father and mother), Geoff Hill (brother), Mrs D Hill (aunt), Mr D Hill (uncle), T Hill (uncle), Violet Hill (niece), T Endacott (brother in law), Mrs E Endicott (sister in law). The funeral services were conducted by Rev. Law (curate). Among those present were: Mr East, Mr R T Chudleigh, Miss E Coniam, Lieutenant Loman, Mr B Parker, Mr Anthony, Mr Jones, Mrs Leer. The bearers were schoolmates of the deceased.

Floral tokens were from: sister and brother; Old Teachers, S E Smerdon and E M Cuming, Mr J and L Taylor: Mable, Nellie and Emily Holland: Mr and Mrs Coniam and family: Jessie: Viscountess Hambleden, of Manor House: 'In loving memory of James (Jim) Hill, who was drowned while serving on Submarine C16: A token of remembrance from the sorrowing boatmates': Captain and officers, HMS Bonaventure; Mrs Oldroyd: Mrs. Tapper: Mrs. Sampson: Officers and Shipmates Submarine C16 and from Shipmates HMS Bonaventure.

The wounded soldiers from the Manor House were lined up at full salute as the deceased left the church. The coffin was of polished elm, with brass fittings and bore the inscription, 'James Hill, drowned March 28th 1915, aged 22.'

Roll of Honour

Anderson  Mate
Boase  Lieutenant
Brooks  Engine Room Artificer 1st Class
Burton  Leading Seaman
FJ Clarke  Leading Seaman
P G Clemett  Stoker 1st Class
G F Cope  Leading Stoker
F J Cowls  Engine Room Artificer 4th Class
Down  Petty Officer Stoker
J J Fitzgerald  Signalman
Freestone  Leading Stoker
Gaunt  Petty Officer
J H Howie  Able Seaman
A S Humphrys  Able Seaman
Linton  Stoker 1st Class
Puddington  Able Seaman


14-12-1906 : Laid Down
19-03-1908 : Launched
05-06-1908 : Completed
28-03-1915 : Able Seaman James is reported to have been accidentally drowned after falling overboard from the Submarine whilst securing the boat to a buoy.
16-04-1917 : On exercises off Harwich, at periscope depth, C16 collided with the destroyer HMS Melampus, sustained damage and bottomed in 60 feet.

In an effort to raise the alarm on the surface an attempt was made by the First Lieutenant to escape the submarine via a torpedo tube but he was drowned in the attempt.

The crew next tried to flood the entire boat and escape through the fore hatch but a fender jammed in the hatch.

Before this last attempt the Captain made out a report which was later found in a bottle near his body by the salvage team.
12-08-1922 : The previously recovered and refitted submarine was sold for scrap to C A Beard of Upnor


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