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E13

Built By: Chatham Dockyard (Medway)
Build Group: E Group 2
Fate: On 19th August 1915 Submarine E13 was attempting to make the passage through the Skaggerack and the Kattegat and into the Baltic Sea to join other British Submarines operating with the Russian Navy. The Submarine experienced a gyro compass failure and ran aground on the Danish Island of Saltholm. Despite the presence of Danish Warships in the area Submarine E13 was shelled into a wreck by German warships, which opened fire without warning. Fifteen of the crew were killed in the attack and the remainder swam to safety but were then interned by the Danes.
E13 aground at Saltholm in the Øresund in 1915 after being attacked by German torpedo boats
E13 aground at Saltholm in the Øresund in 1915 after being attacked by German torpedo boats
HMS E13 aground at Saltholm in the Øresund in 1915 after being attacked by German torpedo boats
HMS E13 aground at Saltholm in the Øresund in 1915 after being attacked by German torpedo boats

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At the time of her loos the crew members were:

Officers

  • Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey Layton, RN
  • Lieutenant Paul Leathley Eddis, RN
  • Sub Lieutenant William Garriock, RNR

Ratings

  • Petty Officer William George Warren O/N 238632
  • Petty Officer Charles Bowden O/N 205884
  • Petty Officer Alfred Frederick French O/N 214229
  • Leading Seaman Herbert Lincoln O/N 223571
  • Leading Seaman Henry Thomas Pedder O/N 227585
  • Able Seaman Harold Joyner O/N 214616
  • AB Alfred John Payne O/N J4317
  • AB Robert Thomas Smart O/N 235782
  • AB Walter Edwin Brewer O/N 202903
  • AB Charles Frederick Rendolson Hunt O/N 234445
  • AB Benjamin Nix Watson O/N 225969
  • Ord Sig Herbert Goulden O/N J26716
  • Ord Tel Ernest Stuart Charles Holt O/N J26522
  • ERA4 Walter Augustus Varcoe O/N M1581
  • ERA Albert Thomas Henry Abrams O/N 271339
  • ERA4 Edgar Tennison Lukey O/N M4442
  • ERA3 Herbert Staples O/N M1464
  • Chief Stoker Benjamin Pink O/N 281214
  • L/Stoker William Whatley O/N 311495
  • Stoker William Hayes Thomas O/N 307910
  • Stoker Thomas Charles Greenwood O/N K5440
  • Stoker Arthur Long O/N 312113
  • Stoker Walter Thomas Wilcox O/N K7191
  • Stoker Fred Wilson O/N K1405
  • Stoker Walter Albert Yearsley O/N K3223
  • Stoker Frederick William Smith O/N K14110
  • Stoker Francis George Stubbington O/N 304560

Lieutenant Eddis was already ashore in Denmark at the time of the attack attempting to gain assistance for Submarine E13 at Copenhagen.

Roll of Honour

Name Rank Number Hons Age
Goulden, Herbert  Signalman  J26716    18
Greenwood, Thomas Charles  Stoker  K 5440    25
Holt, Ernest Stuart Charles  Ordinary Telegraphist  J26522    18
Joyner, Harold  Able Seaman  214616    30
Long, Arthur  Stoker  312113    27
Payne, Alfred John  Able Seaman  J4317    23
Pedder, Henry Thomas  Leading Seaman  227585    27
Pink, Benjamin  Chief Stoker  281214    39
Smart, Robert Thomas  Able Seaman (RCN)  235782    27
Staples, Herbert  Engine Room Artificer  M 1464    27
Thomas, William Hayes  Leading Stoker  307910    30
Warren, William George  Petty Officer  238362    24
Wilcox, Walter Thomas  Stoker  K 7191    22
Wilson, Fred  Stoker  K1405    29
Yearsley, Walter Albert  Stoker  K 3223    24

Events

16-12-1912 : Laid Down
22-09-1914 : Launched
09-12-1914 : Completed
19-08-1915 : Just after 2300 on 17th August 1915 a faulty compass forced HMS E13 aground on a mud bank in Danish Territorial waters. All attempts to re-float the submarine failed and by the dawn of the 19th both German and Danish vessels were in the area.

Under International Law a belligerent warship is allowed sanctuary in neutral waters for up to 24 hours. At 0500 on the 19th E13 was informed by the Danish ship Narvalen that she had 24 hours within which to re-float. With previous attempts having failed E13 attempted to gain a tow from the Danish vessels in the area.

At 0928 two German destroyers were seen to be closing at high speed and flying the signal "Abandon Ship Immediately" The destroyers opened fire with torpedoes and machine guns. The crew of E13 who were resting on the casing were caught unawares and immediately abandoned the submarine and headed for the Danish ships and Internment.
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