Home - Boats - Submarines - E Class - 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.

Roll of Honour

W E Brewer  Able Seaman
T O Greenwood  Stoker
ESO Holt  Ordinary Telegraphist
A Long  Stoker
A J Payne  Able Seaman
RHT Pedde  Leading Seaman
H Staples  Engine Room Artificer
W H Thomas  Leading Stoker
W G Warren  Petty Officer
W T Wilcox  Stoker
F Wilson  Stoker
W A Yearsley  Stoker


At the time of her loos the crew members were:


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


  • 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.


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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