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E7

Built By: Chatham Dockyard (Medway)
Build Group: E Group 2
Fate: On 4th September 1915 Submarine E7 was attempting a passage through the Dardanelles into the Sea of Marmora when the starboard propeller became entangled in the anti-submarine nets at Nagara. Despite all efforts the submarine was unable to break free and to avoid being depth charged to destruction the Commanding Officer surfaced the submarine to abandon ship and then scuttled the submarine. All of the crew survived and were made Prisoners of War. However four of the crew died in captivity.

Roll of Honour

A Coates  Engine Room Artificer RNR. Died Pow 30-9-1916
F A Levey  Ordinary Signaller
W Reid  Able Seaman
C Taylor  Chief Stoker DSM

 

Submarine E7 was sent to the Mediterranean in 1915 to support the Dardanelles Campaign and made one successful patrol in the Sea of Marmora.

On 4th Sep 1915 Submarine E7 (Lieutenant Commander the Hon. Sir Archibald Douglas Cochrane) was attempting a passage through the Dardanelles into the Sea of Marmora for a second patrol when the starboard propeller became entangled in the anti-submarine nets at Nagara.

Despite all efforts Submarine E7 was unable to break free and, to avoid being depth charged to destruction, the Commanding Officer surfaced the Submarine to abandon ship and then scuttled the Submarine. All of the crew survived and were made Prisoners of War.

At the time of her loss the crew was made up of the following personnel:

Officers

  • Lt Commander the Hon. Sir Archibald Douglas
  • Cochrane, Royal Navy
  • Lieutenant John Scaife, Royal Navy (Retd)
  • Acting Sub Lieutenant Irvine Muirhead Twyman, RNR

Ratings

  • PO Officer Edward Websdale, DSM O/N 182183
  • PO Robert Walter Sims, DSM O/N 179585
  • PO Louis Anthony James Dalnoky O/N 174160
  • Petty Officer Tebbitt
  • L/Sea Ernest Alfred Gwynne O/N RAN 7475
  • L/Sea William George Dempsey DSM, O/N 215684
  • Leading Seaman Reginald Hooper O/N J327
  • Able Seaman William Reid O/N 214966
  • Able Seaman Percy Charles Ross O/N 233417
  • Able Seaman Jack Richard Smith O/N 233822
  • Able Seaman William Henry Matthews O/N 216454
  • L/Signalman John Herbert Godfrey O/N 233750
  • L/Tel Thomas Milner James Parkhurst O/N J8151 (Po)
  • Tele Albert Edward Parodi O/N J12264 (Po)
  • Acting Chief ERA2 John Henry Harrison O/N 271342
  • ERA Herbert Macklin O/N RNR/EA/927
  • ERA Asher Coates O/N RNR/EA/1969
  • ERA3 G McC McDonald O/N 271951 (Po)
  • Ch Sto Edward Charles Taylor DSM O/N 283225
  • L/Sto Frederick James Hubbard O/N 310854
  • L/Sto Henry William Pope O/N 305208
  • L/Sto Archibald McCullough Wilson O/N RAN 7501
  • Sto 1 Herbert Blanchard O/N K4093
  • Sto 1 Ernest Osborne O/N K769
  • Sto 1 William Edward James Johnson O/N K9390
  • Sto 1 Alexander Doyle O/N K2079
  • Sto 1 Douglas Murray Barton O/N K3769
  • Sto 1 Percy Edward Coker O/N 311380
  • Sto 1 Frederick Myers O/N K6507

Of the above Ratings there were two Australians (Gwynne & Wilson) who had recently returned from Australia in Submarine AE2. They left AE2 in April 1915 before that Submarine was lost in the Sea of Marmara on 30th April 1915 but now joined their former crew mates in captivity.

ERA Asher Coates was a native of Barrow in Furness and the following appeared in the Barrow News of Saturday 18th September 1915:

ABOARD THE E7 BARROW ARTIFICER BELONGING TO LOST SUBMARINE PRESUMABLY A PRISONER LAST HEARD OF IN MALTA

Barrow is again compelled to take an especial interest in the fate of Submarine E7, which, according to an enemy claim, has been sunk off the Dardanelles, and officers and crew made prisoners. Mr. Asher Coates, of 92 West View Road, has been on this particular craft as an Engine Room Artificer for some time, and presumably he is among the men who have fallen into the hands of the enemy. September 4th was the last date on which the Admiralty had heard from the submarine; but some few days earlier she was at Malta, as is proved by a letter which Mrs. Coates received from her husband on Saturday last. It was dated August 29th, from Malta, and stated that they were about to leave that place. Only so recent as Monday last Lieut-Commander Cochrane was awarded the DSO. for services in the submarine in the Sea of Marmara, where he did great damage to enemy shipping, and after blocking the railway line at near Kava Burnu by bombarding it from the sea, shelled a troop train and blew up the ammunition cars attached to it.

In an earlier letter home, Mr. Coates was apparently aware that his 'skipper' had been singled out for some distinction of the kind, and he was of the opinion he fully deserved it.

Artificer Coates is a Barrovian entirely. His mother lives on the Promenade at Walney. He served his apprenticeship at Messrs. Vickers Limited, and when the firm built the Peruvian vessel Coronel Bolognel he offered himself for three years service in the Peruvian Navy. On returning to Barrow he resumed work at the Shipyard, and it was December last year before he could succeed in getting away from his work for submarine service. At first he was stationed at different naval depots and was associated with submarines of the D Class. After a period on HMS Adamant he was finally transferred to E7 in April.


Events

30-03-1912 : Laid Down
02-10-1913 : Launched
14-03-1914 : Completed
04-09-1915 : At 0700 HMS E7 dived to 100 feet in an attempt to break through the anti-submarine nets at Nagara Point in the Dardanelles. The attempt failed when the starboard propeller became entangled in the nets. All attempts to free the vessel failed and drew the attention of the Turkish craft in the area. After successive attacks E7 was forced to surface. Once the crew had been removed to safety, the vessel was scuttled.

Engine Room Artificer Asher Coates O/N RNR/EA/1969 was among those captured. Asher Coates died as a Prisoner of War on 30th September 1916. He had been born in Barrow in Furness and had worked in the Vickers Shipyard. He was buried in the Hadjikiri Cemetery and is commemorated on the Baghdad North Gate Memorial (Memorial 11)
12-02-1916 : Able Seaman William Reid O/N 214966 (Po) is reported to have died whilst a Prisoner of War in Turkey having been captured when E7 was trapped in anti-submarine nets whilst attempting to enter the Sea of Marmora for a second Patrol.
16-10-1916 : Chief Stoker Edward Charles Taylor, DSM is reported to have died whilst a Prisoner of War in Turkey.


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