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Hugh Lamberton Donald O/N P/228142 Able Seaman (LTO)

by Barrie Downer

Hugh Donald was born in Surbiton, Surrey on 27th Jul 1886. He was one of the five children of James Young Donald and Elizabeth Donald. His elder brother was John James (born in Surbiton in 1884) and his younger brother was James (born in 1890 in Surbiton). His two sisters were Elizabeth (born on 23rd Sep 1888) and May Violet (born in Fulham in 1898).

On leaving school Hugh Donald was employed as a kitchen boy. Hugh Donald joined the Royal Navy at Portsmouth as an Ordinary Seaman. He was advanced to Able Seaman on 20th Jul 1906. Details of his early drafts and training courses are not known but he was drafted to the 28,000 ton Battle Ship HMS Canada in 1915.

HMS Canada (Captain William C N Nicholson, Royal Navy) was built by the Elswick Yard on Clydebank and was 'Laid Down' for the Chilean Navy as Valpariso (later Almirante Latorre) in November 1911 and, having been purchased for the Royal Navy on the outbreak of WWI was 'Completed' in September 1915. The Battle Ship joined the 3rd Division of the Grand Fleet at Scapa Flow on 15th Oct 1915. Hugh Donald qualified LTO on 25th Jun 1916 and, whilst serving in HMS Canada he was present at the Battle of Jutland on 31st May/1st Jun 1916.

Hugh Donald volunteered for Submarines on 6th Feb 1917 and was 'requisitioned' on 15th May 1917 - joining HMS Dolphin 'for Submarine Training' on 29th Apr 1917. This was followed by a draft to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS Vulcan originally 'for the Spare Crew' but then 'for Submarine E35' on 29th May 1917.

Submarine E35 (a John Brown built Boat) was transferred to the Mediterranean to be based on the Base Ship HMS Cormorant at Gibraltar on 12th Nov 1917. On 31st Dec 1917 Submarine E35 was further transferred to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS Ambrose (Ambrose Flotilla) based at Gibraltar before being further transferred to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS Bonaventure (Special Service Flotilla VI) at Gibraltar on 1st Apr 1918 (1st Mar 1918 Nominal List).

On 11th May 1918 Submarine E35 (Lieutenant Commander Guy D'Oyly Hughes, Royal Navy) torpedoed and sank the 'U' Boat U-154 west of Gibraltar. Submarine E35 was again transferred to HMS Cormorant on 20th Dec 1918.

Hugh Donald then returned home to HMS Dolphin additional for L Class Submarine training and was 'loaned' to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS Ambrose at Portsmouth for Submarine L54 on 14th Jan 1919. He stayed in Submarine L54 (built by Denny of Dumbarton) until 24th Mar 1919 when he was drafted to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS Maidstone for Submarine E51 - vice Able Seaman (LTO) Murthea.

After six months he left Submarine E51 (built by Cammell Laird) and was drafted to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS Arrogant 'for the Care & Maintenance Party for E Class Submarines' on 26th Sep 1919. Returning to HMS Dolphin on 10th Nov 1919 he was drafted to the 'Care & Maintenance Party for Submarine E53' - a Beardmore Boat).

A further draft to the HMS Dolphin 'for Group H Submarines in Reserve - for Submarine E48' (a Fairfield Boat) followed on 23rd Mar 1921. Hugh Donald was drafted to HMS Dolphin 'additional' on 21st Feb 1922 and then to HMS Dolphin 'for Submarine L24' - vice Able Seaman (LTO) Beaumont' on 20th Mar 1922. Submarine L24 was transferred to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS Lucia (based at Devonport) on 23rd Sep 1922. Submarine L24 (built by Vickers and completed at Chatham) was lost with all hands in a collision with the Battle Ship HMS Resolution off Portland on 10th Jan 1924.

Hugh Donald was survived by his 2 sisters, Elizabeth and May Violet and his younger brother James Alexander Donald. His eldest brother John James Donald joined the 8th Battalion of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps as Rifleman R/37696 and was killed at the 3rd battle of Ypres on 11th October, 1917.



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