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Built By: Vickers (Barrow)
Build Group: E Group 2
Fate: In the morning of Thursday 6th January 1916 E17 was on patrol north of the island of Texel. The Submarine struck an uncharted bank and was badly damaged. The Dutch Cruiser Noord Brabant closed to investigate the problem but Lieutenant Commander Moncrieffe dived the Submarine to escape - believing that the Cruiser was hostile.

The damage forced Moncrieffe to surface. The crew was taken off and interned in Holland for the duration. Initially the crew was interned at Den Helder but they were later moved to Groningen where other Royal Navy internees were held. E17 sank later in the morning of 6th January.
E17 conning tower on display at the RNSM
E17 conning tower on display at the RNSM

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


  • Lt Cdr John Robert Guy Moncrieffe, Royal Navy
  • Lt Napier Robert Peploe, Royal Navy
  • Lt Charles Victor Groves, RNR


  • PO Albert Edward Pilbeam O/N 233277
  • PO Charles Jennings O/N 190601
  • PO Charles Edmund Craven O/N 206901
  • L/Sea John William O'Connell O/N 216841
  • AB George Holwell Springall O/N J6161
  • AB Walter George Morley O/N J4582
  • AB Leolf Rothnie Lammas O/N 229434
  • AB Frederick Tabb O/N 211087 (Dev)
  • AB George Washington Parsons O/N J1878
  • Signalman Edward James Harvey J10580
  • Telegraphist William Halter O/N J12481
  • CERA Robert Short O/N 269501
  • ERA William John Thomas Smith O/N M4201
  • ERA Sidney George Wilson Dixey O/N M8910
  • Stoker PO Alfred John Mizen O/N 307529
  • L/Stoker Henry Reid O/N 305894
  • Stoker Robert John Lockyer O/N K4117
  • Stoker Joseph Malley O/N K5078
  • Stoker Frederick Thomas Parrott O/N K16221
  • Stoker Richard James Whittaker O/N K12786
  • Stoker Frederick Charles Ralph Parsons O/N K17825
  • Stoker John William Sears O/N K17825
  • Stoker James Henry Holland O/N K20759
  • Stoker Ernest Frederick Thomas Hill O/N K20953

The above list totals twenty seven Officers and Ratings - up to four more Seamen and Stokers are still to be identified.


29-07-1913 : Laid Down
16-01-1915 : Launched
07-04-1915 : Completed
06-01-1916 : Whilst patrolling north of Texel Island, HMS E17 struck an uncharted sandbank. Badly damaged the submarine was forced to surface. The Royal Netherlands Navy Cruiser Noord Brabant approached the stricken submarine to investigate. E17 believing the Cruiser was belligerent submerged, but owing to the damage was forced to surface again. E1 signalled the un-identified cruisers for assistance and her crew were taken off and interned. E17 finally sank at 1140 on Thursday 6th January 1916.

1 comment

Albert Edward Pilbeam was my grandfather and I have some great photo's of him and the submarine E17. E17 held a record at the time for staying under water for a long period of time during its submurge, I have a press cutting of the account.
Stephen Pilbeam

   Stephen Pilbeam Wed, 1 Nov 2017

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