Kingston upon Hull War Memorial 1914 - 1918

The story of Hull in World War One

Lost at Sea

The Hull Memorial remembers the 1,200 sailors from Hull and abroad, who died during the First World War.  

The ongoing peril of unexploded sea mines would claim the lives of Hull fisherman, long after the war had ended. For example, the Hull trawler ‘Gitano’ struck a mine and was sunk with all hands on the 23rd December 1918. 

The Hull trawler ’Scotland’ struck a mine on the 13th March 1919, killing seven Hull men. 

Two days later the steam ship ‘Durban’ exploded‘, killing another eight Hull sailors.

 The ‘Isle of Man’ (Hull) exploded on the 14th December 1919, killing seven Hull fishermen, and the steam ship ‘Barbados’ exploded on the 5th November 1920, taking another ten Hull men. These included the two Weaver brothers killed on the same day. 

Many of these seaman had survived the war, only to be its victims after whilst trying to earn a living for their families. In all over 1,200 Hull men died at sea during the First World War and the majority have no known grave. 

Another tragedy was the loss of the fishing trawler ‘Magneta’ on the 31st January 1922, during the Russian Civil war. While being placed under false arrest, by the Russian authorities, the ‘Magneta’ was dragged into a port unsuitable for anchorage, and wrecked on a reef, during a hurricane. Nine Hull fishermen were lost. The arrest of the ‘Magneta’ became a major diplomatic incident and Russia finally paid some compensation in 1924. The nine Hull sailors from the ‘Magneta’ were buried at Murmansk by the Greek Orthodox Church. They are remembered on the Hull Memorial as one of the last casualties of war. 


SS MALABAR lost ar sea 3rd January 1916

'MALABAR' was a steam trawler, completed in 1903 by Cook, Welton & Gemmell Ltd., for the Hull Steam Fishing & Ice Co. Ltd. and registered at Hull as H.754. She had left Hull on 20th December 1915 and was posted missing on 3rd January 1916 in severe weather. The cause of her loss is unknown.There were no survivors.

John CRANE, Skipper, 26 Huntingdon Street, Hull

John FLOUNDERS, Bosun, (27), 16 Minerva Terrace, Wassand Street, Hull

R J HUME, (42), Second Hand, 26 Devon Street, Hull

Ernest Newell, (24), Second Engineer, 5 Whitby Grove, Rhodes Street, Hull 

Arthur F. POULSON, (16), Trimmer, 5 Blanche Grove, Brighton Street, Hull 

T W ROBINSON, (38), Chief Engineer, 9 Bishop's Avenue, Division Road, Hull

D SAUNDERS, (28), 273 Wellington Street,

R SYMONDS, (32), Fourth Hand,

Charles WESTON, (45), Cook, 1 Blanche Terrace, Brighton Street, Hull 

Young and Old Shipmates

The youngest to die in the war were often served in ship crews. For example, George Edward Johnson,George Edward Plewes and Vincent Michael Nolanwere all lost on different ships in 1917. Each was only 14 years old when they died. Over 1,200 Hull sailors died in the war. One of many sad stories to tell wasLeonard Barmby, from 65 Kimberley Street, who drowned on his 16th Birthday, on the 24th October 1916. 

The oldest Hull Skipper to die, was probably Charles Frederick Dix, Captain of the Steam Trawler, 'TORS', lost on the 30th July 1915. He was 67 years old and lived with his wife Mildred Dix, at 57 Park Street.  The ship struck a mine off Spurn Point with the loss of eight lives.

Joseph William Atkinson, Chief of the Steamship ‘TUMMELL’ (Hull). He was lost at sea on the 24th February 1916, aged 64 years. The  ship was on a voyage from Grimsby to Tréport with a cargo of coal, and was sunk by a mine from the German submarine UC -5 (Ulrich Mohrbutter), 7 miles south of the Kentish Knock. 9 persons were lost.

Steward, Ted Proctor was lost on the Hull ship, 'ARRO' on 1st August 1916, aged 66. He lived with his wife Sara Ann (nee Frankish), at 75 Hawthorne Avenue.

Abel Webber, was also 66 years old, when he was lost on the 'JAFFA' on 2nd February 1918. She was sunk by submarine UB30, in the English Channel, from Boulonge to Southampton, with the loss of ten lives.

The Hull memorial records twenty other Hull sailors who died aged 60 or above. Another 168 Hull sailors lost were aged over 50.

The Navy's Soldiers

Hull has historically been a recruiting ground for the Royal Marines, who are world famous for fighting 'On Land and Sea'.

Thirty Seven Royal Marines from Hull died in the First World war, and another thirty Hull men died serving with the Royal Navy Division.

At the start of the war there were between 20-30,000 Naval reserves who could not find jobs on any war ships. Winston Churchill decided that this was sufficient to form two Naval Brigades and a Brigade of Marines for fighting on land. This became the 63rd Royal Naval Division.

The Royal Naval Division, formed in September 1914, fought on land alongside the Army in the First World War. It consisted of personnel brought together from the Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Fleet Reserve, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, a brigade of Royal Marines, Royal Navy and Army personnel. The Royal Naval Divison saw action at Gallipolli, the Somme, Passchendaele, and all the closing battles of 1918. It was disbanded in April 1919, having suffered 47,900 casualties during the war.