HMS Bellerophon, HMS Benbow, HMS Black Prince, HMS Boadicea with their Rolls of Honour of NI personnel
HMS Bellerophon was a dreadnought. She was the lead ship of the Bellerophon class, and the fourth Royal Navy vessel to bear the name of the mythic Greek hero. Built at the Royal Dockyard in Portsmouth and completed in 1909, Bellerophon first joined the 1st Battle Squadron and then upon the outbreak of war joined the 4th Battle Squadron where she remained until 1919. She was present at Jutland where she fired sixty-two 12 inch rounds and received no damage.
At the Battle of Jutland the vessel was under the command of Captain Edward F. Bruen in the Fourth Division (commanded by Rear Admiral Alexander Duff) of the 4th Battle Squadron under Vice Admiral Doveton Sturdy. The 4th Battle Squadron deployed behind the 2nd Battle Squadron in line ahead during the main part of the battle, and Bellerophon fired 62 12 inch rounds without receiving one hit.
After the battle she swept with the other vessels of the Grand Fleet regularly. Between June and September 1917 she served as the flagship of the 2ic of the 4th Battle Squadron, carrying the flag of Rear Admiral Roger Keyes and then Rear Admiral Douglas Nicholson.
ROLL OF HONOUR HMS BELLEROPHON
BRIGGS, William John
209835. Born Belfast 21/11/1884. ADM 188/366/209835
212257. Born Belfast 26/01/1885.ADM 188/371/212257
RN. AB. 216248. Born Belfast 21/03/1885. ADM 188/379/216248
Seaman. HMS Bellerophon. Earl Street, Belfast. Sinclair Seaman’s – PCI RH
The IWM records an Aaron Duff serving on HMS Constance at Jutland, see below:
J25165. HMS Constance, Jutland. Born Belfast 24/07/1896. ADM 188/697/25165
219822. Born Torr Head, 22/02/1885. ADM 188/386/219822
RN. Seaman. J5236. Born Ballymena. Dunfane, Ballymena. ADM 188/657/5236
O’SHEA, Henry Denis
J17630. Born Newry, 06/05/1897. ADM 188/682/17630
SS5441. Born Belfast 26/01/1897. ADM 188/1099/5441
212380. Born Killowen, Co Down, 13/01/1885. ADM 188/371/212380
HMS Benbow was an Iron Duke-class battleship, the third ship of the class and the third ship to be named in honour of Admiral John Benbow.
Prior to the the Battle of Jutland Benbow left Scapa Flow with the rest of the Grand Fleet under the command of Admiral John Jellicoe on 30 May 1916. She led the 4th Division, consisting of the battleships Bellerophon, Temeraire and Vanguard. The 4th Division formed the column of ships immediately to starboard of the fleet flagship, Iron Duke under Jellicoe as they steamed south eastwards to meet the German High Seas Fleet. At 1710 on 31 May, Benbow relayed a message to Jellicoe on Iron Duke that the High Seas Fleet was at sea with 26-30 battleships on a course of 347 in line ahead. This indicated that the German admiral was at sea with his full strength – 18 dreadnought-type battleships and ten pre-dreadnoughts and that the two sides were on a converging course.
During the course of the battle Benbow attacked Derfflinger and two German destroyers firing 40 rounds of 13.5-inch (340 mm) shells, all of them being “Armour Piercing capped” (APC), and 60 rounds of 6-inch (150 mm) shells. She managed to escape damage or casualties. She spent the rest of the war in home waters,
ROLL OF HONOUR HMS BENBOW
Seaman. 66185. HMS Vivid, HMS Jupiter, HMS Benbow. Belfast
HMS Benbow. Jutland. B, Belfast 04 Aug 1886. ADM 188/402/227660
MISKELLY, William James
M15020. HMS Benbow. Jutland. B, Belfast 14 Mar 1896. ADM 188/1048/15020
MISKELLY, William J
RN. AB. Armourer. Ballymaccarrett Masonic Lodge, Belfast
MORGAN, Thomas Joseph
218732. HMS Benbow. Jutland. Born Kilkeel, 20/12/1886. ADM 188/384/218732
J38157. HMS Benbow. Jutland. Born Belfast 04 /08/1899. ADM 188/723/38157
215642. HMS. Benbow. Jutland. Born Belfast 15/10/1885. ADM 188/378/215642
SS115776. HMS. Benbow. Jutland. Born Belfast 06/11/1895. ADM 188/1121/115776
RN. HMS Benbow. Jutland. Born Portadown 28/06/1883. Cedar Terr., Portadown. ADM 188/356/204644
HMS Black Prince
HMS Black Prince, an armoured cruiser, was sunk with a loss of 1,031 lives. The ship had become separated from the rest of the British fleet and it was reported that: “As Black Prince now suddenly found herself close abreast of the German centre. In a moment she was in a glare of searchlights, a tornado of shell at point blank-range rent her from stem to stern, and in two minutes she was a mass of flames. For a while she was seen as a floating furnace, and then, with an appalling explosion, sank with all hands”. Black Prince was blown up following combined gunfire from the German battleships Ostfriesland and Thuringen, and went down in fewer than four minutes.
At the outbreak of World War One HMS Black Prince captured a German merchantman in the Red Sea in August 1914. and was stationed at Gibraltar in November 1914. In December 1914 she moved to the Grand Fleet 1st cruiser squadron. HMS Black Prince was built at the Thames Iron Works Blackwall, and laid down on the 3rd June 1903, launched 8th November 1904 and completed 17th March 1906.
ROLL OF HONOUR – HMS BLACK PRINCE
RN. Boy 1st Class. J34509. Died 31/5/1916. Aged 15. Born Belfast 04/08/1898. Son of Samuel and Margaret Allen, of Fortwilliam, Belfast. Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 13. ADM 188/716/34509
Stoker 1st Class. K26492. Died 31/5/1916. Age 23. Born Belfast 23/03/1893. Son of Edwin and Annie, Raby St., Newcastle – on – Tyne. Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 17. ADM 188/919/26492
RNR. Stoker 7821S. Brother of Mrs. Lemon, Sydney Street West, Belfast. Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 23. St Matthew’s Parish Church, Shankill, Belfast WM
+MacCORMAC, John Sides Davies
RN. Surgeon. Died 31/05/1916. Age 44. Son of William and Mary Edmunds MacCormac, The Old House, Banbridge, and husband of Genevieve Muriel MacCormac, of St Ives. Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 11. Banbridge WM. RBAI WM
RNVR. AB. Clyde Z/6053. Died 31/5/1916. Son of John and Mary Morgan, Belfast. Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 24.
RNR. Stoker. 7131S. Died 31/5/1916. Age 35. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Shanks, of Belfast; husband of Annie Shanks (nee Pratt), N. Woodside Rd., Glasgow. Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 23.
RN. Able Seaman. 231456. Died 31/05/1916. Age 27. Born Belfast 21/07/1888. Son of Samuel and Emily Smiley, Mayo St., Belfast; husband to Mabel Smiley, and father of two little sons, of Lanark Street, Belfast, brother of Alice Higgins, and nephew of Miss Smiley, Woodvale Road. Two brothers on active service. “Our deepest sympathy goes out to those bereaved families, and a special memorial service was held in the Parish Church on Whit Sunday evening, at which the Rev. W.A. de V. Dodd made touching reference to the loss they had sustained.” – Shankill Parish magazine. Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 12. St Matthew’s Parish Church, Shankill, Belfast WM. ADM 188/409/231456
+STUART, William Isaac
RMLI.Private. PO/16616. Died 31/05/1916. Age 21. Son of William and Marion Stuart; brother of Marion Franaitis, Hart St., London Rd., Liverpool. Native of Belfast. Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 22.
HMS Boadicea was the lead ship of her class of scout cruisers built for the RN in the first decade of the 20th century. She led the 1st Destroyer Flotilla from completion until the ship was transferred to the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla in mid-1912. A year later Boadicea was reassigned to the 2nd Battle Squadron and she spent the bulk of WW1 with that squadron. The ship was present at, but did not fight in, the Battle of Jutland in mid-1916. Boadicea was converted into a minelayer at the end of 1917 and made three sorties to lay her mines before the end of the war. She was placed in reserve after the war and taken out of service in 1920. The ship was used for harbour service a Dartmoutht until she was sold for scrap in 1926.
ROLL OF HONOUR – HMS BOADICEA
BROWNE, William R
RN. AB. Belfast
BROWNE, William Robert
HMS Boadicea, Jutland. B, Belfast 02 Mar 1887. ADM 188/504/308986
COCHRANE, George Waterson
215674. HMS Boadicea. Jutland. Born Coleraine 02/04/1886. ADM 188/378/215674
+McDONALD, John Riddell
Stoker 1st Class. SS114477. Survived Jutland. Died later in HM Submarine K.17 on 31/01/1918. Age 24. Collision in North Sea. Born Belfast 05/09/1894. Son of Hugh G. and Sarah J. McDonald, Central Fire Station, Chichester St., Belfast. Chatham Naval Memorial. Rosemary St. – PCI RH. ADM 188/1120/114477
ADM – Admiralty record reference
+ Indicates a fatality