Sinking of Hogue

daily mirror 23 september 1914Daily Mirror 23 Sep 1914

The Leeds Mercury of 26 Sep 1914 includes this article, which from this extract lists Charles Alfred Booth as a survivor. Charles was our 3rd cousin 3x removed, the son of James Booth and Ann Ballard. He was the youngest of six children, born on 28 Jun 1877 in Dover, Kent. He survived the war and died on 2 Feb 1943 in Dover, where he lived at 14 Valley Road, River.

leeds mercury 26 september 1914

The Dundee Courier of 26 Sep 1914 reported in part:


Report by Commander Reginald A. Norton, R.N., late of H.M.S. Hogue:—

“Sir,—I have the honour to report as follows concerning the sinking of His Majesty’s ships Hogue, Aboukir, and Cressy. Between 6.15 and 6.30 a.m. H.M.S. Aboukir was struck by a torpedo. The Hogue closed the Aboukir, and I received orders to hoist out the launch, turn out and prepare all boats, and unlash all timber on tho upper deck. The two lifeboats were sent to the Aboukir, but before the launch could get away the Hogue was struck on the starboard side amidships by two torpedoes at intervals of ten to twenty seconds. The ship at once began to heel to starboard.

“After ordering the men to provide themselves with wood, hammocks, &c.. to get into the boats on the booms, and take off their clothes, I went, by Captain Nicholson’s orders, to ascertain the damage in the engine-room.An artificer engineer informed me that the water was over the engine-room gratings.

“While endeavouring to return to the bridge the water burst open the starboard entry port doors, and the snip heeled rapidly. I told the men in the port battery to jump overboard, as the launch was close alongside, and soon afterwards the ship lurched heavily to starboard.


“ I clung to a ring-bolt for some time, but eventually dropped to the deck, and a huge wave washed mo away. I climbed up tho ship’s side, and was again washed off. Eventually, after swimming about for various overladen pieces of wreckage, I was picked up by a cutter from the Hogue, Coxswain L. S Marks, which pulled about for some hours picking up men and discharging them to our picket boat and steam pinnace and to the butch steamers Flora and Titan, and rescued in this way Commander Sells and Engineer Commander Stokes, with legs broken, Fleet Paymaster Eldred, and about 120 others.

Finally, about 10 a.m., when we could find no more men in the water, we were picked up by H.M.S. Lucifer, which proceeded to the Titan and took off from her all our men, except about twenty who were too ill to be removed. A Lowestoft trawler and the two Dutch ships Flora and Titan were extraordinarily kind, clothing and feeding our men. My boat’s crew, consisting mainly of R.N.R. men, pulled and behaved remarkably well.

“I particularly wish to mention Petty Officer, First Class, Halton, who, by encouraging the men in the water near me, undoubtedly saved many lives.


“Lieut.-Commander Phillips Wolley, after hoisting out the launch, asked me if he should try to hoist out another boat, and endeavoured to do so. The last I saw of him was on the after bridge doing well. Lieut. Tillard was picked up by the launch, got up a cutter’s crew, and saved many lives, as did Midshipman Carzalet in the Cressy’s gig. Lieut. Chichester turned out the whaler very quickly.

“A Dutch sailing trawler sailed close by, but went off without rendering any assistance, though we signalled to her from the Hogue to close after we were struck.

“The Aboukir appeared to me to take about thirty-five minutes to sink, floating bottom up for about five minutes. The Hogue turned turtle very quickly, in about five minutes, and floated bottom up for some minutes. A dense black smoke was seen in the starboard battery, whether from coal or torpedo cordite I could not say. The upper deck was not blown up, and only one other small explosion occurred as we heeled over.


“The Cressy I watched heel over from the cruiser. She heeled over to starboard very slowly, a dense, black smoke issuing from her when she attained an angle of about 90 degrees, and she took a long time from this angle till she floated bottom up with the starboard screw slightly out of the water. I consider it was 35 to 45 minutes from the time she was struck till she was bottom- up.

“All the men in the Hogue behaved extraordinarily well, obeying orders even when in the water swimming for their lives, and I witnessed many cases or great self-sacrifice and gallantry. Able Seaman R. F. Farmstone, H.M.S. Hogue, jumped overboard from the launch to make room for others, and would not avail himself of assistance until all men nearby were picked up. He was in the water about half-an-hour.

“There was no panic of any sort, the men taking off their clothes as ordered and filing in with hammock or wood.

“Captain Nicholson, in our other cutter, as usual was perfectly cool, and rescued a large number of men. I last saw him alongside the Flora. Engineer-Commander Stores, I believe, was in the engine-room to the last, and Engineer-Lieutenant-Commander Fendick got steam on the boat and worked it in five minutes.

“ I have the honour to submit that I may be appointed to another ship as soon as I can get a kit.—I have the honour, &c.,

“Reginald A. Norton,

“Commander late H.M.S. Hogue.”

Near the bottom of his navla record we see Charles assigned to the Houge. He served between 17 Oct 1896 and 25 Nov 1918.

charles alfred booth naval record

And then we have his funeral in 1943.

dover express 12 february 1943Dover Express 12 Feb 1943

Comments are closed.

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy

Discovering Your Ancestors - One Gene at a Time


genealogy & family history



History in the (Re)Making

History, Historical Fiction and everything in between

Somerset & Dorset Family History Society

The SDFHS helps people, wherever they live, to research their family history and to help add local context and connections to the basic information they may already have found. Website:

The Perimeter

Quintin Lake's photographic Journey walking around Britain's Coast

Sevenoaks WW1

Researching and remembering the people of Sevenoaks, Kent during the First World War

HistorianRuby: An Historian's Miscellany

Early modern historian. Loves gender, women's, social & royal histories. Ventures elswhere when interest is piqued. Blog may cover above themes or something a little more random. Find me on Twitter @ruthrblair

Young Family History

Ancestors and Cousins of Mike Young

%d bloggers like this: