10th June 1916
Wallasey Men In North Sea Battle
There were a few Wallasey men on the ships of the cruiser squadron which gallantly challenged the German Fleet. On H.M.S. Indefatigable were two lads – Richard James Fenby, son of Captain George Fenby, of 57 Merton Road, Liscard, and James A.D. Bent, the son of Mrs. Lolley, of 2, The Grove, Seacombe.
Richard Fenby was an old boy of the Manor Road Council School, and had only been to sea since last June, when he joined the Powerful, but was afterwards transferred to the Indefatigable. He was seventeen years of age. James Bent was sixteen years of age, and intimation has been received that he must be regarded as dead. His father is serving on H.M.S. Slefoy, and he has a brother on H.M.S. Theosis.
On H.M.S. Defence were two local shipmates, Gunner Watkin Lythgoe, of 3 Balmoral Road, New Brighton, and Norman Brown of 2 Summer Hill, New Brighton.
Oakdale Bowler’s Thrilling Experience
Stoker Fred Spicer, of 108 Ashville Road, Seacombe, in a letter to his father, wrote of the thrilling experience he had passed through whilst serving on H.M.S Porpoise (torpedo boat). He writes: “I don’t know how our ship got through it all so lucky. There were four of us – the Porpoise, Ardent, Tipperary and Fortune. We met some German cruisers, and as far as I could see our ship was the only one to come through safe. It was the Fortune that saved us, for a German battleship was just about to fire a broadside at us, when the Fortune came up and whilst manoeuvering for position to fire a torpedo she received the broadside that was intended for us. She was lifted clean out of the water and exploded, making a lot of smoke. The German caught us with a couple of shells putting two of our boilers out of action and bursting a torpedo, killing two and wounding two of our men. We also had our main steam pipe blown away. We managed to get to port safely, and we will soon be ready to have a go at the enemy again. I had the pleasure of seeing a few German ships go under.”
Stoker F. Spicer is, Mr.J. Ryan informs us, Oakdale’s youngest club member, and he has the congratulations of all his club chums on his lucky escape.
A Warrior Survivor
Seacombe’s Lad’s Luck
On Wednesday morning Mr. J.C. Jones, a survivor of the Warrior, which suffered severely in the naval battle, arrived at his home, 42 Geneva Road, Seacombe. Save for the slight reaction after the tremendous nervous strain of the engagement he was in the best of health.
The Warrior, which came up when the great battle cruisers were already at grips, was hotly engaged for half an hour. She was so severely damaged by shell that she then withdrew from the fight and indeed would have been sunl altogether but for the timely help of the Warspite. The story of the gallant attempt by a channel steamer to tow the disabled cruiser to port is well known, and how eventually the Warrior had to be abandoned and her crew transferred. Her casualties had been heavy, for out of a crew of seven hundred odd more than eighty had been killed and nearly fifty wounded. Among the survivors was J.C. Jones, a lad of eighteen, who was said to be youngest of his rating on the ship.
His mother first knew he was unharmed by a telegram she received on Saturday morning saying he was quite safe and asking her not ti worry.
On his return home he was naturally reluctant to speak of his terrible experiences, and simply remarked it was wonderful how he came out of it.
Mr. Jones, who was educated at the Higher Elementary School, Vaughan Road, joined the Navy some twelve months ago.
Killed On The “Black Prince”
David McConochie, the eldest son of Mr and Mrs McConochie, who was 22 years of age, was killed in action on board H.M.S. Black Prince. His parents live at 45 Green Lane, Liscard. He was a member for some years of the 22nd Battalion Liverpool Boys Brigade, Beech Street.