Walter Horace Adams

The Western Gazette 9 June 1916: Among those lost through the sinking of H.M.S. Hampshire, with Lord Kitchener and Staff on board, was Private Adams, R.M.L.I. Private Adams, who was only 17, enlisted about twelve months ago. He was the son of Mrs. L. Moseley (by her first husband), and grandson of Mr. W. Bond, of 32 Crofton Avenue. Before joining the forces, he was employed at the “Western Gazette” Offices, and was connected with the Sports Club, being a good runner, footballer and swimmer. On Wednesday morning a postcard was received from him, saying he had come through the great battle (Jutland) quite safe, and would write a long letter later. The Western Gazette 15 September 1916: Intimation was on Saturday received from the Admiralty that the body of Private Walter H. Adams (grandson of Mr. W. Bond of 32 Crofton Avenue), who went down with Lord Kitchener on H.M.S. Hampshire off the Orkneys on June 5th, had been recovered from the sea and buried in the Naval Cemetery at Lyness, Orkneys.

F.111 Special Memorial Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery


The HMS Hampshire.

643 lives lost on the 5th of June 1916, including Lord Kitchener.

The official report states that the HMS Hampshire got into difficulties during a storm off of the west coast of Orkney, Scotland and hit a German mine, positioned by a U75 Submarine, causing her to sink. The ship had just returned from the Battle of Jutland and, having picked up the Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, was on course with two escort ships towards Russia.

Later German spy Frederick “Fritz” Joubert Duquesne claimed he had sabotaged the ship and there are many other conspiracy stories surrounding the sinking of the HMS Hampshire, ranging from a deliberate assassination of Lord Kitchener by both the Admiralty and by Irish Republicans, to claims that the ship was carrying a large quantity of gold to be given to the Russian Government. Some local reports claim that the home guard on the Island were ordered to shoot any survivors, having been informed that a German boat had sunk, and that the RNLI and local “Good Samaritans” were prevented from intervening in the crisis by members of the armed forces. Whether there is any truth in these stories, however, remains to be seen. It is unlikely we will ever know for certain the events that led up to the sinking of the HMS Hampshire.

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Published 4 years ago by Community Heritage Access Cente

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