H.M.H.S. Brittanic

 

R.M.S. Britannic was built at Belfast by Harland and Wolff  for the White Star Line.
 
She was intended for use as a trans-Atlantic passenger liner like her sister ships R.M.S. Titanic and R.M.S. Olympic.
 
Although officially launched in February 1914, when war broke out she was still being fitted out ahead of her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York scheduled for the Spring of 1915.
 
White Star knew that Britannic and Olympic would eventually be needed by the British Admiralty for use as Hospital Ships so the liners were laid up at Belfast ahead of the official requisition order which eventually arrived on the 13th November 1915.
 
Passenger fittings were removed and operating theatres and wards installed in their place, with a capacity for 3,309 casualties. The ship was painted white with a green band from stem to stern, punctuated by three large red crosses - the international colours for a hospital ship. Her tonnage was 48,158, making her the world's largest vessel.
 
She made her maiden voyage on 23rd December 1915 under the command of Captain Charles Alfred Bartlett, known affectionately as 'Iceberg Charlie' due to his alleged ability to detect icebergs. When the war broke out Captain Bartlett was the White Star Line's Marine Superintendent at Liverpool. He was quickly back at sea, and was promoted to Commodore R.N.R. and made a Companion of the Order of the Bath.
 
On the 13th May 1915 his fifteen year old son Charles Sydney Ellis Bartlett had been killed whilst serving aboard H.M.S. Goliath.
 
During five completed voyages H.M.H.S. Britannic brought over 10,000 wounded back to England from the Dardanelles. Disaster struck during her sixth voyage. At 8.12 am on the morning of 21st November 1915 she was steaming off the island of Kea, Greece, when she was shook by a violent explosion. It is still uncertain whether this was as a result of striking a mine or of an internal explosion.
 
She sank in less than an hour.
 
Before all attempts to save the ship were abandoned several lifeboats had been lowered into the water without permission whilst the ship's engines were still running. Two of the lifeboats were drawn into the portside propeller killing most of the occupants. Out of 1,125 people aboard thirty lost their lives, most of them in the ill-fated lifeboats.
 
Captain Bartlett was the last to leave the ship and it is said that, still dressed in his pyjamas, he stepped off the bridge during the final plunge.
 
He returned to Crosby and his shore-job as Marine Superintendent. For a time he served as aide-de-camp to King George V. In 1921, Bartlett was made a Commander of the British Empire and was a founder of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners and Vice-President of the King George Fund for Sailors.
 
The Britannic disaster has been written about extensively and was even the subject of a feature film. For further reading see:
 
wikipedia
titanic and co
ssmaritime.com
titanic town
the pipes of war
Local men lost
OBIT RANK FORENAME SURNAME SERVED WITH BURIED or COMMEMORATED
view Butcher 4th Class THOMAS ARCHIBALD CRAWFORD H.M.H.S. Britannic TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
view Captain JOHN CROPPER Royal Army Medical Corps MIKRA MEMORIAL
view Second Electrician POWNALL GILLESPIE H.M.H.S. Britannic TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
view Second Baker WALTER JENKINS H.M.H.S. Britannic TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
view Private GEORGE WILLIAM KING Royal Army Medical Corps MIKRA MEMORIAL
view Assistant Cook THOMAS McDONALD alias TAYLOR H.M.H.S. Britannic TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
view Steward JAMES PATRICK RICE H.M.H.S. Britannic TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
view Steward THOMAS FRANCIS TULLY H.M.H.S. Britannic TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
Other men lost
OBIT RANK FORENAME SURNAME SERVED WITH BURIED or COMMEMORATED
view Trimmer ROBERT CHARLES BABEY H.M.H.S. Britannic TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
view Private ARTHUR BINKS Royal Army Medical Corps PIRAEUS NAVAL AND CONSULAR CEMETERY
view Private GEORGE JAMES BOSTOCK Royal Army Medical Corps MIKRA MEMORIAL
view Fireman JOSEPH BROWN H.M.H.S. Britannic PIRAEUS NAVAL AND CONSULAR CEMETERY
view Trimmer ARTHUR DENNIS H.M.H.S. Britannic TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
view Fireman FRANK JOSEPH EARLEY H.M.H.S. Britannic TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
view Private HENRY FREEBURY Royal Army Medical Corps MIKRA MEMORIAL
view Steward CHARLES CLAUDE SEYMOUR GARLAND H.M.H.S. Britannic TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
view Scullion LEONARD GEORGE H.M.H.S. Britannic TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
view Fireman GEORGE WILLIAM GODWIN H.M.H.S. Britannic TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
view Seaman G HONEYCOTT H.M.H.S. Britannic PIRAEUS NAVAL AND CONSULAR CEMETERY
view Private THOMAS JONES Royal Army Medical Corps MIKRA MEMORIAL
view Fireman JOHN GEORGE McFEAT H.M.H.S. Britannic TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
view Trimmer CHARLES JAMES DAVID PHILLIPS H.M.H.S. Britannic PIRAEUS NAVAL AND CONSULAR CEMETERY
view Fireman GEORGE BRADBURY PHILPS H.M.H.S. Britannic TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
view Serjeant WILLIAM SHARPE Royal Army Medical Corps SYRA NEW BRITISH CEMETERY
view Greaser GEORGE SHERIN H.M.H.S. Britannic TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
view Private LEONARD SMITH Royal Army Medical Corps MIKRA MEMORIAL
view Fireman WILLIAM SMITH H.M.H.S. Britannic TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
view Private WILLIAM STONE Royal Army Medical Corps MIKRA MEMORIAL
view Steward HENRY JAMES TOOGOOD H.M.H.S. Britannic TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
view Trimmer PERCIVAL WILLIAM ERNEST WHITE H.M.H.S. Britannic TOWER HILL MEMORIAL