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Chatham Naval Memorial Chatham Naval Memorial
First Name: Henry Edward Last Name: WILKENS
Date of Death: 22/09/1914 Lived/Born In: Southall
Rank: Leading Seaman Unit: HMS Cressy
Memorial Site: Chatham Naval Memorial

Current Information:

Age-42

40, White Street, Southall

 

On 22nd September, 1914, HMS AboukirHMS Cressy and HMS Hogue, three old cruisers of the Royal Navy were patrolling part of the North Sea known as the Broad Fourteens, when a German submarine, U9, attacked and sunk all three ships with a loss of life of 1,397 men, many of whom were reservists. Among the victims were 500 men from London. The ships were old, not fast enough and unable to zig-zag at top speed which was an important tactic against submarines. Not that they were expecting German submarines. They were on the lookout for surface ships and when HMS Aboukir was hit first of all they thought that a mine had caused the damage. Next to be sunk was HMS Hogue and finally HMS CressyAmong those who died was Henry Wilkens serving aboard HMS Cressy.

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