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The Sinking of H.M.S Defence 1916

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 HMS Defence was a Minotaur-Class Armoured Cruiser built for the Royal Navy, she was launched in 1907

and commissioned in 1909. She was stationed in the Mediterranean when the WW1 began, and participated

in the pursuit of the German Battlecruiser  SMS Goeben and light Cruiser SMS Breslau.

The ship transferred to the Grand Fleet in Jan 1915, Defence was sunk on the 31st May 1916 during the Battle

of Jutland. She was escorting the main body of the Grand Fleet. The ship was fired upon by one German

Battlecruiser and four  Dreadnoughts as she attempted to engage a disabled German Light Cruiser.

She was stuck by two salvoes that detonated her rear magazine, the fire from that explosion spread to her

secondary magazines which exploded in turn she sank with all hands approx. 900 men.

The wreck of HMS Defence was discovered in 1984, by Clive Cussier and a NUMA Survey of the North Sea

and the English Channel and found to by largly intact dispite the violence of her sinking.

Defence along with the other Jutland wrecks were declared a protected place under the Protection of

Military Remains Act of 1986.


Below are some pictures of HMS Defence.





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Here is a page from the Plymouth Naval Memorial 1916 of some of those killed at the Battle of Jutland

one name jumps out for me on that list. It is that of Leading Stoker Stephen Edward Ackroyd age 28

who lived opposite my Grandfather and would have known the family as it was a small hamlet were

everybody knew  everybody.


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Stephen Edward Ackroyd Leading Stoker K/11721 based at Devonport, born 30th March 1888, son of Stephen and Mary Ellen Ackroyd of

Brook lane Oldham. Occupation Piecer cotton mill, joined the Navy in 1911 aged 23, served on several ships from July 1911 to 1916.

Married Alice Maud Dransfield on 15th May 1916 at St Marks Church Glodwick, sadly he was killed 16 days later at the Battle of Jutland

his wife remained a widow for 22 years, she re-married in April 1938 to Charles Ross. Alice died in December 1954 aged 61.


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Here's a run down of his service record.

HMS Vivid.II ( Shore Establisment ) Plymouth Naval Barracks and Training Unit ( Stokers and Engine Room Artificers School ).

From 28th July 1911 to 1st January 1912 with the rank of Stoker 2nd Class.

HMS Orion, attached to the Dreadnought Battleship as Stoker 1st Class  after being promoted from 2nd January 1912 to 4th February 1913.

HMS Vivid II back at shore base between postings or more training from 5th February 1913 to 3rd April 1913.

HMS Egmont ( Base ship/ Depot ship ) attached from 4th April 1913 to 12th May 1913.

HMS Medea a Marathon-Class Cruiser from 13th April 1913 to 26th October 1913 with rank of Stoker 1st Class.

HMS Defence a Minotaur- Class Armoured Cruiser attached 27th October 1913 to 31st May 1916 with a rank of Acting Leading Stoker.

Below are images of.

HMS Orion and HMS Medea.


HMS Orion.jpg


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