Vanguard's Casualties + Survivors

Indefatigable Vanguard enthusiast Jonathan Saunders has provided this database of those men lost when the battleship sank in 1917. He has combed through the 1917 Imperial Wargraves Commission registers for Chatham and Portsmouth, as well as the current Commonwealth Wargraves Commission database to extract the data. Please contact Jon if you find any errors, or have any further information on the ship and her crew.

Ordinary Seaman John Richard Parsons J/39669, who was 18 when Vanguard was lost
(courtesy of his neice Wendy Noakes, nee Parsons (

Graves of Vanguard's Officers

More graves
(both photos courtesy of Brian Budge - click to enlarge)

Jon's own impressions are of interest:

I found a father and son. I think the surname was Cockerill. The son was 20 and had an earlier enlistment no. than his father. He was a Stoker 1st Class whilst his father, 40, had obviously joined later and was a Stoker 2nd Class. Possibly this seniority phenomenon wasn't so unusual during WW1, with volunteers, conscription, increased age for service etc, but I was shocked they had such close relatives serving on board the same ship but then again, this wouldn't have been any different to serving in the same line regiment.

The boredom of entering the names is offset by patterns, such as most of the widows had not remarried by time of the register's publication in 1924 - a scarcity of men post WW1? Next of kin for most of the seamen under 30 was their parents so people did not marry until quite late in age at the turn of the century, if at all.

A lot of the casualties came from Medway (nr Chatham) where I live, and the addresses given for their kin are familiar roads and streets to me, which is eerie. And so many of the casualties were very young - the youngest I have found was 16 but also many 18 and 19 year olds. There were quite a few men that died who were from the north-east. I thought most of these men would have been the ones on leave as they were obviously close to home. According to my Great Aunt, Oscar Cox had managed to swap his own leave entitlement so he could get home when she was born 2 months later, otherwise he would have been home in Chatham. A tough thought for her to live with for so many years.

The casualty lists are available in web-readable format here:

or may be downloaded in one of several common spreadsheet formats below (depending upon your browser, a "right click" will invoke the download function):


Jon Saunders has provided a few obituaries of Vanguard's losses.


Jeanet Stephan has also provided a copy of the telegram sent by the Admiralty to the Next of Kin. Click here to see it, and a letter home, which mentions Jutland and the death of Lord Kitchener is reproduced here.

Telegraphist J/35183 Henry ("Harry") James Maddock, courtesy of his Great-niece Jeanet Stephan

Private Henry Metcalf, RMLI, courtesy of his Grand-nephew Paul Austin

Chief Yeoman of Signals Oscar Cox

RN Able Seaman J/24544 CHAPMAN George William, 14 September 1897 - 9 July 1917
(courtesy of Marion Brown, his neice)

Lady Pamela McKenna, who launched the ship, sent letters and photographs to the Next of Kin (also courtesy of Jeanet Stephan):

William Clent's Marriage Banns

Once again, Jonathan Saunders has provided a fascinating window into life onboard Vanguard: in this case, the sad story of William Clent and his intent to marry - click here to read about it.

Two of Vanguard's officers have some biographical information:


Vanguard's Memorial, at Lyness
(photo courtesy of Brian Budge - click to enlarge)

Vanguard Survivors

The Two Vanguard's Survivors
(photo courtesy of the Orkney Library Photo Archive - click to enlarge)

Private Williams RMLI (left), Stoker Cox (right) -- courtesy George Malcolmson

Jon Saunders has transcribed the following list of survivors from The Times of Saturday, 14 July 1917:

RN Stoker 1st Class K.3300 COX F.W.
RMLI Private Ch./17710 WILLIAMS J
Not on Board     
The following are surviving officers of HMS Vanguard     
RN Commander  CUSTANCE W.N.
RN Engineer Lieutenant   VINCENT E.H.
RNR Lieutenant   POPE W.L.
RMA Lieutenant   BLUNT C.H.A.
RN Mate (Engineering)  BATTEN W.H.
RN Mate (Engineering)  SOWTER E.E.
RN Chief Carpenter  VERNON F.T.
RN Chief Boatswain  WILKINSON J.
RN Boatswain  BRAY G.H.
RM Gunner  YOUNG W.A.
RN Artificer Engineer  SLADDEN H.
RN Warrant Electrician  COLLINS W.J.
RN Acting Sub-Lieutenant  SHARMAN L.C.
RN Acting Sub-Lieutenant  CARPMAEL C.F.
RN Acting Sub-Lieutenant  ROSENTHAL C.B.
RN Acting Sub-Lieutenant  STEVENS E.B.K.
RN Midshipman  HEAD J.S.
RN Midshipman  KNIGHT G.V.
RN Midshipman  RUCK-KEANE P.
RN Midshipman  CAMPBELL G.T.
RN Midshipman  PETER R.H.S.
RN Midshipman  NICHOLS R.F.
The following are surviving petty-officers, non-commissioned officers and men of HMS Vanguard
Ratings belonged to the Chatham Port Division except where otherwise stated.
  Stoker Petty Officer 309603 ADAMS P.E.
  Stoker 1st Class K.21357 BEVERLEY W.
  Leading Seaman J.4073 BICKMORE A.W.
  Stoker 1st Class SS.112860 BINGHAM H.S.
  Able Seaman 211356 BOURNER W.J.
  Cook's Mate M.14217 BURTON F.J.
  Plumber 2911564 CARTER H.S.
  Stoker 1st Class K.21353 CHARLTON A.
RMLI Private Ch./528 (S) COUSINS E.
  Ordinary Telegraphist J.35251 (Dev) DAVIS R.G.
  Stoker 1st Class K.15964 DEAL J.
  Stoker 1st Class K.33593 DIVER F.I.
  Stoker Petty Officer 310573 EMPSON F.W.
  Able Seaman J.22482 FOWLE R.H.
  Chief Stoker 175404 FRANKS L.
  Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class M.1287 GARLAND J.
  Stoker 1st Class SS.115050 GAYTON A.O.
  Chief Stoker 284060 GENTRY A.
  Petty Officer 221286 GOODWIN F.
  Ordinary Seaman J.32866 (Po) GOUFFINI A.J.
  Stoker 1st Class K.21031 GREEN J.
RMLI Private Ch./17195 GREENWOOD C.S.
  Stoker 1st Class K.32250 HALL P.J.
  Chief Electrical Artificer 2nd Class 347649 HAWKINS E.L.
  Shipwright 1st Class 340282 HAWKINS G.
  Armourer's Crew M.19661 HENDERSON W.W.
  Stoker Petty Officer 307561 HEWSON A.E.
  Acting Engine Room Artificer 4th Class M.3776 HIGGS F.R.
  Ordinary Seaman J.64523 HITCHCOCK M.
  Blacksmith 346205 HORN H.M.
  Ordinary Seaman J.35195 HORTON J.
  Petty Officer 184836 JENNER W.E.
  Chief Petty Officer 160879 JOHNSON W.R.
  Stoker 1st Class K.21122 JOHNSTON F.C.
  Able Seaman 210093 KEELING G.
RMLI Private Po./11859 KEMPSHALL J.W.
RMLI Private Po./15367 KILPATRICK J.
  Electrical Artificer 1st Class 345057 KING T.
  Able Seaman J.13335 KITCHEN J.
  Ordinary Seaman J.24613 KNAPPETT C.G.
  Able Seaman J.12893 LACEY R.
  Leading Signalman 239674 LADD W.A.
  Cook's Mate M.20142 LAVENDER J.H.
  Able Seaman 193836 McKELLAR J.
  Shipwright 1st Class M.6733 (Dev) MACEY C.C.
  Leading Seaman J.14040 MARSH C.H.
  Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class M.1666 MONROE J.
  Engine Room Artificer 5th Class M.4796 PARIS S.W.
  Stoker 1st Class K.19851 PETTIT W.J.
RMA Lance-Sergeant RMA/10902 PLUMB N.T.
  Stoker Petty Officer 291868 POWELL G.H.
  Ordinary Signalman J.30849 READ S.G.
  Ordinary Seaman J.40287 RICHARDSON R.J.
  Able Seaman J.8693 ROMANEL C.P.
  Chief Armourer 342127 ROUNTHWAITE H.K.
  Able Seaman J.5167 SMITH C.E.
  Able Seaman J.7787 STANDEN W.H.
RMLI Colour-Sergeant Ch./5657 STILL W.
RNR Petty Officer 7186 STOKES P.
  Petty Officer 214286 STREET J.T.
RMLI Private Ch./17726 SWANBOROUGH T.
  Ordinary Seaman SS.7755 (Po) TOMLINSON J.H.
  Able Seaman J.22752 USHER S.H.
RNR Stoker 2986 WALKER A.
  Stoker 1st Class K.9160 WALLIS A.
  Mechanician 282791 WALTER E.F.
  Stoker 1st Class SS.112676 WEDD A.G.
  Able Seaman J.35190 WILSON A.N.
  Able Seaman J.17791 WILSON W.
  Able Seaman J.2076 WOODHEAD W.
  Stoker 1st Class K.31160 WRIGHT W.C.

A period memorial to the casualties in HMS Vanguard, from Jeanet Stephan.
HMS Diligence paying respect"
the same memorial with the men of HMS Diligence paying their respects
(click for enlargement)

(courtesy Jon Saunders)

Last Updated: 5 June, 2007.

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