1. Memorial:Portsmouth Naval Memorial Hampshire
2. Book:The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918Pg.122
3. Memorial:The (1940) Scroll - WW1 Roll of Honour23D GQS

Awards & Titles:


Service Life:


Unit / Ship / Est.: HMS Pathfinder 

Displacement: 2,940 tons Length: 385 ft (117 m) overall (o/a) Beam: 38.4 ft (11.7 m) Draught: 13.8 ft (4.2 m) Propulsion: Two 4 cylinder triple expansion oil fired steam engines driving twin screws Speed: 25 knots Range: Carried 160 tons coal (410 tons max) Complement: 268 Armament: As built Ten x 12pdr quick firing guns Eight x 3pdr quick firing guns Two x 18 in torpedo tubes As modified 1911/12 Nine x QF 4-inch (101.6 mm) Mk IV guns Six x 6pdr guns Two x 18 torpedo tubes Armour: conning tower: 3 inch deck: 1.5 inch - ? inch belt: 2 inch

Action : HMS Pathfinder, Sinking of 

HMS Pathfinder was the lead ship of the Pathfinder class scout cruisers, and was the first ship ever to be sunk by a torpedo fired by submarine (the American Civil War ship USS Housatonic had been sunk by a spar torpedo). She was built by Cammell Laird, Birkenhead, launched on 16 July 1904, and commissioned on 18 July 1905. She was originally to have been named HMS Fastnet, but was renamed prior to construction.

Pathfinder was sunk off St. Abbs Head, Berwickshire, Scotland, on Saturday 5 September 1914 by the German U-21, commanded by Leutnant zur See Otto Hersing. Typical of the scout cruisers' poor endurance, she was so short of coal whilst on patrol that she could only manage a speed of 5 knots, making her an easy target. The ship was struck in a magazine, which exploded causing the ship to sink within minutes with the loss of 259 men.

There were 11 survivors. The explosion was seen by Aldous Huxley (while staying at Northfield House, St. Abbs) who recorded the following in a letter to his father sent on 14 September 1914: 'I dare say Julian told you that we actually saw the Pathfinder explosion ? a great white cloud with its foot in sea. The St. Abbs' lifeboat came in with the most appalling accounts of the scene. There was not a piece of wood, they said, big enough to float a man?and over acres the sea was covered with fragments?human and otherwise. They brought back a sailor's cap with half a man's head inside it. The explosion must have been frightful. It is though to be a German submarine that did it, or, possibly, a torpedo fired from one of the refitted German trawlers, which cruise all round painted with British port letters and flying the British flag'. Of those who perished, 8 were freemasons: Brothers BAKER. FORD, MUNN, NIXON, QUIN, THOMPSON, VENNING & WEBSTER.

Yeoman of Signals, R.M. Barracks, Portsea (1908).
FORD, Philip H, Boatswain, HMS Pathfinder.

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : United Service No. 1428 E.C.Hampshire & IOW

24th November 1908
22nd December 1908
29th January 1909

Source :

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Last Updated: 2018-04-03 17:39:36