1. Memorial:Portsmouth Naval Memorial11 Hampshire
2. Book:The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918Pg.124
3. Memorial:The (1940) Scroll - WW1 Roll of Honour34C GQS

Awards & Titles:

Cross of St George

Family :

Son of the late Col. Halahan (MO of the 5th Bn. Royal Fusiliers); husband of Gwladwys Mabel Davenport (formerly Halahan), of Stubbington, Hants.

Robert was born on April 5th 1885, the youngest of six sons all of whom would go on to become Alleynians.

Education & Career :

Robert’s time at Dulwich started at the beginning of 1897, and lasted just over three years, before he left in the spring of 1900 to become a cadet in the Royal Navy.

Military :


Unit :HM Submarine E18 
Attached : 
Action :Naval Campaign 

In 1905 he was raised to the rank of Lieutenant, and the following year joined the nascent Submarine Service for several years; during this period, in 1907, he married Gwladys Williams, with whom he would go on to have two children. In 1912, during a period spent out of the submarines, he qualified as a pilot, before returning to the Submarine Service the following year, joining H.M.S. Maidstone.

Upon the outbreak of war, Robert was posted to Barrow, where the vessel he was to command was still being built. Upon its completion he was involved in the testing of wireless telegraphy at Christmas 1914, before, the following September, being transferred to the Baltic. Here he was placed in command of submarine E18, with many of its subsequent actions still being hidden in a shroud of secrecy.

She was lost at sea sometime in late May or early June, although the date was officially recorded for naval purposes as June 12th, with Lieutenant-Commander Halahan and his crew later being singled out for commendation by Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, who took the highly unusual step of awarding Halahan the Russian Order of St. George posthumously. His elder brother, Henry, would later die during the raid on Zeebrugge in April 1918.

Detail :

Lieutenant Commander Robert Crosbie Halahan, RN, is commemorated on the Roll of Honour of Christ Church, in Cheltenham. He joined the RN in September 1901 and became a submariner after training between 1906 and 1909. It appears that he qualified as a pilot on 24th December 1913 in a Bristol aircraft, certificate number 718 issued at Salisbury Plain. He lost his life along with all hands of HM Submarine E18 when it was lost in the Baltic in June 1916, although the exact date is unknown. As well as working at the very extremes of technology in the air and under water he sounds quite a character. In the book 'Forgotten Flotilla' Lt Ashmore described how Lt Cdr Robert Halahan took E18 to the surface of the Ems River so he could go to the toilet. In the middle of this a German airship spotted her, E18 was able to crash dive to the bottom but in the shallow water she was easily visible from the airship. E18 was then subjected to 12 bombs being dropped around her; no damage was caused to her. Unfortunately Ashmore hasn't dated this action, E18 arrived in Harwich on the 27-6-1915 and departed for the Baltic on the 28-8-1915. So this action happed in this period, more likely in early to mid August 1915. HMS E18 was probably lost on 2 June 1916 in the Baltic to an unknown cause. Halahan's official date of death reflects the date when it was confirmed. Correspondence from the CWGC confirms that "I would explain that our records are based on information provided to the Commission after the war by the relevant Service Authorities, and as such we were advised of the date of death as seen above. As a point of interest, we record a further 20 casualties who were serving on the H.M. S/M E18, all for whom the date of death of 11th June 1916 is recorded". A torpedo attack by HMS E18 on 26th May 1916 resulted in the bows of the German Destroyer V100 being blown off. Even though severely damaged the destroyer managed to limp back to port. E18 was sighted by a German aircraft off Memel on 28th May, and then by UB30 off Steinort on 1st June 1916. She was probably mined on or about 2nd June 1916 on route to Reval. The sighting was verified by German sources, namely the UB30 log book and the German naval history of war in the Baltic. In his book Baltic Assignment (p141), Wilson indicates The Tsar sent Cromie a letter of sympathy for the loss of the Submarine, awarded Halahan the Cross of St George, the other two Officers the Order of St Vladimir and a Medal for each of the Crew.

For more detail on Submarine E18: The Crew HMSE18 from which the portrait photo and picture of the crew can be found.

Naval Campaign is defined as to include all sea operations that do not fall within specific naval battles such as Jutland, Coronel, Falklands etc. This includes all Merchant Navy losses.

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : Bramston Beach No. 2101 E.C.Surrey

29th January 1909
25th February 1909
25th March 1909

Source :

The project globally acknowledges the following as sources of information for research across the whole database:

Additional Source:

Last Updated: 2020-05-12 17:03:04