Awards & Titles:


Early Life :

Born 11th March 1870 at Salisbury, Wiltshire.

Service Life:


Unit / Ship / Est.: HMS Hawke 

Action : HMS Hawke, Sinking of 

During 1914, at the start of the First World War, the Hawke, commanded by Captain Hugh P.E.T. Williams, was engaged in various operations in the North Sea. On 15 October, out on patrol Hawke was torpedoed by a German submarine U 9. Her sister ship HMS Theseus, which was in company, was attacked at the same time but was undamaged. The Hawke sank in a few minutes, with the loss of her Captain, 26 officers and 500 men - only four officers and about 60 men were saved. Newspaper report of how two of the survivors described the Hawke's destruction: ?We were struck right amidships between the two funnels quite close to one of the magazines. All hands were on deck, and it was a terrible explosion. The vessel immediately took a heavy list to starboard. I have never been on a ship so well equipped with life saving apparatus, but the way the vessel heeled over made it almost impossible to get the boats out. The boat in which I was saved had a narrow escape from being taken down with the suction. "We were struck about 11o'clock in the forenoon, and just as we got away from the Hawke, we distinctly saw the periscope of the enemy's submarine come to the surface. We thought he was going to ram us, but apparently he was on the lockout for any other rescuing vessels. Prior to the accident the Hawke was cruising about zigzag fashion, and we never saw the submarine until we felt her. It was beginning to get hazy when we were almost run down by the Norwegian steamer which picked us up. This boat, after affecting the rescue, cruised about in search of the rafts, but nothing was seen.?

The second survivor reported: ?Those on deck for an instant, immediately after the explosion, saw the periscope of a submarine, which showed above the water like a broomstick. When the explosion occurred, I, along with the others in the engine-room, was sent flying into space as it were, and must have been stunned for a little. When I came to, I found myself in the midst of an absolute inferno. One of the cylinders of the engine had been completely wrecked, and steam was hissing out in dense, scalding clouds, penetrating to every nook and cranny of the engine-room and stokehold. The horror of the situation was added to when a tank of fuel oil caught fire, and the flames advanced with fatal rapidity. ?I scrambled up the iron ladder to the main deck. Already the captain, commander, and a midshipman were on the bridge, and calmly, as though on fleet manoeuvres in the Solent, orders were given out, and as calmly obeyed. The bugler sounded the ?Still? call, which called upon every man to remain at the post at which the call reached him. Soon there came the order, "Abandon ship, out boats". ?Many of the crew had scrambled on to the side of the sinking cruiser as she slowly turned turtle, and from this temporary place of safety were sliding and diving into the sea. The captain and the midshipman stuck bravely to their posts on the bridge to the last, and were seen to disappear as the ship finally plunged bow first amid a maelstrom of cruel, swirling waters.

As the Hawke went down a small pinnace and a raft which had been prepared for such an emergency floated free, but such was the onrush of the men who had been precipitated into the water that both were overcrowded. ?On the raft was seen about seventy men standing knee-deep in the water, and the pinnace also appeared to be overfilled. The cutter rowed around the outskirts of the wreck, picking up as many survivors as the boat could with safety contain. All aboard who had donned life jackets divested themselves of these and threw them to their comrades struggling in the water, and oars and all movable woodwork about the boat was also pitched overboard to help those clinging to the wreckage, many of whom were seen to sink. ?A westerly course was set with the idea of striking the Scottish coast. About 4 p.m. a Norwegian sailing ship hove in sight, and the exhausted men were taken aboard and treated in the most kindly fashion, being served with stimulants and furnished with clothing. The rescuing ship headed towards Peterhead, but on the way encountered the Aberdeen trawler Ben Rinnes, to which the men were transferred.? On March 18th 1915, Kapitanleutnant Otto Weddigen, now commanding the U-29, was manoeuvring for a shot at the modern British warship HMS Dreadnought when the ship?s lookouts spotted the periscope, and just seven minutes later the 17,900 ton Dreadnought, travelling at eighteen knots, rammed into the U-boat raising the bows out of the water. The identifying number was clearly visibly as the Dreadnought sliced through the submarine, there were no survivors.

Service No. 340821. Started service on the 7th August 1895.
HMS Pembroke II (1895)
HMS Medusa (1895-96)
HMS Pembroke (1896)
HMS Alenheuius? (1896-98)
HMS Pembroke II
HMS Theaeus (1899-1902)
HMS Pembroke II (1902)
HMS Ganges (1902-1904)
HMS Pembroke II (1904)
HMS Sutler? (1904)
HMS Pembroke II (1904-5)
HMS Argonaut (1905)
HMS ?Jano? (1905-07)
HMS Pembroke II (1907)
HMS Wildfire (1907-08)
HMS Pembroke II (1908)
HMS ?Ienedos? (1908)
HMS Charybdis (1908-10)
HMS Pembroke II (1910)
HMS Sully (1914)
HMS Hawke (1914)

1st Class Petty Officer, HMS Theaseus, Malta (1901)
Blacksmith, Harwich (1903)

Detail :

The Index Chatham Naval Memorial 1914 reads"OSMOND, Blacksmith (Pensioner), Ernest Herbert, 340821. R.N. HMS "Hawke". Killed in action with submarine in North Sea 15th Oct., 1914. Son of William and Susan Osmond, of Salisbury, Wilts; husband of Eliza Osmond, of 40, Stewart Road Bournemouth"

Probate record shows: "OSMOND, Ernest Herbert, of 40 Stewart Road, Bournemouth, pensioned seaman R.N., died 15th October 1914 in the North Sea on active service. Administration, Winchester, 21 December to Eliza Osmond, widow. Effects £184 6s. 4d."

Entry recorded in De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour.

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : Union of Malta No. 407 E.C.Hampshire & IOW
Joined : Star In The East No. 650 E.C. Essex

4th December 1901
21st December 1901
4th January 1902

Ernest Herbert Osmond, Blacksmith, HMS Ganges, formerly of Lodge Union of Malta No. 407 became a joining member of Star in the East Lodge No. 650 having cleared from the former in June 1902 and joining the latter 14th April 1903.

The minutes of the Star in the East Lodge from 8th December 1914 reads "The secretary reported that he had received a letter from Mr. Wilkes of Bournemouth, who wrote on behalf of Mrs Osmond, stating that her husband had been lost in HMS "Hawke" and that she was left with 2 young children and appealed to the Lodge for some assistance."..."and it was proposed by the WM and seconded by W. Bro. Airey that we petition the Board of Benevolence on her behalf. W. Bro. Airey also proposed that 2 guineas be sent to Mrs. Osmond as little temporary help, which was put to the Lodge and carried unanimously, and Bro. Jennings stated he would be pleased to add one quinea to the same" It is interesting that one of the "2 young children", Douglas Osmond (born 27th June 1914) went on to become Chief Constable of Hampshire, and was Knighted in 1971. (see Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - Osmond, Sir Douglas (1914-2006)

Source :

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

Additional Source:

Last Updated: 2018-10-07 10:47:13