Unit / Ship / Establishment:

HMS Clan McNaughton

  Detail :

 Mike: Daring deeds of merchant seamen in the great war - Wheeler, Harold F. B 1918 The Clan McNaughton, an armed merchant cruiser of 4985 tons, was probably lost owing to bad weather. She went down with all hands, numbering 280 officers and men. Despite the most careful search, all that remained was wreckage, and even that was not positively identified as having belonged to the missing ship. She was a pre-war merchant ship, which was requisitioned in November 1914 when she returned to her home port of Tilbury. She was then hastily converted into something she was never intended to be - a warship, which would have included mounting guns up on deck - well above her normal centre of gravity. A hotch potch crew was then cobbled together for her: Career RN officers, although her engineer officers had all been Merchant Navy, some career RN Ratings, but many of the rest of her crew were reservists including some men from Newfoundland, one or two RN pensioners, plus no less than 50 boys straight out of the training shore base at Shotley, H.M.S. Ganges. All in all, a motley bunch who would have been completely unfamiliar with the ship and how she sailed. http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t51606.html She sailed for patrol duties in the North Atlantic a few days before Christmas 1914, but had to put into Liverpool on the way, seemingly for some problem to be sorted but I have never been able to find out what it was. She returned to Liverpool certainly once, perhaps twice before her loss in February 1915. She was in radio contact at about 6 a.m. on the morning of 3 February 1915 and reported terrible weather conditions. Nothing further was ever heard of her. Some floating wreckage was found about fortnight later in the approximate area of her last known position but it could not be identified as having come from her. The truth is that no one knows for certain what did happen to her. The mine theory was put forward as a possible cause of the loss. But, if you think about it, surely the odds must be seriously stacked against a ship encountering a drifting mine out in the Atlantic Ocean? Personally speaking, I believe that the real cause of her loss was a combination of three factors: An Atlantic gale, she had been converted into something she had never been designed to be with those guns quite possibly making her top heavy in such weather, and real mixture of a crew, who had only limited experience of the ship and how she sailed. There were some 37 RMLI on board of a crew of 277 which also included 20 officers and 220 RN, RNR, Newfoundland RNR, and MMR ratings. The RMLI were on the ship as boarding crew.



 Rank Initials Surname Died Lodge
 CSgt B.G. JOYCE  03-02-1915 Beacon Court No.1967
Per Mare per Terram No.3609
 E.R.A W. SCOTT  03-02-1915 Lord Barnard No.2935

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