Three days of commemoration on both sides of the Channel will mark the severest blow to the Royal Navy’s pride in 100 years as part of this year’s Great War centennial events.
Chatham’s Historic Dockyard will be the focal point of events in the UK, with relatives of those who served in the ill-fated cruisers HMS Hogue, Aboukir and Cressy gathering for various events, including releasing 1,459 poppies – one for every man lost when the three ships were sunk by a German U-boat in September 1914.
And one of those to be remembered is Market Rasen man Ernest William Brumpton, who was aboard the Aboukir.
The only son of Mr J Brumpton, superintendent of Market Rasen Vagrant Wards, Ernest was 35 years of age and left behind a widow and two children, aged 5 and 7 years.
The cruisers were on patrol roughly 40 miles west of Den Helder, providing a shield for the transport of men and material to the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front.
On September 22 1914 Aboukir was torpedoed by Otto Weddigen in U9. Hogue and Cressy moved in to pick up survivors, convinced their sister had struck a mine. Instead, the U-boat picked off both cruisers.
On Sunday September 21 this year, descendants of the three ships’ crews will meet in Chatham to remember their forebears and watch the premiere of a documentary about the tragedy.
The following day, there will be a drumhead service in the historic dockyard, the release of poppies and music from the Band of HM Royal Marines followed by a Beat Retreat.
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