Author Topic: A.3 disaster, February 1912  (Read 4331 times)

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Offline John

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A.3 disaster, February 1912
« on: January 21, 2015, 07:25:50 am »
H.M.S. "HAZARD
2nd February 1912.

Sir,

I very much regret to report as follows on the colission (sic) which took place between H.M.S. "HAZARD" and Submarine "A.3" at 10.55 a.m. to-day, resulting in the sinking of the Submarine. Submarine "A.3" was ordered to attack "HAZARD" at "Q" position Yarborough Mon- H.W. 2'8 leaving harbour at 8.30 am. with Tender "BOUNCER" in company. The weather was misty, visibility about 2½ miles, wind North 2, sea slightly ruffled.

At 10.21 a.m. "HAZARD" altered course from the Dean XXX Elbow Buoy to S.20°W, 140 revolutions, and hoisted the red flag for the attack. At 10.30 Nab Rock buoy was abeam, at 10.37 East Princess buoy was abeam and a few minutes before this the "BOUNCER" and "A.3" were sighted ahead and shortly afterwards "A.3" went ahead steering to Starboard of "HAZARD"; at 10.42 "A.3" was about 1000 yards distant & 2 points on the Starboard bow of "HAZARD", when she was seen to dive on the same course and nothing was seen of her again. At 10.52 the shock of collision was felt, apparently taking place abreast the mainmast; the propellors were felt to strike the Submarine.

The engines were at once stopped and mark buoy and sinker thrown over the stern; after less than a minute large quantities of air were seen to come to the surface. The "HAZARD" then turned round and anchored near the position Yarborough Mon- N.33 W. 3.1. Sweeping operations were carried out by "NETTLE" and "BOUNCER" to locate the wreck; a strong west tide made it impossible to send down Divers. On your arrival I came under your orders.

I have the honour to be,

Sir,

Your obedient Servant.


(Sig illegible)

C O M M A N D E R.
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Offline John

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Re: A.3 disaster, February 1912
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2015, 08:49:08 am »
COMMANDER_IN-Chief,

A report from Commander Palmer who was in charge of the exercises, in the course of which the collision occurred, is submitted herewith. I learnt of the accident a few minutes after noon and proceeded at once with Commander Addison and two divers in "D2" to the scene. On arriving I took charge of the operations. The Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet, had directed the "LIVERPOOL" to render any assistance possible and I found her boats, those of XX the "HAZARD", and the "BOUNCER" and "NETTLE" sweeping for the wreck, the position of which was only approximately known. Owing to the very strong tide and considerable "logs" the boats could make no headway, so that they were sent back to their ships, and I continued to sweep with "NETTLE" and "BOUNCER".

At 4.0. p.m. the wreck was located lying in 10 fathoms L.W. I at once anchored Fort Blockhouse harbour steam launch with divers over her. By xxx 4.30 p.m. the tide had slackened sufficiently to send divers down but the sea in the meantime had risen rapidly and it was not considered safe to risk doing so. Commander           arrived about 4.0 p.m. with one salvage lighter followed an hour later by another. I directed him to moor two good sizes buoys in the position of the wreck. By 6.0 p.m. the wind and sea had risen considerably and as nothing can be done until slack water at 11.0 a.m. to-morrow I directed the tugs, lighters and my small craft to return to harbour, proceeding myself in the "HAZARD" to report verbally to you.

When "A.1" was lost off Portsmouth it was found necessary to employ a private Salvage Company to raise her, I strongly reccommend the Swedish Company whose ship is now at Cowes being engaged at once. Judging by the difficulty experienced raising "Holland 2" last year, it will be a very lengthy proceeding to raise "A.3" with Dockyard appliances.

In the opinion of the Submarine Officers who saw the escape of air, referred to in Commander Palmer's report, and judging by previous experience, there can be no doubt that the crew of "A.3" only survived the collision a few minutes. One or both of the propellors of the "HAZARRD" have been seriously damaged, causing heavy vibration. She requires docking.

It is submitted, if the Admiralty do not approve of the employment of the Swedish Salvage Company, the new large Salvage lighter stationed at Chatham should be requisitioned at once.


(Signed) Roger Keyes

Inspecting Captain of Submarines.
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Offline John

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Re: A.3 disaster, February 1912
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2015, 08:59:49 am »
Telegram received from the German Naval Cabinet..


His Majesty the German Emperor has just received a telegram reporting the loss of Submarine A 3. His Majesty wishes to express his heartfelt sympathy with the relatives of the brave men who are said to have lost their lives on this terrible occasion.

ADMIRAL VON MUELLER,
Chief of the Naval Cabinet, Berlin.
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Offline Longpockets

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Re: A.3 disaster, February 1912
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2015, 19:21:13 pm »
Questions in the House. - Mr Churchill First Lord of the Admiralty

Sinking of Submarine A3.

HC Deb 20 February 1912 vol 34 cc449-52 449

§Mr. FALLE asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he can give any particulars of the sinking of the submarine A3; if he can state if it is proposed to purchase or to construct a salvage vessel or vessels 450 and station the same at Portsmouth and other dockyards; and, if so, if he can name a date when such will be provided; if it is beyond the constructive skill of the dockyards of this country to devise means of escape for the crew of a damaged submarine; and if any provision has been or is to be made for the pecuniary relief of the families of the crew of the submarine A3?

Sir C. KINLOCH COOKE asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he has any information to give the House with regard to the sinking of submarine A 3; whether he is satisfied that the Admiralty possess the most effective and up-to-date salvage plant; and whether the salvage plant for submarines in the German Navy could have dealt with the accident that happened to submarine A 3 in a more effective manner than has been possible with the plant in the possession of the Admiralty?

§Mr. CHURCHILL If I may, I will answer Questions 59 and 62 together. The A 3 was sunk on 2nd February as the result of a collision with His Majesty's ship "Hazard." The submarine was running submerged at the time, was struck by the propellers of the "Hazard," and immediately foundered in eleven fathoms of water. The salvage equipment in the possession of the Admiralty comprises a combined mooring and salvage lighter, No. 94, capable of lifting a dead load of 270 tons, built at Chatham Dockyard in 1910–11, and delivered to Sheerness on completion; a new salvage lighter, No. 96, capable of lifting a dead load of about 450 tons is under construction by Messrs. Vickers, and is expected to be completed by about the middle of May, 1912. In addition to these, there are two lighters at each of the following dockyards, Portsmouth, Devonport, and Sheerness, which are capable of lifting a submarine not full of water. The equipment is considered suitable for the present requirements of the Navy. It is the practice in the British submarine service to carry out diving operations under all conditions and in all depths of water; and it is not possible to introduce any device which can be guaranteed to afford certain means of escape in every contingency. All possible ways of reducing risks and of saving life after accidents to submarines will be constantly studied by the Admiralty, in frequent consultation with the principal officers in the submarine service, whose opinion must be taken as an important guide. With regard to the provision made 451 for the pecuniary relief of the families of the deceased sailors, I am informed that pensions to widows and allowances to orphans have already been awarded, according to scale, in certain of the cases from Greenwich Hospital funds. In the remaining cases inquiry is being made. I cannot refer to this subject without expressing on behalf of the House of Commons the sorrow which is felt by all at the loss of these brave and skilful officers and sailors who were overtaken by a mercifully sudden death in the discharge of the dangerous duties they so cheerfully fulfil.

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1912/feb/20/sinking-of-submarine-a3

SUBMARINE A3.

HC Deb 28 February 1912 vol 34 cc1342-3 1343

§Lord CHARLES BERESFORD asked whether the contract for the salvage of Submarine A3 has been given to a foreign company; whether the First Lord of the Admiralty will state the name of the company; whether the British National Salvage Association had a vessel or vessels all ready to undertake the contract; whether that association tendered to render assistance on the 3rd February, 1912; and, if so, whether he will state to the House why the tender of the British National Salvage Association was not accepted?

§Mr. CHURCHILL The company in question is understood to be a British company; it is known as the Sea Salvage Company. Several companies offered assistance, of which the company named in the question was one. It is contrary to Admiralty custom to give reasons for non-acceptance of tenders. The company selected was chosen by officers on the spot as being capable of rendering immediate service.

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1912/feb/28/submarine-a3
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Offline Longpockets

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Re: A.3 disaster, February 1912
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2015, 19:35:03 pm »

I believe 13 A class submarines were built, five of which, including A3, were involved in incidents.

HMS A1 - 18 March 1904 - Sank off Isle of Wight after collision with SS Berwick Castle

HMS A5 - 16 February 1905 - Internal explosion berthed in Queenstown, County Cork (Hazard there as well)

HMS A8 - 5 June 1905 - Sank in Plymouth Sound after internal explosion

HMS A4 - 16 October 1905 - Sank in Portsmouth Harbour (Salvaged)

https://www.submarine-museum.co.uk/what-we-have/memorial-chapel/submarine-losses?start=1


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Offline John

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Re: A.3 disaster, February 1912
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2015, 16:08:13 pm »
From: C in C Portsmouth

To: THE SURGEON-GENERAL, R.N. HOSPITAL, HASLAR.

Date: 28th February, 1912.

In view of the length of time that has elapsed since the loss of Submarine A.3, please submit what sanitary precautions you consider should be adopted with regard to the transfer of the bodies from the submarine to coffins.

2. On the last occasion they were removed from the submarine by divers, passed over the gate of the dock into boats, and conveyed to Haslar mortuary, the inquest being held on that side: and it would seem that the same should be done on this occasion - at night if possible. Identification would then be carried out at the mortuary under the best conditions that could be devised.

3. It is a question whether the coffins should not be at the lock ready to receive the bodies. In any case I think the coffins should be metal lined: but I should be glad of your advice on the whole arrangements.

A D M I R A L.
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Offline Longpockets

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Re: A.3 disaster, February 1912
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2015, 20:31:23 pm »

HMS Hazard
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Offline John

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Re: A.3 disaster, February 1912
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2023, 12:45:49 pm »
The names of the deceased Officers and Men were:

Lieutenant Frank Thomas Ormand (aged 23)
Lieutenant Ernest James Vernon Thornton (21)
Lieutenant Donald Patrick Colin Campbell (23)
Lieutenant Leonard Faber Richardson (22)
Petty Officer 1st Class George Wilder (36)
Leading Seaman Charles Farr (32)
Able Seaman Parker Kelly (27)
Able Seaman William Thomas Barden (28)
Able Seaman Charles George Page (27)
Able Seaman Edward Frederick Compton (24)
Engine Room Artificer Arthur Ernest Good (38)
Engine Room Artificer Charles Elliott Armstrong (29)
Stoker 1st Class Alfred William Gent (31)
Stoker 1st Class George Herbert Fowler (39)
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Offline alkhamhills

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Re: A.3 disaster, February 1912
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2023, 17:53:15 pm »
Frank Thompson Ormand
Born 23.10.1887 Newton Le Willows, Lancashire,

Enrolled 15.5 1904

In 1911 he was visiting the Lawson Family at Stonefall Hall Harrogate
He was a Lieut RN He married Mary Doris Lawson 18.11.1911

He is remembered at Clayhall Naval Cemetery Gosport