Andrew Joe Duffin

Date of birth: 1895
Place of birth: Portsmouth
Regiment / Division: Royal Navy
Vessel: HMS Hampshire
Rank / Service No: Stoker 1st Class, SS/116500
Died: 5th June 1916, aged 21 years
Commemorated: Portsmouth Naval Memorial

 

Andrew was the second of 3 boys born to George and Kate Duffin (nee Rood), who married in Portsmouth in 1888.

This was not a straight-forward family unit; the apparent splitting up of the family may well have been caused by Kate’s early death.

 

The 3 boys are shown as living with their Aunt Mildred Sprowell at 85 Dukes Road in St. Denys at the 1911 Census.

At the same time, George is shown as boarding with a Rosina Golding and her 25 year old son in Peel Street, St. Mary’s.

 

George was a Royal Navy stoker and was born in Horton Heath in 1864. He died in Southampton in 1922.

 

Kate was born in Southampton in 1869 and it is not clear when she passed away.

 

Siblings

William GEORGE V.   b. 1894 Portsmouth   d. 1918 Southampton

Andrew Joe 

Harry   b. 1898 Portsmouth   d. 3 February 1977 Invercargill   Married Christaline Ruth Bunday in New Forest in 1921. Both adults plus a baby left Southampton bound for New Zealand on 20 November 1925. Christaline had been born in 1900 and she passed away in Invercargill on 10 November 1970.

 

HMS Hampshire was completed on 15 July 1905 in Newcastle. She was assigned to the 1st Cruiser Squadron of the Channel Fleet, together with her sister ships.

She had a refit in Portsmouth in 1908 but was then put on reserve. She was recommissioned in December 1911 and assigned to the 6th Cruiser Squadron of the Mediterranean Fleet and was transferred to the China Station in 1912.

Hampshire saw plenty of action in the South China Sea after the outbreak of war. At the end of 1914, she acted as an escort for an ANZAC troop convoy through the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea to Egypt.

After a refit in Gibralter and escort duty off the Russian coast, Hampshire participated in a minor way in the Battle of Jutland with the 2nd Cruiser Squadron on 31 May 1916.

 

Immediately after the battle, Hampshire was ordered to carry Lord Kitchener from Scapa Flow on a diplomatic mission to Russia via the port of Archangelsk.

Because of bad weather, Hampshire was sent through the Pentland Firth to the Orkneys so that her escort of destroyers could keep up with her.

However the wind turned direction and the escort lost touch. The Captain of the Hampshire ordered the destroyers to return to Scapa Flow, believing submarines would not be operating in such adverse weather.

 

When off the coast of the mainland of Orkney on 5 June at 19.40, an explosion occurred and she heeled to starboard.

She had struck one of several mines laid by U-75 on 28/29 May, just before the Battle of Jutland.

The lifeboats were smashed against the side of the vessel on lowering, because of the heavy seas. About 15 minutes after the explosion, Hampshire sank by the bows.

 

Only 12 crewmen survived from a crew of 655 and 7 passengers; Andrew and Kitchener plus his staff were lost.

There is conjecture that a member of Kitchener’s staff (known as Count Boris Zakrevsky) was in fact a Boer (and German spy) Fritz Joubert Duquesne, and that he had organized the sinking of Hampshire.

He was then rescued by U-75 as Hampshire sank. This story cannot be verified, but it certainly adds a note of intrigue to the tragedy.

Kiesewetter was arrested after the war and interned in the Tower of London, with the intention of charging him with war crimes.

However, he was released before any trial could take place. Britain was told that it had no right to hold a detainee during the Armistice.

 

 

Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 12th July 2016
Updated:

 

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