Charles Thomas Barclay

Date of birth: 1877
Place of birth: Sholing, Southampton
Regiment / Division: Mercantile Marine
Vessel: HMHS Dover Castle
Rank / Service No: Fireman
Died: 26th May 1917, aged 39 years
Commemorated: Tower Hill Memorial


Charles Thomas was the fourth of 6 siblings born to Charles and Elizabeth Bartley (nee Thorn), who married in Southampton on 24 October 1870.


Charles had previously been married to Sophia Warner, who was born in 1835. She unfortunately passed away in Southampton in 1863, but not before the couple had 2 sons….

George, born in 1856, and Charles who was born in 1860.


Charles Snr was born in Southampton in 1831 and he died at 2 Spring Road, Sholing in 1913.

Elizabeth was born in Dover in 1849 and she passed away in Southampton in 1930.



Walter William   b. 1870 Southampton   d. 1871 Southampton

Frank   b. 21 March 1874 Southampton   d. 1943 Southampton Married Elizabeth Budd in Southampton in 1898.

Elizabeth Alice   b. 1875 Sholing   d. 1947 Southampton   Married William James Taylor in Southampton in 1895.

Charles Thomas

Emily E.   b. 1878 Sholing   d. ??

Arthur Joseph   b. 1879 Sholing   d. 1937 Southampton



SS Dover Castle was launched from Glasgow in 1904; she was converted to a hospital ship at the start of the war.


Whilst 50 miles off the coast of North Africa, en route from Malta to Gibraltar, Dover Castle was sunk by a torpedo fired from UC-67.

6 Firemen (including Charles) were killed by the torpedo, but HMHS Karapara managed to save 270 people.


The Captain and a volunteer crew stayed on board, hoping to get the damaged vessel into a port.

One hour after the initial torpedo, UC-67 fired another torpedo at the stricken vessel; this time she sank within 3 minutes.


Kapitan Karl Neumann was tried at the Leipzig War Crimes Trials, but was found not guilty of firing on an unprotected hospital ship.


It was decided that the captain was only following the orders issued by the German High Command.


Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 7thDecember 2016


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