Charles Thomas Haley

Date of birth: 1880
Place of birth: Islington, London
Regiment / Division: Mercantile Marine
Vessel: HMHS Salta
Rank / Service No: 2nd Steward, 31090
Died: 10th April 1917, aged 36 years
Commemorated: Salta Memorial, Saint Marie Cemetery, Le Havre, France

 

Charles was the younger of 2 siblings born to Henry Libbey and Ellen Haley (nee Tutthill), who married in Kentish Town on 27 September 1874.

 

Based on available dates, the family probably moved to Southampton in the early 1890’s.

 

Henry was born in Truro in 1850 and he died in Southampton in 1920.

Ellen was born in Suffolk in 1848 and she passed away in Shirley, Southampton in 1896.

 

Sibling

Ada Hambling   b. 25 October 1877 Islington   d. 16 January 1961 Willesden   Married Charles Thomas Gammie in Shirley in 1903.

 

Charles married Blanche May Brownen in Winchester in 1911. There is no evidence of any children, and the couple lived in King Edward’s Avenue, Shirley.

Blanche was born in 1887 and she passed away on 2 July 1963 in Wilton, Wiltshire. She was living at 35 Lackford Aveneue, Totton at the time of her death.

 

Salta was launched in July 1911 and was requisitioned by the Admiralty in February 1915 as a hospital ship.

 

On the night of the 9 April1917 Salta left Southampton bound for Le Havre, with some returning wounded soldiers and medical supplies.

 

On the morning of the 10th, a French patrol craft had spotted mines floating in the approaches to Le Havre. These had been laid the previous day by UC-26.

A barrage was put in place, to ensure that vessels entering the port were led through a mine-free channel.

 

Salta was given the green light to continue into the harbour at 11.20 AM, in very bad weather.

 

The vessel suddenly changed course, bound for the minefields. As surviving officer later recounted that the Captain was concerned about entering the harbour without a pilot and wished to let other vessels passed.

 

Realising what trouble he was in, Captain Eastaway tried to retrace his steps but an enormous explosion breached the hull.

Within 10 minutes, Salta had sunk. Despite help arriving rapidly, the bad weather hampered rescue attempts.

 

176 souls perished from Salta, with a further 19 crew from the patrol boat P-26. Only 13 bodies were recovered.

 

The Memorial marks the graves of the 24 casualties from Salta and her patrol boat. It also commemorates by name the soldiers, nurses and merchant seamen lost from the vessels whose bodies were not recovered.

 

 

Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 2nd September 2016
Updated:

 

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