Donald Clapham Dove

Date of birth: 1899
Place of birth: Southampton
Regiment / Division: Mercantile Marine
Vessel: HMHS Glenart Castle
Rank / Service No: Captain’s Steward
Died: 26th February 1918, aged 18 years
Commemorated: Tower Hill Memorial

 

Donald was the third of 6 known siblings born to George John and Mary Dove (nee Clapham), who married in Southampton in 1889.

The couple had a total of 10 children, 6 of whom died young.

 

George was born in Southampton in 1864, and he died in the city in 1936. Mary was also born in Southampton, in 1866, and she passed away in the city in 1914.

The family lived at 133 Empress Road, Bevois Valley.

 

Siblings

Madeline Constance   b. 1890 Southampton   d. 1890 Southampton

Lilian Frances   b. 1898 Southampton   d. 1985 Fareham

Donald Clapham

Alec George   b. 20 April 1901 Southampton   d. 1975 New York   Became a naturalised American.

Frederick Charles   b. 1902 Southampton  d. 1903 Southampton

Leslie Clapham   b. 1904 Southampton   d. 1941 Andover

 

His Majesty’s Hospital Ship Glenart Castle was originally built as the “Galacian” in 1900….it was renamed in 1914.

The vessel had left Newport (South Wales) on 26 February 1918, bound for Brest in France.

Fishermen in the Bristol Channel at the time remembered that she had green lights all round, plus the obligatory red cross on either side, an international indication of a hospital ship.

When in the neighbourhood of Lundy Island she was hit by a torpedo in the No. 3 hold, fired from U boat UC-56, captained by Kapitanleutnant Wilhelm Kiesewetter.

 

The blast destroyed most of the lifeboats, while the subsequent pitch of the vessel hindered attempts to launch the remaining boats. In the 8 minutes it took for the vessel to sink, only 7 lifeboats were launched.

162 people were drowned with only 38 survivors. There was evidence that the submarine crew may have shot at those struggling in the water, in an attempt to cover up the atrocity.

The body of a junior officer was recovered with two gunshot wounds…he also wore a lifejacket, indicating he was shot at in the water.

 

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: 7th July 2016
Updated:

 

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