George Henry Such

 

Place of Birth          Southampton.
Date of Birth           25th March 1891.
Service Number     SS108/610
Rank Stoker.
Service                      Royal Navy H.M.S. Tipperary.
Died                           1st June 1916.
Death Location       North Sea – West of Viberg Jutland.
George Henry Such was born in Southampton on 25th March 1891 to John and Emma Rosina Such. They lived at 8 Mount Street. Southampton, also living with them were George’s uncle William (1859) who was a widower, he worked as leading stoker.
Georges father John worked as a Fireman.

His parents were married in Southampton in 1884, his mother was Emma Rosina Rickman born in December 1862 – died 1928 in Southampton, his father John Compson born in 1858 died in 1937 Basingstoke.

Georges grandparents (mothers side) were Robert Rickman ( a beer retailer) (1826) from Lymington and Julia Rickman (1836) from Southampton, they had three children Julia (1861), Georges’ mother Emma (1864) and Ruth (1867). They lived at 9 Orchard Lane St.Marys. Southampton.

George had 2 brothers, John ( 1887) and Edward Robert born in September 1897 – died December 1960 in Southampton.

Georges’ grandparents (fathers side)were Edward (1824) who worked as a boiler maker and Eliza (1836), they had 4 daughters Ann (1861) M, Elizabeth (1866), Mary A(1868) and Fanny (1870 and two sons Georges father John Compson (1858) and William H (1885).

Military Service

George joined the Royal Navy as a stoker and in 1911 was registered at the Royal Sailors Rest, 74-174 Commercial Road. Buckingham Street and Chardos Street.

He served on HMS Tipperary which was one of 4 flotilla leaders of the British Grand Fleet. The Tipperary was involved in the Battle Jutland where she was acting leader of the Fourth Destroyer Flotilla.

On 30th May 1916 intercepted messages from Germany indicated the German High Sea Fleet would be putting to sea to challenge the British control of the North Sea. Late on that day the British Grand Fleet also put to sea from its base at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands. First contact with the German High Seas Fleet was made off the coast of Jutland in the afternoon of the 31st May 1916.

During the night of the 31st May / 1st June 1916 at 12.03am Captain Wintour and the leading boats of the flotilla were aware of a line of ships to starboard travelling on a converging course, it was not possible to tell whether they were friend or enemy, the captain held on for some minutes with all torpedo tubes trained to starboard.
The line of ships made no sign, and at last as they were drawing ahead of him and had closed less than 1000yards, he gave them a challenge. Salvos accurate and rapid, at point blank range followed immediately, in a minute the Tipperary burst into flames, lost to sight in brilliantly illuminated splashes. She still fired both her torpedoes. The four boats in her division did the same, and so did the Broke. Some of the rear boats thought a mistake was being made and held their fire till accidentally one of the enemy’s beams lit up the rear ship and it was then plain to see what they had to deal with.
How many hits were made is uncertain, one at least was the Tipperary’s death blow. The first salvo had swept away the Tipperary’s bridge on which the Captain(Charles J Wintour) had stood. The Tipperary became a mass of burning wreckage . It later became apparent that the German dreadnought SMS Westfalen of the German 1st Battle Squadron 1st Division had opened fire on the Tipperary with her secondary 5.9inch armament.
The Tipperary was raked with 92 rounds of 5.9inch and 45 rounds of 3.5 inch shells, which reduced her to the blazing wreck within minutes. Although the Tipperary put up a brave fight her oil had caught fire and it soon enveloped the ship.

At 3am the damaged German cruiser Elbing was scuttled by its crew, who then went on to rescue many crew members from the Tipperary drifting in the icy water and on a life raft. The Surgeon was rescued and about a hundred of the destroys crew was rescued until they could take no more survivors, flares were lit in the area to attract any British ships in the area but to no avail.

4 wounded survivors from the Tipperary were rescued at 5.00am and taken on board HMS Sparrowhawk, which had herself been in a collision and was no longer seaworthy. She sunk at 8.00am after her crew and the survivors of the Tipperary were taken on board HMS Marksman.

160 Tipperary crewmen are remembered along with George Henry Such on the Portsmouth Memorial, another 9 are remembered at Chatham and a further 4 at Plymouth.

At roughly 2,00am the Tipperary sank at an estimated position of 56.12N006.06E.

George Henry Such went down with the Tipperary on 1st June 1916.

Post script.
The Battle of Jutland (Skagerrakschlacht) was the largest naval battle of World War 1, fought between 31st May – 1st June 1916 in the North Sea near Jutland, Denmark. The Germans’ plan was to use five modern battlecruisers to lure the British through a submarine picket line and into the path of the main German fleet.
The plan did not succeed, but the battle was considered to be won by the Germans, giving the Royal Navy a heavy blow.

 

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