Horatio William Allcock

Date of birth: 17th Augusst 1895
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: J / 11556
Rank: Ordinary Seaman
Vessel: HMS Bulwark
Service: Royal Navy
Died: 26th November 1914 aged 19 years
Death location: At sea – Sheerness on the Kent coast.


Life before the War
Horatio was the youngest of 5 children born to John William and Elizabeth, nee McDormett.  The family were all Southampton born and bred, with John born in 1859 and Elizabeth in 1860.  John and Elizabeth married in 1881 and their address at the outbreak of war was 13 Spa Road, Above Bar.

John died in 1925, with Elizabeth passing away sometime before 1901.

Horatio’s 4  siblings were:

Mary Ann C.  b.1884 and d.1966 Basingstoke.   Married Arthur Wilkinson in 1899.  It is worth noting here that Mary was born in early 1884 and the marriage took place in late 1899 !!

John Albert  b.1886 and d.1952 Isle of Wight.   Married Mary Benham in Hartley Wintney in 1913.

Matilda Lucy  b. 1888 and d.1966 Gosport.   Married Robert Griggs in Fareham in 1908.

Elizabeth Jessie  b.1892 and d.1964 Uxbridge.  Married John E. Stanfield in Southampton in 1923.


War Service
Horatio wasted little time in wanting to go to sea once he left school; he was based in Devonport at the 1911 census and enlisted in the Royal Navy on his 18th birthday in 1913.

Bulwark was a London class battleship which entered service with the RN in 1902.  She sailed with the Mediterranean fleet until 1907 before returning to home waters.

In 1912 the vessel was refitted and immediately became part of the 5th Battle Squadron.  At the outbreak of war the Squadron was attached to the Channel Fleet, patrolling the English Channel.

On 26 November, when anchored off Sheerness, a “large internal explosion” destroyed the vessel, killing 736 men with Horatio amongst them.  Eight of the 14 survivors died later in hospital, between November 1914 and January 1918.

After an exhaustive enquiry it was decided that the explosion was caused by overheating cordite charges that had been placed adjacent to a boiler room bulkhead.


Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 9th March 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

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