Richard Hampton

Date of birth: 23rd March 1868
Place of birth: Lymington
Regiment / Division: Mercantile Marine
Vessel: SS Taplow
Rank / Service No: Able Seaman
Died: 5th June 1917, aged 50 years
Commemorated: Tower Hill Memorial


Richard has been hard to track down through his early years. There is no sign of him from the 1871 Census and he is presumably at sea during the 1891 Census.


It is known that his father was called John, but there are no further details.


The 1881 Census finds Richard at the Hampshire Reformatory School for Boys in Netley Marsh.

The school had opened in May 1855 and was formally certified on 29 November to accommodate boys aged 12 to 15, committed by magistrates to a period of detention.


As time went on, the school provided industrial training in the form of farming and land management, plus they made their own clothing and footwear.

Because of these skills, it was said that former pupils made good soldiers, and did well in the colonies.

Because of a fall in the numbers being committed to the school, it finally shut its doors in September 1908.


Richard married Annie Sarah Russell in Hamworthy on 7 July 1894. The couple had 4 sons, all of whom were born in Southampton.


The family are known to have lived at 6 Grove Street, St. Mary’s.


Tragically, the Hampton’s second son Archie died on the same vessel as his father.


Annie was born in Poole in 1867 and she passed away on 20 September 1943 in Hamworthy.



Sydney Richard   b. 10 April 1896 Southampton   d. 1957 Southampton   Married Millicent E. Barker in Southampton in 1923.

Archibald Herbert   b. 1900 St. Mary’s   d. 5 June 1917 SS Taplow   (see separate story) 

William Miller   b. 1904 St. Mary’s   d. 1977 Southampton   Married Kathleen Read in Southampton in 1938.

Vernon Victor   b. 1906 St. Mary’s   d. 11 January 1952 Royal South Hants hospital. Left £6445 9s 5d to Rupert Charles Harry Gould, a bank clerk


The Taplow started life as the Talavera, a cargo steamer, built in Stockton-on-Tees in 1904. In 1916, the vessel’s name was changed to Taplow.


On 5 June 1917, the vessel left the Spanish port of Huelva, bound for Port Talbot, carrying a cargo of copper and copper ore.


Somewhere between the two ports, the vessel disappeared with the loss of 25 men. It is presumed that she was either torpedoed or hit a mine.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 2nd September 2016


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