William Henry John Chaplow

In 1911, William was living with his mother and younger brother and sister at 3 Waverley Road, Southampton. His father Henry was not at home on the night of the census and William was one of the seven children of Henry and Louisa Chaplow. He was 26 years of age, single and working as a labourer togged linesman.
William married Gertude R. Pretty in the summer of 1915 in Southampton. By 1916 he was serving as a Fireman in the Mercantile Marine. He died on 12th March 1916 whilst serving on H M Yacht Mekong.
Under the heading “A Gallant Southampton Seaman”, the Southampton and District Pictorial reported that he was “one of the heroic crew of the Government patrol boat Mekong which was recently wrecked. He pluckily volunteered to endeavour to swim ashore with a line, but was drowned before he could reach the beach”.
The report continues that the Captain wrote to his wife, who resides in Northumberland Road, Southampton.
 “His gallant efforts to get onshore to render us assistance will never be forgotten, and you may rest assured that his death was as noble as if he had been killed in action.”
William’s name is simply recorded as William Chaplow on Southampton Cenotaph and he is memorialised on a gravestone at Southampton Old Cemetery:
CHAPLOW, William Henry John   Fireman

One response to “William Henry John Chaplow

  1. George Marchbank

    The “MEKONG” was built as a super yacht in 1906 for a Mr Adam Singer of Southampton and later sold to the French Duke de Montpensier. In 1915 it was requisitioned by the Royal Navy to be used as a patrol vessel. On the 12th March 1916 in a gale and torrential rain it ran aground on rocks off the Yorkshire coast,at the time it had a crew of 59. 3 crew members lost their lives,one being William,another in the same circumstances as William and a third lost his life when he fell from the breeches buoy. In 1960 it was reported that live ammunition was being washed ashore, the Royal Navy were called in and the ship was blown up.

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