HMS Natal


The Thanet Advertiser January 8th 1916

During World War I HMS Natal was assigned to the 2nd Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet, but did not participate in any battles. The ship was sunk by an internal explosion near Cromarty Firth on 30 December 1915. Many Thanet men were serving on her. The commanding officer Captain Eric Back who died was the brother of Mrs Maud Hatfeild, a well-known Margate personality  who later became the first woman Mayor of Margate. Eric Back’s name is inscribed on the All Saints Church (Westbrook) War Memorial where his brother, Guy, was the Vicar.

Reported Missing

Ordinary Seaman Stanley James Attwell Drayson aged 18 of 53 Albion Street Broadstairs
Sick-berth steward J A W Jenkins of Shannonville, Dundonald Road, Broadstairs
Leading Seaman T W Jervis of 4 King Edward Road, Ramsgate.

Reported saved

Chief Petty Officer W F Chandler (formerly of Ramsgate, now of Sheerness)
Petty Officer C H Port of 31 Avenue Road Ramsgate
Shipwright 2nd Class A Harty of 57 Albion Street Broadstairs
Ordinary Seaman L C Pantony of 1 Camden Villas, Green Lane, St Peter’s
Ordinary Seaman E Stupple of 1 Calva Cottages, Vicarage Street, St Peter’s

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