Some Local Newspaper Reports.

In the following few weeks after the sinking of HMS Natal, many stories appeared in local newspapers throughout the land.  These stories, as is the way of local papers, concentrated on local people who were involved with the ship.  Some of these newspaper reports are obituaries whilst others celebrate the survival of a man.  At least one report corrects a misapprehension that local people had about the fate of one sailor.

The selection of reports given here is from papers from different parts of Great Britain and usually contained a photograph of the sailor.  Unfortunately, it has not been possible to reproduce these as they have deteriorated badly.  However, each story has been transcribed.


Croydon Advertiser,  January 8th 1916

[Caption to a photograph]

Gunner E.W. Macmaster, of 10 St Saviours Road, Croydon, who lost his life in the ill-fated Cruiser ‘Natal’.  The deceased only had two years to serve before his period of service would have expired.


Aberdeen WeeklyJournal

Aberdeen Gunner Among Missing

A Report was current on Monday, that Gunner William Sutherland, a young Aberdeen man, on board H.M.S. Natal, had been saved from the disaster that overtook the vessel, but unfortunately it proved incorrect.  His father, who resides at 63 Causewayend, is Mr Ivan Sutherland, Vice president of the Monumental branch of the United Operative Masons, and he received official intimation on Tuesday to the effect that as Gunner Sutherland’s name did not appear on the list of survivors, he must be regarded as having lost his life.  The gunner was 19 years of age and Mr Sutherland’s eldest son.  For a time he was in the bakery department of the Northern Co-operative Company, but three years ago he joined the royal Marine Artillery and during the last two years was attached to H.M.S. Natal.  He was a first class shot and gun layer, and he held two medals for shooting.


The Reading Standard, January 8th 1916

Wokingham Survivor of H.M.S. Natal Disaster

We congratulate Mr and Mrs Key of 20 Rose Street upon the safety of their son Mr A.T. Key, who was Stewards’ Assistant on board the ill-fated Natal at the time of the explosion and whose name appears on the list of survivors.
Another Wokingham man, T. Avis, believed to be on the same vessel, is not mentioned on either the list of survivors or victims.


Reading Observer, January 2nd 1916

[Caption to a photograph]

Mr A.T. Key of Rose Street, Wokingham, Ship’s Steward Assistant, saved from H.M.S. Natal.  He was in the water about half an hour after the explosion and has been suffering slightly from shock.



The Catford and Lewisham Journal, February 4th 1916

[Caption to a photograph]

Among the Rescued
Sick Berth Attendant, Frank Howles, son of Mr and Mrs Howles of 165 Silverton Road, Catford, was among the men rescued in the recent disaster to H.M.S. Natal.



East Kent Gazette, January 8th 1916


How Football Saved a Rainham man’s Life

George Day, a member of a well-known family of Rainham (Kent) runners, who was one of the crew of the ill-fated Natal, owes his life to football.  Day was refereeing in a football match between sailors and soldiers when the Cruiser blew up and the teams witnessed the harrowing sight.  But for the fact that they were ashore engaged in football, Day and his mates would have shared the same fate as the other poor fellows.  George Day at once telegraphed to his people saying he was safe and he has been on a visit to Rainham this week.













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