George Cockman

Name

George Cockman

Conflict

First World War

Date of Death / Age

22/09/1914
24

Rank, Service Number & Service Details

Stoker 1st Class
K/9045
Royal Navy
H.M.S. "Aboukir."

Awards

1914 (Mons) Star, British War and Victory Medals

Cemetery/Memorial

CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL
4.
United Kingdom

UK Memorials

Hertford Town Memorial
Christchurch Plaque, now in Holy Trinity Church, Bengeo

Pre War

Born on 5 Oct 1891 in Ware, Hertfordshire son of Samuel and Emily Cockman and living in 3 Bluecoat Yard, Ware in 1901 and his father was a malt maker. Later he was living in 8 George Street, Port Vale, Hertford.

Wartime Service

Died when his ship, along with two others, Hogue and Cressy, were sunk by a single submarine, U-9 in the North Sea. 1,450 sailors were lost that day. George was serving on HMS Aboukir, a cruiser built in 1900 and assigned to the Mediterranean fleet, on returning to the UK in 1912 she was placed in reserve. On the outbreak of war she was assigned to the 7th Cruiser squadron patrolling the North Sea supporting a group of destroyers and submarines. On 22nd September 1914 she was on patrol with no escorting destroyers and accompanied by the cruisers Hogue and Cressy, she was trying to seek shelter from bad weather. The three ships were about 2000 yards apart when they were seen by the German submarine U-9, she fired one torpedo which struck the Aboukir at about 06.20, the captain thought they had struck a mine and signalled the other ships to close up to transfer his wounded men. Aboukir began to list and capsized at 06.55. Only one life boat was available as the others had either been smashed or could not be used as there was no steam to power the winches. Within an hour the two remaining cruisers had also been sunk by the U-9. 837 men were saved by Dutch vessels and British fishing trawlers, but a total of 62 officers and 1397 men were lost, of these 527 men were from the Aboukir, one of whom was George.

Additional Information

According to UK, Royal Navy and Royal Marines War Graves Roll the person notified of George’s death was an aunt, Mrs E. Cockman of 41 Ryde Street, Bengeo, Hertford.

Acknowledgments

Malcolm Lennox, Terry & Glenis Collins