Oliver Thake


Oliver Thake


First World War

Date of Death / Age


Rank, Service Number & Service Details

Leading Seaman
Royal Navy
H.M.S. "Hibiscus"


Not Yet Researched


United Kingdom

UK Memorials

Much Hadham Village Memorial
St Andrew’s Church Memorial, Much Hadham
Stone Bench Plaque, Much Hadham
Congregational Church Memorial, Hadham Cross
Not on the Green Tye memorials

Pre War

Born on 4 Sep 1891 son of Charles and Ellen (Wood) Thake of Norman Cottage, Much Hadham. He married Annie Tinsley and they lived in Green Tye, Much Hadham and had two daughters. He was a stockman. Enlisted on 15 Aug 1910 at Chatham and first served on Pembroke I, a shore based training establishment, and later went to sea.

Wartime Service

He served on the King Edward VII. During the early phase of World War I, the 3rd Battle Squadron was attached to the Grand Fleet and served on the Northern Patrol. In January 1916 she struck a mine while in transit to a scheduled refit at Belfast and sank. All but one of her crew were evacuated. In May 1916 he took part in the Jutland Bank Battle, serving on HMS Hibiscus, and had been doing heroic work of a special and hazardous nature. On the 8th he returned home for 14 days leave. A few days later. on the 13th, he was obliged to take to his bed and was seized with 'double pneumonia, which ended fatally on Monday morning. It is customary for sailors coming into port after a long voyage to sing a joyous song called Yo-Ho. This brave, fearless sailor sang, just as his life was ebbing out "Yo-Ho" in a clear, bright, happy voice, and just as he finished the last strain be passed away. He left a widow and child to mourn his loss.'

Additional Information

Brother of Private Ernest Thake who was killed in action on 10 May 1916 and is also commemorated on these memorials.


Malcolm Lennox, “Lest We Forget – Much Hadham 1914-18” by Richard Maddams (Much Hadham Forge Museum)