Friday 29 August 2014

Native of Torr Killed in Action - August 6, 1914

[snippet from service record]

At 06.45 on 6th August, the Amphion struck a mine which exploded and broke the ship’s back.Abandon Ship was ordered. As most of Amphion’s boats were destroyed, the destroyers sent their boats to rescue the crew.  However, although Amphions’s engines were stopped, she continued turning in a circle and she struck the same row of mines.  Her magazine detonated and the destroyers were showered with debris.  Amphion sank at 07.05 and 151 men were lost.

With the war only 32 hours old, HMS Amphion, which had primarily assisted in inflicting the first German Naval loss of the war, became the first British Naval war loss. .. History Hub Ulster

According to his birth certificate, Henry John Bennett was born at Torr in the parish of Culfeightrin on August 25, 1877. His father Henry was a boatman in the coastguard service and his mother was Susan nee Pengalley; both parents were natives of Devon. At the time of the 1911 census, both 

parents are living in Plymouth with daughter Rose, have been married for 39 years and had ten children of whom four were still living; Henry by that time was a naval pensioner. Four, at least, of the children - Henry John, Alfred Elias, Alice Louisa and Lillie - were born at Torr but Alice Louisa passed away there, aged just 15 months. The parents and two daughters, Lillie and Rosie, were in Langton Herring in Dorset in 1901.

George Charles McConachy was another Antrim man who perished aboard the Amphion. His parents were both from the Dungiven district; he was born in Belfast; his mother died when he was only about six; the family are in Ballymena in 1901 and his father David's contact address at the time of his son's death was 13 Kerr Street, Portrush.