REPORT OF LOSS OF "QUEEN MARY" IN ACTION ON 31st MAY 1916
Enclosure No. 3 to Battle Cruiser Fleet Letter No. B.B.F. 01 of 12/6/16.
Battle Cruiser Fleet.
3rd June 1916.
The total number of Officers and men saved was 18.
- * * * *
The circumstances of the loss of the Ship are, as far as I know, as follows: -
At 4.20 p.m. the QUEEN MARY was third ship in the line of the 1st B.C.S., and action was sounded, and at 4.45 the order was given "load all guns." At 4.53 fire was opened on the third ship of the enemy's line, the range being about 17,000 yards.
The fire was maintained with great rapidity till 5.20, and during this time we were only slightly damaged by the enemy's fire. At 5.20 a big shell hit "Q" Turret and put the right gun out of action, but the left gun continued firing. At 5.24 a terrific explosion took place which smashed up "Q" Turret and started a big fire in working chamber and the Gun House was filled with smoke and gas. The Officer of the Turret, Lieutenant Commander Street, gave the order to evacuate the Turret. All the unwounded in the Gun House got clear and, as they did so, another terrific explosion took place and all was thrown into the water. On coming to the surface nothing was visible except wreckage, but thirty persons appeared to be floating in the water.
At 5.55, LAUREL saw the survivors in the water and lowered a whaler and rescued seventeen. When this number had been picked up, LAUREL received orders to proceed at full speed, being in grave danger of the enemy's ships.
All Officers and men were treated with the greatest kindness by the Officers and men of LAUREL and were landed at Rosyth at about 8 p.m., 1st June.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient Servant,
J. L. STOREY,
LETTER FROM MIDSHIPMAN STOREY TO THE STEP MOTHER [WE BELIEVE] OF HIS SHIPMATE, DENIS GODDARD
52 Clarence Pde
Dear Mrs Goddard,
I was in the
same term as your nephew [sic]
at Dartmouth & knew him
quite well. We joined the Qn
His action station was
in X Turret the after one &
the second explosion which
finished off the ship was
X turret magazine going
up. There is I believe only
one survivor from the turret.
The explosion was so
awful that his death
must have been painless
& instantaneous. There was
nothing left of the ship bo...
after the first explosion.
It must be very poor
consolation I know but
it is far better for the thing
to happen suddenly than
for him to suffer & you
can be quite sure he suffered no pain.
Jocelyn L. Storey
LETTER FROM MIDSHIPMAN STOREY TO THE BROTHER OF HIS SHIPMATE, ARCHIE DICKSON
“At about 5.20 a heavy shell hit our turret and put the right gun out of action but killed nobody. Three minutes later an awful explosion took place which smashed up our turret completely. The left gun broke in half and fell into the working chamber and the right one came right back. A cordite fire got going and a lot of the fittings broke loose and killed a lot of people. Those of us who were left got open the cabinet door and got into the S. cabinet. I did not see any sign of your brother and don’t know what happened to him…whether he was killed by the explosion or the fumes I can’t say.
Storey was able to get out of the turret and sat on the side of the listing ship,
“where the after magazine went up and blew us into the water. When I came up the ship was gone and there were very few swimming in the water. I saw your brother nowhere….I think that is all I can tell you as I did not see him after the action started properly but just before he seemed quite happy not in the smallest degree”.
- (original footnote The Dreadnought Project) Part omitted here, referring solely to personnel, recommendations,&c., in no way bearing on the course of the action
- (original footnote The Dreadnought Project) It will be noted that the above times are "Summer Time" and not G.M.T.