Wetherby War Memorial - The Great War 1914 - 1918

George Haddington March

Introduction
Gunter, R B N
Durrant, C M
Weston, C G
Kelly, K G
Armitage, G J
Durrant, H M L
Hargreaves, J P
March, G
Dukes, W
Fowler, R
Westerman, H
Kirk, J C
Wiggins, T A
Telford, G
Harper, J W
Alexander, H W
Mason, T F
Wilkinson, W
Brown, C
Adkin, J
Barton, F
Hobman, A
Webster, A E
March, E A
Miller, G
Hannan, E
Utley, G
Walker, F
Bygrave, E W
Chapman, E
Varley, N W
Bowen, F J
Byrom, F
Backhouse, S
Dalby, M
Crossland, A
Crossley, J S
Dean, R
Frost, A E
Hodgson, F H
Holt, J
Hood, W H
Hill, W
Kitchen, T
Linfoot, E
Metcalfe, J C
Marsden, J
Pawson, W
Precious, G
Scutt, T G
Shields,P
Wiggins, J
Walker, E
Wood, A
Young, T
Pratt, W
Taylor, H
Dawson, G W
Lister, J
Binge, T
Atack, G
Durham, E F
Precious, G R
Wheelhouse Smith, W
Backhouse, H
Swann, J W
Burnsides, G A
Coles, W
Kelly, H W
Miles, J G
Tapsell, K
Acknowledgements
Dardanelles

M/12156
Engine Room Artificer, 4th Class, HMS Mohawk, Royal Navy
Died Tuesday 1st June 1915, age 34

Cemetery : Dover (St James's) Cemetery, Kent
Grave Reference of Panel Number : O. H. 9.

Son of George and Mary Agnes March of Micklethwaite, Wetherby; husband of Margaret March, of Victoria House, Enterpen, Hutton Rudby, Yorkshire.

George was born at Micklethwaite on the 17th May, 1881, his father being employed as a Gardener. Authors note: By 1911 George (senior) had become the Caretaker-in-Charge at Wetherby Grange.
Married in 1906, in 1911 George was residing with his wife and two young boys aged 4 and 2 years at 33, Jubilee Street, North Ormesby, Middlesbrough. Occupation is recorded as a Plumber at an Iron Manufacturer.

Enlistment and Training

George enlisted in the Royal Navy at some period after the outbreak of the War, occupation, Fitter. Authors note: The Register Of Seamen's Services, T.N.A. reference ADM/188/1042 incorrectly states place of birth as Leeds. The Register also records that the terms of his enlistment were for the "Duration of Hostilities" and a physical description depicts George as being 5 feet 8 and a half inches tall, hair, brown and eyes, blue. Complexion is recorded as "fresh."
After a period of training at a shore based establishment, Pembroke, George was after this initial training period, posted to H.M.S. Mohawk on the 30th March, 1915 and allocated the Serial Number M12156 Chatham.  His character was described as "very good" and ability deemed "satisfactory."

H.M.S Mohawk

H.M.S Mohawk was built by Whites, launched on the 15th March 1907, pennant No H19 (1914), DO6 (1915), built as a Tribal Class Torpedo Boat Destroyer, 865 to 885 tons, 260 x 25.5 x 8 feet.  She was powered by a turbine producing 14250 shp (Steam Horse Power) that gave the Mohawk a top speed of 34 knots.  Armament consisted of 5 x 12 pounder plus 2 x 18 inch torpedo. The ship had four funnels and burned oil fuel only.

Tuesday 1st June 1915: The death of Engine Room Artificer, 4th Class, George March

In May 1915, the first U-Boats of the UC1 Class arrived in Zeebrugge as part of the Flandern Flotilla. The very first minefield to be laid by these mine laying U-Boats was located south of the Goodwin Light Vessel and was known as the so called ‘Sperre 1’. It was laid by the UC 11 on the 31st May 1915. About 24 hours later, it took its very first victim, namely H.M.S. Mohawk. The damage caused by the mine was quite severe though it was repaired and the ship remained in use until 1919. The ship served in the Dover Patrol throughout the war except in 1918 when she served with the 10th S/M Flotilla.

Mohawk's Log records;

Tuesday, 1st June, 1915;

3.15 a.m., Stopped and picked up indication bouy.

3.20. Proceeded.

4.00.

5.25. Struck German mine whilst patrolling on No. 1 Patrol, position, 1 and a half miles south of S. Goodwin Lt. Vessel.

Fired of ? rocket. Trawlers came to assistance at 5.45.

Ships company placed in Trawler. Proceeded for harbour towed by Trawlers.

Casualties - 5 killed - 4 severely injured. Damage considerable.

7.00. Proceeded into floating dock Dover.'

UC11

UC11 was ordered from A.G.Weser, Bremen (Werk 225) on the 23rd November 1914, Laid down on the 26th January 1915, Launched, 11th April 1915, and Commissioned, 23rd April 1915. The Commander of the U-Boat on this particular mission was Walter Gottfried Schmidt.

The UC11 served with various units and carried out 83 Patrols during her career until the 26th June 1918, when she hit a mine whilst submerged and blew up in the Dover Strait at 51.55N 01.41.E. with the loss of 18 crew and 1 survivor.

Websitemarch.JPG

Buried in adjoining graves are two more casualties from the mine explosion : Stoker 1st Class John Grice and Leading Stoker George Hollyer, married from Southsea, Portsmouth. Also buried elsewhere in the cemetery there is another casualty, Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class, Henry Gardiner.

George Haddington March is also commemorated on his parents gravestone at St. Oswald's Church, Collingham.


A newspaper article dated Friday, June 4, 1915 states :

“Mr. and Mrs. George March, Micklethwaite, have received information that their only son, Pettyofficer George Haddington March, of the destroyer Mohawk, has been killed in action. March, who enlisted in the Navy after the outbreak of war, joined the Mohawk in January. About 30 years of age, he leaves a widow and five children.”