BOND, Henry (of Newark)

Photo:HMS Bulwark

HMS Bulwark

Laid down: 1899; destroyed by accident: 1914

289995 Stoker 1st Class, HMS Bulwark

Died 26 Nov 1914

Henry Bond was born at Paddington in London on 24th January 1876.

By the time of the 1911 Census (when he was aged 36) he was living in the village of Balderton, adjacent to Newark, with his wife of three years, Martha. 

Henry's occupation is given as 'General Labourer' in the pump industry.  This probably means he worked for Messrs. Worthington & Simpson whose pump-making factory had relocated to Balderton in 1900 from London.

Henry, born in Paddington, probably followed the company up to Newark at the time.

Naval service during the First World War

In the naval Casualty List of 1914 it is noted that Henry Bond was killed as a result of the loss of HMS Bulwark and that his body was not recovered for burial.

By this time the family's address is given as 7A Lime Grove, Newark, Notts.

Churchill Announces the loss of HMS Bulwark

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 26th, 1914 , Winston Churchill made the following statement to the House of Commons :

"I regret to say I have some bad news for the house. The Bulwark battleship, which was lying in Sheerness this morning, blew up at 7.35 o'clock . The Vice and Rear Admiral, who were present, have reported their conviction that it was an internal magazine explosion which rent the ship asunder. There was apparently no upheaval in the water, and the ship had entirely disappeared when the smoke had cleared away.

"An inquiry will be held tomorrow which may possibly throw more light on the occurrence. The loss of the ship does not sensibly affect the military position, but I regret to say the loss of life is very severe. Only 12 men are saved. All the officers and the rest of the crew, who, I suppose, amounted to between 700 and 800, have perished. I think the House would wish me to express on their behalf the deep sorrow with which the House heard the news, and their sympathy with those who have lost their relatives and friends."

HMS Bulwark, a battleship of 15,000 tons, was moored to No.17 buoy in Kethole Reach on the River Medway, almost opposite the town of Sheerness , Isle of Sheppey, Kent. It was one of the ships forming the 5th Battle Squadron.

She had been moored there for some days, and many of her crew had been given leave the previous day. They had returned to the Bulwark at 7 o'clock that morning and the full complement was on board.

The usual ship's routine was taking place. Officers and men were having breakfast in the mess below deck, other were going about their normal duties. A band was practising while some men were engaged in drill.

As disaster struck a roaring and rumbling sound was heard and a huge sheet of flame and debris shot upwards. The ship lifted out of the water and fell back. There was a thick cloud of grey smoke and further explosions. When the smoke eventually cleared, the Bulwark had sunk without trace.


This page was added by John Farjeon on 03/01/2013.

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