Friends of Hastings Cemetery
Edgar Breeds was born in Hastings in December 1896.
Drowned in loss of vessel in North Atlantic 3rd February 1915. Age 18. Son of Edward James and Elizabeth Breeds of Fishmarket Hastings
He was awarded the Star, Victory and British War Medals.
He is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial,
“IN HONOUR OF THE NAVY
AND TO THE ABIDING MEMORY
OF THOSE RANKS AND
RATINGS OF THIS PORT WHO LAID DOWN THEIR
LIVES IN THE DEFENCE OF THE EMPIRE AND
HAVE NO OTHER GRAVE THAN THE SEA”
and on his family grave. (See previous page)
H.M.S. "Clan McNaughton."
HMS Clan Macnaughton was a converted 4,985 ton cargo passenger ship built in 1911 for the Clan Line Steamers, Glasgow.
The vessel was hired by the Admiralty in November 1914 and fitted with eight 4.7" guns. She operated as part of the 10th Cruiser Squadron and was sunk during a severe gale (or possibly mined) off the NW coast of Ireland with the loss of all hands -
The true cause of her sinking has never been fully established. However, there has been some speculation that a combination of a bad Atlantic storm, coupled with a top heavy ship (due to the fitting of naval guns) and an inexperienced and ill balanced crew may have contributed to her loss rather than a loose mine out in the Atlantic.
The crew was made up of a mix of reservists (many from Newfoundland), a RNLI detachment, mercantile sailors, some RN regulars and a large number of boys (50) straight out of training school.
In the month following the loss a Question were raised in the House of Commons on the subject of the ship's stability with regard to the fitting of the guns. The Admiralty reported that they had been satisfied as to the stability of the vessel.