Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Major Duncan Stubbs' diary entry for 23 September 1914

Wednesday 23rd September
I went up to the Camp and during the morning a telegram from the Admiralty announced that they deeply regretted our dear boy was not in the list of saved.  I returned and broke it to dear Madge and Katharine – I can hardly write of the next few days. 

I wired the Admiralty to ask Lieut Hughes the gunnery Lieutenant of whom Duncan had so often spoken to communicate with, I also wired Meakin, Willie and Dr Mackinlay asking him to tell them at Trafalgar Terrace, and I asked Averil to come, which she did at once and her presence helped poor Madge very greatly.  Everybody is most kind, the general telling me to take what leave I wanted.  Mrs Wilson wired her sympathy and that her boy was saved.

Lieutenant John Bernard Hughes was the son of Canon Walter Octavius Marsh Hughes of Tarporley, Cheshire.  He was born in 1888 in Houghton-le-Spring; his father must have been clergyman there at the time.
Mr Meakin was headmaster of Pembroke Lodge, the school that Duncan and his brother Hugh had attended on the South Coast.
Willie Richardson was a solicitor in Guisborough, husband of Madge Stubbs' sister Averil
Dr Mackinlay, family friend (grandfather of the late J L Mackinlay of Pinchinthorpe Hall and Simonstone Hall, Hawes.)
Trafalgar Terrace was the home of Major Stubbs' parents
Alistair Wilson was one of the 4 midshipmen of the Aboukir to survive.  He was posted to HMS Vanguard a month later and was killed on 9 July 1917 when one of her magazines overheated and blew up.  His head, found miles from the scene, was the only identifiable body part of any crew member to be recovered.

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