Saturday, 27 September 2014

Major Duncan Stubbs' diary entry for 27 September 1914

Sunday 27 Sept 
A letter from Lieut Hughes, our dear boy behaved like a hero, going down below to wake a boy (Riley) who had not been wakened by the explosion, when the ship was
Memorial to Herbert Riley, RNC Dartmouth
heeling over and likely to go at any moment.  Lt Hughes spoke most highly of our boy and how he liked him, a delightful letter, but he could not give any definite news of the end.  It must be presumed without doubt that our boy could not hold out long enough.  They were rescued in that part about 2 hours after the Cressy sank.  Duncan got safely to the Cressy and was in her sick bay when she was struck, after that he was on a plank for a long time in the water but no one knows what happened at the end.  I got Mr Dixon, one of the masters at Peter’s school to make me a number of copies of the letter and sent it to my most intimate friends. 

Letters are pouring in, we have had over 100.  We talked to such a nice coastguard, he was once on the Cressy training.  Jock  came over from Darlington and Peter came to lunch and tea.

Herbert Riley did not survive the sinking of the Aboukir, Hogue and Cressy 

Jock Richardson (1895-1915) was Averil's eldest son.  He died of meningitis in camp a few months later.  He and Duncan are commemorated on a plaque in St Nicholas' Church, Guisborough

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