Stoker 1st Class SS/108085 Thomas Harold Fereday

 Fereday Thomas 96 475x600

Killed in Action on Tuesday, 22nd September 1914, age 26.
Commemorated on Panel 5 of Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent, United Kingdom.

Royal Navy, H.M.S. "Hogue." (RFR/CH/B/10391).

Son of Thomas and Elizabeth Fereday, of 17, Trinity St., Brierley Hill, Staffs. Native of Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Unknown, Resident: Brierley Hill.

First served in 1914.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Navy Papers transcribed.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on Commonwealth War Graves site.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/3048952/

Genealogical Data

Thomas Harold Fereday was born 26 December 1889.

1901 Census
224 Dudley Port, Tipton
Thomas Fereday (40, Lime Burner, born Brierley Hill), his wife Elizabeth (42, born Tipton), and their 4 children: Charles Benjamin (16, Plumber, born Nottingham), Florence Emily (14, born Nottingham), Thomas Harold (12, born Burnt Tree) and Elsie May (6, born Tipton).

1911 Census
Thomas and Elizabeth Fereday were living in Trinity Street, Brierley Hill, but not their son Thomas who would have been 22 years old. It is likely that he was serving with the Royal Navy, and no trace can be found of a census entry for him.

Personal Data

Thomas Fereday enlisted with the Royal Navy on 13th February 1909 for 5 years, to be followed by 7 years in the Reserves. He was 5 feet 8¼ inches tall with a 36¼-inch chest, and his occupation was given as Railway Fireman. He had light brown hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion, and had scars on the left side of his neck and near his right knee, and a mole on his upper arm.

Thomas served as a Stoker (2nd and then 1st Class) on Acheron, Pembroke, Tyne, Pembroke II, Blenheim, and again Pembroke II. He was discharged from Pembroke II on 14th February 1914 after his 5 years service, he was rated as 'Very Good'. Pembroke II was the shore-based Royal Naval Air Station at Eastchurch from 1913 to 1918. Thomas then became a Reservist with the Royal Fleet Reserve with the number Chatham B.10391, indicating that he was to report to Chatham in the event of his re-call.

After his time in the Navy, Thomas had been working as a fitter at the Earl of Dudley’s Old Level Ironworks. Thomas was recalled from the Reserve on 2nd August 1914 to Chatham, and was posted to H.M.S. Hogue.

Action resulting in his death

On 22nd September 1914, the elderly armoured cruisers HMS Aboukir, HMS Cressy and HMS Hogue were patrolling 20 miles off the Dutch coast with no easily discernible purpose. Between 6am and 8am, they were torpedoed and sunk in turn by U Boat U-9 with the loss of 1,459 lives. HMS Hogue was going to assistance of HMS Aboukir which had been torpedoed, when the Hogue herself was torpedoed and sunk. Commander Weddigern of the U Boat U-9 was awarded the coveted Pour le Merite.

Thomas Fereday was lost at sea on H.M.S. Hogue, and is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial. Another Tipton man, George Clemson was lost at sea on H.M.S. Cressey.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 26th September 1914
The Naval Disaster
Local Men on Sunken Cruisers
Few great disasters have occurred on land or sea without Brierley Hill men being directly affected. Tuesday's great naval disaster in the North Sea, with its accompanying appalling loss of life, is no exception to the rule.
Almost as soon as the news reached Brierley Hill it was learnt that Harold Fereday, a naval reservist, was on the ill-fated Hogue.
Then came the news that George Horton of Merry Hill, Quarry Bank, was a stoker on the Aboukir, and still later that George Dingley, an Able Seaman of Netherton, and who formerly worked on the tramway at Hart's Hill, was on the Cressy. No information regarding the fate of Fereday and Horton had reached their homes up to this (Friday) morning.
Harold Fereday is a very popular Brierley Hill man, and his particular friend (Mr John Cole of Mill Street) stated to our representative that he is one of the best-natured young fellows in the district. Prior to being called up, Fereday worked at the Old Level Works as a fitter. He was a fitter on the Hogue.

His mother, when interviewed, said Harold is her only son, and the suspense was killing her. He only came home after completing his five years service in February last. Just before our representative called, a telegram had arrived which Mrs Fereday hoped was bringing news of her son, but instead it was one from his young lady (Miss Mitchell) living in Lowestoft, who telegraphed "begging for news of Harold".
In the course of the last letter received by his parents, Fereday writes: "I shall be glad when this is all over. Just fancy, five weeks and I have not had an all-night's sleep yet. It is all work here. I have grown a nice beard, and I am coming home with it on." After stating that he could not say what he liked in the letter, Fereday continues: "I am pleased to say I am still alive and kicking." His only need seemed to be cigarettes, and he said that they would not be able to get any tobacco on board for another month.
The parents of Dingley, of Netherton, have received a notification from the Admiralty that their son is amongst those who were saved from the Cressy.

Country Express 26th September 1914
Local Sailor in the Disaster.
There are fears that Harold Fereday, a naval reservist, whose home is at Argyle House, Trinity Street, Brierley Hill, was on the "Hogue", one of the three British cruisers sunk in the North Sea. The family had the impression that the cruiser their son was on was the "Hague", but no ship in the fleet has that name. Fereday was, prior to the war, employed at the Earl of Dudley's ironworks. In his last letter, received a few days ago, he wrote: "I shall be glad when this is all over. Just fancy, five weeks and I have not had an all-night's sleep yet; it is all work here. I am pleased to say I am still alive and kicking."

Country Express 3rd October 1914
The North Sea Tragedy. No News of Brierley Hill Seamen.
As reported in last week’s “County Express,” two local seamen, Harold Fereday, of Trinity Street, Brierley Hill, and George Horton, of Merry Hill, Quarry Bank, were respectively on HMS Hogue and HMS Aboukir, two of the three British cruisers sunk by German submarines in the North Sea. The absence of news occasioned much anxiety to the parents of Fereday and the wife and children of Horton. On Saturday Mr. Fereday proceeded to Smethwick to interview his son’s messmate, who had been permitted to return home after his terrible experience in the disaster, and from the report Mr. Fereday was able to glean, he could entertain very little hope for his son's escape. He was a Stoker. Since coming on to the Naval Reserve list, Fereday has been employed at the Earl of Dudley’s Old Level Ironworks.

Country Express 10th October 1914
The North Sea Disaster.
Brierley Hill Seamen amongst the victims.
On Monday and Tuesday, the Secretary of the Admiralty issued lists of officers, petty officers, NCOs and men who, according to the latest information available, were serving on HM ships Aboukir, Hogue and Cressy, on September 22nd, when these vessels were sunk in the North Sea, and who had not been reported as saved, and stating that in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, it is feared they must be regarded as having lost their lives.
In the list published on Tuesday appears the name of TH Fereday, 1st Class Stoker, 108085. He is the only son of Mr and Mrs Fereday, Argyle House, Trinity Street, Brierley Hill, and was serving on HMS Hogue. Stoker Fereday was 23 years old, and left the Navy in February, since when he worked as a fitter at the Old Level Ironworks. The parents have received a communication from the Admiralty.