1st Chief Petty Officer William John Criddle
|Service||Royal Navy||Service No.||222300(Dev)|
|Rank||1st Chief Petty Officer|
|Date of Birth:||02/04/1887||Date of Death:||06/08/1914|
|Memorial:||Dawlish||Memorial Inscription||CRIDDLE W. J. 1st CPO H.M.S. AMPHION|
William's naval record shows his date of birth as 2 April 1887 and that he enlisted on 2 April 1905 for 12years service. At the age of 18 he was 5'9” tall with dark brown hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion.
P.O. Criddle was one of 151 casualties from the first naval action of World War One, within 32 hours of the declaration of war. HMS AMPHION was a light cruiser and attached to the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla based at Harwich. Leaving on patrol early on the 5th August they encountered a trawler which reported a suspicious 'ferry-like' ship dropping things over the side.
The ship was the German minelayer, Königin Luise. The German ship was chased down and sunk, and HMS AMPHION picked up any survivors.
The flotilla continued its operations for the rest of the day without incident and in the small hours of August 6th turned about for home.
Capt. Fox was stunned by the explosion, but recovered consciousness in time to order "Abandon ship". The destroyers sent boats to rescue survivors but the ship still had way on and began turning in a circle, into the minefield, and at 0703 she struck another mine which detonated her magazine and caused further injuries.
Association with Dawlish
William was the oldest of six children, all born in Dawlish, of Frank and Charlotte Criddle who lived at Red Lion Court, Old Town Street . In 1901 he was 13 and had an occupation as Errand Boy. His father was a shepherd.
William Criddle married Rose Evelyn Pudner on September 12, 1912 and they had a child, William James Pudner Criddle on 23 July, 1913 (1913-2005). Their last known address is variously shown as 28 and 65 Manor Row, Dawlish (now Brook Street).
|Devon Roll of Honour||He is recorded in the Devon Roll of Honour, although the place of death is not shown.|
Commonwealth War Graves Site
|Next of Kin:||Rose Evelyn Criddle, widow|
|Last Known Address:||65 Manor Row, Dawlish (now Brook Street)|
|William Criddle life story|
|Extract from Dawlish Chronicles|
|William Criddle - Dawlish Gazette|
|HMS Amphion Letter - Dawlish Gazette|