Able Seaman William John Hutchings
|Service||Royal Navy||Service No.||224640 (Dev)|
|Date of Birth:||01/04/1886Born Torquay||Date of Death:||31/05/1916|
|Memorial:||Dawlish||Memorial Inscription||HUTCHINGS W. A.B. R.N.|
William joined the Royal Navy on 17 January 1903 as a Boy Seaman at the age of 16 and served aboard HMS Northampton which was one of the Navy's training ships for boy seamen. His service record shows that he had been working as a gardener. On his 18th birthday he signed on for a 12 year service, on 1 April 1904.
He served aboard various ships until December 1905 when he joined H.M.S.CAMBRIDGE, the Gunnery Training Ship that was a 'wooden wall' hulk moored in the Hamoaze off Devonport.
In the major naval engagement in the North Sea, known as the Battle of Jutland, that began on 31 May 1916, there were more significant British naval losses than German, but the outcome was to persuade the Kaiser to instruct his navy to remain in port.
Towards the end of the battle the 4th Destroyer Flotilla encountered German forces that damaged H.M.S.TIPPERARY, the Flotilla Leader, and H.M.S.BROKE became the senior ship in the Flotilla. She was then hit by SMS WESTFALEN. This blast destroyed the bridge, while the ship was in the middle of a turning manoeuvre to bring torpedo tubes to bear on the German ship. She continued to turn and collided with H.M.S.SPARROWHAWK. A young officer of H.M.S.SPARROWHAWK saw the ship approaching fast and was thrown onto the other ship. Now chaos reigned on the collided ships. Both captains assumed they were sinking, and so ordered the crew onto the other ship. Finally, both ships were freed. But just at this moment H.M.S.CONTEST, another destroyer, collided with the stern of the H.M.S.SPARROWHAWK.
Association with Dawlish
William John Hutchings was the second of seven children of Charles Thomas Hutchings, born in Kennford (1860-1942) and Louisa Margaret (Holding), born in Torquay (1862 – 1948).
William J Hutchings married Lilian Elizabeth Ford in 4th quarter 1906.
William and Lilian Hutchings had a son, William John Ford Hutchings (1908 – 1986) and in 1911 mother and son were living at 15 Elm Road, Highweek, Newton Abbot, while William was serving aboard H.M.S. ABOUKIR, an armoured cruiser. (She was living close to her Ford relatives at 11 Commercial Road, Dawlish when her husband was killed.)
|Devon Roll of Honour||HUTCHINGS W. A.B. R.N. (no date or location of death shown)|
Commonwealth War Graves Site
|Next of Kin:||Lilian Hutchings, widow|
|Last Known Address:||11 Commercial Road, Dawlish|
William and Lilian Hutchings with their son(?)
Destroyer in Chilean Navy, class of H.M.S.BROKE
CWGC casualty records
UK RN & RM War Graves Roll
Imperial War Museum podcasthttp://www.iwm.org.uk/history/podcasts/voices-of-the-first-world-war/podcast-22-jutland
FORD family history document, including family photographs.
Master Ford – Petherick File family tree (Ancestry)
Andrews/DaBell/DeLee/Walker/Atkinson family tree (Ancestry)