Members may like to take a look at HMS Aboukir - HMS Cressy - HMS Hogue - and there is a very dramatic account of the naval action which resulted in their loss, which reinforces the need to have these ships designated War Graves for all the 1,459 British Sailors lost that day :-
" In late September 1914, the Royal Navy experienced their first contact with a new form of naval warfare. It was a shock which brought home the vulnerability of surface warships to an invisible underwater enemy.
On September 22, three armoured cruisers, HMS Aboukir, Hogue and Cressy, were sunk in the North Sea by a solitary German submarine U9 commanded by Otto Weddigen.
Aboukir, Hogue and Cressy were pre-dreadnought ships whose design and construction dated from 1898 - 1902. They were three of the four Cressy or Bacchante class ships which made up the 7th Cruiser Squadron, stationed at the Nore under Rear-Admiral Henry Campbell.
At dawn on September 22, the three elderly cruisers were deployed in regular order, steaming at a dangerously low speed of under 10 knots, in an area sandwiched between the Dutch coast and a German minefield, without escort and almost on the enemy's doorstep. The only other principal in the drama, the U9, had yet to appear.
In common with the adversaries she was soon to meet, the U9 was not a modern craft. Her surface propulsion was by Korting diesel engines, underwater propulsion was by electric motors whose batteries needed constant recharging.
For armament she had 4 torpedo tubes of 17.7 inches, 2 at the bow, and 2 at the stern, and one 2-inch deck gun. The bow tubes had reloads, giving the U9 a total of 6 torpedoes.
Under the command of Leutnant Otto Weddingen, the U9 sailed from Kiel on September 20, her destination was the Flanders Bight, where she was to try to prevent landings by British troops on the Belgian coast during the Battle of the Marne. On the voyage south, her gyro compass proved to be faulty and, unable to navigate precisely, Weddigen found himself off the Dutch coast, some 50 miles from his destination, on the night of September 21.
At dawn on September 22 Leutnant Weddigen surfaced the U9 in order to recharge her batteries. Visibility was good and Weddigen soon saw the masts of the three cruisers to the south of him. The U-boat's heavy-oil engines were making a lot of smoke, so Weddigen dived immediately without completing the recharging of the batteries. Once submerged Weddigen could see the cruisers were without a destroyer screen and were approaching at a steady course of about 9 knots in a line abreast, 2 miles apart.
At 0620 hours he fired only a single bow torpedo at the Aboukir from a range of 500 yards on her starboard side, and she began to sink. The Aboukir's Captain thought he had struck a mine, and signalled to the Cressy and Hogue to close in, but to keep ahead of him. The Captains of the 2 other cruisers complied with the Aboukir's signal and stopped their ships to pick up survivors.
The U9 had dived deep after firing her first torpedo to reload the torpedo tube and now returned to periscope depth. The U-boat Commander saw the Aboukir was going down, and the other 2 ships standing by. At 0655 he fired both bow torpedoes at the stationary Hogue, from a range of only 300 yards. Both torpedoes hit and the U9 was so close to her target that she had to manoeuvre to avoid a collision.
The Hogue was doomed, and one of her Officers recalls " Within three minutes of the first torpedo hitting, the list had increased to about 40 degrees, and realising that her end was very near all hands began tearing off their clothes and crawling down the high side or jumped overboard to leeward. To add to the confusion the stokehold crowd suddenly poured on deck, their blackened faces dripping sweat and tense with apprehension. It was now a case of everyman for himself, and tearing off my boots and clothing and then fastening to my wrist by its chain my gold watch, which I greatly prized, I walked down the sloping deck into the water and struck out for dear life ".
Undeterred by any British counterattack, Weddigen recklessly surfaced to acertain whether the Cressy was stationary or still moving, and found her stopped with her boats away picking up survivors from her two sister ships.
The U-boat's batteries were almost exhausted by now, but she still had the 2 stern torpedoes and a single reload left for a bow torpedo. The U9 submerged and manoeuvred for a stern shot but her periscope was spotted by the Cressy just before she fired. The Cressy's captain ordered full speed ahead, but one of the torpedoes hit and stopped her. The U9 turned again and with a bow shot sank the Cressy. The U-boat then disengaged and surfaced north of the action to recharge her batteries.
In the distance the victims were struggling for their survival, seen by one of their numbers as " Two thousand swimming or drowning men all herded together, hardly with elbow room. Strong swimmers were dragged under in the frenzied clutches of weak swimmers or men who could not swim at all. Their cries were full-throated at first, but they gradually subsided into a low wailing chant ".
The total complement for the 3 ships was about 2,200 men. Of these, 62 Officers and 1,397 men were lost.
Leutnant Weddigen was awarded the Iron Cross for the action ".