Able Seaman Joseph Hill is remembered on Waltham, (Lincolnshire), War Memorial. He was one of H.M.S. 'Sparrowhawk’s' six casualties during the Battle of Jutland. Can anyone advise me on the official or recognised sequence of events leading to Sparrowhawk’s loss or point me to a source?
Of all the accounts I’ve read it is not clear to me if her steering gear loss was due to the collision with Brock or through enemy action. Nor is it clear how the six casualties lost their lives, was it through enemy action, collision, or when abandoning ship?
Any help to clarify this would be much appreciated.
At about 0040 on 1st June the 4th Flotilla, led by the BROKE, came under fire from the battleships WESTFALEN and RHEINLAND and the light cruiser ROSTOCK. After the BROKE had been damaged and executed an involuntary turn to port striking SPARROWHAWK, the latter was then rammed by the CONTEST, losing her stern and jamming her rudder at hard-a-port. BROKE managed to extricate herself and SPARROWHAWK drifted away to the north-west. Efforts were made to steer the ship with her engines but failed due to the jammed rudder. At about 0430 she came accross a raft carrying survivors of the TIPPERARY. These were taken on board. The bows of the ship then broke off (a result of the collision damage with the BROKE). Shortly afterwards the light cruiser DUBLIN and the destroyers MARKSMAN and others hove in sight. The MARKSMAN took off most of the crew and tried to take the wreck of the SPARROWHAWK in tow but the attempt had to be abandoned after several hours because of a rising sea. At 0945 Admiral Burney arrived in the REVENGE with his division of battleships and ordered that SPARROWHAWK be sunk by gunfire.