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2nd October 1917 - The Great War, Day by Day - The Wartime Memories Project

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The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War - Day by Day

2nd October 1917

On this day:

  • 16th Northumberland Fusiliers on the move   The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers move to La Panne.

  • Inspection   9th (North Irish Horse) Btn. Royal Irish Fusiliers. are at Ruyaulcourt. Brigadier-General R.J Kentish D.S.O again visited the Battalion and lunched at the Headquarters Mess. Training etc. carried on as usual.

    2nd Lieutenants W.H Hutchinson, F.J Whalen, H.S Dean and C.B Larter from the North Irish Horse joined the Battalion for duty.

    9th Royal Irish Fusiliers diary WO 95/2505/2

  • HMS Drake   

    HMS Brisk

    Name HMS Brisk, Type Destroyer Operator Royal Navy.
    GRT 790 tons, Country British.
    Built 1910. Builder John Brown & Co., Ltd., Clydebank, Glasgow


    On the 2nd October 1917 she responded to assistance call from HMS Drake and was damaged when she struck a mine laid by U-79 South West of Bull Point, County Antrim (Barrage 171b)causing 32 casualties.

    HMS Brisk was one of the ships sent to assist HMS Drake, which had been torpedoed by U 79 on the 2nd October 1917 .

    John Doran

  • HMS Drake   

    HMS Drake

    HMS Drake was the lead ship of her class of armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy around 1900.

    HMS Drake, named after the Elizabeth adventurer Sir Francis Drake,was laid down at Pembroke Dock on 24 April 1899 and launched on 5 March 1901, when she was christened by Mrs. Lort Phillips, wife of local landowner F. Lort Phillips, of Lawrenny. She was completed on 13 January 1903 and assigned to the Cruiser Squadron of the Channel Fleet, under the command of the future First Sea Lord, Captain Francis Bridgeman.

    John Jellicoe, also a future First Sea Lord and commander of the Grand Fleet, was her next captain in 1903–04. In 1907 the ship was commanded by Captain Arthur Hayes-Sadler and serving as the flagship of the 2nd Cruiser Squadron under the command of Rear Admiral Charles Henry Adair. The following year, Drake became the flagship of 1st Cruiser Squadron of the Channel Fleet and then was assigned to the 5th Cruiser Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet of the Channel Fleet from 1910–11.

    She served as the flagship of the Australia Station from 1911–13 before returning home and joined the 6th Cruiser Squadron of the 2nd Fleet.

    That fleet was merged into the Grand Fleet upon mobilization in mid-1914 and Drake became flagship of Rear Admiral William Grant, commander of the squadron. The squadron was briefly deployed at the beginning of the war to blockade the northern exit from the North Sea.

    The ship was refitted in October 1915 and then transferred to the North America and West Indies Station for convoy escort duties. She participated in the unsuccessful search in the West Indies for the SMS Möwe in December 1916.

    Drake was torpedoed by the German submarine U-79, commanded by Kapitanleutnant Otto Rohrbeck,on 2 October 1917 after her Convoy HH24 had dispersed for its several destinations. The ship was about 5 miles (8.0 km) off Rathlin Island at the tip of Northern Ireland when she was hit. The torpedo struck No. 2 Boiler Room and caused two of her engine rooms and the boiler room to flood, killing 18 crewmen. These gave her a list and knocked out her steam-powered steering. Her captain decided to steam for Church Bay on Rathlin Island and accidentally collided with the merchant ship SS Mendip Range before she dropped anchor. The collision did not damage Drake much, but Mendip Range was forced to beach herself lest she sink. Drake's crew was taken off before she capsized later that afternoon.

    Her wreck at 55°17.1084′N 06°12.5136′WCoordinates: 55°17.1084′N 06°12.5136′W in Church Bay is a favourite site for divers because the wreck is only at a depth between 15–19 metres (49–62 ft) and generally has good visibility. Salvage of the wreck began in 1920 and continued for several years.

    On the night of 3 November 1962, the steam trawler Ella Hewett struck the wreck and subsequently sank almost atop Drake. Ammunition and ordnance was salvaged during the 1970s and the wrecks were demolished with depth charges to reduce the chance of any other ships coming to grief on the wrecks. In 1978, the remaining oil fuel was salvaged to reduce pollution from leaking oil.

    John Doran

  • 2nd Oct 1917 1st West Kents relieve 9th York & Lancs

  • 2nd Oct 1917 Hostile Shelling

  • 2nd Oct 1917 Busy Day

  • 2nd Oct 1917 Tunnel Found

  • 2nd Oct 1917 Training

  • 2nd Oct 1917 Reliefs Completed

  • 2nd Oct 1917 In the Trenches

  • 2nd Oct 1917 Inspection

  • 2nd Oct 1917 On the March

  • 2nd of October 1917 Patrol Fired On

  • 2nd of October 1917 Some shellfire

  • 2nd Oct 1917 Forced Landing

  • 2nd Oct 1917 Reliefs

Can you add to this factual information? Do you know the whereabouts of a unit on a particular day? Do you have a copy of an official war diary entry? Details of an an incident? The loss of a ship? A letter, postcard, photo or any other interesting snipts?

If your information relates only to an individual, eg. enlistment, award of a medal or death, please use this form: Add a story.

Want to know more?

There are:17 articles tagged with this date available in our Library

  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.

Remembering those who died this day.

  • Sgt. Percy Batten. MM and bar Royal West Surrey
  • Spr. T. Binnion. 1st Canadian Tunnelling Coy.
  • Pte. James Logan Freebairn. 9th Australian Machine Gun Coy
  • Pte. Robert Mack. Northumberland Fusiliers 17th Battalion (N.E.R. Pioneers) Read their Story.
  • Gnr. Bert Mason. Royal Garrison Artillery 151st Heavy Bty.
  • Spr. Robert Finlayson McKay. 1st Canadian Tunnelling Coy. Read their Story.
  • L/Cpl. Bertie Miller. Leicestershire Regiment 2nd/5th Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Arthur Edmond Orsler. Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own) 1st Battalion. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Thomas Bateman Thompson. Leicestershire Rgt. 6th Btn., B Coy.
  • Pte. Arthur Wainer. The York & Lancaster Regiment 8th Btn. Read their Story.

    Add a name to this list.

  • Items from the Home Front Archive

    Do you have any letters, photos, postcards, documents or memorabilia from the Great War? We would love to include copies. Please use this form to submit diary entries and letters or photographs for this new Section: add to this archive.

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