The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War



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Research your Family History.







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HMS Clan McNaughton

HMS Clan McNaughton was a 4985 ton passenger cargo vessel, built in 1911 and requistioned November 1914 from the Clan Line Steamers Ltd, Glasgow, becoming an Armed Merchant Vessel. It is thought that Clan McNaughton foundered in a severe gale off the north coast of Ireland. Last heard from on 3rd February 1915, wreckage was later found in the area and Clan McNaughton was presumed sunk with the 281 strong crew.

There is some speculation that as she had a new crew who were generally unfamiliar with the vessel, and that the armaments added to the deck destabilised her making the McNaughton vulnerable to such severe weather as was found on the day she lost contact.





Wanted: Digital copies of Scrapbooks, Autograph books, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to Britain in the Great War for Life on the Home Front a new feature for the 1914 Centenary.


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  • The Wartime Memories Project is the original WW1 and WW2 commemoration website

    This website has been running for 15 years and receives in excess of a million hits per month. The website and our group will continue long after the 2014-18 events are over. We hope that people will continue to support us by submitting material and stories in addition to submitting to the new websites set up for the anniversary.

  • We are looking for volunteers to help with researching the activities of units of the Territorial Force, Regular Army, Pals Battalions, Kitchener's New Armies, Voluntary Organisations and the Ships of the Royal Navy. We currently have a huge backlog of stories and historical documents which need to be edited or transcribed for display online, if you have a good standard of written English, an interest in the two World Wars and a little time to spare online we would appreciate your help. For more information please see our page on Volunteering.
  • The Wartime Memories Project is run by volunteers and this website is funded by donations from our visitors. If the information here has been helpful or you have enjoyed reaching the stories please conside making a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web. In these difficult times current donations are falling far short of this target.
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Wanted: Great War Newspaper clippings

If you have any news clippings from the Great War, please could you scan them and upload a copy


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Apr 2015

    Please note we currently have a backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 219268, your submission is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.

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Did you know? We also have a section on World War Two. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.


List of those who served on HMS Clan McNaughton during The Great War



Albert Edwin James Richardson HMS Clan McNaughton (d.3rd Feb 1915)

I recently acquired a death plaque circa 1915, bearing the name Albert Edwin James Richardson. Having carried out a brief search on the net I believe he was a Royal Marine serving on HMS Clan McNaughton lost 3 Feb 1915. If there are any surviving descendants I would be pleased to give them the plaque.

Bob Hughes



Marine. William Banks HMS Clan McNaughton. (d.3rd Feb 1915)

My grandmother often told the story of how as a child, she opened a telegram and wandered into the parlour asking her mother Mary Banks, [nee Brady] and her grandmother, "how can they lose all their hands?" Never understanding the significance of her words, yet seeing all too quickly the effect upon her now twice widowed mother. Her stepfather was William Banks, I believe a stoker aboard HMS Clan McNaughton. I have a photo of him in his Naval Uniform taken prior to his marriage to my great Grandmother.

Patricia Donoghue



Col.Sgt. Benjamin Joyce (d.15th Feb 1915)

My grandfather, Ben Joyce, lost his life when HMS Clan McNaughton (a 4985 ton passenger cargo vessel, built in 1911 and requisitioned November 1914 from the Clan Line Steamers Ltd, Glasgow) was last heard of on 3rd February 1915. Wreckage was later found in the area and Clan McNaughton was presumed sunk with the 281 strong crew. He was a colour sergeant in the Royal Marines. He was 39 at the time of his death. I know nothing more about the circumstances of his death.

Barry Joyce



Charles Spall HMS Clan Macnaughton (d.3rd Feb 1915)

Charles Spall was born 16th Sept. 1891 and baptised 4th Oct. 1891 at St. James the Great, Bethnal Green. He was the son of Charles James Spall, a cabinet maker of 55 Fellow Street and Mary Ann Spall nee Edwards who had married in 1888 at St. Thomas, Bethnal Green. Charles James father, James Spall, had also been a cabinet maker. In 1912 Charles Spall married Lilian Pask at St. James the Less, Bethnal Green. Charles was 21 years old, a cabinet maker [3rd generation] of 5 Havelock Place and Lilian was the daughter of Joseph Pask a labourer. Lilian worked in a printing works and her address was 2 Havelock Place. Their marriage took place on 7th April 1912.

When war broke out in 1914 Charles joined the Navy and as a member of the carpenters crew and only two years after his marriage he died along with all the others when the vessel HMS Clan MacNaughton was lost off the coast of Scotland. Charles James Spall not only had to cope with the loss of his son but in 1918 his brother Benjamin Spall also died. Benjamin had signed up on the 15th August 1914. He is shown on the Commonwealth War Graves site as having died on 13th Nov. 1918 aged 45 years of age. He was a L/Corporal in the Northumberland Fusiliers and was buried in Nottingham General Cemetery. Benjamin had married quite late in life. He married Louisa Miller in 1910 in Nottingham and only eight years later Louisa like Lilian was a war widow.

I am not related to Charles Spall but a one name researcher working on the name Spall. This has helped me to realise how WW1 affected the ordinary man and woman, how lives were lost and others spoilt as a result of this terrible war.

Mahala Mehmet






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Can you help us to add to our records?

The names and stories on this website have been submitted by their relatives and friends. If your relations are not listed please add their names so that others can read about them


Did your relative live through the Great War? Do you have any photos, newspaper clippings, postcards or letters from that period? Have you researched the names on your local or war memorial?

If so please let us know.

Do you know the location of a Great War "Roll of Honour?"

We are very keen to track down these often forgotten documents and obtain photographs and transcriptions of the names recorded so that they will be available for all to remember.

Help us to build a database of information on those who served both at home and abroad so that future generations may learn of their sacrifice.




Celebrate your own Family History

Celebrate by honouring members of your family who served in the Great War both in the forces and at home. We love to hear about the soldiers, but also remember the many who served in support roles, nurses, doctors, land army, muntions workers etc.

Please use our Family History resources to find out more about your relatives. Then please send in a short article, with a photo if possible, so that they can be remembered on these pages.





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