BORN SYRACUSE, NEBRASKA, USA, 20/02/1885. SON OF THOMAS SUGDEN (1849-1922) AND ALICE AGNES JOHNSON (1852-1894). SON OF A SEA CAPTAIN. HIS PARENTS MOVED TO AMERICA, IN THE 1880’S, AND RETURNED TO ENGLAND. HE JOINED THE ROYAL NAVY ON 10/10/1901. TRAINED AT CHATHAM. HE LIVED IN SKIPTON AND BRADFORD. MARRIED LILY FLOWERS, AT GOLCAR, YORKS, ON 15/01/1910. SERVED AS AN ABLE SEAMAN. HIS WIFE LILY SUGDEN, LIVED AT 48 KIMBERLEY STREET, HULL (CWGC ADDRESS). HE WAS LOST AT SEA, ON 17/10/1917, AGED 32. HE LEFT £72 IN HIS WILL TO HIS WIDOW, LILY.
HMS Mary Rose, British, M class Destroyer. Whilst escorting a convoy from Norway they were attacked by the German cruisers Brummer and Bremse in the North Sea. The German cruisers went on to sink nine of the twelve ships in the convoy. GERMAN CRUISERS ATTACK CONVOY On the afternoon of the 16/10/1917, HMS Mary Rose (C.L. Fox) left Marsten with twelve merchantmen, 2 British (Benelench), 1 Belgian, 2 Danish (Margrethe, Stella), 5 Norwegian (Dagbjørg, Habil, Silja, Sørhaug, Kristine) and 3 Swedish (Visbur, H. Wicander), and 2 armed trawlers in convoy bound for Shetland, joined later by HMS Strongbow (Edward Brooke). At 0600 hours the following morning at 60 deg 6 min N, 1 deg 6 min E, HMS Strongbow sighted two German cruisers, the Bremse and the Brummer in poor visibility and mistook them for British cruisers. The Brummer had closed to within 3000 yards and opened up with devastating fire, knocking out Strongbow’s main steampipe and wireless. Many of the hands below were scalded to death, those on deck were struck down by well directed fire. Just before this the Strongbow had been attempting to transmit a warning but the German cruisers jammed the signal. The wireless office and the bridge were wrecked by shells, the Captain badly wounded and the Quartermaster killed. Lieutenant-Commander Brooke was hit in the leg by a shell splinter, but continued in command, not allowing anybody to attempt to leave the ship until he was absolutely certain that every confidential book and paper had been destroyed. He commanded that the ship should be sunk. The Strongbow was abandoned and sank at about 0930 hours with the loss of 47 Officers and men, after the German ships had made three separate attacks against her. The German ships then turned their attention to the merchantmen and quickly sank 4 of them. The Mary Rose had heard the firing astern of her and closed in to fight against desperate odds. Lieutenant-Commander Fox had no idea that the convoy was being attacked by anything other than a submarine. A few moments later he sighed the German cruisers and grasped the real position. Without a moments hesitation he approached the enemy at high speed, and at about twenty minutes past six the gunners opened fire at a distance which was estimated at between 6000 and 7000 yards. When at a distance of about 2000 yards from the enemy Lieutenant-Commander Fox put the helm hard over, and the German gunners got the range as the Mary Rose was on the turn. After that the end came quickly. She sank in a very short time taking with her most of her compliment of 88 Officers and ratings, including Lt. Cdr. Fox, who was last seen swimming in the water just before the Mary Rose went down. A few survivors with one Officer, Sub Lt. Freeman managed to escape on a raft. The Germans subjected all the boats and rafts to an indiscriminate shelling whereby many persons lost their lives, although this was disputed in later reports. The captain of the armed trawler Elise contrived to keep his ship out of the fire of the German cruisers, and returned to the scene of the disaster as soon as he could, where he picked up a number of survivors, amongst them Lieutenant-Commander Brooke and the party from the Strongbow. Sub-Lieutenant Freeman and the men from the Mary Rose reached the Norwegian coast near Bergen, where the lighthouse keepers took them in and fed them and attended to their injuries. Altogether about 250 lives were lost in this. Only ten men from the Mary Rose and forty five from the Strongbow survived including her Commanding Officer, Lt Cdr Brooke who died of pneumonia some twelve months later. In addition to the Elise, the trawler P. Fannon and three other steamships managed to escape. Nine of the convoy ships perished. There were strong British forces at sea in the area but as no word of the action was received until 1550 hours on the 17th, they were not in a position to intercept the Bremse and the Brummer and they returned to their home port in safety. Read more at wrecksite: https://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?10761