image from 1917 Suffolk Chronicle & Mercury newspaper


Born: 10th August 1896, Ipswich.

Died: 9th July 1917; age 21; Killed by internal explosion of vessel at Scapa Flow. Served 5 years.

Residence: 55, Kemball Street, Ipswich.

Occupation: Van Boy.

Enlistment Location: Chatham, Kent. Signed up for 12 years on the 10th August 1914. Height: 5ft 3ins, fresh complexion, grey eyes & dark brown hair.



Ganges II – Boy II Class – 11th May 1912 – 7th September 1912

Ganges II – Boy II Class – 8th September 1912

Ganges II – Boy I Class – 2nd October 1912 – 2nd October 1912

Berwick – Boy I – 3rd October 1912 – 9th January 1913

Pembroke I – Boy I Class – 10th January 1913 – 24th January 1913

London – Boy I Class – 25th January 1913 – 13th February 1914

Pembroke I – Boy I Class – 14th February 1914 – 30th March 1914

Vanguard – Boy I Class – 31st March 1914

Vanguard – Ordinary Seaman – 12th June 1914

Vanguard – Able Seaman – 3rd June 1915 – 9th July 1917.


Rank: Able Seaman; Service Number: J.17242 (Ch)

Regiment: Royal Navy, H.M.S. ‘Vanguard’.


Grave Memorial:


Chatham Naval Memorial,




Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Benjamin & Harriet Athroll, of 54, Kemball Street, Ipswich.




1901   4, Grimwade Cottages, Woodbridge Road, Ipswich.

Arthur was 4 years old and living with his parents & siblings.

Benjamin Athroll, 36, a Roadman Labourer, born Playford, Suffolk.

Harriet Athroll (nee Palmer), 42, born Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.

George Herbert Athroll, 12, born Rushmere, Suffolk – died June 1906, 55, Kemball Street, Ipswich.

Alfred John Athroll, 9, born Ipswich.

Lily Marian Athroll, 9, born Rushmere.

Winifred Polly Athroll, 7, born Ipswich.

Ernest William Athroll, 1, born Ipswich.


1911   55, Kemball Street, Ipswich.

Arthur was 14 years old, a Grocer’s Van Boy. He was living with his parents & siblings.

Benjamin, 47, a Roadman Labourer – Borough Council.

Harriet, 42.

Lily, 19, a General Upholsteress.

Winifred, 17, a Dress & Mantle Maker.

Ernest, 11.

Frances Hussleton Athroll, 5, born Ipswich.

H.M.S. ‘Vanguard’:

Ipswich men lost on the Vanguard:

Henry Metcalf
Private RM
age 19

John William Warne
Petty Officer
age 36

William Henry Warne
Boy 1st Class
age 17

Images and information courtesy of Wendy Sadler

Henry Metcalf was my Great Uncle – my Grandmother’s younger brother

We have visited Scapa Flow twice on the anniversaries of the sinking of HMS Vanguard and hope to be going to the Centenary commemorations this year.

Centenary commemorations

It was attended by 40 descendants of the Vanguard crew, along with the civil diving team that carried out exclusive surveying of the wreckage, as well as taking some amazing photos and videos.
We were also supported by local historians who have done an amazing job tracing many descendants as well as helping to organise the event along side the Royal Navy, RNLI, the Navy Chaplain, Orkney Council and some crew members of the current HMS Submarine that carries the Vanguard name, who provided an outstanding honorary guard the whole weekend.
The service included a laying of personal wreaths at the Vanguard Buoy in Scapa Flow, then a visit to the War Cemetery on Hoy island.

It finished with an emotional night time service in St Magnus Cathedral at exactly the same time the explosion occurred on the Battleship -11:20pm.  A 2 minute silence was observed, and then the descendants were given the opportunity to view the Book of Commemoration and the Ensign flag that has been attached to the Vanguard, underwater, since 2009.


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