HALLS, William Charles Edward

No.K/21878, Stoker 1st, William Charles Edward HALLS
Aged 24

H.M.Submarine E-4, Royal Navy
Accident at Sea on Tuesday, 15th August 1916

William Charles Edward Halls was born on 12th October 1891 in Bromley, Kent (BROMLEY Q4-1891 2A:411) son of Edward and Sarah HALLS(née STURMAN).

1901 census...Aged 9, he was at Sycamore Road, Risby with his mother Sarah HALLS [45] born Risby; sisters Lily [4] and Elsie [2] both born in Bromley, Kent. Father was Edward HALLS born 1862 in Drinkstone

1911 census...Aged 19, He was at Church Farm, Hawstead, a farm labourer boarding with George and Alice MULLENGER. Both his parent may well have died.

Naval records show the relative notifed as Aunt, Mrs. SHARMAN(née Sturman), 9, South Street, Risby, Suffolk. No pension card has been found

He enlisted on 28th January 1914 for 12 years giving his date of birth as 12th October 1891, inBromley , Kent, a famr labourer. He was 5 feet 2.25 inches (158.8 cm) tall, chest 37" (94 cm), grey eyes, brown hair.
posted to HMS Pembroke (Training Establishment), then on HMS Commonwealth (battleship) on 23rd June 1914. On 3rd December 1915 he joined HMS Dolphin (shore base at Gosport and Submarine School) and on 7th January 1916 was at HMS Maidstone.( Depot ship for submarines based in Harwich)

Whilst carrying out anti submarine exercises in the North Sea, HMS E-41 acting as a target, had begun a surface passage of 12 knots when HMS E-4's periscope appeared 50 yards off her starboard bow, on a collision course. E-41 stopped her engines but not before E-4 collided forward of the bridge. E-41 began to take in water through the forward battery compartment and began to sink by the bow. In less than two minutes the conning tower was under the water. HMS Firdrake, who had been monitoring the exercise, took less than two minutes to reach the scene of the collision to pick up survivors. There were no survivors from E-4. Both submarines were eventually located, salvaged and returned to service.

St Mary's Shotley (Submarine Enclosure and Memorial)

William Halls is buried in the Submariners Enclosure Shotley (St Mary's) Churchyard

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details