Every Name A Story Content

Sadler, R.H., Trimmer 1914

Robert Henry Sadler

Shields Gazette Unknown Date

Sadler Family with Robert on the Left

Official Naval War Dairy Vol 1

Map Showing Enemy Minefields

Private Publication in Jims Possesion

Robert Henry Sadler

M S Albatross German Mine Layer

On the Chatham Naval Memorial is the name of 92TS, Trimmer, Robert Henry Sadler, Royal Navy Reserve who died 27th August 1914.

Note CWGC has 22nd September 1914.

Robert Henry Sadler was born at North Shields on the 10th September 1885, eldest son of John H. and Annie Sadler of 36 Heugh Street, South Shields.

He was married to Elizabeth Y. Sadler (nee Stephenson), and resided at 18 Wellington Place, South Shields. He was a fisherman by trade. Sibling of George S., Mary, Elizabeth, Alice and Cecilia C. Saddler.

Robert was a Trimmer on the H.M.T. Thomas W. Irvin, no 61, a mine sweeping Trawler requisitioned by the Admiralty. His trawler was one of four minesweepers under command of Commander R. W. Dalgety Royal Navy (Retired), Tyne Minesweeping Base.

Left harbour around 05.30am to sweep the area, twenty-eight miles off the mouth of the River Tyne. Seven mines swept and destroyed in the afternoon. Preparing to connect up another sweep at 16.25pm detonated a mine, broke up and sank quickly (wi - in 55.01N, 01.22.45W); 3 ratings lost. [The other ratings were Millward, Henry W., Deck Hand, Trawler Section, RNR, DA 365 and Norris, George C., Deck Hand, Trawler Section, RNR, DA 207].

Thomas W. Irvin, 201/1911, R Irvin & Sons, was an Aberdeen-registered A421, [A.387 was the correct Aberdeen registration A.421 was the later trawler requisitioned], hired on the 8th August as a minesweeper, unarmed, Admiralty No.61, Skipper Henry Charles Thompson Royal Naval Reserve.

Naval Diary entry for the 27th August 1914.

"Two Admiralty trawlers (and a fishing drifter) mined in Tyne field laid by German Albatros, escorted by Stuttgart."

De Ruvigny Roll of Honour

Source:- Newcastle Journal Saturday, 29th August 1914 carried a report under the heading Sea Mines.

"Herring Drifter sunk in the North Sea.

The area of the minefield, so dangerous to mercantile shipping and the fleet of fishing craft now engaged in the herring fishery, must not be indicated, the official order being that. 'in the case of the sinking of trading vessels or trawlers by enemy mines, no position, bearings, or distance shall be given.'

News of a sixth shipping disaster, due to the presence of mines in the North Sea, and reported in the Tyne, was brought to the North Shields Fish Market yesterday, the number of victims being raised to the total of 25.

When the Lowestoft drifter 'Hastings Castle' arrived from the fishing grounds, the master reported that he had been 'spoken to' the previous night by the Hall trawler 'St Clair' which had on board four survivors of the crew of the Buckie steam herring drifter 'Barley Rig'. That vessel, it was stated, had been destroyed by a mine during the day, five lives having been lost. The report was confirmed yesterday afternoon by the arrival at Grimsby of the 'St Clair', where she had landed the four survivors, and also a dead fisherman.

Appended is a list of the vessels destroyed the number of lives lost, etc:-

Skule Forfgeti, Iceland trawler-four lives lost; 13 men saved (two injured and in hospital).

Gottfried, Norwegian steamer-eight lost; four saved (two slightly injured).

T.W. Irvin, Shields trawler, and Crathie, Aberdeen trawler-five lost; 19 saved (eight injured and in hospital).

Gaea? Danish schooner-three lost, four saved (This ship was described by the Press Bureau as Eas).

Barley Rig, Scotch drifter, five lost; four saved.

The following is a list of those killed or drowned in the destruction of the T.W. Irvin and Crathie; Henry W Millward, deckhand, 5 Tennyson Terrace, North Shields.Robert H. Sadler, trimmer, 18 Wellington Place, South Shields. George C. Norris, 15 Hudson Street, North Shields. Francis G. Dunbar, deckhand, Aberdeen. Thomas Noble Aberdeen. The three Shields men were married, and Sadler leaves one child."

Source:- "Shields Daily News 7th September 1914: Deaths. Sadler - Lost of the T.W. Irvin, on August 27th, aged 29 years, Robert Henry Sadler, the dearly beloved husband of Elizabeth Y. Sadler, of 18 Wellington Place, South Shields, and the eldest son of Henry and Annie Sadler. - Deeply mourned.

Robert Henry Sadler is featured in A Corner of England, The Lawe Top, South Shields, Remembrance Day, November 11th 2001. Private publication booklet.

Footnote: Robert Henry Sadler may have been the earliest casualty from South Shields to be killed in WW1.

Robert Henry Sadler is remembered in South Shields on S86.025 and S86.124 on our List of Ships’ crews

Eye Witness account.
Royal Navy History
The CWGC entry for Tmr Sadler

Newcastle Journal Sea Mines 29th August 1914

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk