Private 123997 Charles Clamp
Died at Sea, Bristol Channel, 26th February 1918, aged 31. HMHS Glenart Castle was torpedoed
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Military, Census and Family History Information
On 26 February 1918, Glenart Castle was leaving Newport, South Wales heading towards Brest, France. Fishermen in the [Bristol Channel] saw her clearly lit up as a hospital ship. John Hill — a fisherman on Swansea Castle — remembered "I saw the Hospital Ship with green lights all around her - around the saloon. She had her red side lights showing and mast-head light, and also another red light which I suppose was the Red Cross light." At 04:00, Glenart Castle was hit by a torpedo in the No. 3 hold. The blast destroyed most of the lifeboats, while the subsequent pitch of the vessel hindered attempts to launch the remaining boats. In the eight minutes the ship took to sink, only seven lifeboats were launched. Rough seas and inexperienced rowers swamped most of the boats. Only 32 survivors were reported.
Evidence was found suggesting that the submarine may have shot at initial survivors of the sinking in an effort to cover up the sinking of Glenart Castle. The body of a junior officer of Glenart Castle was recovered from the water close to the position of the sinking. It was marked with two gunshot wounds, one in the neck and the other in the thigh. The body also had a life vest indicating he was shot while in the water.