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First Writer 347124 Harry Goodger

HMS Princess Irene, an Auxillary Mine  Royal Navy
Died in Explosion Onboard Ship, off Sheerness, Kent, 27th May 1915, aged 30

  • Buried: Gillingham Woodlands Cemetery, Kent. Grave Naval.20.1028S
  • Awarded 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals
  • Son of George and Emma Goodger of Dunton, Curdworth
  • NNWFHS Memorial: Curdworth

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Military, Census and Family History Information

  • Born 15 Apr 1885 in Dudley (Roseville)
  • Employed as a Pupil Teacher [1904]
  • Enlisted 2 Nov 1904
  • First Served on HMS Firequeen and on 15 ships in total [See Image Above]
  • A First Writer was an Accountant with the rank eqvilalent to a Petty Officer [See Image Above]

    The Loss of HMS Princess Irene
    In May 1915, HMS Princess Irene was moored in Saltpan Reach, on the Medway Estuary in Kent between Port Victoria and Sheerness, being loaded with mines in preparation for deployment on a minelaying mission. At 11:14 GMT on 27 May, Princess Irene exploded and disintegrated. A column of flame 300 feet (100 m) high was followed a few seconds later by another of similar height and a pall of smoke hung over the spot where Princess Irene had been,[5] reaching to 1,200 feet (400 m).[6] Two barges laying alongside her were also destroyed. The explosion was larger than that which had destroyed HMS Bulwark in the Medway six months earlier, although the loss of life was less. A total of 352 people were killed, including 273 officers and men, and 76 dockyard workers who were on board Princess Irene. On the Isle of Grain a girl of nine was killed by flying débris, and a farmhand died of shock.

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