First World War memorial to three crewmen of HMS E30 who died in 1916, and a crewman of HMS Trident who died in the same year.
Reasons for Designation
The Blyth Submariners’ War Memorial, which stands in Blyth Cemetery, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on this local community, and the sacrifice it has made in the First World War;
* Architectural interest: an unusual variant of the broken column type of grave marker, using a broken mast and nautical symbols appropriate to the commemorated men.
HMS E30, a British E-class submarine built by Armstrong Whitworth, was commissioned in November 1915. E30 had a complement of 30 crew members. They all died when the submarine hit a mine and sank off Orfordness, Suffolk, on 22 November 1916.
Three of the submariners serving on HMS E30, Petty Officer Telegraphist Robert Larcombe, Able Seaman Edward Howard and Stoker First Class John Smith, had however died at sea in an accidental explosion on 7 April 1916 and were buried in Blyth Cemetery. A fourth sailor, Petty Officer Stoker George Lyons serving on HMS Trident, a Talisman-class destroyer, who died on 29 April 1916 shortly after the vessel was completed, was also buried in the cemetery. Lyons had drowned having fallen in an accident at Blyth dock, trying to board his ship. The memorial was purchased and erected by their shipmates.
The memorial stands in the north-eastern part of Blyth Cemetery, consistent with the traditional practice of burying shipwrecked sailors in the northern side of a burial ground. The stone monument comprises a broken ship’s mast rising from a rocky plinth. The plinth, raised on a two-stepped base, is ornamented with a lifebuoy and anchor carved in relief, and with a rope twisting around the mast. At the base of the mast is inscribed SACRED/ TO THE/ MEMORY/ OF.
On the face of the plinth below, the dedication continues with THEY THAT GO DOWN/ TO THE SEA IN SHIPS/ AND OCCUPY THEIR/ BUSINESS IN GREAT/ WATERS, THESE MEN SEE/ THE WORKS OF THE LORD/ AND HIS WONDERS IN/ THE DEEP. PSALM 107 V 23. Below this is a carving depicting a submarine on the surface of the ocean. The details of the three submariners from HMS E30 and the sailor from HMS Trident are recorded on the top step of the base. George Lyons’ date of death, followed by ERECTED BY THEIR SHIPMATES is inscribed on the bottom step.
This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 9 February 2017.