Stoker 1st Class 



Royal Navy

Died On:
24 August 1915


According to his naval record, James Carey was born on 6 January 1889 at Aghada, County Cork, however his birth certificate records that he was born two years later, on 6 January 1991. He was the son of Michael and Margaret Carey.

He joined the Royal Navy as a Stoker 2nd Class in January 1908 at Devonport, having been a labourer, and served in the armoured cruiser HMS ABOUKIR where he was advanced to Stoker 1st Class in January 1909. In 1913, he was drafted to HMS EGMONT, the Malta depot ship for destroyers, and from January 1914 to March 1915 he served in the minesweeper HMS GOSSAMER.  He joined HMS DOLPHIN for two weeks at the beginning of April 1915 and then the Sheerness submarine depot ship HMS THAMES.

He was drowned whilst swimming from HMS THAMES in The Swale on 24 August 1915. Newspaper accounts of the subsequent inquest report that a dog watch ‘bathing parade’ was being held when Carey ‘suddenly sank like a log’. Immediate boat assistance and other swimmers diving to find him were unsuccessful, and his body was subsequently recovered from the mud.  A Naval Surgeon reported that Carey had recently undergone a strenuous medical examination for the submarine service and ‘could only account for his collapse by a sudden fainting’.  A verdict of ‘accidentally drowned’ was returned.  There is no indication from his record, or from newspaper reports of the inquest that he had actually served in submarines at the time of his death, but was clearly expecting to do so.

He was buried at Sheerness Naval Cemetery.



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