Stoker Petty Officer  



Royal Navy

Died On:
8 April 1916


James Hatchard was born on 25 March 1870 at Corfe Castle, Dorset, the second of seven children of John Hatchard, a carpenter and coal merchant, and his wife Mary Ann (née Mincham).  He was baptised on 3 July 1870.

Having previously been a clay miner, he joined the Royal Navy as a Stoker 2nd Class at Portsmouth in September 1894, giving his date of birth as 25 March 1872. He served in a wide range of surface vessels including the armoured cruiser HMS NARCISSUS, the Coast Guard pre-dreadnought HMS REVENGE, and the new pre-dreadnought battleship HMS VENGEANCE, employed on the China Station from 1902 to 1905.

His first contact with submarines appears in 1905 when he was drafted to the submarine depot ship HMS THAMES as a newly promoted Leading Stoker, followed by FORTH, where he was rated Stoker Petty Officer in July 1906 and then MERCURY. His record does not indicate if he actually served in submarines during this period.  From October 1910 to January 1912 he was with destroyer depot ship HMS BLENHEIM in the Mediterranean, then in the protected cruiser VENUS, before moving to the destroyer depot ship HMS WOOLWICH.  In January 1914 he was drafted to HMS DOLPHIN.  From September 1914 he was serving in HMS C17 attached to the Fourth Submarine Flotilla based on HMS ARROGANT at Dover. Further drafts were between ARROGANT, DOLPHIN and MAIDSTONE, but with no indication of submarines served in.

James Hatchard died on 8 April 1916 “from heart failure after syncopal attack whilst on passage from Gunwharf to HMS DOLPHIN”.  He is buried at Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery.  His youngest brother, Leading Stoker William Hatchard, had been killed when HMS BULWARK exploded and sank in November 1914.  Both brothers are commemorated on Corfe Castle War Memorial.



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