Lieutenant Commander 

Clement Gordon Wakefield 


Royal Navy

Died On:
1 December 1914


Clement Head was born in 1885, the son of John Joshua and Charlotte Eliza Frances Head of ‘Highlands’, Seaford, Sussex.  He joined the Royal Navy as a Cadet in 1899.

He was ‘Mentioned in Despatches’ in 1902 when he was serving in the cruiser HMS CHARYBDIS on the North Atlantic and West Indies Station. An appointment to the battleship HMS CANOPUS followed in 1905.

Clement Head joined submarines in 1906 with an appointment to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS THAMES ‘for Training in Submarines’ and was later to the Depot Ship HMS FORTH ‘for Submarines’. He was promoted to Lieutenant and appointed to the Depot Ship HMS MERCURY for ‘Submarine A6 in Command’.  In 1909 he took command of HMS B5 and a year later HMS C10. This was followed, in 1911, by an appointment to HMS MERCURY at Portsmouth ‘for Submarine C32 in Command’.

He qualified as a pilot in 1912 being awarded a Royal Aero Club Certificate.  He attended the Central Flying School ‘for the Naval Wing’. He applied to join the Royal Flying Corps but his request was withdrawn in 1913.

He then returned to the Surface Fleet for his ‘Big Ship’ time with an appointment to the battleship HMS CONQUEROR.  He was promoted Lieutenant Commander in 1914 and his next submarine appointment was to the Depot Ship HMS MAIDSTONE ‘for Submarines’. It is likely that Clement Head was waiting for command of a submarine and was effectively a ‘Spare Crew’ Commanding Officer when he was appointed to HMS D2 ‘in Command’ in place of Arthur Jameson (q.v).

On 24 November 1914 HMS D2 sailed again for a patrol of the German Coast. The Submarine did not return from patrol and was lost with all hands. It is believed that D2 was trapped in shallow water off the Ems Estuary and was destroyed by German Patrol Craft.

Clement Head is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval War Memorial, Panel No. 1.


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