T. G. Barnes
Apprentice, Mercantile Marine, S.S. “Belgian Prince” (Newcastle)
Died age 17 on 31 July 1917
Son of Ernest Henry and Alice Barnes, of 44, Kay Rd., Stockwell, London.
Remembered at Tower Hill Memorial, London EC3 and Stockwell War Memorial, London SW9
SS Belgian Prince
MaritimeQuest has an account of the shocking fate of the crew of the SS Belgian Prince, a cargo ship built in 1901, which was attacked by a U-boat on 31 July 1917. The crew were ordered to stand on the top of the submarine, which then dived, drowning all but three.
The following is an article published in the Melbourne Argus (Australia), on Tuesday 7 August 1917:
S.S. Belgian Prince Crime.
The British Admiralty confirms the story told by the few survivors of the British steamer Belgian Prince of the hideous cruelty of the submarine crew that destroyed their vessel.
The Belgian Prince was torpedoed on July 31, and the crew abandoned her in two boats, which the Germans smashed with axes. They deprived the crew of their lifebelts and left the men on the deck of the submarine, taking the captain below. Then the submarine was submerged without warning while 43 men were standing on the deck. All were drowned except three, who had secretly retained their lifebelts. They were picked up later, having been in the water for 11 hours.
The Admiralty’s account concludes: ‘”The men’s affidavits support the story of the details of this atrocious outrage. It was a cold-blooded murder equalling, if not transcending, the worst crimes that our enemies have committed against humanity.”
Information from the 1911 census
In 1911 Theodore Grace Barnes was 11 and living with his family in three rooms at 44 Kay Road, Stockwell, London SW9. His father, Ernest Henry Barnes, 50, was a compositor, born in St Peter Park, compositor. Alice Barnes, 46, was from Camberwell. They had five children, all born in Stockwell:
Thomas Barnes, 15, a boot clicker
Frederick Barnes, 14, an electrical engineer
Theodore Barnes, 11
William Barnes, 9,
Alice Barnes, 5