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Chris Luckhurst

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Chris Report 12 Mar 2006 19:41

DOUBLE TRAGEDY IN SCAPA FLOW On Monday 9th July 1917, shortly before midnight, a huge explosion rocked the ships anchored in Scapa flow, with the flash of the blast lighting up the sky like day. When the sailors on watch responded with searchlights, HMS Vanguard was gone. 800 of her crew went with her, including two brothers,Clarence Victor Luckhurst (20yo)(RN K/23208) and William Luckhurst (19yo)(RN K/28536) Both stokers 1st class She was an elderly ship, a veteran of the battle of Jutland and although sabotage was suspected, an undetected smouldering fire in a coal bunker(this was I am told quite common) breaking through into a cordite store is thought more likely and was not the only navey ship in the first war to be lost like this. Only three men were rescued one of which died of his wounds soon after. The Luckhurst Brothers are recorded on the chatham Naval memorial. A bouy marks the wreck in Scapa flow which is an official war grave. It is against the rules of this site to post web site addresses, but a search on google will locate the official web site for this ship with a lot more detail and photo's. The boys' parents were Albert and Celia Luckhurst of Sittingbourne. The 1901 census shows them with their eldest brother Albert.j. and their sister Celia Victoria. Albert John Luckhurst senior was born c 1874 at Leeds in Kent. (1901 census) The 1881 census finds him with his Father Henry Js, Mother Amy, and brothers Henry jason, george Albert, Charles Alfred, and his sisters Susannah Louisa, and Elizabeth Alma.All living at Overland, Boughton under Blean. The 1851 census reveals that Henry was living with his family at Dowl st, Little chart. Dowl st farm employed numerous Luckhursts for the whole of the 19th century. Sincere apologies for any mistakes in the above genealogy if anyone spots one.