Lancaster was overwhelmingly an army town. We know of 967 deaths from the army compared to 18 from the Royal Navy and seven Royal Marines. Nine Lancastrians from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines were killed in 1916. Predictably, some them were killed at the Battle of Jutland on the 31st May, the major naval battle of the war. Less predictably,other were killed at the Battle of the Somme far from the sea and naval warfare. Because the war was so overwhelmingly an army conflict, naval and marine reservists who were not required for naval duty were formed into the Royal Navy Division, an infantry unit. This division fought in a number of battles, including the Somme.
Lancaster casualties at the Battle of Jutland, 31st May 1916:
- Edward Glen, aged 18 from 62 Windermere Rd, Freehold. He was killed on HMS Invincible, a battle cruiser that sank in less than 90 seconds when her magazine exploded after being hit by a shell. 1,026 of its crew were killed, only six survived.
- George McCarton (aka McCarten), aged 39 his mother lived at 1 Gordon Villas. He was also on HMS Invincible. His cousin had been killed in Flanders a year before fighting with the 4th Bn., King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.
- Edwin Taylor, lived at 28 Havelock St, Bowerham. He was killed on HMS Barham, a battleship that was hit six times at Jutland killing 26 and wounding 46. She was repaired and was finally sunk by a U-Boat in the Mediterranean during WW2.
- David Wilson, aged 41 from 65 Blades St. He was killed on HMS Indefatigable, a battle cruiser that was sunk at Jutland. Only two of her 1,019 crew survived.
Lancaster casualties from the Royal Naval Division on the Somme:
All three were killed on the same day, the 13th November, probably at the Battle of Ancre on the Somme.
- James Huxtable, 50 Salisbury Rd who served with Hawke Bn. His brother Harry had been killed about six weeks earlier on 30th September, also on the Somme.
- Edmund Langstreth, aged 28 who lived at Temple Villa Lancaster. He served with Nelson Bn.
- Joseph Uthanks (aka Unthanks), aged 21 from 78 Dorrington Rd, Greaves. He served with the Royal Marine Light Infantry.
Other Lancastrian Naval and Marine casualties:
- Robert Shorrocks, aged 25 of 45 Green St. He was killed 4th August on HMS Cleopatra when it struck a mine off the coast of Belgium. The ship was not badly damaged. His brother Richard had emigrated to Canada and was killed about six weeks earlier on the 19th June, fighting with the Canadian Infantry near Ypres.
- Horrace Mellor, aged 22 of ‘Craignish’, 64 Dallas Rd. He was lost on submarine E37 on 3rd December when it sank with the loss of all hands. The reasons for the sinking are unknown, the submarine had been built in Barrow in 1915.