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The Tathams of County Durham
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William Inglis  Tatham

William Inglis Tatham

Male 1897 - 1916  (19 years)


  • Name William Inglis Tatham  [1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Known as "Boy" 
    Birth 21 Jun 1897  Pietermaritzburg, Natal Find all individuals with events at this location   [1, 3, 5
    Residence Aug 1897  Pietermaritzburg, Natal Find all individuals with events at this location   [5
    Baptism 07 Aug 1897  St Saviour, Pietermaritzburg, Natal Find all individuals with events at this location   [5
    • Sponsors: Susan Whitaker Tatham [Susan Noon, grandmother], Cecil Molyneux [mother's family], Basil Tatham [uncle]
    William Inglis Tatham (1897-1916)
    William Inglis Tatham (1897-1916)
    Baptism register
    Military Service 1914 - 1916  Royal Navy  [2, 3
    • Midshipman, HMS Euryalus;
      Sub-Lieutenant, Submarine H3.
    William Inglis Tatham (1897-1916)
    William Inglis Tatham (1897-1916)
    Royal Navy Service Record
    William Inglis Tatham (1897-1916)
    William Inglis Tatham (1897-1916)
    Death 15 Jul 1916  At sea, in Bay of Kotor, Montenegro Find all individuals with events at this location ; Cause: Died whilst on active service  [2, 3
    • South Adriatic
    • At sea, about July 15, 1916, Midshipman (Acting Sub-Lieut.) William Inglis Tatham, R.N. ("Boy"), dear son of Lieut.-Col. F. S. Tatham, K.C., and Ada S. Tatham, of Pietermaritzburg, Natal, aged 19. [The Times]
    Notes 
    • William Inglis Tatham, b. 21 June, 1897, at Pietermaritzburg. Sub-Lieutenant, R.N. From the commencement of the War, 4 Aug., 1914, he served as Midshipman in H.M.S. "Euryalus" in the North Sea, and then off Smyrna, where he had charge of a gun. He took part in the landing of the troops at Gallipoli and served on shore. He then served in Sub-marine H3, in which, while patrolling off the South Adriatic Coast, he was lost, with all aboard, July 15, 1916, three days before his brother was killed at Delville Wood. His Captain "could not say enough for him as an officer and as a companion, and he would very shortly have become the youngest second in command in the Navy. I considered him altogether exceptional. He had a sense of responsibility quite remarkable at his age, and with a knowledge of his own worth was so utterly unspoilt and absolutely fearless." [Curtis]
    • Sub-Lieutenant William Inglis Tatham, Royal Navy: Tatham was the son of Lieutenant-Colonel The Hon. F S Tatham, DSO, and Ada Susan Tatham, of Parkside, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, the Tathams being a well known Natal and South African family. William Tatham was born in Natal and entered the Royal Navy on the nomination of the Government of South Africa. He was assigned to HM Submarine H3, an H-Class submarine. The Royal Navy's H-Class submarines were Holland 602 type submarines and were built between 1915 and 1919 in response to the German mine-laying operations that were taking such a toll of Britain's merchant ships. Although cramped and lacking a deck-gun, the H-Class submarine was, as strange as it would seem, very popular among submariners. They operated all around the British isles and as far distant as the Adriatic Sea. Tatham's submarine, the H3 was built by the Canadian Vickers Company in Montreal, being laid down on the 11 January 1915 and commissioned shortly thereafter on the 3 June 1915. Following her commissioning the H3, together with her sister ships, the H1, H2 and H4, crossed the Atlantic from St. John's in Newfoundland to Gibraltar, the submarines having been escorted by the armed merchant cruiser, Calgarian. She later found herself in Adriatic waters and that is where she succumbed on the 15 July 1916, having struck a mine in the gulf of Cattaro, taking 19 year-old Sub-Lieutenant Tatham with her, Tatham possibly being the very first South African submariner to lose his life. Tatham's name appears on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, memorial panel 11. [Guardians of the Deep: A list of 14 South African Submariners (1916-2009), by Ross Dix-Peek. website accessed 15 Jan 2010]
    Person ID I0807  Tatham | Heathcote branch | Descendant - male line
    Last Modified 06 May 2012 

    Father Frederick Spence Tatham,   b. 15 Apr 1865, Pietermaritzburg, Natal Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Nov 1934, Pietermaritzburg, Natal Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years) 
    Mother Ada Susan Molyneux,   b. Jan 1865, Burton-on-Trent Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Nov 1950, Pietermaritzburg, Natal Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 85 years) 
    Marriage 20 Apr 1887  St Saviour, Pietermaritzburg, Natal Find all individuals with events at this location   [3, 6
    Frederick Spence Tatham & Ada Susan Molyneux
    Frederick Spence Tatham & Ada Susan Molyneux
    Marriage register
    Family ID F0261  Family Group Sheet

  • Event Map Click to display
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 21 Jun 1897 - Pietermaritzburg, Natal Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - Aug 1897 - Pietermaritzburg, Natal Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBaptism - 07 Aug 1897 - St Saviour, Pietermaritzburg, Natal Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDeath - Cause: Died whilst on active service - 15 Jul 1916 - At sea, in Bay of Kotor, Montenegro Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : Town/District       : County/Region       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S10] Tatham Family in South Africa, by Gill Tatham.

    2. [S05] The Times, death notice, 26 Jul 1916.

    3. [S04] H Curtis: Notes for a Pedigree of the Tathams of Co. Durham.

    4. [S06] Parish Registers, baptisms, St Saviour, Pietermaritzburg, 07 Aug 1897.
      index entry

    5. [S06] Parish Registers, baptisms, St Saviour, Pietermaritzburg, 07 Aug 1897.
      b 21 Jun 1897

    6. [S06] Parish Registers, marriages, St Saviour, Pietermaritzburg, 20 Apr 1887.
      index entry