Richard Turbett

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment:
  • Place of enlistment:
  • Service no: 270690
  • Rank: Chief Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards:
  • Regiment/Service: H.M. Submarine D-3
  • Unit/Ship: Royal Navy
  • Place of Death: Lost at sea, English Channel
  • Age at Death: 36
  • Date of Death: 15.03.1918
  • Burial Country:
  • Cemetery: Chatham Naval Memorial
  • Grave/Mem Ref no: Panel 29

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth:
  • Place of Birth:
  • Address: 30 Springfield, Dundee
  • Occupation:
  • Mother:

    Isobel Turbett, Gateshead

  • Father:

    Alexander Stewart Turbett, Gateshead

  • Siblings:
  • Spouse:

    Sophia Coutts Turbett, 30 Springhill, Dundee

  • Children:

    Gladys, born 15.05.1911

More about Richard Turbett

Richard Turbett was born in Gateshead and was the husband of Mrs Sophia Coutts Turbett of 30 Springhill, Dundee. He worked as a Fitter and Turner when volunteered to join the Royal Navy as an Acting Engine Room Artificer Fourth Class in 1902. After initial Naval training he served on surface ships until 1907 when joined the submarine service and was based for some of this time onboard HMS Vulcan in the River Tay. In December 1912 he was drafted to the newly built cruiser HMS Newcastle and served in this ship until June 1916. During much of this period the Newcastle was based in the Far East and Pacific region. Richard Turbett returned to the submarine service and joined HM Submarine D3 in April 1917. D3 was sunk with all hands in the English Channel on 12 March and not 15 March shown in some records after being attacked in error off Fecamp by a French Airship. Richard Turbett is named on the Chatham Naval Memorial in Kent. His efficiency was assessed as Superior or Exceptional during his career and he was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

Submarine D-3 was mistakenly bombed and sunk by a French Airship AT-O off Fecamp in the English Channel. AT-O was patrolling when at 14:20 a vessel was spotted to her North East. The airship drew close for recognition purposes and according to the submarine Commander Lt William Heriot-Maitland-Dougall identification rockets were fired at her. 4 x 52 kg bombs were dropped by the Airship. The submarine disappeared but several minutes later men were seen in the water. Attempts were made to rescue the men but this proved difficult, the airship withdrew to seek help but the men had drowned by the time it arrived. It would appear that D 3 was the victim of a serious identification error on the part of the airship, with identification rockets being mistaken for aggressive gunfire. A total of 29 submariners died in the attack.

Information supplied by Gary Thomson

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