John Reioch Keith Wilson

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment:
  • Place of enlistment:
  • Service no: 168866
  • Rank: Stoker 1st Class
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards:
  • Regiment/Service: H.M.S. Bulwark
  • Unit/Ship: Royal Navy
  • Place of Death: Lost at Sea
  • Age at Death: 42
  • Date of Death: 26.11.1914
  • Burial Country:
  • Cemetery: Portsmouth Naval Memorial
  • Grave/Mem Ref no: Panel 5

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth:
  • Place of Birth:
  • Address: Bath St, Broughty Ferry
  • Occupation:
  • Mother:
  • Father:

    Robert Wilson, Bath St, Broughty Ferry

  • Siblings:

    5 brothers & 1 sister

  • Spouse:


  • Children:

    6 Children

More about John Reioch Keith Wilson

John has no known grave but is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. He was serving aboard H.M.S. Bulwark,  a  London class Pre-Dreadnought Battleship.  She exploded whilst lying at anchor at Sheerness with only 12 survivors. During that day she had been taking on board ammunition and it was thought that the shells had been stacked too close together and too close to a boiler room which caused some of them to ignite and cause a magazine explosion.

In terms of loss of life, the explosion on H.M.S. Bulwark remains the second most catastrophic explosion in the history of the UK, killing 738 sailors. The most deadly explosion in British history was that of H.M.S Vanguard, caused by a stokehold fire detonating a magazine, at Scapa Flow in 1917.

John was the brother of Sapper, Peter Richardson Wilson, 60084, 3rd Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops.

John Wilson   168866   Royal Navy



It is feared that another Broughty Ferry man has perished in the disaster to H.M.S. Bulwark.

The navy man referred to is Leading Stoker John Wilson (42)., eldest son of Robert Wilson, Bath Street, Broughty Ferry.  As late as yesterday morning his wife received a letter from him assuring her of his welfare.

On 15th August last Wilson completed a service of 22 years in the navy, but owing to the war he was retained.  His wife and six of a family are at present residing in Bath Street, and sympathy is being expressed for them in the painful circumstances.

Wilson’s father has five other sons serving their King and country in different corps, while his daughter is married to a corporal in the army.  One of the sons is connected with the Canadian contingent and another with the Australian.

Dundee Courier 28th November 1914

That Broughty Ferry has done exceptionally well in providing soldiers and sailors for the service of King and country has been further illustrated by the disaster to H.M.S. Bulwark.  We stated last week that Lieutenant Watt, so of the late Mr G. B. Watt, bank agent had met his fate on board the ill-fated vessel, and another Broughty Ferry man is now known to be a victim of the catastrophe.

The navyman referred to is John Wilson, 1st class stoker, son of Mr Robert Wilson, Bath Street.  In his case, it is peculiarly sad that he has left a widow and six of a family.

Broughty Ferry Guide 4th December 1914

Information supplied by Gary Thomson, and Michael Caldwell

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