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Petty Officer 1st Class Herbert Sidney Bishop 179900, RN, HMS 'Victory II'
First World War Navy United Kingdom
By Philip Baldock

United Kingdom

Petty Officer 1St Class H S Bishop
View record on CWGC
Died 19th of October 1915, buried Portsmouth (Kingston) Cemetery
A requisitioned trawler of the First World War (copyright unknown)

Petty Officer 1st Class 179900 Herbert Sidney Bishop, RN, HMS Victory II, attd. minesweeper Erin II...

...was born 28th of February 1877 at Bath, one of four children, the son of Thomas James Bishop (1855 to 1887) and Mary Ann Clem (1854 to 1913).

The 1881 census finds the family in the parish of Lyncombe and Widcombe. Thomas aged 26 was a labourer born in Bath. Mary aged 26 was a laundress. Children recorded all born at Bath are Thomas aged 8, Charles aged 6, Herbert aged 4 and Henry aged under 1.

In 1898 Sidney married Flossie Parsons. The couple had two children and resided in Portsmouth.

On the 28th of February 1895 Herbert had signed with the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class for a period of twelve years. He served on the Northampton, Collingwood, and Canopus amongst others. His conduct was very good.

In May 1903 he was invalided out of the service whilst a Petty Officer 1st Class. Although classed as a Navy pensioner Herbert volunteered to return to service upon the outbreak of war which he did in October 1914 under the command of HMS Victory II and was posted to serve on minesweeping trawlers and went aboard the steam trawler Erin II.

On the 19th of October, 1915 the trawler struck a mine off Nab Light Vessel, Isle of Wight, laid by German U-Boat UC-5, under the command of Herbert Pustkuchen and foundered, with the loss of one officer and four crew. Herbert was amongst the dead. His body was washed ashore on the beach at Rottingdean, Sussex.

His inquest (COR/1/3/20) was held on the 16th of November where the facts were drawn out; the verdict included the statement that there was “ evidence of how the mine came to be where it was”. Petty Officer Herbert Bishop is buried in Portsmouth (Kingston) Cemetery


  • The trawler Erin II was one of many requisitioned in both wars for a whole variety of roles such as patrol and minesweeping duties with the Royal Navy Patrol Service. Erin was built in 1903 and requisitioned in September 1914 and converted to a minesweeper and renamed Minesweeper No.381 and then renamed Erin II in 1915 - the “II” being added to distinguish the trawler from the battleship HMS Erin.
  • The U-boat UC-5 sank thirty ships, and damaged anther 7. On the 27th of April 1916, it ran aground on the Shipwash Shoal in the Thames Estuary and was captured. The website provided additional information - provides a wealth of information on the war at sea generally as well as on U-boats and is well worth referring to.