Sinking of HMS Lynx – St Mary Bourne Casualty

Andover Advertiser September 1915

CASUALTY AT SEA – One would hardly believe that a brief Admiralty announcement like the following would carry any significance to little village like St Mary Bourne – “H.M.S. Lynx (destroyer) struck a mine in the North Sea and sank on August 9th  (Monday). Four officers and 22 men were saved.” But this vague statement brought suspense to at least one home here, and the following letter which reached Mrs Turnell of 4 Neasden Cottages, on August 12th, brought much sorrow, telling as it did of the death of a loving, kind and considerate husband, father and son :- “I regret to have to inform you that H.M.S. Lynx was sunk on the 9th inst, and that the name of George Turnell, rating A.B, official No. 206844, who is believed to have been on board, does not appear on the list of survivors received in this department. In these circumstances it is feared that in the absence of any evidence to the contrary he must be regarded as having lost his life.” Mr Turnell, who was 31 years of age, had put in 16 years service in the Navy and had never had a bad mark against him, so that it can be said in truth he bore an excellent character. Ever since the fateful August 4th  1914, his thoughts were always for those he had to leave behind as evidenced by the regularity of his letters to his wife, who had never to wait more than 11 days for news, and even this short stretch was a forced one owing to the letters being kept back. The King and Queen have expressed their sympathy with the relatives. We understand that the deceased always prophesied his death at sea. On Sunday evening a memorial service was conducted at St Peter’s Church by the Rev. P. E. Binns, when there was a large congregation. A similar recognition service took place at the Wesleyan Chapel, where Mr Gilbert Culley made sympathetic reference to the sad loss. Mr Leonard Gibbons sang the solo “Not now, some day we’ll understand.”