River Class Destroyers - Stokers

Mark Lyons
29th July 2008, 12:13
I am trying to build a picture of my grandfather's service as a stoker on the HMS Itchen between 1915 until it was torpedoed by a German U-Boat in 1917. I have read your personal accounts of the work and quite frankly I am amazed any of you survived! I am interested in what his duties and daily life would have been on board and I now have a reasonable idea. Although your experiences come a little later I can't imagine they were that different.

When the ship was sunk there were 7 fatalities, 4 of which were in the engine room so I guess he was not working then and was able to get off the ship. The Itchen was a River Class Destroyer - does anybody know how the ship's company would have been made up and how many stokers would have been on board?

The only first hand information that has come down to me are that he was badly scalded by steam in an accident and how hard the coaling up operation was ( always followed by a group photograph!).

I realise this is really aimed at the Historians but I would be very interest if any of you can put some meat on the bones. Thanks