HMS Irresistible
Message Board

Mar. 18, 2015

As you are aware the 18th March marks the centenary of the loss of HMS Irresistible, in the ill fated Dardanelles campaign. For that  reason would like to post this Memorial for, both the ship and Togo, my Granddads cat.

One hundred years ago today, March 18th 2015
In Memory of Ordinary Sea Cat TOGO RN.
Served 10years as ship's Mascot on HMS Irresistible.
Went down with his ship during the Dardanelles Campaign WWI March 18th 1915
and on behalf of his surviving relatives both in the UK and in New Zealand.

William Charles Burrows, Leading Stoker RN.
Who in an act of selflessness, gave his life in attempt to rescue TOGO.
We will, as with future generations to come, always remember them. RIP

It is also worthy of us to pause and remember ALL those who "crossed the bar"  that day.
The wrecks of the ships still rest where they sank in the Dardanelles Straits.
The Turkish Government having declared them as war graves and as such are protected.

In 1934 Atatürk wrote a tribute to those killed at Gallipoli:

"Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives... You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side now here in this country of ours... you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well."
This inscription appears on the Kemal Atatürk Memorial, Anzac Parade, Canberra.

Robert (Bob) William Green

Feb. 1, 2008

Attached is a photograph of my Grandad "Able Seaman" William "Bill" Thomas Clegg RN Service No.200801.
He is in the middle of the back row behind the officer (see photo gallery). The photo was taken, on board HMS Irresistible, in May 1906 in Valletta, Malta. According to his war record, he served on "Irresistible" from 17th July 1905 to 26th November 1906 and is shown as being a "Gun layer", this may explain the "greasey hands", if you can make them out? Does anyone recognize a relative?

Amongst his other duties, he was usually responsible for the ships mascot. Goats, Cats, Dogs, Parrots and Rabbits, were all been in his care at one time or another during his 12 years in the Navy. It must be in the blood. One incident he often recalled was fitting out an "unofficial goat" with socks to prevent it from being discovered by the Captain, until they were at sea that is. The only reason he got away with it, was down to the supply of fresh milk.

With his passing he left me, his eldest grandson, his cap Tally's from all the ships in which he had served. Although de-mobbed in 1921, mysteriously amongst them were two from HMS Amethyst. Why he had them, or how they had come into his possession, I have no idea? One of them was attached to Able Seacat Simon's wreath, for the reopening of the PDSA cemetery. I am sure Grandad would have approved and been very proud. Thank you for this opportunity to honour my Grandad in this small way.

Best regards,
Robert (Bob) Green

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Page published Feb. 4, 2008