BORN 1870. HUSBAND OF GERTRUDE ELMA CAWCUTT DENTON (FORMERLY WILLIAMS) THIS ADDRESS AND LATER ORIEL HOUSE, GROSVENOR TERRACE, HORNSEA. THEY MARRIED IN MARCH 1916. MASTER OF THE HULL SHIP 'TYCHO'. HE WAS LOST AT SEA ON 20/05/1917, AGED 47. HE LEFT £992 IN HIS WILL TO HIS WIDOW AT THIS PROBATE ADDRESS.
In May 1917 the SS Tycho was nearing the end of a voyage from Bombay to Hull with 5,700 tons of general cargo. Built in 1904 by Earles Shipbuilding and Engineering Co of Hull for Ellerman Wilson Lines, she was of 3216 Gross Registered Tons (GRT) and powered by a Triple Expansion steam engine. Hull was her home port and some of her crew of 33 would undoubtedly have been looking forward to arriving, having left Bombay on 25th March.
She called in to Falmouth to receive routing instructions from the Admiralty and then proceeded up the English Channel. The weather is recorded as dismal, with rain, drizzle and haze. At 1810 on 20th May 1917, whilst south of Brighton, she was torpedoed by the German submarine SM UB-40 (commanded by Hans Howaldt). The torpedo hit abreast of No. 2 Hatch and the ship immediately began to sink. There were no casualties at this point and the crew abandoned ship into the lifeboats. The Tycho sank at 1840, the Master having destroyed her confidential papers. The order to abandon ship was given at 5.10 p.m., ten minutes after the ship had been struck, and was carried out without casualties. The crew then pulled towards the steamship Porthkerry, which had seen the explosion and was standing by about 200 yards away on the port beam. As the Tycho's boats came alongside her, another torpedo was discharged by the submarine. This blew up one of the boats, killing the master and 14 men, and capsized the other boat. The Porthkerry was abandoned, with eight casualties, the vessel going down in three minutes after being struck by the torpedo. The survivors from both ships were picked up at 7 o'clock that night by a small coasting steamer and landed at Newhaven at midnight on the 21st May.