This is HMS Grafton, a veteran of World War I.
My great uncle Edward Cecil enlisted in the Navy on 12 April 1915. He was just nineteen and he enlisted for the duration of hostilities. After a couple of months attached to ‘Vivid I’, which I think was probably shore based training, he was assigned to HMS Grafton, where he spent the remainder of the war. His war seems to have been quite eventful.
In 1915 and 1916 Grafton was in the Gallipoli campaign. Nine of her crew were killed by shells off Suvla and she was part of the evacuations from Anzac Cove. In June 1917, back in European waters, she was torpedoed by a German U-boat off Malta. She was protected by ‘torpedo bulges’ (whatever they were) and there were no casualties. By the end of 1917 she was in the Middle East, providing backup to the land forces in the Battle of Jaffa.
Edward Cecil left the Navy on 3 April 1919. Grafton was sold for scrap in 1920. Edward Cecil married, had children and grandchildren and apparently lived a peaceful and uneventful life until he died in 1964.
What is perhaps most remarkable is that, like most veterans of his generation, he doesn’t seem to have talked much at all about those four highly eventful years.