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  • Memorial to HM Submarine E-18 in the Church of the Holy Spirit, Talinn, Estonia. Photograph Carl Douglas (www.godfreydykes.info)
Person Details
09 Oct 1894
Nottingham
Percy was the son of Robert and Sarah Duffield (née Potter). Robert was born in Nottingham in about 1874 and Sarah in Ripley, Derbyshire, in about 1873. They were married in 1892 (A/M/J Basford) and by 1911 had had seven children of whom only three had survived infancy or childhood. Four children were named on the two census: Percy b. Nottingham 9 October 1894; Maria Ethel (Ethel) b. Nottingham 6 December 1897 (registered 1898 J/F/M); Florence b. Wakefield 3 March 1901 bap. Wakefield parish church 15 March 1901 d. 1902 (A/M/J Basford) and Grace b. Nottingham 1902. In 1901 Robert (27), a coal miner hewer, and Sarah (28) were living in Mayfield, Wakefield, with their three children, Percy (6), Ethel (3) and Florence (1 month). Florence died the following year; her death was registered in the Basford (Nottingham) registration district and her sister Grace was born in Nottingham at the end of 1902. However, by 1911 the family was living in Wales at Moardy in the Rhonnda (Pontypridd, Glamorgan); Robert was a miner. He and Sarah had three children: Percy, a hewer's boy/assistant, Ethel and Grace (9). Also in the household were three boarders; two miners and the young son of one of the miners who was widowed. Robert and Sarah later returned to Nottingham as the CWGC record gives their address as 10 Raven Terrace, Rye Street, New Basford, Nottingham. The family was probably living in Nottingham by 1918 as Ethel married Harold West in Nottingham in 1918 (J/A/S). She was still living in Nottingham in 1939 with her two children Percy b. 4 September 1924 and Diana b. 14 August 1935. The records of three other members of the household remain closed. However, there are birth registration records (West-Duffield) for five other children: Harold (1919), Phyllis (1923), Donald (1929), Doreen (1931), Gordon (1939). Ethel died on 23 August 1976. The second surviving daughter, Grace, may have married John S Burton in 1924 (A/M/J Nottingham). Sarah probably died in 1925 (A/M/J Nottingham). Robert may have died in 1939, death registered Wakefield (J/A/S).
He was a hewer's assistant in 1911 but gave his occupation as collier when he joined the Royal Navy in 1913
11 Jun 1916
22
2865818 - CWGC Website
K/8506
Stoker 1st Class
Royal Navy
HM Submarine E-18. Percy Duffield joined the Royal Navy on 28 March 1913 on a 12 year continuous service engagement. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: Vivid II, 28 March 1913-15 September 1913 (Stoker 2nd Class); Exmouth, 16 September 1913-22 May 1914 (Stoker 1st Class 28 March 1914); Vivid II, 23 May 1914-9 June 1914; HMS Skirmisher, 10 June 1914-14 October 1914; HMS Dolphin, 15 October 1914-3 December 1914; HMS Maidstone, 4 December 1914-6 December 1915; HMS Dolphin, 7 September 1915-26 September 1915; HMS Maidstone, 27 September 1915-11 June 1916. HMS Maidstone (commissioned 1912) was a submarine depot ship at Harwich, Kent. Percy probably joined submarine E-18 (commissioned 1915) in September 1915 after undergoing submariner training at HMS Dolphin, Gosport, at the end of 1914 and in September 1915. His service document was annotated ‘DD [Discharged Dead] 11 June 1916. Lost on Duty. AG 568/16’. HM Submarine E-18 was lost in the Baltic May/June 1916. Percy's body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial. HM S/M E-18 (Lt Cdr RC Halahan) was launched in March 1915. She was operating out of Reval (now Talinn), Estonia, in 1916 and was on patrol in May 1916 when she made a torpedo attack on a German destroyer on 23 May. The destroyer, although severely damaged, was able to return to port. E-18 reported in by radio at the end of the following day (24 May) and this was the last contact with the submarine although there were reported sightings of her on 1 June. It was assumed that she had either been mined while on surface transit back to Reval or sunk by gunfire from a German Q-ship in the Baltic. Although the likely date of her loss was 2 June, the Admiralty did not close the record until 11 June 1916 in case the submarine eventually returned to base; this is therefore the official date of the loss of the submarine.
The wreck of the submarine was identified off the coast of Estonia, close to the Estonian island of Hiiumaa, in October 2009. Thirty RN were lost in E-18 together with three Russian submariners. A memorial was unveiled and dedicated in the Church of the Holy Spirit, Tallinn, at a service of remembrance on 30 May 2010.
Remembered on

Photos

  • Memorial to HM Submarine E-18 in the Church of the Holy Spirit, Talinn, Estonia. Photograph Carl Douglas (www.godfreydykes.info)
    Percy Duffield - Memorial to HM Submarine E-18 in the Church of the Holy Spirit, Talinn, Estonia. Photograph Carl Douglas (www.godfreydykes.info)
  • Memorial to HM Submarine E-18, Church of the Holy Spirit, Talinn, Estonia. Photograph Carl Douglas (www.godfreydykes.info)
    Percy Duffield - Memorial to HM Submarine E-18, Church of the Holy Spirit, Talinn, Estonia. Photograph Carl Douglas (www.godfreydykes.info)