Hubert Speer Simpson

Hubert Speer Simpson was born in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland on 15 September 1892.

He was the son of John James Speer and Helen Blanche Simpson of 95 Bradford Street, Bolton, later 27 Bromwich Street.

His father, John James Speer Simpson, was an Inland Revenue Supervisor.

The family had previously lived in Scotland, Lincolnshire and Blackburn.

Hubert joined the School on 1 June 1909 with his two brothers and sister after moving from Blackburn. Hubert attended Bolton Church Institute until 21 December 1909.

Simpson family tree - pdf

Hubert's War

After leaving School, Hubert served as a Cadet Officer with C. de Wolf & Co and the Harrison Line, with which he progressed through examination and experience on several vessels to the rank of 3rd Officer.

Hubert was 3rd Officer on the SS Statesman when the ship was torpedoed and sunk on 3 November 1916 by U-Boat U43, 200 miles East of Malta while on a voyage from Liverpool to Calcutta with general cargo. Six lives were lost but Hubert survived.

Hubert died on 16 February 1919 in hospital in Calcutta of pneumonia after completing a voyage as 3rd Officer on the SS Historian. There are no details available as to the duration or cause of his illness.

He was awarded the Mercantile Marine Medal and the British War Medal. The Mercantile Marine Medal was awarded to those who served at sea for no less than six months between 4 August 1914 and 11 November 1918, and who served at sea on at least one voyage through a danger zone. All recipients of the Mercantile Marine Medal were automatically entitled to the British War Medal.

The family suffered a double loss within ten days as Hubert’s younger brother, William Leonard Simpson, also a Harrison Line Cadet, died in an accident on 6 February 1919, while serving on the SS Wayfarer, sailing from Liverpool to New Orleans. He fell into the hold and was severely injured, dying within a few minutes, and was buried at sea.  No medals were issued, as he had served for less than six months.




Hubert Speer Simpson

3rd Officer

SS Historian

Born: Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland
15 September 1892

Died: Calcutta, India 16 February 1919



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