1914-15 Star, British War and Victory Medal, 340800 W.J. Blandford, Chief Armourer, HMS Cressy, was killed in action when his ship was sunk by U-9 on 22nd September 1914.
George Joseph Blandford was one of 1459 who were killed on this day, when 3 Armoured Cruisers, HMS Hogue, Aboukir and Cressy, which were obsolete cruisers being most manned by reservists with families who were generally thought to be out of danger, were sunk by German Submarine U-9 whilst patrolling the North Sea, Blandford was 38 years old and had been in the navy for almost 20 years.
Neutral ships and trawlers that were nearby immediately began to attempt to rescue survivors, but 1459 British Sailors were killed, his service papers record he was: “Discharged Dead 22nd September 1914, Drowned in North Sea when HMS Cressy was sunk by German Submarine”.
Blandford was a long serving Royal Navy veteran, being born on 17th August 1876 in Alverstoke, Hants. Being a Blacksmith by trade when he signed up for the Navy on HMS Excellent, on 5th September 1895, he was assigned as Armourer’s Crew.
By 18th April 1898 he was promoted to Armourer’s Mate aboard HMS Pembroke II. Becoming Armourer on 1st July 1903 onboard HMS Wildfire.
Promoted to Acting Chief Armourer on 1st March 1912, onboard HMS Inflexible. He reached his final rank of Chief Armourer on 1st March 1913.
He had joined the crew of HMS Cressy on 31st July 1914 and served on the ship until it was sunk in the North Sea on 22nd September 1914.