Mark Hyam 1889 - 1990

Mark Hyam was son of Samuel Hyam (1839 - 1916) who started a grocery business in Peldon. The shop was later run by Mark's half-brother Clem.

Mark was born in Peldon 25 May 1889 to parents Samuel and Eliza. Eliza was Samuel's second wife. In 1891 the family were living in The Shop in Peldon and in 1901 they were living in a grocery shop in West Bergholt. By the 1911 census, Mark was serving with the Royal Navy and was based in Portland Dorset. He was a Stoker and is on the list of officers, crew and Royal Marines on board the ship HMS ATTENTIVE.

In the UK Royal Navy Register of Seamen's services his first service date was 14 Jan 1909 and his first ship NELSON. His last service date was 11 Jan 1921 and his last ship was DOLPHIN. Mark's Service No. was K1635.

He married Florence Maria Y. Wyman in Newton Abbot Apr-Jun 1914. Their son Ivan T. Hyam was born in Tendring Oct-Dec 1921 (Ivan died in West Somerset aged 83).
In the 1939 register Mark was living with Florence and Ivan in 24, Redcliff Drive, Southend-on-Sea. Mark was aged 50 and an engine fitter, Florence was a housewife aged 43 and Ivan was aged 18. He died May 1990 and his ashes were put with his father and mother in Peldon Churchyard where his step-brother Clem and his wife are also buried.

The following Obituary was written by his granddaughter Kaye Mordle and provided by Mrs Margaret Balls in 2007.

HYAM, Mark

My Grandfather, Mark Hyam was born on May 25th 1889 at Colchester in Essex. He joined the Royal Navy in Portsmouth on January 14th 1909, for a period of twelve years. Prior to joining up he lived in Peldon and returned here when he retired for a while.

HM Submarine E6

After doing his initial training at H.M.S. NELSON he joined H.M.S. FORESIGHT, a light cruiser of 2,850 tons, built in 1904, where he became a Stoker 1st Class. Between 1909 and 1912 he served in a variety of cruisers but on February 11th 1912 he was found to be medically fit for service in submarines. Thereafter the rest of his naval career was spent under water. His training took place at H.M.S. DOLPHIN, some of it on HOLLAND ONE, later joining H.M.S. MAIDSTONE, a submarine depot ship. He joined E6 and took part in the Battle of Heligoland Bight on 28th August 1914, for which he received prize money. On 25 September 1914, E6 fouled on 2 mines in Heligoland Bight but she escaped. Sometime during late January 1915 he slipped and caught his right hand in the gears of a turbo pump. He was eventually admitted to the Royal Naval Hospital at Chatham where a young surgeon rebuilt his hand. The injury saved his life as a few months later E6 was lost with all hands. E6 was mined on 26 December 1915 in the North Sea off Harwich.

HM Submarine E19

Mark was then sent to Russia, where he joined E19 and saw much action. They had attacked the German steamer LULEA in the south Baltic. None of four torpedoes worked, one changed course and missed E19 with only 15 metres, and they had to withdraw. But the next day exceeds all expectations On the 11 October 1915 she sank 5 German transport ships on the one day.:- S.S. WALTER LEAONARD (0830 hours ), S.S. GERMANIA (1115 hours), S.S. GUTRUNE, (1300 hours) , S.S. DIRECTOR REPPENHAGEN (1400 hours), S.S. NICOMEDIA (1500 hours), just south of Aland, within a few hours and without any casualties. The German crews were transferred to Swedish ships or lifeboats before their vessels were sunk. In each case the vessel was boarded & either blown up with explosives or the sea cocks were opened because the E19 Captain did not trust his torpedoes. On 7 November 1915, E19 sunk the German light cruiser of SMS UNDINE.

The picture is of the Engine Room Branch of HM Submarine E6. Mark is 1st left back row

Russian Order of St George medal

On the 11th December 1916, he was awarded the Russian medal of St. George. The Order of St. George had a motto: "For Service and Valour." and was awarded for fortitude, bravery, and zealous service, as well as for the glory of Russian arms. Saint George was the patron saint and defender of Russia. The order was divided into four classes and consisted of a enamelled gold cross, a four pointed star, and a black and orange ribbon. Winters were spent iced up in Revel harbour (modern Tallin in Estonia). By February 1917 shortages and dissatisfaction amongst the Russian middle classes had become obvious to the British servicemen. E19 was commanded by Captain Francis Cromie CB DSO, who on the eve of the 12th March Revolution was in Petrograd on leave. He immediately made his way back to Revel by train. Although dissention was everywhere the British were still being well treated. By January 1918, in a worsening situation the submarine fleet was disbanded leaving only a few men behind. The rest suffered an arduous journey by train and boat, finally reaching England (and in my Grandfather's case, back at DOLPHIN) by 15th January. E19 was scuttled by her crew outside Helsinki 1.5nm south of Harmaja Light, Gulf of Finland, along with E1, E8, E9, C26, C27, and C35 to avoid seizure by advancing German forces who had landed nearby.

By April 1918 he had been posted to H.M.S. CRESCENT, a cruiser used as a depot ship for K class submarines. Here he joined the notorious L Boat fleet, which was used for patrol in the North Sea. Initially on K16, he was aboard doing diving trials in the Gare Loch. Starting to dive, the submarine went out of control, ploughing into the sea bed 112 feet down. When all her air tanks had been emptied, the submarine floated back up to the surface with only superficial damage. The accident occurred due to a fault with the hydroplanes.

HM Submarine K5

By January 1920 Grandpa was serving on K5 ... After leaving K5 he returned to H.M.S. DOLPHIN where he spent the last days of his service. At the time he held the acting rank of Stoker Petty Officer. He was due to leave the Royal Navy on the 12th February 1921. He left one month earlier, on January 10th and so avoided being selected for the new crew of K5. Ten days later, on January 20th. K5 went down. No reason for this disaster has ever been found.

The K5 left Torbay on 19 January 1921 with the K8, K15, K10 and K22 for a mock battle in the Bay of Biscay. The submarine was commanded by an experienced officer, Lieutenant-Commander John A Gaimes, DSO, RN, but had a new crew. The full complement included 51 other ranks onboard. All 57 hands were lost on 20 January about 120 miles south-west of the Isles of Scilly. She had signalled that she was diving but she did not surface at the end of the exercise. After a battery cover and a sailor's "ditty box" were recovered, it was presumed that she had somehow gone past her maximum depth.

Mark earned the 1914 -1915 Star, 1914-20 War Medal & 1914-1919 Victory Medal. However, in 1922 he received only the 1914-1920 War Medal, and the 1914-1919 Victory Medal. He should also have been entitled to the 1914-1915 Star as well.

Grandpa, having survived two World Wars, finally died one day short of his 101st Birthday in 1990. His ashes are buried with his father.

From If You Shed a Tear by Edwin Sparrow, Part 1.
Edited for web May 2019 by Tony Millatt

Read More:
The Hyams - Shopkeepers of Peldon

ID: IYS_031
Source: Mersea Museum