1WW HIS MAJESTY'S SHIP (HMS) AMPHION WAS TEH FIRST ROYAL NAVY LOSS OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR
On 6 August 1914, HMS Amphion became the Royal Navy’s first loss of the war. Most of its crew were Westcountry men. Their mothers, sisters and wives were the first to lose their sons, brothers and husbands. During World War One, Devonport was a Royal Naval Dockyard refitting ships for the Grand Fleet. It was also a naval manning port and vital to the protection of transatlantic shipping routes. The Sailors’ Rest (Aggie Weston’s) in Fore Street, Plymouth was home to one of the first casualties of war. His name was Henry Copland, a stoker. The first name on the Amphion’s casualty list is Carl Henry Bowden Adams. He lived in Devonport and his wife became one of the first WW1 widows. HMS Amphion had engaged and sunk SMS Koenigen Luise on 5 Aug, which had been laying mines in the Thames estuary. Amphion then rescued many of her crew. Early the next morning Amphion struck a mine which broke her back and exploded her magazine. She sank rapidly with the loss of one officer and 131 ratings, and members of the Koenigen Luise, who had been rescued the previous day.