Samuel Richard Lorne Allen’s name is on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Memorial Reference 27, recorded at http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty . His rank was Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class, aboard HMS Seagull, his Royal Navy Service Number was M/1550, his date of death was 30th September 1918. National Archives Reference ADM 188/1021/1550 via the Ancestry website has his Naval Record, a single page, which shows his Official Number M1550, Place of Birth Tettenhall, Staffordshire, Date of Birth 15th October 1894, a list of the ships that he served on, and his description – height 5ft 2 inches which increased to 5ft 4½ inches, Hair Dark brown, Eyes Light brown, Complexion Fresh, Two marks on R Cheek. He was a Boy Artificer when he joined the Navy at the age of 16, and passed to become an Engine Room Artificer Grade IV while serving on HMS Ajax, then Grade III while serving on HMS Seagull on 14th August 1917. Throughout his service his Character is consistently noted as being V.G. Further information from the UK Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 is Cause of Death: “ Killed or died by means other than disease, accident or enemy action”, Location of Grave: “Not recorded”, Name and Address of Cemetery: “Body Not Recovered For Burial”, Relatives Notified and Address: “Mother: Ann Blything 21 Montrose Street Wolverhampton.” The UK, Royal Navy Registers of Seamen’s Services, 1900-1928 has First Service Date: “1 Jan 1910” and First Ship Served On: “Tenedos.”
Information on two websites: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=156045 and
http://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?63883 is that HMS SEAGULL was a 735 ton Sharpshooter Class torpedo gunboat, built by Chatham Dockyard in 1889, and converted to a minesweeper in 1909. It sank in the River Clyde, after a collision with the SS CORRIB. It lies in water 84 metres deep, three miles south of Dunoon. After the collision 4 officers and 21 ratings were picked up. Sadly, Samuel Allen was one of the 53 men who went down with her. No further information was to be found on the web about this terrible tragedy.
Samuel Richard L Allen’s birth was registered at Wolverhampton in the 4th Quarter of 1894. The 1901 Census has Samuel R L Allen, age 6 living at the house of his second cousin Charles Webb, age 35, Occupation Coachman, born at Mainstone, Shropshire, a widower, with his mother Ann Allen who was Charles’ cousin, age 34 a widow, also born at Mainstone, Shropshire, at Stretford St Matthew Barton upon Irwell, in Lancashire.
The 1911 Census records him age 16, living in the Parish of Devonport, aboard HMS Indus, Occupation: Boy Artificer Engineer. His mother’s remarriage to Albert E Blything was registered in Wolverhampton in the 4th Quarter of 1901. Mr and Mrs Blything were living at 25 Junction Street Wolverhampton when the 1911 census was taken. Albert Edward, who was born at Tettenhall. was a “Coachman, Gents Service.” Ann Blything’s death at the age of 54 was registered at Wolverhampton. Probate record shows that she was living at 21 Montrose-street Wolverhampton, (wife of Albert Blything) when she died 16 May 1922, and probate 14 August to Arthur James Henshaw motor van driver, Effects £198 6s 6d.