ARTHUR CROSFIELD BRATTAN
Brattan is a rare name, which might be a variation of the place-name, Bratton, which is found in Wiltshire. In 1881, most bearers of the name lived in and around Hull and Doncaster. Arthur Brattan was (according to the 1901 census) the eldest of the three children of Arthur Thomas Brattan (born in Sheffield in about 1866) and his wife Eliza Crosfield (born in Liverpool in about 1869). Arthur senior was described as a collector in 1884 and a colliery owner’s agent in 1901.
Arthur junior qualified as a second mate in the merchant navy in May 1904, as a mate in December 1905 and as a master “of a foreign going ship” in December 1907. By 1914 he was working for the Union Castle line. In common with many other merchant seamen, he joined or began full-time service with the Royal Naval Reserve and, by 1915, was serving on board the HMS Bayano, an armed auxiliary cruiser. The ship had been built in 1913 and had been owned by Elders and Fyffes Ltd. of Glasgow. On 11th March 1915 she was torpedoed by German submarine U27, commanded by Ernst Wegener off Corsewall Point in Scotland and sank within three minutes with the loss of 196 lives, of whom Arthur was one.
On 16th March, Arthur’s parents received a telegram from Buckingham Palace saying – “The King and Queen deeply regret the loss you and the navy have sustained by the loss of your son, Lieutenant Arthur Crosfield Brattan (R.N.R.) in the service of his country. Their Majesties truly sympathise with you in your sorrow.”
On 19th August in the same year U27 was sunk by gunfire from a Q ship and Captain Wagener killed.
Arthur’s will was proved in Chester on 9th August 1915. He bequeathed £147 19s 6d to his father , who by that time was described as a coal merchant.
Birth: 21st March 1884; christened 7th June 1884 at St. Margaret’s Anfield
Death: 11th March 1915 lost at sea, aged 30
Addresses: 45 Edmund Street, Liverpool (84), 10 Carlton Road, Liscard (01), 14 Grosvenor Road West Kirby (15)
Occupation: Merchant Seaman
Unit: HMS Bayano Royal Naval Reserve
Commemorated and Buried: WK, Portsmouth Naval Memorial 9
Sources: BR, CWGC, SR, PR, WN, Census: 01 UBoat.net