Clement Kendrick 1900 - 1915

"He volunteered for service. He like a hero fell"


Signal boy R.N.R. of H.M.Y. Sanda
Patrol Boat, Killed in Action off the Belgian coast
Sept 25th 1915 Aged 15 years.
He volunteered for service. He like a hero fell

I checked the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database and found confirmation of Clement's death

Rank: Signal Boy
Service No: 103SB
Date of Death: 25/09/1915
Age: 15
Regiment/Service: Royal Naval Reserve H.M. Yacht "Sanda."
Panel Reference 10. Memorial PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL
Additional Information: Son of Joseph and Ellen Kendrick, of 4, Queens Rd., Sheffield.

The fact that he is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial meant that his body was not recovered from the action off the Belgian coast.

Clement was a 15 year old signal boy aboard an Admirality yacht H.M.Y. Sanda. In January 1915 H.M.Y. Sanda was hired as a auxiliary patrol vessel, attached to the Dover Patrol. The yacht was captained by Lt-Cdr Henry Gartside-Tipping RN Rtd, who was 67 years old when he volunteered for war service in August 1915. It appears he was “the oldest naval officer serving at sea.” 

HMS Sanda set sail as part of a bombardment force on the evening of the 24th. It was to sail to Zeebrugge and commence shelling at 07.00am the following morning - the yacht was equipped with 2 six pound guns. The shelling was in support of the British army. After 09.00, the German shore batteries responded and quarter of a hour later the Sanda was hit by a 8 inch shell from the German batteries at Blankenberghe. It hit the Sanda near the deckhouse and the yacht quickly sank. 13 people lost their lives in the incident one of which was the redoubtable Lt-Cdr Henry Gartside-Tipping. The few survivors were rescued by the drifter Fearless.

In the 1911 the Kendrick family were living at 29 Oakdale Road which is in the Nether Edgae area of Sheffield. Clement's father Joseph was a manager in a steel rolling mill. Clement had three brothers and three sisters who lived at the same address. A year later young Clement made the regional press with his exploits, he obviously had a liking for the sea

The Sheffield Daily Independent of May 23, 1912 reported:







A Sheffield schoolboy, aged 11, has had a remarkable escapade. Apparently fascinated by visions of ships and the sea, he conceived the idea of a trip to Ireland. Unknown to parents and friends, he wandered off from school, and for three days has been ‘lost’. With kidnappings and other strange happenings fresh in the mind, the grief and consternation of his parents can be better imagined than described, particularly as not the slightest clue of his whereabouts was gleaned until the night of the second day of his absence. Matters had then reached such a climax, since no news could be gleaned through police channels, that the following advertisement was inserted in the Press:

Missing from home since 20 May, bright, intelligent boy, age 11; light, fresh complexion, dressed blue serge suit and cap, laced boots, black stockings. Send news Central Police, or J. Kendrick, 29, Oakdale Road, Sheffield.

Mr Kendrick is manager at the Sheffield Forge and Rolling Mills, and his home is at Nether Edge. The boy, Clement, is one of a happy family, and his disappearance was inexplicable. The whole circumstances generated suspicion. Even when a clue to his possible whereabouts was forthcoming there was nothing to explain why he should have gone off.

Monday night and Tuesday passed without any news of the lad, but in the evening a clue came from an unexpected source. The choir boys at St Peter’s, Abbeydale, were discussing the mystery when once recalled that about dinner time on Monday he saw Clement at the Midland Station. When asked what he was doing there the lad replied that he was going to Heysham with his mother. The father was prompt to act. Investigations at the Midland Station left little doubt that the adventurer had gone to Heysham. At 2.00pm he inquired for a train. There was none. Bu he waited until 9.14pm and hen embarked on his strange journey. His subsequent movements are somewhat shrouded in mystery, but he appears to have ‘paid his way’. Post haste the father travelled to Heysham at four o’clock yesterday morning in the hope of gleaning news of the lad – who, strange to say, was on the rails returning to Sheffield before his father reached the port. Inquiries suggested that Clement had got aboard one of the boats for Ireland, and a communication was despatched to the Constable of Belfast. Eventually, however, the story of the escapade was completed. The lad had been to Belfast and back and had returned home by the 6.15am train. The purser of the S.S. Antrim told the father he had specially noticed the lad, and that he had obviously enjoyed his time aboard.

The mother received a telegram from Mr Kendrick that the boy was returning by a train due in Sheffield at nine o’clock, but as the message arrived more than an hour after the train the lad could not be met. Once more there was suspense and mystery. Hour after hour passed, but no tidings of the lost one were forthcoming; although there was consolation in the knowledge that he had not been lured into evil hands. Had he stopped in Leeds, was a very natural speculation. The simple truth is – once in his native city he shrank from the ordeal of homecoming, and it was not till early evening that he was restored to the loved ones whom he had plunged into anguish. Friends who had gone on the lookout found him in the city. When an ‘Independent’ representative called the little prodigal was snugly in bed, and the family was breathing freely once more. ‘I haven’t thrashed him,’ said the father. ‘I have packed him off to bed. He needs it after such an escapade. We are tired out, too.’

It would appear that the little fellow had made himself familiar with the train and boat service, or he was enterprising in asking questions. He had availed himself of the good service, as shown in the ‘Green Guide’, by which he would arrive in Heysham about midnight on Monday, land in Belfast next morning soon after six, and, after a stay ashore for three hours, returned home by the next boat to sail, the S.S. Antrim. The reason why he ventured on the escapade is still a mystery, but Mr Kendrick is inclined to think he came out of it so well owing to people with whom he came into contact interesting themselves in him.

The attraction of a seafaring life drew Clement to the Navy as soon he was old enough to enlist. Unlike the Army, which had a minimum entry age of 18, boys were allowed to join the Royal Navy between the ages of 15 and 16-1/2. Employed as seamen or signallers, they were trained on land before being deployed to sea. Such was his age, the Zeebrugge operation aboard the Sanda may well have been Clement’s first action. It was also his last.

By 1915 when Clement lost his life the family had moved to 4 Queens Road. Unlike their house at Oakdale  Road which now longer stands, the one at Queens Road does. It became The Queens Road Social Club. The family were still living there ten years later - Queens Road, 4 Kendrick Joseph, manager (1925)


Rank: Lieut-Commander
Date of Death: 25/09/1915
Age: 67
Regiment/Service: Royal Navy  
H.M. Yacht "Sanda".
Additional Information:
Son of Gartside Gartside-Tipping, of Rossferry, Belturbet, Co. Fermanagh; husband of Mary Stuart Gartside-Tipping, of ''Quarr Wood'', Binstead, Isle of Wight.

Henry Thomas Gartside-Tipping and Mrs Mary Stuart Gartside-Tipping of "Quarr Wood", Binstead, Isle of Wight

Service details
Lt-Cdr H T Gartside-Tipping, Royal Naval Reserve - Mrs M S Gartside-Tipping, Women's Emergency Corps
Their names are recorded on these Memorials :

Binstead War Memorial
Holy Cross Church, Binstead, War Memorial
County War Memorial, Carisbrooke Castle (TIPPING, H G and TIPPING, M S G)

H T Gartside-Tipping is also commemorated on the Nieuport Memorial in Belgium

H T Gartside-Tipping was the eldest son of the late Gartside Gartside-Tipping of Bolton and of Rossferry, Belturbet, Co. Fermanagh. He inherited "Quarr Wood" from his uncle the Rev Vernon Tipping. Lieutenant-Commander H T Gartside-Tipping returned to naval service during the Great War. He was known as an accomplished yachtsman. At the age of 67, he was the oldest serving naval officer of that war, and was killed on 25th September 1915 during naval operations in the North Sea off the coast of Belgium, serving in HM Armed Yacht "Sanda".

The death occurred on March 4th 1917 "in the war zone in France, while on active service" of Mrs Mary Gartside-Tipping, who was the daughter of the late Captain Flynn, R.A. She married Mr Gartside-Tipping in 1890.

Mrs Gartside-Tipping had worked for nearly a year at the Munitions Worker's Canteen, Woolwich, and in January 1917 joined the Women's Emergency Corps for service in the war zone in France, where she was shot by a soldier whose mind was disordered. The French military authorities did everything possible to express their sympathy; the croix de guerre which had been withheld from women since November 1916, was conferred at once; and a full military funeral accorded.

The first cutting is from TheLondon Times dated 12th March 1917 and the second cutting is from the same paper dated 14th March 1917 - Mrs Gartside-Tipping was shot by a French soldier, which explains the French authorities actions in awarding her the Croix de Guerre, and she was buried in Vauxbuin French National Cemetery Plot III.B.5. The Gartside-Tippings are also commemorated on the War Memorial at Southport, Lancashire.





These are the details of the action off Zebrugge that cost Clement his life. The report is from the Sheffield Daily Independent dated 29th September 1915


Isle of Wight Memorials

Sheffield History Forum

1911 UK Census

The Times dated 12th and 14th March 1917

Sheffield Daily Independent dated 29th September 1915

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This page was last updated on 12/12/15 16:04