WWI letter found in Hastings reveals Kent man’s heroism


It was 1915 when the World War I vessel HMS Hythe sank in Turkey while on operations.

And a letter recently uncovered by a historian, who stumbled across it in a militaria shop in Hastings, Sussex, details the bravery of the ship’s captain. The document describes how Capt Reggie Salomons, from Kent, died while trying to save his men.

The letter from an eyewitness to Col Sir David Lionel Salomons, a wealthy baronet from Tunbridge Wells, explains how the colonel’s only son refused to leave a sinking ship. “At the beginning, the two vessels clung to each other for a few minutes and about 50 men and several officers scrambled across on to the other vessel,” wrote witness Maj Alfred Ruston, who was onboard HMS Hythe at the time.

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Keith is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE