Clayhall Cemetery

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A brief history of Clayhall Royal Naval Cemetery
The Royal Hospital Haslar opened in October 1753 and from the date all those who died either at Haslar, or aboard ships in Portsmouth Harbour or at Spithead were interred in the grounds of the hospital.
In April 1859 the Haslar Cemetery closed and the Clayhall Cemetery was opened for the interment of Naval Personnel.
Here in these peaceful surroundings you will find the last resting place of over 1,500 British Sailors who died in the service of their country in two world wars and others who lost at sea in other conflicts and peacetime accidents.
One corner of this cemetery, a foreign field, is forever Turkish with graves of 26 Turkish Sailors.
Dead Man's Lane from Haslar to Clayhall Haslar Road sign
Entering Clayhall Road from Haslar Road
Clayhall Cemetery Gates Funeral processions left from Haslar for the cemetery but the band was not permitted to start the funeral march until entering Clayhall Road for fear of upsetting patients.
The road running the length of Haslar Hospital was called 'Dead Man's Lane' or mile because of the number of funeral processions which travelled from Haslar to Clayhall.
A1 Crew Cortege from Haslar to Clayhall

Cross of Sacrifice & Chapel 1880's Graves
Tomb of Fleet Surgeon Gilbert Kirker MD RN 1903 Cross of Sacrifice commemorating those who lost their lives in battle

HMS Archer MemorialHMS Thunderer MemorialZulu War Memorial
In Memory to the Officers, Seamen and Marines who died of Yellow Fever on the West Coast of Africa between 1864 and 1866.On the 14th July 1876, a steam boiler explosion killed more than 40 officers and sailors including the CO on board HMS Thunderer at Stokes Bay.In memory of Sailors and Marines who were killed in action and died of diseases during the Zulu War of 1879
HMS Archer Obelisk Anchor Sculpture on the Headstone HMS Thunderer Obelisk Inscription Zulu War Obelisk
HMS Eurydice Memorial
On return from the West Indies HMS Eurydice sank on the 24th March 1878 in a freak blizzard, off Ventnor, Isle of Wight. With the sails still set and gunports open the ship sank in minutes with only two survivors from a crew of 364.
The loss of the Eurydice caused the Navy to abandon sail training and the day of the Man of war was over.
HMS Eurydice is reputed to still sail as a ghost ship, with regular sightings in the area in which she sank and in the 1930's caused a Gosport Based submarine to take evasive action in order to avoid striking a full-rigged ship, which promptly disappeared.
Monumental Stone with Eurydice's anchor
Monumental Stone with Inscription

First World War 1914-1918Second World War 1939-1945
Rows of Headstones Headstone Rows and Lines of Headstones Grave of an Unknown Soldier

Sculptured Anchor on Grave Marine Private 1877 Simple Cross 1956  
HM Submarine A1 Memorial
Sank off Isle of Wight after collision with SS Berwick Castle
On Friday March 18th 1904, whilst on exercise off the Isle of Wight HMS A1 was tasked with 'attacking' HMS Juno. The mock attack began early in the afternoon: HMS Juno had been sighted heading towards Portsmouth Harbour. First to attack were the Holland Boats, after which came A1's turn. As A1 closed in for the kill she was struck on the starboard side, near the conning tower, by the steam ship Berwick Castle, on route from Southampton to Hamburg. Unaware of the Submarines in the area the master of the Berwick Castle reported that he believed he had been struck by a practice torpedo and continued his journey. It was not until A1 failed to return to harbour that the full scale of the disaster was known.
HM Submarine A1 - Royal Naval Submarine Service's first loss HM Submarine A1 Obelisk Inscription of RN Submarines Service's first casualities Grave of HMS A1 Sailor
HM Submarine L55 Memorial
In Memory to the 42 Officers and Sailors of HM Submarine L55 sunk in the Baltic Sea on 9th June 1919.
Whose bodies returned for burial in 1928 and lie in a collective grave.
HM Submarine L55 Monumental Block

Graves of Turkish Sailors - 1850-1851

In November 1850, two ships of the Turkish Navy, the Mirat-ý Zafer and Sirag-i Bahrý anchored off the Hardway - Gosport. The visit lasted several months and during this time most of the members of the crew contracted Cholera and were admitted to Haslar Hospital for treatment, from those who were admitted most of them died and other sailors died because of training accidents. In total 26 died and were laid to rest in the grounds of Haslar.
At the turn of the 19th Century the bodies were exhumed and transferred to Clayhall Cemetery where they now lie in peace.

"They set sail for eternity and met their creator, and here they are laid to eternal rest."

Cemetery Plaque
Entrance to the Turkish Naval Cemetery  Turkish Naval Graves Turkish Naval Graves
Tombstone showing Turkish and English inscription Tombstone in Turkish style Turkish Tombstone Inscription


Copyright on all photo's remain the property of MoD, Haslar Heritage Group, Eric Birbeck and Nicola Smith and are not to be reproduced without prior permission.
Site Design by Nicola Smith in conjunction with Ann Ryder
Background image reproduced by kind permission of John Pounds