Daniel Francis Batchelor

Rank Lance Corporal
Service No 178803
Date of Death 04/05/1917
Age 27
Regiment/Service Royal Engineer Services Inland Water Transport
Cemetery Savona Town Cemetery, Italy. This contains 85 Commonwealth burials, all but two of them casualties from the Transylvania.

Daniel was born in 1889 in Stoke Newington, London, to Daniel Bateman (1863-1941) and Frances Batchelor (1866-1941), and was the eldest of five children. His siblings were: Beatrice (b.1891), Basil (1897-1962), Gladys (1900-1994) and John (1908-1979). Both the 1891 and 1901 Censuses indicate that the family lived at 5, Chesholm Road in Stoke Newington. Between John's birth in 1908 and the 1911 Census, the family moved to 5, Chislehurst Avenue, North Finchley. Daniel's father was employed as a railway accountants' clerk and he himself was a railway clerk for the London and North Western Railway, based at Euston Station.

On 20th January 1917, Daniel married Elise Anna Simon (b. 1897) at St John's Wembley. The marriage register lists her address as 16, Vivian Gardens, Wembley. At the time of the 1911 Census, Elise and her family were living at 14, Holdenhurst Avenue, Finchley which is in the next street to where Daniel and his family were living! Sadly, just over 3 months later, Daniel died. Elise's address at the time of his death was 150, Ealing Road, Wembley. She received Daniel's estate which was valued at £251. His name is included in the London and North Western Railway Company's 1st World War Roll of Honour book.

The circumstances of Daniel's death were as follows: on 3rd May 1917, the Anchor-line ship Transylvania left Marseille, France, bound for Alexandria, Egypt, carrying about 200 officers and 2,860 men - her full complement - escorted by two Japanese destroyers, Matsu and Sakaki. The ship was a passenger liner built in 1914 and taken over as a troopship in May 1915. The following day, the Transylvania was torpedoed at 10am by the German submarine U63 off Cape Vado, south of Savona, Italy. The Matsu went alongside the sinking ship to offload the passengers while the Sakaki sought to keep the submarine submerged. However, some 20 minutes later, it fired a second torpedo after which Transylvania soon sank. 10 crew members, 29 officers and 373 soldiers, including Daniel, lost their lives. The bodies recovered were buried two days later in a special plot in Savona Town Cemetery. Others are buried elsewhere in Italy, France, Monaco and Spain.