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Roll of Honour

Hartlepool seafarers lost at sea

Coultas, William

Leading trimmer
54, Watson Street, Hartlepool

Lost on HMPMS Ascot.

William Coultas was one of the very unlucky 53 seamen lost on the last British ship sunk during the First World War, on the day before the Armistice. He was a Leading Trimmer on HMPMS Ascot, a paddle steamer minesweeper when it was torpedoed by UB-67 just off the Farne Islands in Northumberland.

William was born in Scarborough on 24th July, 1895. In 1901, at 5 years old, he was living in Longwestgate, Scarborough with his trawler fisherman father John Thomas Coultas, his mother Sarah Ann, two brothers and two sisters. His parents had both been born in Scarborough.

By 1911, fishing must have brought the family to Hart Street, Hartlepool and at 15, William was a grocer's errand boy. A further brother had been born and his parents had been married for 19 years.

William's father, John Thomas, was born on February 26th, 1870, and in the 1891 Census is recorded as being unmarried and living in Scarborough as a fisherman. John Thomas' parents were Robert Coultas, a stonemason born around 1840 in Fylingdale, and his wife Mary Jane Jackson also from Fylingdale. John Thomas Coultas was also in the Royal Naval Reserve.

At the time of his death, William's mother, Sarah Ann, was living at 54, Watson Street, West Hartlepool.