Born in 1896, Howard John Arnold was the son of Eliza Randall Arnold and John Finnis Arnold, a civil servant with the Post Office. In 1911, the family were living at 76 Glencoe Avenue, Seven Kings, Ilford. Howard attended Downshall School in Seven Kings and then Coopers Company School in Bow from 1910 to 1912. After leaving school, he was apprenticed into the Royal Navy.
During the First World War, Howard served with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve as a telegraphist, and was aboard the H.M. RESONO, Admiralty trawler, when it sank after hitting a mine near Horns Reef off Harwich on 26th December 1915. All thirteen of the ship’s crew lost their lives.
The mines, which had been laid ten days earlier by the German U-boat UC 5, also sunk the British submarine HMS E.6 later that day, resulting in the loss of all 38 of her crew. It is possible that this second tragedy may have been avoided after a patrolling torpedo boat tried to warn the HMS E6 that they were heading into danger. But it seems either the advice was not passed on or that the Lieutenant Commander ignored the warning and continued on course, detonating the mine whilst the crew of the torpedo boat looked on.
Howard John Arnold’s name is recorded on The Chatham Naval Memorial.
Some information / extracts have been reproduced with kind permission of Karen Pack from her book ‘Coopers’ Boys & Coborn Girls: Their Part in the Great War’ © Karen Pack, 2015
ICHS school records and magazines
Commonwealth War Graves Commission