Engineer Sub Lieutenant Charles Philip Tanner

Biography of Engineer Sub Lieutenant Charles Philip Tanner

Charles Philip Tanner was born on 8 November 1893 at the rectory at Cold Overton, Leicestershire, where his father was a clergyman in the Church of England. After passing an entrance examination in Mathematics and Drawing, Tanner enrolled as an evening student of the Royal Technical College of Glasgow, forerunner of the University of Strathclyde, in 1912. The College register records his occupation as ‘Engineer’, and his subjects of study as Mathematics, Mechanics Lectures and Mechanics Laboratory. The following year, Tanner went on to study Engineering at the University of Glasgow, where he took classes in Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, Mathematics, Naval Architecture and Drawing, and was awarded the Muir Bursary. During his final year at University (session 1915-1916), he again took several classes at the Royal Technical College. These included Natural Philosophy, Mechanics Laboratory, Motive Power Engineering Laboratory, Electrical Engineering Lectures and Laboratory and Engineering Drawing, with Tanner gaining first-class certificates of merit in all but one of them.

Tanner graduated BSc on 25 April 1916 and immediately was commissioned as an Engineer Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, serving on the HMS Indefatigable. The Indefatigable fought in the Battle of Jutland from 31 May - 1 June 1916, during which she was hit by two shells on the foc’sle and the fore turret. The hit to the fore turret meant that the crew were not able to close the magazine doors or flood the magazine, and an enormous explosion shortly followed. The ship was lost with all hands. Charles Philip Tanner is remembered in the Roll of Honour of the Royal Technical College, the University of Glasgow and on the Naval Memorial in Plymouth.


Engineer Sub Lieutenant Charles Philip Tanner
Rank: Engineer Sub Lieutenant
Regiment: Royal Navy
Degree: BSc
Awards: N/A
Comments: Killed in action at Jutland aboard HMS Indefatigable on 31 May 1916, aged 22.
Note/Press Clipping: N/A
Photo ID: Ch 4/4/2/2/286


With thanks to the Strathclyde University Archives for providing part of this biography.

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