Lieut. Comm. R.D., R.N.R., H.M. Yacht Rhiannon (Patrol Boat). Elder son of the late Henry Wellburn, of Newborough, Scarborough, by his wife, Anne Matilda, daughter of the late Capt. William Harrison, Master Mariner;
born Scarborough, co. York, 7 Dec. 1868;
educated Scarborough Garmmar School, and Arundel Collegiate School, Brighton;
joined the R.N.R. in March 1898, and retired in 1912;
but on the outbreak of war in Aug. 1914, voluntered for active service and was appointed Lieut. Comm. H.M. Yacht Rhiannon in Dec. following.
On Sunday morning early, 1915 he rescuaed the officer and pilot of a wrecked hydroplane in the North Sea having the R.N.R. Officer's decoration conferred upon him 19 June.
On 1 July, in the dead of night, he and his crew (H.M Yacht Rhiannon) assisted in the recue of 29 of the survivors of the Torpedo Boat Destroyer Lightning.
While on patrol duty on 20 July, at 10.50 a.m., the yacht struck a submerged mine, and he and five of his crew were killed instantly, and in about three minutes all had disappeared.
His men felt a keen admiration for him, and testified that he was always considrate and just; he had wonderful personality; his heart was ever in his work, and he inspired many boys to go into the Navy;
He was unmarried
Lost At Sea
RHIANNON, Admiralty yacht, 126/1914, hired 15/9/14 as auxiliary patrol vessel, 2-3pdr, Pennant No.055, Lt-Cdr George Wellburn RNR. On patrol in Thames Estuary between Longsand and Kentish Knock sands with Admiralty trawler Strathspey, approaching wreck of Norwegian steamer Peik mined and sunk on 5 July. Detonated mine which destroyed the forepart of the vessel, leaving after part afloat before it too sank, off Longsands, off Clacton (wi - in 51.40N, 01.29E). The mine had not been left over from the field that sank Peik and which had been swept; it had been laid by UC.3 (Erwin Weisbach); Cdr Wellburn, 1 officer, 1 rating and 2 MMR killed by explosion (+J/L/C/D/He/dk/sc/un/wi; ADM.1/8427/194, ADM.1/8427/206)