Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

Given that the Jeram family are listed in all but one census in Portsmouth between 1841 and 1911 it is surprising that Edward William is not mentioned on any WW1 memorial in the city apart from the Naval Memorial on Southsea Common. It can only be assumed that his family did not put forward his name for inclusion on the Cenotaph in the belief that the Royal Navy would have done so on their behalf.
The Jeram family had not previously had a close association with the navy since Edward William's great-grandfather, James Jeram, who was listed in the 1841 census as a seaman but even then it's not known whether he was in the Royal or Merchant Navy. James had been born in Hambledon, north of Portsmouth, in 1809 and probably joined the navy in the 1820s. In the early 1830s he married his wife Charlotte who was born on the Isle of Wight in 1811; their address in 1841 was at Chance Row which was later absorbed by the expansion of the Dockyard.
James left the sea in the 1840s and took up the butchering trade. He and Charlotte were recorded living at 18 Dock Row (also incorporated into the dockyard) by the 1851 census. By then they had five sons, Frederick, George, William, Robert and Edward, all born between 1836 and 1850. The second son, George, provides the next link to Edward William Jeram, but he does not appear in the 1861 census, possibly because he had followed his father into the navy.
In 1864 George married Mary Jane Montgomery from Seaford in Sussex and by the time of the 1871 census they were living at 15 Albert Terrace, on Albert Road, Southsea, where George was practising as a Master Butcher. With them were three children, Emma (b. 1865), Mary Kate (b. 1867) and George jnr. (b. 1870). The 1881 census (in which their name was spelt Jerram) found the family at 5 Albert Road with five more children, Edward William (b. 1874), Frederick (b. 1875), Rose (b. 1877), Thomas (b. 1880) and Bessie (b. 1881).
The following year Mary Jane died and within a few months George had remarried, this time to Sarah Ann Griffin, who must have been a remarkable woman being prepared to take on a family of eight children and yet, apart from the marriage register no earlier trace of Sarah has yet been found. 1891 saw George and Sarah at 66 Albert Road with six children from the earlier marriage and four more of their own, Charles, May, James and Florence born in 1883, 1885, 1887 and 1889 respectively.
Their fourth child Edward William left home in 1897 to marry Fanny Ellen Morcom the 19 year old daughter of merchant mariner Henry Morcom and his wife Elizabeth. Edward and Fanny set up home initially at 59 Edmund Road and then later at 2 Napier Road, both in Southsea. They had three boys, Edward jnr., George and Frederick born in 1898, 1900 and 1902.
Edward jnr. left home to join the Royal Navy around 1913 but nothing is known about his early naval career. At the end of May 1916 he was serving as an Able Seaman aboard HMS Black Prince as she steamed into the Battle of Jutland. During the ensuing action she lost touch with the fleet and blundered right into the German's path. The ship was hit repeatedly by heavy shells and blew up with the lost of her entire crew, including Edward Jeram.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission list Edward William Sandell Jeram, Able Seaman (J/23605), Royal Navy, HMS Black Prince, died 31/05/1916. Commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 13). Son of Edward William and Fanny Ellen Blanche Jeram, of Portsmouth.
Edward Jeram is not remembered on the Cenotaph in Guildhall Square, nor is he is listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War' Section X.
Edward's brother George may also have been lost during the Great War but questions of confirmed identity are outstanding - see George Jeram.
Tim Backhouse
February 2015