Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

There were several families in Portsmouth which lost more than one member in the Great War, but there were only a few in which three men died. The Aspinall family was one of them; brothers Percy John, Frederick Stewart and Reginald Clarence Aspinall all dying in action.
The family doesn't appear in the census for either 1841 or 1851 but it seems likely that they were present yet somehow avoided being included. This suggestion is supported by the dates and places of birth of several of the children born to George and Mary Aspinall who were recorded in the 1861 census when George was listed as a Civil Service Pensioner and victualler at the 'Plough and Spade', 18 Fratton Road. George had been born at Gosport in 1813 and Mary at Portsea in 1820 and their children were Sarah (b. 1844, Gosport), Elizabeth (b. 1851, Gosport), Charlotte (b. 1854, Portsea), John (b. 1858, Fratton) and Louisa (b. 1860, Fratton).
For the 1871 census the family once again failed to appear. In George's case this was understandable as he had probably died in 1866, but none of the others are listed in the UK either. The next appearance in the records seems to be when George's son John married Lucy File at Southwark, London in 1879. Lucy had been born at Brighton in 1861. The 1881 census showed the couple living at 33 Carlisle Street (also known as Carlisle Road), off Victoria Road North, Southsea with their first child George who had been born in 1880 at Bermondsey.
The next three censuses saw them living at 2, Norman Road, Southsea, 14 Chelsea Road, Southsea and 94 Broad Street, Old Portsmouth, during which time John's occupation was listed as a Railway Carrier's Clerk and Lucy had given birth to 12 more children. Their residence in Portsmouth could not have been continuous as one of them was born in Aldershot. Three of their boys were Percy John (b. 1883), Frederick Stewart (b. 1885) and Reginald Clarence (b. 1889).
Frederick Stewart was living at home with his parents and eight siblings in 1901 but on 12th September 1902 he joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry at Eastney Barracks and in 1911 he was serving aboard HMS Hermione which was at Barrow in Furness for the census. He later transferred to HMS Black Prince, the ship taking part in the Battle of Jutland where she was hit by at least 12 heavy shells, sinking within 15 minutes. All of her crew of 857, including Frederick Aspinall, were lost when she sank.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list Private Frederick Stewart Aspinall, (PO/12580), Royal Marine Light Infantry, HMS Black Prince, died 31/05/1916. Commemorated at the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 22).
Frederick Aspinall is also commemorated on the Anglican Cathedral WW1 Memorial Cross, the St. George's Church WW1 Memorial and the Cenotaph (where he is listed twice, once under Army and once under Navy). He is not listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X.
Tim Backhouse
September 2014