Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

Born at Stratford in Essex in 1873 George Brunning does not appear in any of the census records from Portsmouth. Indeed the only reason that he has a connection to Portsmouth, apart from being a member of the Royal Navy, is that after his marriage to Emily Gill at Guildford in 1903, he and his bride set up home at 30 Liss Road, Southsea.
After leaving school George Brunning had taken a job as an apprentice steam Engine Maker in Battersea and this was soon followed by a decision to join the Royal Navy and further his career as an engine room artificer. The 1901 census lists him on board HMS Victorious whilst in 1911 he was serving on HMS attentive. In the meantime however he had married and set up home in Portsmouth. There is no evidence that he and Emily had any children.
At the outbreak of the Great War George was on board HMS Hampshire on the China Station. She was engaged with certain small actions before arriving at Hong Kong around the middle of August 1914. Early in September she was orded to search for German raiders in the Dutch East Indies but by then George Brunning had been taken ashore where he died, presumably of disease.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list George John Brunning Chief Engine Room Artificer (269430), Royal Navy, HMS Hampshire, died 10/09/1914. Buried at Hong Kong Cemetery (Grave Ref: 165.8057.). Husband of Emily Brunning, of "Matlock," 30, Liss Rd., Southsea, Portsmouth.
George Brunning is commemorated on the Cenotaph, in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth. He is not listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X.
Tim Backhouse
December 2014