Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

As a seaman in the Royal Navy for around 20 years Joseph Craven must have visited Portsmouth many times during shore leave but he doesn't seem to have had any real connection to the town until 1908 when he married Sarah Bailey and set up home with her at 2 West Street, off Broad Street, Old Porrtsmouth.
Born at Bootle, Lancashire in 1870 to parents Philip and Jane Craven, Joseph was recorded in the 1891 census as working as a fireman. He probably joined the Royal Navy shortly afterwards. He doesn't appear in the 1901 census as presumably he was at sea which means that the only other records of him are his marriage and the 1911 census.
When he married Sarah Bailey he knew that she had been married once before and had a daughter Christina who had been born in 1898. Her first husband James Bailey had probably died in 1902. The 1911 census shows Joseph, Sarah and Christina at West Street with Sarah's mother Christina Baker.
It's not known where Joseph was serving when the Great War broke out nor indeed much of his wartime experience except that he sailed on HMS Mohawk which was engaged on patrols in the North Sea. In October 1916 Mohawk was involved in the Battle of Dover Straits during which it is possible that Joseph Craven was injured as he was taken to Gillingham Naval Hospital where he died in November 1916.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list Leading Stoker Joseph Craven, Royal Navy, HMS Mohawk, died 26/11/1916, aged 47. Buried at the Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery, Kent (Grave Ref: Naval.R.C.7.329.).
Joseph Craven is also commemorated on the Anglican Cathedral WW1 Memorial Cross and the Cenotaph. He is not listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X.
Tim Backhouse
October 2014