Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

At the outbreak of war Britain's navy was already well manned by career sailors. One of them was Able Seaman, later Leading Seaman, George Thomas Earl. He had signed on in 1897 and had spent much of time since then at sea.
George had been born to William and Alice Earl in 1874. He had an elder sister Alice (b. 1866) and younger siblings Elizabeth Matilda (b. 1876) and Percy (b. 1884). George's father William was a naval pensioner in 1881 and later became a dockyard labourer. The family were living at 6 St. Mary Street in 1891 but once George had joined the navy he seems not to have lived with his parents. Rather, in 1909 he married Annie Louise Moore and in 1911 was living with her at 88 Esslemont Rd.
Little is currently known of George's naval career except that he was aboard HMS Shark at the battles of Heligoland Bight, Falkland Islands and Dogger Bank. Shark was finally involved in the Battle of Jutland when she was sunk with the loss of all but six lives on May 31st 1916. Her Commander Loftus Jones was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.
George is commemorated in the National Roll (Section 10, p.292) and is remembered on the WW1 memorial outside St. Thomas's Church, the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 12) and on the Cenotaph.
Tim Backhouse
November 2013

To Cynthia Sherwood for her extensive research