Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

How and where a casualty from the First World War is remembered can be an imprecise matter, usually depending totally on a relative's wishes and actions. The memorialisation of William Eneas is a case in point.
The Eneas family name was probably brought to Portsmouth by William's father Charles Eneas who was born in Rye, Sussex in 1828. Charles' name first appeared in Portsmouth in the 1881 Census when he and his wife Mary Ann were living at 15 Hyde Street, Southsea with their first five children. Charles' occupation was given as chimney sweep.
William Joseph was born in 1885, the seventh child in the family which continued to live in Hyde Street. This location seems to have been a special place for the Eneas family as when William married Eliza Amelia Avery in 1909 they settled for a house a few doors from his parents, at 6 Hyde Street. A son, William jnr., was born the following year but his father may not have seen a lot of him as he was probably in the navy.
William snr. was 27 years old at the outbreak of the Great War and was serving aboard HMS Ardent in 1916 when she was with the Fourth Destroyer Flotilla at the Battle of Jutland. On 1st June 1916 Ardent was hit by gunfire from the German dreadnought SMS Westfalen and sunk with all hands.
William's brother Charles also served in the navy but was invalided ashore in 1916.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission list Able Seaman William Joseph Boulter Eneas (224403), Royal Navy, serving on HMS Ardent, died 01/06/1916, age 31. He has no known grave and is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 12). Husband of Eliza Amelia Lawes (formerly Eneas), of 18, Leopold St., Albert Rd., Southsea, Portsmouth. Awarded the Royal Humane Society's Bronze Medal for saving life at sea.
William Eneas is also remembered on the St. Simon's Church WW1 memorial but his name is not included on the Cenotaph and nor is he listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War' though his brother was included.
Tim Backhouse
January 2014

As William Eneas lived most of his life in and around Hyde Street, off Kings's Road it seems unlikely that he would have attended St. Simon's Church. He is much more likely to have gone to St. Paul's Church which was almost on his doorstep. To trace the connection to St. Simon's we need to remember that memorialisation was usually initiated by the casualty's next of kin and it would depend on where they lived, rather than where the casualty had lived, that would determine the location of any memorial. After William died, his widow Eliza married Charles Lawes in 1919 and they lived in Leopold Street in Southsea. From there it was but a short walk to St. Simon's Church. It is not known why she did not nominate William for inclusion on the Cenotaph.