Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

The Farrington family were native to Stoke-on-Trent, where they were deeply involved in the pottery business. Charles Farrington's father Thomas was a slip maker and at least two of his four brothers were pottery men. Charles, it would seem, did not wish to follow family tradition as by the age of 14 he had already left home.
We know that Charles must have joined the Royal Navy well before the outbreak of the Great War as he had reached the rank of Petty Officer by 1916. He also seems to have followed the age old naval tradition of marrying and settling in Portsmouth. There is no record of him or his wife Alice Blanche in Portsmouth at the 1911 Census so the amount of time he spent on Portsea Island must have been limited.
In the first two years of the war Charles Farrington was engaged on important patrol work in the North Sea before transferring to HMS Queen Mary in time for the Battle of Jutland on 31st May 1916. The ship was struck by two shells causing her magazines to explode, sinking the ship. Over 1200 members of the crew were lost including PO Charles Farrington.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission list Petty Officer Charles Farrington (9221195), Royal Navy, died 31/05/1916, aged 30, serving aboard HMS Queen Mary. Son of Thomas and Gertrude Farrington, of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs. Husband of Alice Blanche Farrington of 35 Waterloo Street, Southsea. He is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 11)
Charles Farrington is also remembered on the Cenotaph and in the 'National Roll of the Great War' Section X, p. 76.
Tim Backhouse
December 2013