Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

William Fortnum was born at Eastbourne, East Sussex in 1882. He seems to have stayed in that area until he joined the Royal Navy in 1900. A year later, the 1901 Census reports him as Stoker 2nd Class aboard HMS Royal Sovereign whilst later that year he married Daisy Blackman with whom he set up a family home at 1 Sea View, Rudmore.
At the 1911 Census he was serving overseas whilst Daisy was recorded as living at Sea View with two children, Frederick (8) and William (3). Daisy also declared that they had had five children overall but three of them had died.
At the outbreak of World War 1 William Fortnum was serving in HM Submarines, firstly on C25 and later in E34, operating in the North Sea. HMS E34 sank the U-Boat UB-16 off Harwich on 10th May 1918 but was 'mined near the Eijerlandse Gronden, the sands between the Frisian Islands Texel and Vlieland on 20th July 1918. There were no survivors.' [Wikipedia]
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists Petty Officer Stoker William Fortnum, Royal Navy (295188), died on 20/07/1918, aged 37 years, serving aboard HM Submarine E34. He has no known grave and is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 29). Husband of Daisy Louisa Fortnum, of 1, Sea View, Rudmore Rd., Portsmouth.
William Fortnum is remembered on the St. John the Baptist Church WW1 memorial. The memorial was transferred to St. Agatha's Church, Market Way when St. John's* was declared redundant in 1980. Also remembered on the Cenotaph and in the National Roll, Vol. X, p80 which recorded his death as being on 15/07/1918.
Tim Backhouse
January 2014

*St. John the Baptist's Church was on Simpson Road, just north of the junction between Twyford Avenue and the Rudmore roundabout. It was converted to private accommodation.