Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

Although he was born at Portsmouth in 1889 there is no definitive documentation that records him living in the Borough, though there is for his father Harry James Gill.
Harry James Gill had been born in Southampton in 1855 and probably joined the Royal Navy soon after leaving school. He married Ellen Coulbert at Southampton in 1877 and appears in the 1881 census when he was serving on HMS Asia, though he wasn't on board on the day of the census. Ellen had been born at Southampton in 1856.
Harry James and Ellen had a son, Harry Charles Gill in 1889 but none of them appear in the censuses for 1891 and 1901. It is probable that Ellen died in the meantime as when Harry James appears in the 1911 census he is with his wife Eliza Ellen Gill (nee Herrmann) whom he had married in 1903. They were living at 83 London Road, North End. At the same census Harry Charles Gill is recorded aboard HMS Illustrious at Portland.
After the outbreak of the Great War Harry Charles is recorded as serving on HMS Black Prince which took part in the Battle of Jutland where she was hit by at least 12 heavy shells, sinking within 15 minutes. All of her crew of 857, including Harry Gill, were lost when she sank.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list Artificer Electrical 3rd Class Harry Charles Gill (M/1349), Royal Navy, HMS Black Prince, died 31/05/1916, aged 27. Commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 20). Son of the late Harry James and Ellen Gill, of Portsmouth.
Harry Gill is also commemorated on the Buckland United Reformed Church WW1 Memorial and on the Cenotaph. He is not listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X.
Tim Backhouse
November 2014