Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

The connection between Richard Hand and Portsmouth is typical of the many who died and are commemorated in the town - the navy and marriage.
Richard Hand was born in Peterborough to parents William and Anne Hand. By 1891 the family had moved to Hove in Sussex and a few years later Richard left home to join the navy. He was absent from the UK at the time the census was taken in April 1901 but later that year he was in Portsmouth and marrying Daisy Joliffe. In 1903 their daughter Violet Lilian was born.
At the 1911 census Richard was on board HMS Venerable which was part of the Atlantic Fleet then moored at Gibraltar. Back at home Daisy and Violet were living at 79 Ranelagh Road, off Twyford Avenue, which, it is assumed, was the family residence.
After the outbreak of the Great War Richard Hand was serving on board HMS Invincible. On the 31st May 1916 the ship took part in the Battle of Jutland. At six-thiry that evening with the battle in full flow a shell hit Q turret and burst inside blowing the turret roof into the air. Seconds later a huge explosion amidships blew the Invincible in half. The two ends of the ship remained sticking out of the water for several hours before they sank. Six of her crew survived and were rescued by HMS Badger. 1,026 men died, more than 130 of them from Portsmouth.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists Petty Officer Richard Hand (183371) RN, HMS Invincible, died 31/05/1916, aged 38. Has no known grave and is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 11). Husband of Daisy Hilda Helen Bowring (formerly Hand), of 11, All Saints Rd., Landport, Portsmouth.
Richard Hand is also commemorated on the Cenotaph. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War'.
The CWGC entry for Richard Hand records that after his death Daisy married Ernest Bowring. The marriage registers tell us that was in 1921 thereby giving us the earliest probable date that the record was compiled. The entry also reports that Daisy (and presumably Ernest) was then living at 11 All Saints Road. There is no evidence to suggest that Richard ever lived at that address.
Tim Backhouse
February 2014