Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

In the census of 1891 George Joseph's father, Frederick William Hankin, was listed as a Private in the Royal Marine Light Infantry (RMLI) attending the Royal Naval College in His Majesty's Dockyard at Portsmouth. Frederick William, or William Frederick as he was called in the 1901 census, was born in Lambeth, London in 1871 which meant that he joined the RMLI before his 20th birthday and that the Naval College could have been his first posting.
A career in the RMLI however, was not destined to be Frederick William's future, as late in 1891 he married Rose Tupper in Portsmouth and began a family shortly afterwards. The prospect of leaving his family for distant shores evidently didn't appeal to him as within a few years he had left the service. We can only speculate how Frederick and Rose first met as she was from Midhurst in Sussex the daughter of Henry Tupper, an agricultural labourer and his wife Jane.
The 1901 census found Frederick and Rose at 25 South Brighton Street, close to Portsmouth and Southsea Railway Station. Frederick was described as an outfitter's porter and with them were their three children, George Joseph (b. 1893), Rose (b. 1895) and Nell (b. 1899). By 1911 the family had moved to 15 Jervis Road, Stamshaw and one more child, Frederick, had been born in 1902. The census that year noted that Frederick William was working as a night watchman at the National Provincial Bank whilst George Joseph had a job labouring.
At the outbreak of the Great War George Joseph was 21 years old but he decided not to enlist straight away. He probably did so in April 1915 when the call went out for young men to join the 2nd Portsmouth Battalion, later the 15th Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment. George Joseph and the rest of the 15th Battalion landed at France in May 1916, as part of the 41st Division, where they took part in the Battles of the Somme and the Third Battle of Ypres. In November 1917 the Division was transferred to Italy but were back in France in time for the First Battles of the Somme 1918. It was probably during the Final Advance in Flanders that George Joseph died of wounds received in battle.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) lists George Joseph Hankin, Private (17949), 15th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, died on 03/10/1918, age 27. Buried at Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, Belgium, (Grave Ref: IV.E.3.). Son of Frederick W. and Rose Hankin, of 15, Jervis Rd., Stamshaw, Portsmouth.
George Hankin is commemorated on the Cenotaph in Guildhall Square (as Hankin G.). He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War', Section X.
Tim Backhouse
February 2015