Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

The connection between the Knight family and Portsmouth can then be traced, via Henry's father, Frank, and grandfather, Henry to the first half of the 19th century. Henry snr. is listed in the 1851 census which gives his age as 28 years and his birthplace as Portsea. He was then living on Highland Road with his wife Elizabeth and son Ernest (b. 1851). No trace of this marriage to Elizabeth has been found. Henry described himself as a shoemaker in that census, and later variously as a boot clicker, bootmaker and cordwainer.
Henry and Elizabeth lived at several addresses over the next 30 years, 73 Ivy Street, 21 Eldon Street and 25 Eldon Street. During this period they had five more children, Emily (b. 1854), Elizabeth (b. 1856), Frank (b.1858), Lizzie (b. 1862) and Henry jnr. (b. 1864). In 1887 their fourth child Frank married Matilda Sarah Poore, daughter of William and Matilda Poore of Radnor Street, and by 1891 the couple were living at 58 Lawson Road, Southsea with their two children Hector (b. 1889) and Henry jnr. (b. 1890).
A move to 21 Margate Road, also in Southsea, followed by 1901, as did three more children, Florence (b. 1893), Hilda (b. 1895) and May (b. 1897). The returns from the next census in 1911 suggest that Frank and Matilda had separated as she was living with the children at 4 Eastfield Road and he was a lodger at 3 Meon Road.
Henry jnr. had joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry before the 1911 census in which he was described as a Bugler. Most of his career with them is currently unknown but in June 1916 he was aboard HMS Hampshire when the ship was sent to Russia with Lord Kitchener and his high ranking entourage. They set out from Scapa Flow and soon encountered a force nine gale which was being weathered when she probably hit a mine and sank killing all her crew except for 12 crewmen who made it to shore alive. Henry Knight was one of those lost.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list Knight, Henry, Private (PO/14081), Royal Marine Light Infantry, died 05/06/1916. Commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 22) Son of Matilda Sarah Knight, of 4, Eastfield Rd., East Southsea, Portsmouth.
Henry Knight is also remembered on the Cenotaph in Guildhall Square. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War' Section X.
Tim Backhouse
March 2015