Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

In 1901 the fourteen year old William James was a boilermaker's apprentice at Portsmouth Dockyard which must have bred sufficient familiarity with the navy that three years later he joined the service.
Whilst he was still an apprentice he was living at 34 Melbourne Street, Southsea with his widowed mother Elizabeth and brothers Edward and Herbert who were born in 1884 and 1889 respectively. Everyone in the family had been born in Portsmouth. The 1891 census lists them at the same address but describes Elizabeth as married. Her husband was not in the household at the time but he is known to have been Thomas Henry Leverett who was born at Portsmouth in 1853. At the 1881 census he was serving as a clerk aboard the Prince Consort, a ferry operating between Portsmouth and Ryde, Isle of Wight. Further research has been unable to locate any further details about him.
Little is known about the naval career of William James except that he was serving aboard HMS Glasgow when the 1911 census was called and was posted to HMS Shark in time for the Battle of Jutland. The Shark, under the command of Commander Loftus Jones, suffered two attacks by the German forces, the second of which sank her with eighty six members of her crew, including William Leverett.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list William James Leverett, Able Seaman (224699), Royal Navy, HMS Shark, died 31/05/1916. Remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 13). Son of Elizabeth Hill (formerly Leverett), of 24, Melbourne St., Southsea, Portsmouth, and the late Thomas Henry Leverett.
William Leverett is also remembered on the Cenotaph in Guildhall Square. He is listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War' Section X, p137.
Tim Backhouse
March 2015