Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

The Royal Navy had been a constant presence in the Makin family during much of the 50 years preceding the Great War. It began when Charles's father Thomas Makin left his home in Worksop in the 1860s to sign up for a life at sea. The censuses of 1871 and 1881 and 1891 record Thomas on HM ships in home ports, firstly as an Able Seaman aboard HMS Gladiator, then as a Gunner's Mate on HMS Inconstant. He was not in the UK for the 1891 census.
In the 1890s Thomas left the navy but did not end his connection to the sea as he still described himself as a Master Mariner. This may have had something to do with a desire to live a more settled life after he had married Louise Holding in 1891. She was the daughter of William and Mary Holding and been born at Portsmouth in 1855.
The 1901 census lists Thomas and Louise (or Louisa) at 75 Powerscourt Road with their two sons Charles Thomas who was born in 1897 and Frederick, born in 1901. They were still at the same address ten years later but by then Charles Thomas was following in his father's footsteps and was at the Naval College in Greenwich.
Nothing is currently known of his naval career apart from his position on board HMS Glatton in 1918, when, shortly after the ship had been completed she sailed for Dover. On 16th September there was a low-order explosion amidships which ignited the cordite in Q turret. It seemed there was a good chance that the magazines would explode and if they did they could well have triggered another explosion on a neaby ammunition ship which would have devasted Dover. Several attempts were made to sink the Glatton which eventually caused the ship to capsize, thus dousing the blaze. In the process 60 men were killed outright and 124 were injured, 19 of whom later died of their burns. Charles Makin must have been in the latter group as he was later buried at Gillingham, presumably having been transported to the hospital there.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list Engine Room Artificer 4th Class Charles Thomas Makin (M/3787), Royal Navy, HMS Glatton, died 16/09/1918. Buried at the Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery, Kent (Grave Ref: Naval.15.804-6). Son of Thomas and Louisa Makin, of 75, Powerscourt Rd., Portsmouth
Charles Makin is commemorated on the Buckland United Reformed Church WW1 Memorial, the Cenotaph and the Glatton Memorial, Gillingham. He is not listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X.
Tim Backhouse
November 2014