Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

There are some men commemorated on memorials in Portsmouth for whom there is only peripheral evidence supporting their connection to the town. Robert Mingles is one such.
All census records show Robert Mingles either on board ship or at his family home in Newcastle upon Tyne, but records do show that his marriage to Ethel Smith in 1909 had taken place in Portsmouth. Neither Robert nor Ethel were born in Portsmouth but they had a son Thomas in 1910 who was born in the town, suggesting that they had had lived here in the interval between the marriage and the birth of their son. By 1911 they had set up home in Newcastle.
Robert Mingles had been in the Royal Navy since his 16th birthday when he signed up in Portsmouth. In 1901 he was undergoing training as a boy sailor on board HMS Impregnable moored at Devonport. The rest of his naval career is currently unknown but he plainly moved in and out of Portsmouth on a regular basis. In January 1918 he was serving aboard HMS Narborough when she ran aground on the Pentland Skerries. Only one crew member survived the wrecking.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists Able Seaman Robert Mingles (210523) RN, HMS Narborough, died 12/01/1918, aged 29. Lost at sea and remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 29). Son of Joseph and Annie Mingles, of London; husband of Ethel Mingles, of 11, Barrack Rd., Newcastle-on-Tyne.
Robert Mingles is also commemorated on the St. Alban's Church WW1 memorial and the Cenotaph. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War, Section X'.
Tim Backhouse
March 2014