Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

The history of the Palmer family is more or less evenly split between Portsmouth and Gosport, with Edward's father Edmund Talbot Palmer being born in Portsea, moving to Gosport in his 20s and to Southsea in his 50s.
Edmund Talbot had been born in Portsea in 1858 but does not appear in the census for either 1861 or 1871. His parents, Edward and Anne however, are present in the 1861 census when they were living at 33 Kent Street, Portsea. Edward had been born in 1835 and Anne (nee Way) in 1837. Edward's occupation was listed as a Wine and Spirit Merchant.
Edmund reappears in the records at the census in 1881 when he was already describing himself as a solicitor, a career he followed for more than 30 years. At that time he was living as a lodger at 45 King Street with his sister Emily A (b. 1861, Portsea).
By the first few months of 1882 Edmund had moved to Gosport and married Rose Ferguson there. She was the daughter of James and Frederica Ferguson and had been born in Garden Lane, Southsea in 1862. At the time James Ferguson was the Admiralty Senior Clerk at the Royal Clarence Yard which suggests that Edmund and James may have known each other professionally and that this led to Edmund and Rose being introduced.
The couple remained in Gosport for around 20 years during which time they had three children, Evelyn Mary Talbot (b. 1883), Edward Talbot Ferguson (b. 1884) and Agnes Talbot (b. 1890). In the 1900s the family moved to 14 Hereford Road, Southsea, a comforatably sized house in a good area appropriate for the Clerk to the Urban District Council of Gosport, the job that Edmund retained after the move.
Meanwhile Edward had trained as a Marine Engineer and was a member of the Royal Naval Reserve which meant that he was called up as soon as the Great War was declared. He was posted as Second Engineer to HMS Zaida, a yacht built for the Earl of Rosebery at Cowes in 1900, and commandeered by the Royal Navy in March 1915 as an auxillary patrol boat and seconded to HMS Hannibal in the Mediterranean. HMS Zaida was captured by the Turks in August 1916 but by that time Edward had already been invalided home with TB. He died on Sunday 15th October 1916.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list Second Engineer ET Palmer, Mercantile Marine Reserve, HMS Zaida, died 15/10/1916. Buried at Ann's Hill Cemetery, Gosport (Grave Ref: 35.23042).
Edward Palmer is also commemorated on the Cenotaph. He is not listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X.
Tim Backhouse
October 2014
With additional information from Jennie Stringer