Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

There is little conclusive evidence with which to trace Arthur Rose's life but it seems possible that had he not fathered a child by a local woman out of wedlock he would not be counted amongst the WW1 casualties of Portsmouth. To make an investigation more difficult there are a number of contradictions between pieces of documentary evidence. The full research notes are below.
One possible life story for Arthur Rose places his birth in Derbyshire in 1888. In the early years of the 20th Century he joined the Royal Navy, signing on at Portsmouth. At some point he met Elizabeth Wells of Portsea who in April 1910 fell pregnant with his child Hetty who was born in January 1911. Arthur was probably at sea at the time of the birth and Elizabeth found accommodation for herself and Hetty at 8 Munday Court, Portsea.
Arthur returned to Portsmouth in time for the 1911 Census but for some reason was staying at the Royal Sailor's Rest. Elizabeth must have been ashamed of having given birth outside wedlock as she declared at the Census that she was married and had been for two years - long enough to have conceived Hetty after the marriage. Whilst on leave in Portsmouth Arthur Rose must have proposed to Elizabeth as they were married 6 months later towards the end of 1911.
At the outbreak of the First World War Arthur Rose was posted to HMS Queen Mary and for two years served aboard her before she was sunk during the Battle of Jutland on 31st May 1916, taking her entire crew with her.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists Stoker 1st Class Arthur Rose, (310850), Royal Navy, HMS Queen Mary, died on 31/05/1916. He has no known grave and is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 19).
Arthur Rose is remembered on the St. John the Baptist Church WW1 memorial. The memorial was transferred to St. Agatha's Church, Market Way when St. John's* was declared redundant in 1980. His name is not included on the Cenotaph but is in the National Roll, Vol. X, p197.
Tim Backhouse
January 2014

*St. John the Baptist's Church was on Simpson Road, just north of the junction between Twyford Avenue and the Rudmore roundabout. It was converted to private accommodation.
The St. John the Baptist Memorial lists Arthur Rose among the fallen of WW1. The National Roll lists Rose A., Stoker Petty Officer, who enlisted in October 1896 and whose address was 2 Rudmore Road. Given the address, these two records almost certainly refer to the same person.
The CWGC lists 5 members of the Royal Navy named A. Rose, only one of whom was a stoker. This was Arthur Rose, but the record differs from the National Roll in that his rank was Stoker 1st Class, rather than Stoker Petty Officer. No age is given.
In the 1911 Census there is only one man by the name of Arthur Rose who was a stoker serving in the Royal Navy and who was then in Portsmouth. This man was staying at the Royal Sailor's Rest on the night of Sunday 2nd April and he was 23 years of age and born in Derbyshire. This too differs from the National Roll in that this Arthur Rose would have been 8 years old in 1896 and so couldn't have been in the navy. There are no other persons named Arthur Rose with an immediately obvious connection to the navy or Portsmouth.
Assuming the National Roll were incorrect in saying that Rose enlisted in 1896 and that the Rose at the Royal Sailor's Rest is the right man, how could he have ended up with an address in Rudmore. The most obvious scenario is that he married a local girl and marriage records do indeed show that an Arthur Rose married Elizabeth Wells in Portsea in the third quarter of 1911.
At this point the 1911 Census records show an interesting twist, as the only woman named Elizabeth Wells in Portsmouth in 1911 who was of a similar age to Arthur Rose and not married to a third party was listed as living at 8 Munday Court, Portsea with her 3 month old daughter Hetty. This Elizabeth also declared that she had been married for two years. Perhaps shame at having given birth outside wedlock made her cover up the fact to the Census enumerator.
Arthur Rose was lost in the sinking of HMS Queen Mary, a ship with a substantial number of Portsmouth men aboard. As far as is known Arthur Rose is the only one of her crew with a Portsmouth connection who is not listed on the Portsmouth Cenotaph. Perhaps his connection to Portsmouth was only strong enough to warrant a memorial by the local church.