Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

Born at Clerkenwell, London in 1878 to parents William and Georgiana Roy, William Henry left home to join the Royal Navy in the mid 1890s. Had he not done so it is unlikely that he would have ever made a connection to Portsmouth.
Although he must have visited the town on many occasions and may even have received his training there, the only two pieces of evidence that link William with Portsmouth are the 1901 census and his marriage registration. At the former he is listed as visiting the home of Henry and Eleanor Lewis at 22 Crown Street, Old Portsmouth, not that he was really there to see either of them. Instead, his eyes must have been fixed on their 25 year old daughter Eleanor.
The couple were married at Portsmouth in 1903 and by 1911 had settled at 55 Bramshott Road, Southsea with their two children, William (b. 1905) and Reginald (b. 1909).
William Henry was already in the navy at the outbreak of the Great War and although we don't know on which ship he was serving at the time, he was certainly on board HMS Chester when she took part in the Battle of Jutland on 31st May 1916. Chester received 17 hits by German 150mm shells and lost 29 men with another 49 injured. Amongst the men who died were William Roy and John Cornwell, the 16 year old recipient of the Victoria Cross who actually died two days later.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list Chief Yeoman of Signals William Henry Roy (185294), Royal Navy, HMS Chester, died 31/05/1916. Commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 14). Husband of Eleanor C. Roy, of 53, Bramshott Rd., Southsea, Portsmouth.
William Roy is also commemorated on the Anglican Cathedral WW1 Memorial Cross and the Cenotaph. He is not listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X.
Although the CWGC record gives Eleanor Roy living at 53 Bramshott Road, the 1911 Census and the 1913 Kelly's Directory list the couple at No. 55. However, after the war the 1921 edition of Kelly's places Eleanor at No. 55 whilst a Mrs. Lewis (Eleanor's mother?) lived at No. 53.
Tim Backhouse
October 2014