Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

The Shrimpton family, of which Robert Stanley was a member, were not native to Portsmouth, Indeed they seem to have had little connection to the town prior to their arrival sometime in the first decade of the 20th Century.
The head of the household was Reginald Shrimpton who had been born at Tetsworth, Oxfordshire in 1875. He married Ada Emily Harris at Horsham in 1896; her birthplace according to the 1911 census may have been in Hampshire but the entry is not conclusive. Reginald and Ada had three children, Beatrice (b. 1897 at New Brompton), Robert Stanley (b. 1898 at Sidcup) and Hilda (b. 1899 at Brighton).
The family does not appear in the census of 1901 but does in 1911 when they were living at 8 Gloucester View in Southsea. Reginald's occupation is listed as 'Provision Merchant's Assistant' which may explain the numerous changes of address over the previous 15 years.
Little is known of Robert Stanley's early life in Portsmouth apart from his attendance at St. Jude's School. He would have been just 16 years old at the outbreak of the Great War and not therefore eligible to enlist. He could have lied about his age and joined early in the war, but it's more probable that he joined up around his 18th birthday as he enlisted with the 15th Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment which was formed later. The regiment was sent to France in May 1916 and Robert died there four months later in September 1916.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) lists Private Robert Stanley Shrimpton (18476), Hampshire Regiment, died on 15/09/1916, age 18. Commemorated at the Thiepval Memorial (Pier and Face 7 C and 7 B.). Son of Reginald and Ada Shrimpton, of 8, Gloucester View, Southsea, Portsmouth.
Robert Shrimpton is also remembered on the WW1 Cross at St. Jude's Church and on the Cenotaph. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War'.
Tim Backhouse
July 2014