Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

The documentary evidence concerning Henry William's father has proved elusive but it is known that he died before 1901 as the census that year records his widowed mother Celia living with three sons, Charles, George and Harry (Henry William) at 8 Goodwood Place, Southsea. The boys were born in 1882, 1885 and 1897 respectively, at Portsmouth.
In 1902 Celia married Henry Smith from Portsmouth, a Leading Hand at Gunwharf, with whom she had two further children, Louisa (b. 1903) and Emily (b. 1908). At the 1911 census all four, together with Henry William, were living at 2 Ashby Place in Southsea. Celia was by this time calling herself Cecilia which was probably her birth name.
Henry William probably joined the Royal Navy as soon as he was considered old enough which would have been prior to the outbreak of the Great War. In 1916 he was serving on H.M.S. Hampshire which on June 5th was sent to Russia with Lord Kitchener and his high ranking entourage. They set out from Scapa Flow and soon encountered a force nine gale which was being weathered when she probably hit a mine and sank killing all her crew except for 12 crewmen who made it to shore alive. Henry William Smith was one of those lost.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) lists Ordinary Seaman Henry William Smith (J/19632), Royal Navy, HMS Hampshire, died on 05/06/1915. Remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 14). Son of Cecilia Smith, of 12, Dover Rd., Marmion Rd., Southsea, Portsmouth.
Henry Smith is also remembered on St. Jude's Church WW1 Memorial Cross and on the Cenotaph. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War'.
Tim Backhouse
August 2014