Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

Most of the Viney family were born and bred in Portsmouth, at least as far back as the 1850s and probably somewhat earlier. William Herbert's father, known as William J. Viney, was born in Portsea in 1860 but he did not appear in the 1861 census, possibly because his father was in the armed services and was serving abroad that year. William J. first appears in the 1871 census living at 19 Church Road with his maternal grandfather Henry Noble as presumably his parents were once more abroad.
William J. Viney married Elizabeth (b. 1860) around 1879, but they do not appear in the UK Marriage Register. The following year their first child William Herbert was born and they moved to 32 Crown Street, Landport. At the time William J. was working as a labourer. By 1891 they were living at 23 Brookfield Road, Fratton with William Herbert and three more children - Fred (b. 1882), Mabel (b. 1885) and Percy (b. 1887).
Towards the end of the century William Herbert joined the Royal Navy and was soon in action in China, probably aboard HMS Orlando in Sir Edward Seymour's column who were then attacking the Taku Forts. William was awarded the China medal for his part in the hostilities. After returning from the East in 1903 he married Kate Elizabeth Manchester who had been born in Forton, Gosport in 1885. They initially took up residence in North End where their first child William Edmond was born in 1905 and then moved onto to 46 Moorland Road, off St. Mary's Road in Fratton where their second child Irene Bessie was born in 1908.
As a serving sailor at the outbreak of the Great War William Herbert was soon thrust into action finding himself aboard HMS Queen Mary at the Battle of Jutland. The ship was struck by two shells causing her magazines to explode, sinking the ship. Over 1200 members of the crew, including William Viney, were lost.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) lists Able Seaman William Herbert Viney (189015), Royal Navy, died on 31/05/1916, aged 36 years. Remembered at the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 14). Son of William and Elizabeth Viney, of Crown St., Portsmouth; husband of Kate Viney, of 7, South Rd., Buckland, Portsmouth. Awarded China Medal (1900).
William Viney is also remembered on the WW1 Memorial at St. Andrew's Church, Farlington and on the Cenotaph. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War'.
The St. Andrew's Church WW1 memorial actually lists "W Viney" and although there is no one else with a similar name who seems to have a better claim to be included it is strange that there are no records of William Herbert Viney living anywhere near Farlington. We can only assume therefore that at some stage after 1911 either he and/or his wife lived in the vicinity of the church.
William Herbert's brother, Fred Ewart Viney, also died in WW1. Although Fred was in the army and William in the navy their two names are next to each other on the Cenotaph as it was then practise to keep the names of brothers together.
Tim Backhouse
April 2014