Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

Probably because he joined the Royal Navy in 1895 and was serving overseas Sidney Yeatman's name does not appear in the 1901 or 1911 Censuses. He does appear, however, in the 1891 Census (as Sydney) when aged 15 years, living with his parents Sydney and Sarah Yeatman and his siblings Sarah (21), Emily (11) and Joseph (9). The family were living at 7 Hampton Street, in the household of Emily Harding who was described as a widow and was probably his grandmother.
Sidney's mother Sarah seems to have been the dominant force in the family as for the 1901 Census she declared herself as Head of the Household, ahead of her husband. This may have been because she was a shopkeeper, and perhaps main breadwinner, whilst her husband was simply a Bricklayer's Labourer. In the 1871 Census she makes the surprising claim that she was the wife of an American Seaman when it is known that Sydney, her husband, had always said he was born in Portsmouth.
The National Roll entry for Sidney says that after joining the navy he served on the China, Australia and other stations. He was awarded the China Medal in 1900 which would suggest that he served during the Boxer Rebellion. Following the outbreak of WW1 he was posted to the North Sea aboard HMS Invincible and was present at the Battle of Jutland. He lost his life when his ship was sunk with the loss of 1026 lives. Only six members of the crew survived.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists Petty Officer Stoker Sidney Albert Yeatman, Royal Navy serving on board HMS Invincible, died on 31/05/1916, aged 40 years. He has no known grave and is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 16). Son of Sidney James and Sarah Yeatman, of 48, Seaview, Stamshaw, Portsmouth. Awarded China Medal (1900).
Sidney Yeatman is remembered on the St. John the Baptist Church WW1 memorial on which he is listed as Samuel Yeatman. The memorial was transferred to St. Agatha's Church, Market Way when St. John's* was declared redundant in 1980. Also remembered on the Cenotaph and in the National Roll, Vol. X, p258, which gives his address as 48 Seaview, Landport, Portsmouth.
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.