SHOTLEY'S BURIAL GROUNDS

 

Since the earliest of times of naval boys being trained in the vicinity of Shotley Gate, whether afloat or ashore, deceased boys and training staff whose bodies were not repatriated back to their families for private burial, have been buried in St Mary Churchyard at Shotley, a small village some two miles distant from the training establishment.  I am currently working on files showing the names of those who died whilst serving in HMS Ganges [Suffolk].  There were many over the years and several were ships company or training staff deaths.  I have chosen not to include these names in my lists, which although not yet complete, can be viewed at the bottom of this page.  Thus the lists contains boys, juniors or youths only.

Most of the boys buried there were orphans.

In addition, other sailors from ships based on Harwich who were killed in action, died of their wounds or who died from natural causes prior to mid August 1940, are also buried in the Churchyard.

By early 1940, the Admiralty/IWGC {Imperial War Graves Commission}  had used all its allotted places, and fearful of many more deaths in the area from enemy action  [Harwich was too close for comfort to Germany] took a decision that is was desirable for them to have their own naval burial ground in consecrated ground as an extension to the Shotley Churchyard.  They therefore negotiated with the Bishop of St Edmunsbury [to you and I who are not local people, Bury St Edmunds] to have a plot of land adjacent to the Churchyard consecrated for this purpose. The land of their choice was owned by Oxford University and they were prepared to sell it to the Admiralty.  The purchase was successful, the Bishop had no problems with the suggestion, but the local Vicar, the Reverend Arthur John Gill was concerned about the proposal.  It transpired that as in all burials [and weddings, baptisms etc] the Vicar was paid a one off fee for his services, and he perhaps rightly, feared that he would miss out on naval funerals which in a war, could easily outnumber local civilian deaths. Sadly for him [after all, such fees are part of his wages] the Admiralty insisted that its new graveyard would be owned and administered outright by the navy, meaning that for all subsequent naval funerals [which could include the NOK of sailors] a naval padre would officiate and that no burial fees would be forthcoming to the clerics of St Mary Church. I have a couple of his letters which do nothing for my story here, but whilst he had to accept the Bishops ruling, he did insist on knowing exactly who had been buried and who was to be buried by the navy.  I am not sure whether or not a naval padre is paid fees for conducting naval ceremonial but I would think and hope not, and it could be that the navy had the money to keep a tidy graveyard whereas he might not have had in such a small community, which led to jealousy.  However, when the purchase, preparation/layout of site and consecration had been completed, the burials came thick and fast as any naval target between Dover and the Thames Estuary was an easy target in 1940 for the German Air Force.  In just over one month, no fewer than twenty souls had been buried and all, as specified in a binding agreement, by naval padres. In late August, the Reverend Gill  wrote to the Admiralty asking for a detailed list of all those buried in the naval cemetery.  The letter was passed to the Captain of HMS Ganges to answer and this is it:-

Use your PDF zooming tool to achieve a good clear read

BURIAL LIST.pdf

Finally to finish off the story, here is that important Admiralty/Vicar signed Agreement, set in stone for all time !

NAVAL [GANGES] BURIAL GROUND.pdf

It is not comprehensively recorded  to say how many pre interment services were conducted in St Mary Church Shotley and how many in HMS Ganges' St George's Church within the establishment,  but it is known that the Imperial War Graves Commission [which became the Commonwealth War Graves Commission] were hands-on with the documentation and the provision of head stones for the majority of those buried in Shotley's naval cemetery, which no doubt would have further isolated the poor old Vicar.

Inside the pdf file above there is a sketch of the area showing the new burial ground in red. This has changed now and anybody visiting the area will now see this arrangement.

NORTH

 

God Bless you.

Below is a list of the boys, youths or juniors who died whilst at Ganges. 
Although there are years shown when no boy or junior died, others in the Establishment died reducing the 'deathless years' shown. Note the many death during and immediately after WW1 to the end of 1919. Throughout all the years disease and illness were the killers with remarkably few deaths from other causes given the number of boys who passed through this establishment. The common causes of death were due to complications of having some of the following conditions: diphtheria, typhus, cholera, pneumonia, polio, cancer, whooping cough, TB, scarlet fever, measles, mumps, chicken pox, dehydration ailments <diarrhoea, vomiting, dysentery>, diabetes, severe allergies <e.g. to nuts - which was not understood>, and of course surgical treatments which went wrong,  chiefly for the removal of the appendix and tonsils. One of the greatest causes of death immediate post WW1, was Spanish Flu which killed over a million people in Europe - hard to understand today the scale of death ! Notice the complete absence of boys' deaths in WW2.  They did die but not in HMS Ganges ! For the war years their training was re-directed to the Isle of Man, to HMS St George and that is out of the scope of this story. The later years and the relatively few deaths do of course reflect the advances in medicine, in antibiotics, in hygiene and clinical care. East Anglia was struck in the early part of the 20th century until approximately 1911 by the dreaded plague; unbelievable but true. Several people in Shotley died of it, and there are several Ganges boys who died from it and are buried in  St Mary churchyard with the 1906 date above their head.    See this file http://www.godfreydykes.info/HMS%20GANGES%20and%20the%20PLAGUE.htm

SORTED BY SURNAME ORDER

SURNAME

Christian Name

Rate/Class

Official Number

Date of Death

Cause of Death

ADAMS

Albert

Boy 2nd

J96948

23.07.1920

Illness

ALLAN

John

Boy 2nd

J91526

07.11.1918

ALLEN

Robert

Boy Sig

J54490

02.01.1917

ASH

John

Boy Sig

J52812

24.02.1917

ATHROLL

Francis

Boy 1st

-

05.05.1922

ATKINSON

Horace

Boy 2nd

JX152770

15.01.1938

BACHELOR

Frederick

Boy ?

-

20.09.1910

Not known

BARKER

Frederick

Boy 2nd

J62263

14.03.1917

Illness

BARNSHAW

Sidney

Boy 1st

-

04.04.1930

BEAGENT

Alfred

Boy 2nd

J86930

30.10.1918

BEAUMONT

Owen

Boy 2nd

JX128867

05.02.1927

BELSEY

Clifford

Boy 2nd

JX137631

15.03.1933

BENNISON

Frederick

Boy 2nd

-

01.11.1906

Not known

BETTS

Frank

Boy 2nd

J75817

28.01.1918

Illness

BICKLE

Thomas

Youth

-

02.03.1908

Not known

BISHOP

John

Boy 2nd

-

21.02.1926

Illness

BLAKEY

Morrison

Boy 2nd

J33567

20.03.1915

BOOTH

Herbert

Boy 2nd

J58530

18.11.1916

BOYES

G

Boy ?

-

11.01.1906

Not known

BROUGH

George

Boy 2nd

JX150358

02.03.1937

Illness

BROWN

Ralph

Boy Sig

J89978

28.11.1918

BROWN

W.H.

Boy ?

-

31.03.1901

Not known

BUCKNELL

Arthur

Boy ?

-

31.03.1906

Not known

BUMFORD

John

Boy 2nd

J91937

15.11.1918

Illness

BURDEN

Leonard

Boy 1st

J39325

17.08.1915

BUTLER

Robert

Boy 1st

JX162148

17.01.1940

CAKE

Percy

Boy 2nd

J112646

01.06.1925

CANNON

John

Boy Sig

J39655

30.11.1915

CLARK

Percy

Boy 2nd

J92931

06.12.1918

CLARKE

Wilfred

Boy 1st

JX136868

24.01.1933

CRANSWICK

Charles

Boy 2nd

J92932

03.11.1918

CRISPIN

Grenville

Boy 2nd

J105978

20.03.1923

CRUICKSHANK

David

Boy 2nd

JX129600

03.06.1927

DABNOR

Frederick

Boy 2nd

JX159907

05.02.1939

DADSWELL

Jessie

Boy 2nd

J53152

16.08.1916

DALLIMORE

Kenneth

Boy 2nd

JX140169

08.03.1934

DAVENPORT

Harry

Boy Tel

JX149205

02.07.1937

Accident

DAVEY

Robert

Boy 2nd

J51593

21.08.1916

Illness

DAVEY

Sidney

Boy 1st

J98664

22.12.1921

DENNY

Allan

Boy 1st

J45497

05.08.1916

DIXON

George

Boy 2nd

JX150012

16.02.1937

DORE

William

Boy 2nd

J40029

18.06.1915

DUNHAM

Bernard

Boy 2nd

JX153295

28.11.1937

ELDRED

Leslie

Boy 1st

J96872

07.01.1921

EVANS

William

Boy 2nd

J92152

28.01.1919

FILEWOOD

Thomas

Boy 2nd

-

01.07.1914

Not known

FOX

Frederick

Boy 2nd

JX129344

02.10.1927

Illness

FRANCIS

Henry

Boy 1st

J45936

07.05.1915

FRY

Astley

Boy 2nd

-

15.05.1906

Not known

FUNNELL

Victor

Boy 2nd

J93768

09.03.1919

Illness

GALLOWAY

Trevor

Boy 2nd

JX138934

15.10.1933

GARNER

Arthur

Boy 2nd

-

08.09.1913

Not known

GEORGE

Henry

Youth

-

30.06.1910

Not known

GERAGHTY

John

Boy 1st

JX126712

05.02.1927

Illness

GLINN

Samuel

Boy 2nd

J103059

28.09.1921

GREENWOOD

Richard

Youth

-

31.08.1906

Not known

GRENHAM

Robert

Boy 1st

-

08.12.1911

Not known

GUEST

Henry

Boy ?

-

26.05.1908

Not known

HALL

John

Boy 2nd

J105097

27.12.1921

Illness

HAYDEN

William

Boy 2nd

-

02.03.1909

Not known

HICKMAN

Alfred

Boy 2nd

JX132367

06.10.1928

Accident on the Mast

HILEY

Walter

Boy 2nd

-

22.06.1913

Not known

HILTON

William

Boy 1st

J53775

23.02.1917

Illness

HOLMES

Walter

Boy 1st

J100094

28.10.1921

HOLMES

Alfred

Boy 1st

-

31.01.1932

HOLMES

John

Boy 2nd

-

29.11.1913

Not known

HOLT

George

Boy 2nd

J34982

06.03.1915

Illness

HOOPER

Keith

Boy 1st

J941287

16.12.1955

HOWLETT

Walter

Boy 2nd

J113957

13.01.1926

HOWLETT

Harold

Boy 2nd

JX145007

31.01.1936

INSTONE

Frank

Boy ?

-

24.03.1906

Not known

JACKSON

George

Boy ?

-

17.03.1909

Not known

JENNINGS

Frederick

Boy 2nd

J113579

25.06.1925

Illness

JONES

Thomas

Boy 2nd

J92056

23.11.1918

JULIAN

Richard

Junior

J983889

06.02.1960

KING.

Aaron

Boy 1st

-

05.03.1901

Not known

KNIGHTS

Herbert

Boy 2nd

J39235

04.06.1915

Illness

LANGLEY

Edward

Boy 2nd

-

07.05.1912

Not known

LANGRIDGE

William

Boy 2nd

J93003

07.11.1918

Illness

LARAMAN

Garfield

Boy 2nd

-

05.12.1932

LAWRENCE

Frederick

Boy 2nd

J95478

26.03.1920

LAWRENCE

Alfred

Boy 2nd

-

10.06.1913

Not known

LAWRENCE

Arthur

Boy 2nd

-

02.05.1906

Not known

LAWS

John

Junior

096565

29.12.1966

Illness

LINDSEY

Gordon

Boy 2nd

JX839394

08.10.1948

Accident

LODGE

Edgar

Boy 2nd

J106632

22.01.1924

Illness

LOGAN

James

Youth

-

01.10.1909

Not known

LUCAS

George

Boy 1st

J40081

20.06.1915

Illness

MACKINTOSH

Donald

Boy 2nd

J98326

04.03.1921

MARTIN

George

Boy 2nd

J97437

11.07.1920

MATHER

Charles

Boy 2nd

J101646

12.05.1921

MATTHEWS

Sydney

Boy 1st

J137694

13.09.1933

MIDDLETON

Charles

Instructor Boy

JX882567

26.02.1951

See below

MITCHELL

Godfrey

Boy 2nd

J90733

25.09.1918

Illness

MOFFAT

Claud

Boy 2nd

-

22.02.1912

Not known

MOODY

Frederick

Boy Tel

J54055

19.01.1917

Illness

NAYLOR

John

Boy ?

-

13.04.1906

Not known

NEW

Herbert

Boy 2nd

J99722

12.12.1920

Illness

NEWTON

George

Boy 2nd

J102912

27.10.1921

NOBLE

Leslie

Boy 1st

JX836683

02.07.1948

NUNN

Roy

Boy 2nd

JX164222

25.02.1940

OKE

Thomas

Boy 2nd

JX158150

10.09.1938

Illness

PARKINGTON

Arthur

Boy 2nd

-

04.05.1912

Not known

PARRY

Arthur

Boy Tel

J51931

21.12.1916

Illness

PATRICK

Kenneth

Boy 2nd

JX150327

17.01.1937

PEACOCK

Frederick

Boy 2nd

-

17.03.1909

Not known

PIGEON

Harold

Boy 2nd

J93259

12.11.1918

Illness

PITTMAN

George

Boy 2nd

JX171700

28.11.1939

PRATT

Arthur

Boy 2nd

JX153704

27.07.1937

PRESTON

Alec

Boy 2nd

J94569

08.03.1919

PUTNAM

Pelham

Boy 2nd

J102647

23.12.1921

RAVENSCROFT

Joseph

Boy 2nd

JX 129157

21.05.1927

REITH

James

Boy 2nd

J76277

31.01.1918

REVELL

Charles

Boy 2nd

J50282

15.03.1916

RHODES

Robert

Boy 2nd

J93453

28.11.1918

RICHARDSON

Charles

Boy 2nd

-

03.05.1907

Not known

RICHARDSON

William

Boy 2

-

09.11.1906

Not known

RICKETTS

Bernard

Instructor Boy

JX865905

26.02.1951

See below

RILEY

Wilfred

Boy 2nd

J104129

05.02.1922

Illness

RILEY

George

Boy 1st

J87203

22.10.1918

ROBERTS

Frank

Boy 2nd

J69849

05.07.1917

ROLPH

Arthur

Boy 2nd

J47831

17.06.1916

ROSE

George

Boy ?

-

19.12.1908

Not known

RYDER

George

Boy 1st

J93224

29.10.1918

Illness

SANDEL

George

Boy 2nd

J94638

10.03.1919

SCOBBIE

Kenneth

Junior

058849

05.09.1961

SEDDON

George

Boy 2nd

J93267

10.11.1918

SHORTER

Leonard

Boy 2nd

J93796

04.03.1919

SHRIEVE

G

Boy ?

-

05.12.1905

Not known

SMITH

Arthur

Boy 2nd

J100100

09.08.1921

Illness

SMITH

Wilfred

Boy Tel

J41944

04.12.1915

SMITH

Joseph

Boy 2nd

-

02.07.1912

Not known

SPUFFARD

Clarence

Boy 2nd

-

31.03.1908

Not known

STAFFORD

Herbert

Boy 2nd

J93277

04.12.1918

Illness

STEVENS

Albert

Boy 2nd

J43096

09.10.1915

STEWART

H.G.

Boy ?

-

24.05.1901

Not known

STRATFORD

Ernest

Boy 2nd

J64456

15.05.1917

Illness

STUDD

Richard

Junior

056410

13.02.1961

SULLIVAN

John

Boy 1st

JX899396

08.09.1952

SUMNER

Gilbert

Youth

-

06.10.1909

Not known

TATE

Albert

Boy 2nd

-

20.08.1906

Not known

THEOBALD

Thomas

Boy 2nd

-

09.12.1912.

Not known

TIDMAN

Robert

Boy RNR[T]

SBNo 2477

13.11.1918

Illness

TIPARKS

Reginald

Boy 2nd

-

08.04.1913

Not known

TRANTER

E

Boy ?

-

26.01.1906

Not known

TURNBULL

James

Boy Tel

J76823

10.02.1918

Illness

WADDLE

David

Boy 2nd

JX151631

11.01.1937

WALLER

Arthur

Boy 2nd

J44756

13.03.1916

WARD

George

Boy 2nd

-

13.11.1906

Not known

WATSON

Robert

Boy 2nd

J83466

26.06.1918

Illness

WEBB

Henry

Boy 1st

JX134334

03.03.1931

WEIGHTMAN

Leonard

Boy 2nd

J107275

04.06.1923

WELCH

W.A.

Boy ?

-

22.02.1904

Not known

WESTAWAY

Lewis

Boy 1st

J44713

28.01.1916

Illness

WILD

Raymond

Junior

109246

11.08.1969

WILDERS

Sydney

Boy ?

-

29.01.1909

Not known

WILKINSON

Charles

Boy 2nd

J43447

13.04.1916

Illness

WILLIAMSON

Frederick

Boy 2nd

JX161128

29.03.1940

WRIGHT

Reginald

Boy 2nd

J114301

16.11.1925

WRIGHT

F.E.

Boy ?

-

23.02.1904

Not known

WYNNE

Douglas

Boy 1st

JX912033

04.04.1953

 In this list of 161 deaths of boys at Ganges, 94 are buried here, 58.4%. On my lists above you will see the entry "Youth" in several places. In 1900 the navy had twelve training ships plus several support sea training old cruisers. Both 'boys' and 'youths' were recruited into the navy.  I elaborate on this period in other pages on my site. I also mention first class boys who were borne as PUPIL TEACHERS and Boy 1st Class A.A. King, mentioned below, was one of them.

 

In the list above, I have highlighted in blue the names of boys who are buried in St Mary churchyard.

 

This Memorial stands in the Eastern section of St Mary graveyard and acts as a separator between the civilian burial area and the naval/military burial area.  When it was first erected just the seven names shown had died whilst on the books of HMS Ganges. However, there is more to it than meets the eye, because some of the named have graves immediately in front and below the Memorial, whilst others are not buried at Shotley. The first two named, DEACON and SMITH have no known grave at this cemetery.  They both died in 1900. I have concluded my research on these first named persons with the following confirmed observations - see DEATH DETAILS OF DEACON AND SMITH.  The next name is to me, of the greatest interest because his grave is here and it is unique. He died on the 5th March 1901.  It is unique for two different reasons, the first being that his is the very first HMS Ganges grave at Shotley, and secondly,  his father, at his own expense, erected a traditional  gravestone on his grave which is made from sandstone and stands high and wide. In its day, with its elaborate carving, it would have looked grand, and since every other HMS Ganges grave thereafter was paid for by the navy and they are all identical,* it would have been a 'signpost' marking the start of the final resting places of so many who were to follow. This gravestone for AARON ALFRED KING is now in such bad repair that in just a couple of years time it will be unreadable and lost for ever to our eyes. I have filmed the head stone [see below] and I have written to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission [who maintain and administer the cemetery] asking them whether they would allow me to replace the stone with an identical style stone, and if so, what would be the cost. Some of the words are already lost and the sandstone is splitting and crumbling to dust.  Please see this page for the outcome on this very special grave enquiries THE GRAVE OF BOY FIRST CLASS A.A. KING d.1901 and this file shows a video I took of the failing tomb stone BOY 1st CLASS KING'S GRAVE STONE.swf.

* The grave head stones were made to an Admiralty pattern first used in the 19th century. I first came across these in large numbers in the lovely and well maintained naval burial ground at Clayhall in Gosport just a short walk from the RNH Haslar. The scene I viewed was astonishing and one I will always vividly remember. Imagine a field, full to the brim with the graves or deceased sailors and marines, akin in many ways to the Commonwealth War Grave Cemeteries one sees in northern Europe for the victims of world wars, and this little picture gives one some idea of the vista though not of the experience of a personal visit.

 

Just below where the Memorial stands and to the left are the graves of BROWN, STEWART, WRIGHT and WELCH.  Whilst the Memorial pre-dates the 1905 start of the shore training establishment at Shotley, the very word GANGES should be revered despite the earlier dates.  It is therefore of some importance that KING's gravestone should be replaced, like with like, as a mark of respect to all who lay in this cemetery.

The last GANGES boy to be buried in this cemetery was Robert BUTLER Boy 1st JX 162148 who died 17th January 1940 of illness,  just before the boy's moved away to train on the Isle of Man and Shotley became a training camp for adults, the majority joining as HO's [hostilities only] for war service. Groups of men came to Ganges from Commonwealth countries specifically from New Zealand.  This is a picture of his grave which is close to the submarine memorial.

Note that he was a BOY [and not a Junior or a Youth] and yet he had attained the age of 17 years. Many 18 year olds + in the fleet were BOY'S!  That was the pre-WW2 way of doing things.  Post war Boy's were of the age of fifteen to sixteen and a half depending upon the time they joined.

 

 

SORTED BY DEATH DATE ORDER

SURNAME

Christian Name

Rate/Class

Official Number

Date of Death

Cause of Death

KING.

Aaron

Boy 1st

-

05.03.1901

Not known

BROWN

W.H.

Boy ?

-

31.03.1901

STEWART

H.G.

Boy ?

-

24.05.1901

WELCH

W.A.

Boy ?

-

22.02.1904

WRIGHT

F.E.

Boy ?

-

23.02.1904

SHRIEVE

G

Boy ?

-

05.12.1905

BOYES

G

Boy ?

-

11.01.1906

TRANTER

E

Boy ?

-

26.01.1906

INSTONE

Frank

Boy ?

-

24.03.1906

BUCKNELL

Arthur

Boy ?

-

31.03.1906

NAYLOR

John

Boy ?

-

13.04.1906

LAWRENCE

Arthur

Boy 2nd

-

02.05.1906

FRY

Astley

Boy 2nd

-

15.05.1906

TATE

Albert

Boy 2nd

-

20.08.1906

GREENWOOD

Richard

Youth

-

31.08.1906

BENNISON

Frederick

Boy 2nd

-

01.11.1906

RICHARDSON

William

Boy 2nd

-

09.11.1906

WARD

George

Boy 2nd

-

13.11.1906

RICHARDSON

Charles

Boy 2nd

-

03.05.1907

BICKLE

Thomas

Youth

-

02.03.1908

SPUFFARD

Clarence

Boy 2nd

-

31.03.1908

GUEST

Henry

Boy ?

-

26.05.1908

ROSE

George

Boy ?

-

19.12.1908

WILDERS

Sydney

Boy ?

-

29.01.1909

HAYDEN

William

Boy 2nd

-

02.03.1909

JACKSON

George

Boy ?

-

17.03.1909

PEACOCK

Frederick

Boy 2nd

-

17.03.1909

LOGAN

James

Youth

-

01.10.1909

SUMNER

Gilbert

Youth

-

06.10.1909

GEORGE

Henry

Youth

-

30.06.1910

BACHELOR

Frederick

Boy ?

-

20.09.1910

GRENHAM

Robert

Boy 1st

-

08.12.1911

MOFFAT

Claud

Boy 2nd

-

22.02.1912

PARKINGTON

Arthur

Boy 2nd

-

04.05.1912

LANGLEY

Edward

Boy 2nd

-

07.05.1912

SMITH

Joseph

Boy 2nd

-

02.07.1912

THEOBALD

Thomas

Boy 2nd

-

09.12.1912

TIPARKS

Reginald

Boy 2nd

-

08.04.1913

LAWRENCE

Alfred

Boy 2nd

-

10.06.1913

HILEY

Walter

Boy 2nd

-

22.06.1913

GARNER

Arthur

Boy 2nd

-

08.09.1913

HOLMES

John

Boy 2nd

-

29.11.1913

FILEWOOD

Thomas

Boy 2nd

-

01.07.1914

HOLT

George

Boy 2nd

J34982

06.03.1915

BLAKEY

Morrison

Boy 2nd

J33567

20.03.1915

FRANCIS

Henry

Boy 1st

J45936

07.05.1915

KNIGHTS

Herbert

Boy 2nd

J39235

04.06.1915

DORE

William

Boy 2nd

J40029

18.06.1915

LUCAS

George

Boy 1st

J40081

20.06.1915

BURDEN

Leonard

Boy 1st

J39325

17.08.1915

STEVENS

Albert

Boy 2nd

J43096

09.10.1915

CANNON

John

Boy Sig

J39655

30.11.1915

SMITH

Wilfred

Boy Tel

J41944

04.12.1915

WESTAWAY

Lewis

Boy 1st

J44713

28.01.1916

WALLER

Arthur

Boy 2nd

J44756

13.03.1916

REVELL

Charles

Boy 2nd

J50282

15.03.1916

WILKINSON

Charles

Boy 2nd

J43447

13.04.1916

ROLPH

Arthur

Boy 2nd

J47831

17.06.1916

DENNY

Allan

Boy 1st

J45497

05.08.1916

DADSWELL

Jessie

Boy 2nd

J53152

16.08.1916

DAVEY

Robert

Boy 2nd

J51593

21.08.1916

BOOTH

Herbert

Boy 2nd

J58530

18.11.1916

PARRY

Arthur

Boy Tel

J51931

21.12.1916

ALLEN

Robert

Boy Sig

J54490

02.01.1917

MOODY

Frederick

Boy Tel

J54055

19.01.1917

HILTON

William

Boy 1st

J53775

23.02.1917

ASH

John

Boy Sig

J52812

24.02.1917

BARKER

Frederick

Boy 2nd

J62263

14.03.1917

STRATFORD

Ernest

Boy 2nd

J64456

15.05.1917

ROBERTS

Frank

Boy 2nd

J69849

05.07.1917

BETTS

Frank

Boy 2nd

J75817

28.01.1918

REITH

James

Boy 2nd

J76277

31.01.1918

TURNBULL

James

Boy Tel

J76823

10.02.1918

WATSON

Robert

Boy 2nd

J83466

26.06.1918

MITCHELL

Godfrey

Boy 2nd

J90733

25.09.1918

RILEY

George

Boy 1st

J87203

22.10.1918

RYDER

George

Boy 1st

J93224

29.10.1918

BEAGENT

Alfred

Boy 2nd

J86930

30.10.1918

CRANSWICK

Charles

Boy 2nd

J92932

03.11.1918

ALLAN

John

Boy 2nd

J91526

07.11.1918

LANGRIDGE

William

Boy 2nd

J93003

07.11.1918

SEDDON

George

Boy 2nd

J93267

10.11.1918

PIGEON

Harold

Boy 2nd

J93259

12.11.1918

TIDMAN

Robert

Boy RNR[T]

SBNo 2477

13.11.1918

BUMFORD

John

Boy 2nd

J91937

15.11.1918

JONES

Thomas

Boy 2nd

J92056

23.11.1918

BROWN

Ralph

Boy Sig

J89978

28.11.1918

RHODES

Robert

Boy 2nd

J93453

28.11.1918

STAFFORD

Herbert

Boy 2nd

J93277

04.12.1918

CLARK

Percy

Boy 2nd

J92931

06.12.1918

EVANS

William

Boy 2nd

J92152

28.01.1919

SHORTER

Leonard

Boy 2nd

J93796

04.03.1919

PRESTON

Alec

Boy 2nd

J94569

08.03.1919

FUNNELL

Victor

Boy 2nd

J93768

09.03.1919

SANDEL

George

Boy 2nd

J94638

10.03.1919

LAWRENCE

Frederick

Boy 2nd

J95478

26.03.1920

MARTIN

George

Boy 2nd

J97437

11.07.1920

ADAMS

Albert

Boy 2nd

J96948

23.07.1920

NEW

Herbert

Boy 2nd

J99722

12.12.1920

ELDRED

Leslie

Boy 1st

J96872

07.01.1921

MACKINTOSH

Donald

Boy 2nd

J98326

04.03.1921

MATHER

Charles

Boy 2nd

J101646

12.05.1921

SMITH

Arthur

Boy 2nd

J100100

09.08.1921

GLINN

Samuel

Boy 2nd

J103059

28.09.1921

NEWTON

George

Boy 2nd

J102912

27.10.1921

HOLMES

Walter

Boy 1st

J100094

28.10.1921

DAVEY

Sidney

Boy 1st

J98664

22.12.1921

PUTNAM

Pelham

Boy 2nd

J102647

23.12.1921

HALL

John

Boy 2nd

J105097

27.12.1921

RILEY

Wilfred

Boy 2nd

J104129

05.02.1922

ATHROLL

Francis

Boy 1st

-

05.05.1922

CRISPIN

Grenville

Boy 2nd

J105978

20.03.1923

WEIGHTMAN

Leonard

Boy 2nd

J107275

04.06.1923

LODGE

Edgar

Boy 2nd

J106632

22.01.1924

CAKE

Percy

Boy 2nd

J112646

01.06.1925

JENNINGS

Frederick

Boy 2nd

J113579

25.06.1925

WRIGHT

Reginald

Boy 2nd

J114301

16.11.1925

HOWLETT

Walter

Boy 2nd

J113957

13.01.1926

BISHOP

John

Boy 2nd

-

21.02.1926

BEAUMONT

Owen

Boy 2nd

JX128867

05.02.1927

GERAGHTY

John

Boy 1st

JX126712

05.02.1927

RAVENSCROFT

Joseph

Boy 2nd

JX 129157

21.05.1927

CRUICKSHANK

David

Boy 2nd

JX129600

03.06.1927

FOX

Frederick

Boy 2nd

JX129344

02.10.1927

HICKMAN

Alfred

Boy 2nd

JX132367

06.10.1928

Accident on the Mast

BARNSHAW

Sidney

Boy 1st

-

04.04.1930

Illness

WEBB

Henry

Boy 1st

JX134334

03.03.1931

HOLMES

Alfred

Boy 1st

-

31.01.1932

LARAMAN

Garfield

Boy 2nd

-

05.12.1932

CLARKE

Wilfred

Boy 1st

JX136868

24.01.1933

BELSEY

Clifford

Boy 2nd

JX137631

15.03.1933

MATTHEWS

Sydney

Boy 1st

J137694

13.09.1933

GALLOWAY

Trevor

Boy 2nd

JX138934

15.10.1933

DALLIMORE

Kenneth

Boy 2nd

JX140169

08.03.1934

HOWLETT

Harold

Boy 2nd

JX145007

31.01.1936

WADDLE

David

Boy 2nd

JX151631

11.01.1937

PATRICK

Kenneth

Boy 2nd

JX150327

17.01.1937

DIXON

George

Boy 2nd

JX150012

16.02.1937

BROUGH

George

Boy 2nd

JX150358

02.03.1937

DAVENPORT

Harry

Boy Tel

JX149205

02.07.1937

Accident

PRATT

Arthur

Boy 2nd

JX153704

27.07.1937

Illness

DUNHAM

Bernard

Boy 2nd

JX153295

28.11.1937

ATKINSON

Horace

Boy 2nd

JX152770

15.01.1938

OKE

Thomas

Boy 2nd

JX158150

10.09.1938

DABNOR

Frederick

Boy 2nd

JX159907

05.02.1939

PITTMAN

George

Boy 2nd

JX171700

28.11.1939

BUTLER

Robert

Boy 1st

JX162148

17.01.1940

NUNN

Roy

Boy 2nd

JX164222

25.02.1940

WILLIAMSON

Frederick

Boy 2nd

JX161128

29.03.1940

NOBLE

Leslie

Boy 1st

JX836683

02.07.1948

LINDSEY

Gordon

Boy 2nd

JX839394

08.10.1948

Accident

MIDDLETON

Charles

Instructor Boy

JX882567

26.02.1951

See below

RICKETTS

Bernard

Instructor Boy

JX865905

26.02.1951

See below

SULLIVAN

John

Boy 1st

JX899396

08.09.1952

Illness

WYNNE

Douglas

Boy 1st

JX912033

04.04.1953

HOOPER

Keith

Boy 1st

J941287

16.12.1955

JULIAN

Richard

Junior

J983889

06.02.1960

STUDD

Richard

Junior

056410

13.02.1961

SCOBBIE

Kenneth

Junior

058849

05.09.1961

LAWS

John

Junior

096565

29.12.1966

WILD

Raymond

Junior

109246

11.08.1969

Remember to see the two major causes of death files at the end of the page which covers the period 1893 to 1945

 I am currently awaiting the details of how RILEY was killed and what accident caused the death of DAVENPORT. Also I am awaiting details of how or why Petty Officer Telegraphist Victor. A. HILL 223042 was drowned at Ganges on the 26th March 1919. In the meantime, this is a photograph of his grave in St Mary Churchyard.  P.S. added shortly after this entry - all now resolved!

Click to enlarge

With reference to the above three deaths, I have now concluded my researches.

Have a look at this page.  THE CORRUPTION OF DATA CONCERNING HMS GANGES

This is a picture [click on it] of the British MTB 5518 [Formerly known as a Fast Patrol Boat] - note her four torpedo tubes aft

Click to enlarge

 and this is a picture of the Danish MTB 559 also called the "Raagen"

Click to enlarge

This article comes from the TIMES Newspaper of  February 28th 1951

MTB's COLLIDE IN NORTH SEA.jpg 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                               In the case of Middleton and Ricketts above, they were embarked in a Royal Navy MTB, MTB 5518
                                                                                                                                                                    in a rare opportunity for sea experience/adventure before being properly drafted from Ganges
                                                                                                                                                                               to their first proper sea drafts. They had embarked off Harwich and had ventured
                                                                                                                                                                             into the North Sea where she carried out high speed manoeuvres with a Danish Navy
                                                                                                                                                                                  MTB, the P559 also called the RAAGEN. The two vessels collided and the
                                                                                                                                                                                             RAAGEN sank.  It was salvaged many months later in 1951.  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           These two RN sailors
                                                                                                                                                                                           were missing. They were  posted as missing presumed drowned.

It is reported by the Ganges Museum that these boys were sea sick and had gone below to get their heads down. The bow of the British MTB [in which the boys slept] was sliced-off allowing the sea to wash away the contents of that section of the ship. Again, the Museum says that the remains of Boy Middleton were recovered.  However, I can find no confirmation of that story.

What I can tell you for sure, is that on Sunday 11th March 1951, HMS Ganges held a memorial service in St Georges, an occasion when every seat was occupied, leaving many standing and mourning these two dear boys. The card above  is shown in the Shotley Magazine.

 

     Other boys buried in Shotley [St Mary] Churchyard.

There are 201 Commonwealth burials of the 1914-1918 war here, 8 of which are unidentified, and there are 34 of the 1939-1945 war, 2 of which are unidentified Royal Navy seamen and 2 of which are Merchant Navy seamen from the S.S. Skagerak. There are also 13 German Foreign National burials of the 1914-18 war, 1 of which is unidentified; a total of 235 identified casualties.   It is the common practices that anybody who dies in uniform during a period when our country is at war, irrespective of the cause of death and where, is buried in a war cemetery or in an area adopted by and subsequently maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. However, and justly, there are many boys sharing that privilege who died between the Ganges start-up and the start of WW1, i.e., out of war status.

Recently, on a beautiful May Day 2009, when everything was peaceful and the gardens looking and smelling beautiful, I visited the St Mary CWGC graveyard to do a filming shoot.  I stopped by every grave without exception and paid homage with my 'silent salute' [without the camera of course], checking the names on the Memorial Plates noting all those who were boys at their date of death noting their names as I passed in my research book. I didn't speak to give a commentary of what I was filming and left it to the country noises of birds, distant farm machinery and a little wind noise in the microphone of my movie camera for which I apologise.  For all ex Ganges boys who have never had the privilege to visit this cemetery, or, because of age or distance cannot visit,  I have published some of my film as individual cameos.  They are of raw data and un-edited.  I hope that you find them useful and that they bring a good image of what this beautiful place represents to all who served their country in the bad years of WW1 and WW2 and the in-between years either before or after. In this table below, I have published fourteen takes.  I figured that over-kill would be better than under-kill and put together, they paint a picture of peacefulness from all angles and view points. Use your scroll bars to see the movie show on my multi screen cinema !

You can click on your refresh button at any time to re listen to the hymn Eternal Father.

     
St Mary Shotley CWGC Scene 1 Scene 2  Scene 3. The last boy buried, left front. 
     
Scene 4  Scene 5 Scene 6
     
Scene 7. In this section Boy Hickman who fell from the top
 of the mast in 1928 lies
Scene 8 Scene 9
     
Scene 10  Scene 11. Entrance gate to submarine memorial Scene 12. Note Boy Tel Denison's name.
  Click on your refresh button to free-up and sticking video's.   
Scene 13, Entrance porch to submarine memorial    Scene 14. Note the decaying soft sandstone head stone for Boy King..

Whilst all death is sad, especially when the deceased is young, I feel doubly so when they are children or youths.  The list above is enough to depress anybody, but when boys/youths died fighting in wars, it is hard to accept. In this cemetery, according to the CWGC,  four more boys lay and they too were ex Ganges boys. They were:-

Boy 1st class FrederickBoy 1st class Frederick BYFLEET J34165, of HMS Vivid who died 14th December 1915.

HMS Vivid was the RN Barracks at Devonport which was renamed to HMS Drake.

However, I couldn't find this boys grave in this cemetery !

Boy Tel John DENISON J44783, of HM Submarine E4 who died 15th August 1916

On 15 August 1916, she collided with sister ship HM Submarine E41 during exercises off Harwich. Both ships sank and there were only 14 survivors, all from E41. Both boats were raised, repaired and re-commissioned.

John doesn't have a personal grave here and is recorded by name on the Submarine Memorial.

Boy 1st class William LAWTON J36403, of HMS Pembroke who died 23rd November 1916.

HMS Pembroke was the RN Barracks in Chatham.






Boy Tel Frederick LUDBROOK J55160 of HMS Scott who died 13th November 1918.

HMS Scott was a WW1 destroyer. She was completed in 1917, but her career with the Royal Navy was short-lived, as she was torpedoed on August 15 1918, probably by the submarine UC-17, in the North Sea off the Danish coast.

There are no boys buried in the Shotley Naval Cemetery on the West side of the church.

During the 1939-1945 War, Shotley Gate was the Royal Naval Training Establishment H.M.S. Ganges for HO's, men called up for the war years only. There are 99 Commonwealth burials of the 1939-45 war here, including 3 unidentified sailors of the Royal Navy and 1 unidentified seaman of the Merchant Navy. There are 5 Dutch Navy burials here. In all, there are 101 known casualties. It is a place of peace, dignity and tranquillity befitting the men and women [a Ganges QARNNS Sister and several Wrens] who rest here. Although a dedicated war cemetery it is also first and foremost a Royal Naval Cemetery and any ex RN'er can be buried here.  It is beautifully maintained like all such cemeteries and when my turn comes, I would like to rest there.

Shotley church is a lonely area frequented by a few locals and worshippers.  To say the least, it is off the beaten track.  It is an area one should visit on a sunny and warm day and not on a cold and wet day. The outward appearance of the church [which is odd and most unattractive] belies what one will find inside the church which is traditional and lovely. The traditional grave yard surrounding the church, which is largely on the flat and well maintained where the graves can be seen by visitors and worshippers but not so where the graves are out of sight out of mind, leads down to a lower area of a more precipitous landscape. There, in this lower area, one enters a beautifully maintained military/naval cemetery which is enough to take ones breath away and to stimulate a lump in ones throat and the proverbial wetted eye. To be amongst all these boys, youths and young men is humbling, to say the least, and here, I am going to use some of the words written by SIMON KNOTT  about the areaSimon knows the place well and his scholarly prose needs no assistance from me.

He says

In winter this is a wild place, the gales from the great German Ocean flattening the hedgerows, the windows of the Bristol Arms rattling in the gusts along the empty streets, the ghosts of HMS Ganges, the Royal Navy Training College, silent now above the mudflats when the tide is out. But this was once a busy place, full of the chatter of young sailors, and during the First World War it was a famous place. Today it has lost its way: it is still one of Suffolk's biggest villages, but its remoteness ill-serves the housing estates which sprawl back towards Erwarton and Chelmondiston. Shotley is a strange place.

The setting of this church is also most curious. It is further from the village it serves than any other Suffolk church. Erwarton parish church is closer to Shotley village than Shotley church is. St Mary stands in a tiny, tightly-packed hamlet in the low hills towards Chelmondiston. In fact, this was the original village. The place we now call Shotley was once an outlying fishing hamlet, Shotley Gate. You reach St Mary along one of two narrow lanes.

The stubby tower of the church hugs a later raised clerestory, quite out of keeping with each other. If I come here on a hot Summer's day, and climb the steep hill leading up to it, I am always reminded more of the Dordogne than of East Anglia. The graveyard is set on a steep hillside, the huge cranes of Trimley Dock towering precipitously beyond the river below. This graveyard is one of the most haunting in East Anglia, filled with the graves of mostly teenage lads sent out by HMS Ganges to die in accidents and wars. Some of their bodies were brought back for burial, but most often these are mere memorials to young boys lost deep beneath fathoms of filthy, icy water. You think of their happy laughter: climbing onto the bus to go to the pictures in Ipswich, or courting a local girl along one of the narrow, poppy-lined lanes. It is heartbreaking, particularly if you are a parent.

Simon paints a picture of loneliness now for the village and surrounding area, and he does mention the oft times inclement and unfriendly weather. That weather all us ex Ganges boys can remember well, dressed in inappropriate gear, sports rig for example, doing outdoor activities no matter what the weather.  I too find the graveyard most haunting, and having four grandchildren one of whom is already fifteen and the others not that far behind, I would give all I have in returned for a promise that they will each have a full and happy life.

I was thinking a while ago that it would be nice if the Ganges Association adopted these graves, all of them, and on each remembrance day a garland of poppies could be put on each of the head stones.  This would be far better than spending their time engaged in in-fighting and revelry !

There are many Admiralty records on the history of HMS Ganges, and for Harwich from 1900, other names for the Establishment. This one I have copied to illustrate 'deaths' from 1893 until 1945. First read this file

DEATHS AT HMS GANGES [ABNORMAL].docx

and then look at the main page showing all deaths here

An abbreviated historic file on deaths in HMS Ganges from 1893 until 1945, with secondary reports for Ganges II.pdf