Elias was born in Hornsey, London on 28th April 1886 to parents Henry and Julia.
On the 1891 census, aged 3, Elias was the eldest of 3 children; the youngest, Lily, just 6 months old. His father Henry was a plumber and the family lived at 28 Palmerston Road in Islington.
He can’t be found on the 1901 census but joined the Navy on 5th February 1902 after leaving his labouring job. He was recorded being 5'8" tall, with fair hair and blue eyes and had a tattoo of an anchor with stars on his right forearm, a sailor tattoo on his left forearm and a scar on his thumb.
On joining, he was sent first to HMS Boscawen (a shore based establishment for training) on 05/02/1902 as a Boy 2nd Class, leaving 30/01/1903, as a Boy 1st Class.
The remainder of his service follows:
HMS MINOTAUR - 31/01/1903 - 07/05/1903
HMS AGINCOURT - 08/05/1903 - 13/10/1903
HMS MINERVA - 14/10/1903 - 10/11/1903
HMS BEDFORD - 11/11/1903 - 26/03/1906, rising to Ordinary Seaman on 28th April 1904
HMS PEMBROKE I - 27/03/1906 - 10/04/1906
HMS ENDYMION - 11/04/1906 - 09/11/1906
HMS PEMBROKE I - 10/11/1906 - 05/02/1907, rising to Able Seaman on 16/01/1907
HMS HYACINTH - 06/02/1907 - 08/08/1907
HMS SEALARK - 09/08/1907 - 28/02/1909
HMS SAPPHO - 01/03/1909 - 28/04/1909
HMS PEMBROKE I - 29/04/1909 - 14/11/1909
HMS HOGUE - 15/11/1909 - 11/10/1910
HMS INFLEXIBLE - 12/10/1910 - 12/05/1911 - stationed off Howeth Head, Dublin at the time of the 1911 census
HMS PEMBROKE I - 13/05/1911 - 25/05/1911
HMS ACTAEON - 26/05/1911 - 21/11/1911
HMS PEMBROKE I - 22/11/1911 - 02/02/1912
HMS VULCAN - 03/02/1912 - 15/03/1912
HMS PEMBROKE - 16/03/1912 - 09/04/1912
HMS VANGUARD - 10/04/1912 - 09/07/1917, rising to Leading Seaman on 14/02/1913 and passing his test for Petty Officer on 15th March 1917.
Elias was aboard HMS Vanguard when she took part in the Battle of Jutland the previous year, part of the 4th Battle Squadron. Elias was not a stranger to dramatic events - indeed he was awarded a bronze medal from the Royal Humane Society on 9th January 1906 for saving the life of a man in New York Harbour on 12th November 1905 (see pic)
He was killed aged 30
#14 - 258/843)
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 - Free BMD
1891, 1901 & 1911 England Census
Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services, 1848-1939 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services; Class: ADM 188; Piece: 386
Find A Grave Index for Burials at Sea and other Select Burial Locations, 1300s-Current
National Archives Admiralty and predecessors: Office of the Director General of the Medical Department of the Navy and predecessors: Service Registers and Registers of Deaths and Injuries. Registers of Reports of Deaths
British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 National Archives Admiralty: Naval Casualties, Indexes, War Grave Rolls and Statistics Book, First World War.; Class: ADM 242; Piece: 008 (1914 - 1919)
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/8; Scan Number: 0224
Medal photo courtesy of Howard Bird
Photo coloured by Wendy Sadler