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Ernest George Bean. (Ch) 16631 Private RMLI.

Ernest was born on 4th April 1893 in Deal, Kent to parents Richard and Emily (Read).

He enlisted to the Royal Marine Light Infantry on 9th February 1910 aged 17 years old, previously finding employment as a shop porter, recorded on his papers as 5'9" tall with fair hair and blue eyes. He spent the first two years training at Deal and Chatham and during the 1911 census he was recorded as being stationed at the Royal Marine Barracks in Chatham, Kent.

Ernest embarked aboard his first ship on 26th January 1912 - HMS HIBERNIA. He very well may have witnessed the first trials of launching an aircraft from a vessel, as a temporary runway was added to the ship. He left on 13th May 1912 and transferred to HMS LONDON the next day until 17th February 1914. He joined HMS VANGUARD on 31st March 1914.

He was married on 13th July 1915 to Ruby Constance Gillings in Chelsea, London, listing HMS Vanguard as his place of residence. The wedding was witnessed by Ruby's sister and Gilbert Fuller, another crew member and his friend. Gilbert was also Ernest's Best Man at the ceremony. Both men wore their Navy uniforms and the bridesmaids carried baskets of flowers with Vanguard coloured streamers attached.

Ernest and his new wife received a pair of sugar tongs which were presented from the Marine Detachment of HMS Vanguard. Several more of the Vanguard crew were present at the wedding.

Signature from marriage certificate - courtesy of P Toop.

In 1916 he was aboard the ship at the time of the Battle of Jutland and was tragically killed the following year. His pension was awarded to his wife Ruby for their daughter Phyllis Ernestine Ruby Bean who was born after his death. She was also issued his Star, Victory and British war medals.

He is remembered in perpetuity on the Chatham Naval Memorial.

(#4 - 59/843)


England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 Free BMD

1911 England Census

England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915

London, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921 London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; London Church of England Parish Registers; Reference Number: P74/CTC/009

UK, Royal Marines Registers of Service Index, 1842-1925

British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Admiralty: Naval Casualties, Indexes, War Grave Rolls and Statistics Book, First World War.; Class: ADM 242; Piece: 007 (1914 - 1919)

CWGC Register

World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 Western Front Association; London, England; WWI Pension Record Cards and Ledgers; Reference: 019/0062/BEA-BEA

Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/7; Scan Number: 0261

Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 Class: ADM 171; Piece: 167

Photo sources- Penny Toop and Wendy Sadler

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