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Henry James Howard. (Ch) J 31330, Ordinary Seaman.

Henry was born on the 10th Dec 1898 to parents Thomas and Helen and the youngest of four children on the 1901 census two years later. He, his older siblings and parents lived at 15 Western Cottages, in the parish of Foots Cray, Kent. In the ten years that passed the Howard family had expanded to another 6 children and by the 1911 census they lived at 48 Bukbeck Road, Sidcup, Kent - Henry attended school and worked part time as an errand boy. He also worked as a printers boy before he joined the Navy but left and signed up as a Boy 2nd Class on 11th May 1914, attached to HMS POWERFUL.

He remained there until 5th January 1915, rising to Boy 1st Class a few months later and was posted to his first ship, HMS VANGUARD, on 6th January 1915, for just over a year. He left the dreadnought and was sent to HMS PEMBROKE I for four months, returning to Scapa Flow and HMS VANGUARD on 11th April 1916 until 31st October 1916. During this posting he experienced the Battle of Jutland, still as a Boy 1st Class. After one month back at Chatham, HMS PEMBROKE I, he returned again to HMS VANGUARD on his 18th birthday, where he remained until he was killed.

He was 5'2" tall, with brown hair, grey eyes and a fair complexion. His pension and Star, Victory and British war medals were claimed by his parents following his death.

(#54 - 411/843)


England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 FreeBMD

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: 709

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: 008 (1914 - 1919)

CWGC Register

Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/8; Scan Number: 1002

British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; 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

Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 Class: ADM 171; Piece: 106

Photo courtesy of Bexley Archives.

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