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Samuel Bruce Hammersley (Po) J 39528, Able Seaman.

Samuel was born on 18th September 1898 in Darlington, Durham to parents Henry and Elizabeth and baptised on 5th October 1898 at St Paul’s Church. He was 2 years old recorded on the 1901 census; he and his family lived on High Boyne Street in Cockerton, with his Grandfather, Aunt and Uncle living next door. On the next (1911) census he was recorded, aged 12 and at school. He was the third of 5 children, sadly 9 other siblings had died and the family lived at 52 Lansdown Street, Darlington.

He joined the Navy as a Boy 2nd Class on 27th March 1915, training at HMS Ganges, recorded as 5' tall, with brown hair, grey eyes and a fresh complexion. He furthered his training at Victory I, rising to Boy 1st Class on 3rd July 1915 and leaving the base on 21st September 1915, joining the Vanguard the following day.

Samuel advanced to Ordinary Seaman on 19th May 1916, days before the Battle of Jutland. He then rose in rank to Able Seaman on 10th February 1917, but tragically lost his life, aged 18, with the Vanguard's explosion.

If there was bitter sweet comfort at his death, being such a young age, it was that he was not alone when he died, as his older brother was also aboard the ship.

He was awarded the Star, Victory and British medals.

(#186 - 357/841)


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

England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975

1901 & 1911 England Census Class: RG14; Piece: 29524

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: 726

CWGC Register

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: Piece 008; Piece Description: Piece 008 (1914 - 1919)

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

Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/8; Scan Number: 0737

Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 ADM 171; Piece: 104

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