William Henry Seal (Ch) 176906 Chief Petty Officer.



William was born on 27th December 1877 in Leigh, Kent, to John and Sophia Colvin and baptised a month later, early in the new year, on 27th January 1878. In the 1881 census he and his family were living at Coppins Brook Cottages in Leight parish - by 1891 the Seal family had moved to Leigh Park Cottages, in the same village; William then aged 13 and working as an agricultural labourer with his father.

Just two short years later William joined the Navy as a Boy 2nd Class, training at HMS BOSCAWEN until 12 Feb 1895, rising to Boy 1st Class on 12th September 1894. He was recorded as 5'7" tall with black hair and hazel eyes and the remainder of his service record follows:



INFLEXIBLE - 13/02/1895 - 18/02/1895

VERNON - 19/02/1895 - 22/05/1895

INFLEXIBLE - 23/05/1895 - 23/05/1895

RAVEN - 24/05/1895 - 21/01/1896, rising to Ordinary Seaman on his 18th Birthday, 27th Dec 1895

VICTORY I - 22/01/1896 - 28/01/1896

INFLEXIBLE - 29/01/1896 - 13/04/1896

FOX - 14/04/1896 - 07/07/1899, rising to Able Seaman on 03/12/1896

PEMBROKE - 08/07/1899 - 10/10/1899, rising to Leading Seaman on 22/09/1899

WILDFIRE - 11/10/1899 - 01/09/1900

VERNON - 02/09/1900 - 24/11/1900, rising to Petty Officer 2nd Class on 01/10/1900

WILDFIRE - 25/11/1900 - 29/04/1903, rising to Petty Officer 1st Class on 29/10/1901 (William was here during the 1901 census. He also married Minnie Wright on 17th March 1901)

PEMBROKE - 30/04/1903 - 18/04/1904

PALLAS - 19/04/1904 - 12/11/1904

PEMBROKE - 13/11/1904 - 13/12/1904

WILDFIRE - 14/12/1904 - 19/05/1905

PEMBROKE - 20/05/1905 - 15/07/1906

ANDROMEDA - 16/07/1906 - 21/04/1907

ACHILLES - 22/04/1907 - 10/05/1909, rising to Petty Officer on 03/02/1909

PEMBROKE I - 11/05/1909 - 04/04/1910

BLACK PRINCE - 05/04/1910 - 22/04/1912, aboard the Armoured Cruiser which was anchored during the night of the 1911 census.

PEMBROKE - 23/04/1912 - 31/01/1914, rising to CPO on 27/06/1913

VANGUARD - 01/02/1914 - 09/07/1917

William left a widow and two children, William and Winifred.

(#112 - 670/843)



Leigh Village c1904

Sources:

1881, 1891, 1901 & 1911 England Census

England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 - Ancestry.com

Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services, 1848-1939 National Archives Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services; Class: ADM 188; Piece: 291

England, Select Marriages, 1538–1973 - Ancestry.com

CWGC Register

British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 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

WWI Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 - Ancestry.com

Photo courtesy of Brian Budge

Village photo courtesy of http://theweald.org/P5.asp?PId=PK.Leigh

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