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Person Details
15 Aug 1890
Josiah was born on 15th August 1890 at Nottingham and was the son of Harry Tomlinson and the late Annie Tomlinson. In 1901 Josiah was living at 8 King George Street, Woolpack Lane, Nottingham, in the household of his great grandmother, Eliza Mathews, a widow. Also in Eliza's household was her daughter, Harriet Foss (46), two of Harriet's children, Susie (17) and James (14), two grandsons, Josiah (10) and Harry Tomlinson (8) and a boarder, Charles Beilby (31). By the time of the 1911 census Josiah was serving in the Royal Navy, but his brother, Harry, was still living at 8 King George Street, although it was his grandmother, Harriet Foss (nee Mathews), who was now head of household. The household comprised Harriet, a widow who had given birth to seven children of whom only four were still living, her daughter, Susie (27) and grandsons Harry Tomlinson and Walter Robuck (11). Charles Beilby was still living in the household and there was also another lodger, Ellen Willie (22). Josiah's service record gives his next of kin as his grandmother, Mrs Harriett Foss, 8 King George Street, Woolpack Lane, Nottingham.
He was a brass worker when he joined the Royal Navy on 25 July 1907; he joined for 12 years on his 18th birthday (15 August 1908).
10 Aug 1918
2750607 - CWGC Website
Able Seaman
HMS Albacore Royal Navy
Josiah joined the Royal Navy on 25 July 1907 and then enlisted for 12 years on his 18th birthday, 15th August 1908. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: Ganges II (25 July 1907-30 October 1907, Boy 2nd Class 25 July and Boy 1st Class 25 October 1907); HMS Bulwark (31 October 1907-13 June 1908), HMS Majestic (14 June-17 August 1908, Ordinary Seaman 15 August), HMS Bulwark (18 August 1908-24 April 1911, Able Seaman), HMS Implacable (25 April 1911-13 May 1912), HMS Africa (14 May 1912-12 February 1913), Pembroke I (13 February 1913-30 June 1913), HMS Lord Nelson (1 July 1913-19 September 1917, Leading Seaman 1916), Pembroke I (20 September 1917-20 January 1918), HMS Victorious/Albacore (32 January 1918-31 March 1918), Vanessa II (1 April 1918-10 August 1918, Able Seaman 23 July 1918)’ The Register of Seamen's Services gives his last ship as HMS Albacore while the RN&RM War Graves Roll gives 'Vanessa II'. Josiah was rated Leading Seaman in 1916 but was disrated to Able Seaman on 23 July 1918, 'Warrant 96.237.18. Dis [disrated] AB [Able Seaman wef 23 July 1918] (-) absent and wilful disobedience.' He was killed on 10 August 1918 falling off a train; the notes on his service documents read: ‘NP 8241/18, DD [discharged dead] 10 August 1918. Accidentally killed on railway’, and ‘NP38148/18. Jury at inquest held 12 August 1918 returned an Open Verdict that deceased met his death by falling off the train.' He is buried in Nottingham General Cemetery (grave ref. 03276).
HMS Vanessa II was a 356-ton steam-yacht, 'GOLDEN EAGLE' hired to the Admiralty in 1914 as Vanessa. Her name was changed to Vanessa II in February 1917. On 13th August 1918 the inquest was reported into the death of Able Seaman Josiah Tomlinson, H.M.S. Albacore, who fell from a train on 10th August 1918. “FALL FROM EXPRESS TRAIN. “NOTTINGHAM NAVAL MAN KILLED. “The Coroner for North Carnarvonshire held an inquiry at Bangor yesterday [12th August 1918] into the circumstances resulting in the death of Josiah Tomlinson, of 8, King George-street, Nottingham, an A.B. in the Royal Navy. “According to the evidence Tomlinson, who was travelling in the 8.30 p.m. express from Holyhead, running to Crewe without a stop, suddenly opened the corridor door of the carriage, stepped on the footboard, closed the door, and then jumped off the train. Only one man, a soldier, appeared to have witnessed the act, and he pulled the communication cord, and told the guard what had happened. “Dr. J. E. Thomas, Bangor, described the injuries and added that when the body was searched the fragments of two three half-pint bottles which had contained whiskey were found. “The jury returned the open verdict of “Died of injuries received by falling from a train. No evidence to say how he fell." Above inquest was reported on 13th August 1918 in the Nottingham Evening Post and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.
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