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Person Details
04 Sep 1896
Horace Sydney Gray was the son of James Gray, who was employed as a joiner, and Caroline Middleton. They married at Derby in 1878. Among their children were: Joseph Herbert (b.1881), Sarah Ann (b.1884), Catherine (b.1886), Ethel Mary (b.1887), James William (b.1889/d.1892), Wilfred Oswald (b.1894/d.1903), Horace Sydney (b.1896). The Grays lived at: 7 Eley Street, Derby [C.1891 & C.1901]. In 1904 Caroline Gray died at Derby at the age of 45. James Gray appears to have set up home in about 1907 with Charlotte Hayman (nee Marshall), a married woman, who had children of her own. They could be found living together at 26 Hawden Road Sheffield in the 1911 census. Horace Sydney was the only one of James’s original brood still living with him. Charlotte had her son, Thomas Henry Hayman (b.1900), plus there were two children that James and Charlotte had had together: Josephine Mabel Gray [Hayman] (b.1908) and Dorothy Gray [Hayman] (b.1909). The couple were able to marry at Nottingham in 1912. The address in Horace Sydney Gray’s Naval records for his father was 234 Denman Street, Radford, Nottingham. James Gray died at Nottingham, aged 62, in 1921. His second wife, Charlotte Gray, died in the Basford registration district, aged 71, in 1941.
Employed as apprentice joiner's tool maker (C. 1911). He was a bottler when he joined the Royal Navy on 21 January 1914.
01 Jan 1915
3033637 - CWGC Website
J/29418 (PO)
Ordinary Seaman
HMS Formidable Royal Navy
Horace joined the Royal Navy on 21 January 1914 when he was 17 years old and engaged for 12 years on 11 September 1914 when he was 18. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: HMS Vivid, 21 January 1914-5 June 1914 (Boy 2nd Class, 3 June 1914 Boy 1st Class); HMS Formidable, 6 June 1914-1 January 1915 (Ordinary Seaman 4 September 1914). Service record annotated ‘NP 32/15. DD 1 January 1915. Lost in Formidable.’ He was serving aboard H.M.S. Formidable, a pre-dreadnought battleship; the ship was on exercises in the English Channel when it was struck by two torpedoes fired by a German submarine, U-24. It took about forty five minutes to sink and while some of the crew were rescued by nearby vessels 35 officers and 512 men out of the complement of 780 crew members were lost. Horace Sydney Gray’s body was not recovered for burial and his name is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial in Hampshire.
Remembered on