[Skip to content]

Person Details
26 May 1895
Gamston near West Bridgford
Robert was the son of Thomas Bee and his wife Louisa nee Thorpe. Thomas Bee was born in Swarby, Lincolnshire, and Louisa in Wilsford, Lincolnshire, the daughter of Thomas and Sarah Thorpe. Thomas and Louisa were married in 1882 (J/A/S Sleaford) and according to the 1911 Census had seven children: John T, Edith Alice, George T, William Henry, Charles Reginald birth registered 1893 (J/F/M Basford), Robert Harold b. 26 May 1895 and Frank Sydney b. 1897 (A/M/J Basford). The birth places of the oldest four children are given variously in Lincolnshire, but the youngest three boys were born in Nottinghamshire, probably in Gamston although Barkestone/Barnstone appears on some census. In 1891 Thomas (33), a horseman, was living in Osbournby Lincolnshire. He was alone in the home on the night of the census as his wife Louisa (26) and their four children, John (7), Edith (6), George (2) and William (6 months) were visitors in the home of her married sister, Flora Welbourne (23), and her husband George Welbourne, a malster, in Spittlegate, Lincolnshire. By 1901 Thomas (43) and Louisa were living in Gamston where Thomas was a wagoner. Five of their children were at home on the night of the census: George (12), William (10), Charles (8), Robert (5) and Frank (3). Ellen (15) was probably registered in Eccles, Lancashire, a servant in the household of Alfred Thorpe (38, b. Nottingham) and his wife; Alfred was manager (sewing machine maker). Their eldest son, John, would have been 17 at the time of the census and was probably working and living away from home as was their daughter. By the time of the 1911 Census Thomas (53) was at the Harlequin public house in Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire. In the home on the night of the census were his wife and five of their seven children: Edith (25) a blouse cutter, William (20) a farm labourer, Charles (18) a merchant's clerk, Robert (15) a bricklayer's labourer ad Frank, a telegraph messenger. At the time of the census George was serving in India with the 1st Battalion, Sherwood Foresters. At the time of Robert's death in 1918 the family was living at 2 Florence Road, Gedling. Robert's brother Frank Sydney also died in the war. Frank served as a lance-corporal (40339) in the 8th Bn The Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire Regiment) and was killed in France on 4 November 1918. He is also commemorated on the Gedling All Hallows memorial.
He was a bricklayer's labourer in 1911 but gave his occupation as a loader (colliery) when he joined the Royal Navy in 1913.
02 Aug 1918
3039464 - CWGC Website
Able Seaman
HMS Ariel Royal Navy
Robert joined the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class on 8 April 1913 and entered on a 12 year engagement on his 18th birthday, 26 May 1913. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: Vivid I 8 April 1913-17 August 1913 (Boy 2nd Class, Boy 1st Class 21 July 1913); HMS Queen, 18 August 1913-19 December 1913 (Ordinary Seamen 8 October 1913); Victory l, 20 December 1913-24 January 1914; HMS Vernon, 25 January 1914-2 May 1914; HMS Duncan,3 May 1914-June 1914; HMS Queen, June 1914-16 April 1916 (Able Seaman 17 December 1914); Victory l, 17 April 1916-9 May 1916; HMS Excellent, 10 May 1916-16 July 1916; Woolwich (Ariel), 17 July 1916-30 September 1916; Vivid II (Ariel), 1 October 1916-31 August 1917; HMS Apollo (Ariel), 1 September 1917-30 September 1917’ HMS (-), 1 October 1917-30 June 1918; HMS Leander (Ariel), 1 July 1918-2 August 1918. His service record was annotated, ‘AG 1112/1918. Killed on 2 August 1918. HMS Ariel’ HMS Ariel, an Acheron type destroyer launched in 1911, had a crew of 70. Used for minelaying duties she was part of a minelaying detachment comprising four destroyers operating from the Humber on the east coast. They became part of the new Twentieth Destroyer Flotilla in March 1918. HMS Ariel was lost when she hit a mine on 2 August 1018.; 49 members of the ship's company were killed. Robert's body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. He was awarded the French Medaille Militaire (London Gazette 21 June 1918) and qualified for the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
The captain of HMS Ariel was Lieutenant Frank Alan Rothera RN (july 1917-August 1918) who was the son of Frank Rothera, M.D. and Ada Rothera of Beeston, Nottingham. Lieutenant Rothera and Petty Officer Stoker William Henry Harrison from Hucknall also died in HMS Ariel.
Remembered on