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  • Photograph was published 27th July 1916 in the Nottingham Evening Post and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Person Details
04 Dec 1893
Meadows, Nottingham
James was the son of James Tongue (b. abt. 1867, Sutton Bonington) and his second wife, Fanny nee Oliver (b. abt. 1870, Codnor, Derbyshire) whom he married in 1890. James and Fanny had four children, Winifred (b. abt. 1892) and James (b. 1893), David (b. abt. 1897) and Harold (b. abt. 1899). However, James Tongue senior had also had a son, James Bernard (known as Bernard), by Emma Elizabeth Tongue nee Snow whom he had married in 1883; Bernard had been born the following year. Emma died in 1888 aged 27. In 1881 James Tongue senior, then 14 years old, was a hosier's assistant, and living with his widowed mother, Sarah Tongue (50), a domestic servant, and his two sisters, Eliza (29, b. Nottingham), a hosiery turner-off, and Annie (16, b. Sutton Bonington), a domestic servant, at 12 Lion Square, Nottingham. By 1891 James, a fireman (railway), having been married twice in the intervening 10 years, was living with his second wife Fanny and his son Bernard at 1 Mayfield Terrace, Meadows, Nottingham. It would seem that the census enumerator mistakenly recorded Bernard's age as 6 months as other evidence suggests he would have been 6 years old. James probably died in 1898 age 31, meaning that his youngest son, Harold, was born posthumously the following year. At the time of the 1901 census the widowed Fanny and her four children, Winifred (9), James (7), David (4) and Harold (2) were living at 55 Blackstone Street, Meadows, in the household of Lizzie Oliver (26), a laundress. Fanny, who was Lizzie's sister, was also working as a laundress. Fanny's stepson, Bernard (16), was also living with them but was described as a 'lodger'; he was employed as a carter for a provision merchant. Fanny, Winifred and James Tongue were still living at 55 Blackstone Street in 1904 when Bernard named them as his next of kin living at this address when he joined the Sherwood Foresters. However, it appears that James' family was split up some time after this date. Winifred died in 1907 aged 15 and James joined the Royal Navy in 1910 having previously been in the Gordon Boys' Home, Nottingham. In 1911 his brother Harold (12), who was still at school, was recorded on the census as a patient in an Institution in Nottingham; the residents who comprised children and adults were described as either 'inmates' or 'patients', many of the adults were in paid employment. On the same census Fanny Tongue was a live-in servant in the household of Walter Blackman, a grocer, and his family at 179 Quarry Road, Bulwell. James' other brother, David, has not yet been traced on the 1911 census but a record has been found of the marriage of a David Tongue to Clarice Culley in Nottingham in December 1925. According to the notice of his death in the local paper, James was living at 7 Radcliffe Terrace, Meadows, Nottingham, at the time of his death. James' half-brother, Bernard, served continuously in the Sherwood Foresters from 1904 until his death on the Western Front on 29 April 1915 (Corporal 9082). He left a widow, Florence Gertrude (nee Parsons), whom he had married on 24 December 1914.
He attended Bath Street School, Meadows. James joined the Royal Navy from the Gordon Boys' Home in 1910.
31 May 1916
22
3038840 - CWGC Website
J/10229
Able Seaman
HMS Queen Mary Royal Navy
James joined the Royal Navy on 24 October 1910 at the age of 16 and signed on a 12 year engagement on 4 December 1911 when he was 18 years old. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: HMS Ganges, 24 October 1910-3 February 1911; HMS (-) 4 February 1911-27 March 1911 (Boy 1st Class 7 February 1911); HMS Antrim 28 March 1911-16 June 1911; HMS Prince George 17 June 1911-28 July 1911; HMS Hercules 29 July 1911-6 March 1913 (Ordinary Seaman 4 December 1911, Able Seaman 25 January 1913); Victory I 7 March 1913-8 March 1913; HMS Excellent 9 March 1913-3 September 1913; HMS Queen Mary 4 September 1913-31 May 1916. His service record was annotated, ‘NP39251916. DD 31st May 1916. Killed in action.’ He died at the Battle of Jutland when HMS Queen Mary was sunk by shellfire. His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. Battle of Jutland. HMS Queen Mary (Captain CI Prowse) put to sea with the Battlecruiser Fleet (Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty in HMS Lion) to intercept a sortie by the German High Seas Fleet into the North Sea. ‘As the Queen Mary fought back under the concentrated fire of Sydlitz and Derfflinger, observers saw three shells of a salvo of four strike home on her at 4.26, followed quickly by two more shells from the next salvo. As a tremendous flame of dark red burst from her and a pillar of smoke rose high into the air, she was rent apart by a shattering concussion as her magazines exploded … Her back broken, the gallant Queen Mary threw her stern into the air, her propellers still slowly revolving … then as further underwater explosions shook her, she plunged to the bottom.’ (‘Jutland’, Captain Donald MacIntyre RN, 1957) There were only a few survivors from a ship’s company of nearly 1300 men. The wreck was discovered in the North Sea in 1991; she is designated as a protected place under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.
Nottingham Post notice (abridged), 27 July 1916. 'Gunner J Tongue, 7 Ratcliffe Terrace, Nottingham, aged 22, lost with HMS Queen Mary.' In memoriam published 31st May 1917 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- TONGUE. – In ever-loving memory of James Tongue, who lost his life on H.M.S. Queen Mary, May 31st, 1916. Always remembered. – Mother and brothers.” In memoriam published 31st May 1918 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “TONGUE. – In loving memory of James Tongue, who lost his life on H.M.S. Queen Mary, May 31st, 1916. Gone, but not forgotten. – Mother and brothers (in France).” In memoriam published 31st May 1919 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “TONGUE. – In loving memory of James Tongue, who went down with H.M.S. Queen Mary, May 31st, 1916. Ever in our thoughts. – Mother and brothers.” Above in memoriam are courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War 1914-1918
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  • Photograph was published 27th July 1916 in the Nottingham Evening Post and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
    James Tongue - Photograph was published 27th July 1916 in the Nottingham Evening Post and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918