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Person Details
13 Sep 1898
He was the son of Henry and Agnes Eva Yates (nee Hempstead). Henry and Agnes were married in 1881 (J/A/S Nottingham) and according to the 1911 Census they had had eight children of whom only six were still living at the time of the census: Joseph, Nellie, Agnes Phoebe, Florrie, May Beatrice and Henry Hempstead. All the children were born in Nottingham. The family has not yet been traced on the 1891 Census, but in 1901 Henry (42), a brass bobbin hand, and Agnes (45 b. Richmond, Surrey) were living at 58 Lenton Street, Hyson Green, with their children Joseph (15), Nellie (13), Agnes (11), Florrie (8), May (5) and Henry (2). By 1911 Henry (52) and Agnes (54) were living at 344 Alfreton Road, Nottingham. Four of their six children were still at home; Agnes (22), Florrie (19), May (16) and Henry (13). Henry was probably still at school but the occupations of his siblings were not given on the census return. Joseph, the eldest surviving child, probably married Annie Hill in 1909 and in 1911 they were living at 41 Bradgate Road, Nottingham. Agnes Phoebe married Horace William Raynor in 1913 (O/N/D Nottingham); he served in the Rifle Brigade (S/3191 Rifleman) and died of influenza on 26 November 1918 aged 27. Agnes married Alfred Smith in 1928 and died aged 75 in 1965 (June Nottingham). May Beatrice married Albert J Laws in 1914 (O/N/D Nottingham). May's married secondly Horace E Smith in 1946 (J/F/M Nottingham). He died on 12 December 1948 and she then married Horace G Hill in 1949 (O/N/D Nottingham). May died in 1969 (buried 6 February 1969) aged 73. Florrie remained unmarried and died in 1980 at the age of 87 (b. 12 January 1893). At the time of Henry's death in 1917 his parents were living at 5 Albert Avenue, Bobbers Mill, Nottingham. His mother died at the age of 59 in 1918 (death registered December, Nottingham).
He was a tobacco worker at John Player & Sons when he joined the Royal Navy in October 1916.
09 Jul 1917
3041874 - CWGC Website
SS/7754 (Po)
Ordinary Seaman
HMS Vanguard Royal Navy
Henry joined the Royal Navy on 15 October 1916 on a 12 year engagement (5 years and 7 years in the Royal Fleet Reserve). He served in Victory I from 15 October until 29 January 1917 and then in HMS Vanguard until 9 July 1917 when HMS Vanguard was sunk by an explosion while in Scapa Flow with the loss of all but two of her crew. His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. HMS Vanguard was a St. Vincent-class ‘Dreadnought’ type battleship built by Vickers at Barrow-in-Furness. She was designed and built during the Anglo-German naval race and spent her life in the British Home Fleet. HMS Vanguard saw action at Jutland and returned undamaged from the battle. On the afternoon of 9 July 1917, the ship was destroyed by a spontaneous cordite explosion at Scapa Flow whilst her crew was practising the drill to abandon ship. It is likely that an undetected adjacent coal bunker fire caused the explosive to become dangerously over-heated. Only two of Vanguard’s crew of around 900 survived the disaster.
Nottingham Post obituary (abridged)16 July 1917: YATES, lost in HMS Vanguard, July 9th, Henry Hempstead Yates, youngest son of Agnes and Henry Yates, 5 Albert Avenue, Bobbersmill, in his 19th year, mother, father, sisters, brothers.' Also Nottingham Post obituary (abridged) 21 July 1917: 'Hy. Hampstead Yates, 5 Albert Avenue, Bobbersmill, lost in HMS Vanguard, July 9th.' In memorial published 9th July 1918 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “YATES. – In loving memory of Henry Hempstead Yates, who lost his life July 9th, 1917. We think we see his smiling face, as he bade his last good-bye, and left his home for ever, in a distant land to die; we think of him in silence, and his name we often call, but there's nothing left to answer, but his photo on the wall. – From loving mother, father, sisters, and brothers.” Above in memoriam is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918 HMS Vanguard lies 111 feet down off the north shore of the Isle of Flotta and is a war grave; divers regularly replace a White Ensign on the wreck. A wreath was laid over the wreck and commemorations held in Lyness and in St Magnus’ Cathedral, Kirwall, on the centenary of the loss of the ship.
Remembered on