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Person Details
14 Mar 1878
Samuel Riley seems to have been known in the family as 'Riley' (see obituary and 1891 census). He was the son of James and Martha Waterfield who had eight children born living (Florence Jane, Clarence, Sarah, James, Samuel Riley, William P, Mary E and Elizabeth) of whom six were alive at the time of the 1911 census. Martha was born in Belper and James was baptised at St Peter's church, Belper, on 10 August 1879. His father, James, also came from Derbyshire, having been born in Milford. James (35, mechanic) and Martha were living in Burbage, Leicestershire, at the time of the 1881 census; they had four children at home, Florence J (12), Sarah (10), James (9) and Samuel R (2). By 1891 the family was living at 56 St Ann's Well Road, Nottingham, and there were five children in the household: Clarence (22), James (19), Riley [Samuel Riley] (12, scholar), William P (8) and Mary E (5). They were still at the same address in 1901 but only three children were at home; Flora [Florence] (32, cotton winder), William P (18, insurance clerk) and Elizabeth (15, born Kimberley, in work). In 1911 James and Martha were living at 2 Newdigate Villas, Newdigate Street, Nottingham, with their daughter, Florence Jane Teather (42) and son-in-law William Henry Teather (62), who had married in July 1908 and were listed as boarders. Riley's mother, Martha, died in April 1913 and when Samuel Riley was killed in May 1916 his father was still living at Newdigate Villas.
He was a fitter when he joined the Royal Navy in 1899.
31 May 1916
3039005 - CWGC Website
Chief Engine Room Artificer
HMS Queen Mary Royal Navy
Service No. 269744 (Po). Riley joined the Royal Navy on 7 May 1899 on a 12 year engagement and re-enaged on 7 May 1911. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: Duke of Wellington II 7 May 1899-7 6 July 1899 (Acting ERA); HMS Hannibal 7 July 1899-10 January 1900; Duke of Wellington II 11 January 1900-7 February 1900; HMS (-) 8 February 1900-11 November 1900 (ERA 18 June 1900); HMS Gladiator 17 November 1900-16 October 1912; Duke of Wellington II 17 October 1902-11 December 1902; HMS Vernon 12 December 1902-4 February 1902; HMS Firequeen 5 February 1905-7 February 1905; HMS Cressy 8 February 1905-12 March 1906; HMS Berwick 13 March 1906-2 September 1908; Victory 3 September 1908-6 October 1908; HMS Swiftsure 7 October 1908-21 November 1910 (Chief ERA 1 October 1910); Victory 22 November 1910-14 December 1910; HMS Heclas 15 December 1910-30 April 1912; HMS Tyne 1 May 1912-30 November 1912; Victory II 1 December 1912-5 December 1912; HMS Fisgard 6 December 1912-7 February 1913; Victory II 8 February 1913-3 September 1913; HMS Queen Mary 4 September 1913-31 May 1916. RN Record annotated ‘NP 3925/1916. DD 31st May 1916. Killed in action.’ He was awarded the RN Good Conduct Medal: received and sent for trace 18/5/1914. Waterfield SR, Queen Mary. Medal sent to: RA,1st Battle Cruiser Squadron, medal sent 21/7/1914. He died at the Battle of Jutland. His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial. Jutland Bank 31 May 1916, Extract from the Official History; " Naval Operations" by Sir Julian S. Corbett. 1923: “For Admiral Hipper was in action again. At 4.10, being then eleven miles away abaft the beam of the Lion, he inclined inwards a couple of points, and as Admiral Beatty simultaneously altered still more to port to press his van, he was able at 4.17 to re-open fire at extreme range. The Lion had not yet been able entirely to master the fire that was smothering her. To the Germans she must have been invisible, for the Derfflinger, mistaking the Princess Royal for the flagship, began firing on the next astern, which the Seydlitz was also engaging. Thus the QUEEN MARY, at from 15,800 to 14,500 yards, became the target of both these ships. For about five minutes she stood it gallantly. She was fighting splendidly. The Germans say full salvoes were coming from her with fabulous rapidity. Twice already she had been straddled by the Derfflinger, when at 4.26 a plunging salvo crashed upon her deck forward. In a moment there was a dazzling flash of red flame where the salvo fell, and then a much heavier explosion rent her amidships. Her bows plunged down, and as the Tiger and New Zealand raced by her to port and starboard, her propellers were still slowly revolving high in the air. In another moment, as her two consorts were smothered in a shower of black debris, there was nothing of her left but a dark pillar of smoke rising stem-like till it spread hundreds of feet high in the likeness of a vast palm tree.” Casualties: 57 officers and 1,209 men killed.
Nottingham Post notice (abridged), 9 June 1916: ' Waterfield. Killed in action in the North Sea on May 31st, Riley Waterfield Chief Engine Room Artificer HMS Queen Mary, son of James Waterfield, 2 Newdigate Villas, Newdigate Street, Nottingham, age 37.' Probate 4 August 1916: Waterfield Samuel Riley, of 2 Newdigate-villas, Newdigate Street, Nottingham, chief engine room artificer RN, died 31 May 1916 at sea. Administration (with Will) Nottingham, 4 August to James Waterfield, retired mechanic. Effects £626 0s 11d.
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