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Person Details
09 Aug 1892
He was the son of John Henry and Mary Elizabeth Ostick. John Henry was born at Rampton and Mary Elizabeth B Anderson at Sturton-le-Steeple. They were married in 1888 (Jan/Feb/Mar) and according to the information given on the 1911 census they had 13 children born alive of whom only 10 were still living at the time of the 1911 census. Eleven children were named on the census between 1891 and 1911; Annie Elizabeth, George (1890), Harry Wright (1892), Frederick (Fred), Millicent Louise (Millie, 1896), Doris Margaret (1898, d. 1901), Charles Leslie (Leslie, 1903), Kathleen Gertrude (Kittie, 1906), Sarah Ellen (Nellie, 1908), Mabel (1910) and one unnamed child who at the time of the 1911 census was 1 month old (possibly a daughter, Mary W.). All the children were born in Retford. In 1891 John (34) and Mary (32) were living on St John's Street, East Retford, with their two children, Annie (3) and George (7 months). John was working as a life assurance agent. By 1901 they had moved to 25 Water Lane, East Retford, and John was now a grocers' assistant. They had six children; Annie, George, Harry (8), Frederick (6), Millicent (4) and Doris (3). Their youngest child, Doris, died the same year, aged 3 (death registered Oct/Nov/Dec). John and Mary were still living at the same address ten years later although John was now working as a 'fellmonger' in an industry described as 'skinyard'. Eight children were in the household on the night of the census: Harry, Fred, Millie, Leslie (7), Kittie (5), Nellie (2), Mabel (1) and 'infant Ostick (1 month). Two of Harry's brothers also died in the war: Frederick, who served in the 2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment) and was killed in action on 16 September 1916 (Thiepval Memorial), and George, who served in the Royal Irish Fusiliers (43268 Private) and was killed in action on 16 August 1917 (New Irish Farm Cemetery). Both their parents died in 1931; their mother's death was registered in June (age 61 b. abt. 1870), and their father's death in December (age 66, b. abt. 1865).
In 1911 he was a fitter in a foundry. He joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry (Chatham Division) on 19 June 1912.
01 Jan 1915
4004713 - CWGC Website
Royal Marine Light Infantry
H.M.S. Formidable, a 15,000 tons battleship with main armament of four 12” guns, under the command of Capt. A. N. Loxley was part of the 5th Battle Squadron serving in the Channel Fleet. Having completed a gunnery exercise on 31 December 1924 the squadron following anti-submarine procedure turned South with H. M. S. Formidable being the last battleship in the line. At 2.20 am on 1 January when about 30 miles South of Portland Bill she was hit by a torpedo on her starboard side , the weather had been growing steadily worse and she started to list to starboard as the boats were lowered but she was struck by a further torpedo on the port side eventually turning over and sinking at 4.45 am. The Royal Navy had an excellent record throughout the war of preventing enemy submarine action in the channel and not one ship transferring troops and supplies was lost for this reason. However on this occasion it was Kapitanleutnant Rudolf Schneider in U-24 who had evaded the surveillance and fired to fatal torpedoes. The official report states that of the 780 persons on board the Formidable, 35 officers and 512 were ‘drowned’ but in fact, there were many more terrible ways for a man to meet his death on a sinking war ship. One of the dead was Private Harry Wright Ostick, aged 22, who is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial. Kapitanleutant Schneider himself met a somewhat prosaic end when he was swept off the conning tower of U-87 in the North sea during a storm in October 1917. Copyright Robert Ilett 2013.
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