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Person Details
18 May 1893
Abingdon Berkshire
Edwin John was the son of James and Harriet Walters and the brother of Blanche, Florence, Thomas, William and Alfred; another child had died in infancy. In 1901 Census the family was living at 15 Cemetery Road, Abingdon: James Walters (46) b. Shippon Berks ordinary agricultural labourer, Harriet (38) b. Shippon Berks, Blanche V (16) b Shippon Berks, Florence E (14) b. Shippon Berks, Thomas J (12) b. Abingdon, William G (9) b. Abingdon, Edwin J (7) b. Abingdon, Alfred C (6months) b. Abingdon. They were still at the same address in 1911. James Walters (57) was now a gardener labourer, Harriet (48) a laundress (at home), Florence (24)no occupation given, Thomas (22) a grocer’s assistant, William (20) and Edward [Edwin](17) blacksmith’s strikers and Alfred (10). He married Daisy Florence Walters nee Matthews on 23 November 1915 at St Mary West Kensington. Edwin was serving in HMS Black Prince and Daisy was living at 41 Fitzjames Avenue, West Kensington, London. At the time of his death they were still living at the same address.
He was a blacksmith's striker in 1911 and a blacksmith when he joined the Royal Navy in 1912
31 May 1916
3038982 - CWGC Website
Blacksmith's Mate
HMS Black Prince Royal Navy
Edwin joined the Royal Navy as a Blacksmith's Mate on a 12 year engagement on 18 December 1912. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: Pembroke II, 18 December 1912-3 July 1913 (Blacksmith’s Mate); MS Blenheim, 4 July 1913-5 December 1913; Pembroke ll, 6 December 1913-16 March 1914; Victory II, 17 March 1913-19 March 1914; HMS Fisguard, 20 March 1914-20 April 1914; HMS Black Prince, 21 April 1914-31 May 1916. He passed for 'Blacksmith (Good)' on 14 September 1915. His service papers were annotated, ‘NP 4065/1916. DD [discharged dead] 31st May 1916. Killed in action.’ He was killed in action when HMS Black Prince was lost with all hands at the Battle of Jutland. His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. HMS Black Prince was sunk at Jutland on May 31st 1916. The circumstances surrounding her loss were unclear for many years because there were no positive sightings of Black Prince after 17.42. Recent historians hold to the German account of the ship's sinking. Black Prince briefly engaged the German battleship Rheinland at about 23:35 GMT, scoring two hits with 6-inch shells. Separated from the rest of the British fleet, Black Prince approached the German lines at approximately midnight. She turned away from the German battleships, but it was too late. The German battleship Thüringen fixed Black Prince in her searchlights and opened fire. Up to five other German ships, including battleships Nassau, Ostfriesland, and Friedrich der Grosse, joined in the bombardment, with return fire from Black Prince being ineffective. Most of the German ships were between 750 and 1500 yards of Black Prince - effectively point blank range for contemporary naval gunnery. Black Prince was hit by at least twelve heavy shells and several smaller ones, sinking within 15 minutes. There were no survivors from Black Prince's crew, all 857 being killed.
UNCERTAIN IDENTIFICATION - no link found with Nottingham. No other casualty 'E Walters' died Battle of Jutland. Reference in Christ Church School school log is to an Ernest Walters. The headmaster of New Radford School Nottingham referred to Walters and three other former pupils in his log entry 5/9th June 1916 - 'In the recent Battle of Jutland four of our old scholars lost their lives. - Ernest (sic) Walters, J. [John] Moreland, Leonard Fowler and Alfred Richards.' (Nottinghamshire County Archives SL125R3/3) The Bundeswehr Museum of Military History, Dresden: Painting, oil on canvas: ‘SMS Thueringen destroys the English cruiser Black Prince in a night battle at 2am on 1 June.’ Clause Bergen (1885-1964). Caption: 'Present given by the commander of Thueringen, Captain Hans Kuesel, to his nephew in 1921. Bergen established his reputation as a marine painter with depictions of the Battle of Jutland (31 May-1 June 1916). When the Imperial German Fleet returned home, he was in Wilhelmshaven and asked officers involved in the battle to give him detailed accounts of the events.'
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