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  • Photograph is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.
Person Details
30 Jun 1890
Hucknall Torkard Nottinghamshire
William was the son of Samuel and Sarah Jane Harrison (nee Bodill). Samuel was born in Calverton, Nottinghamshire, in about 1863 and Sarah Jane in Whitwick, Leicestershire (b. 1866, registered J/A/S Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire). They were married in 1885 (marriage registered A/M/J Basford). According to the 1911 Census, which was completed by Sarah, she and Samuel had been married for 25 years and had had seven children of whom only five were still living at the time of the census. Six children were named on the census between 1881 and 1911; George (b. abt 1886, Hucknall Torkard), William Harry (b. 30 June 1890), Albert Edward (b. 1894, Hucknall Torkard, A/M/J Basford), Charles (b. abt 1897, Hucknall Torkard), Annie Elizabeth (b. abt. 1900, Shirebrook), Grace Evelyn (b.1902, Langwith, J/F/M Chesterfield). George was not included on any census after 1881. In 1881 Samuel, a coal miner, and Sarah were living on George Street, Hucknall Torkard, with their two sons, George (5) and William (2). By 1901 Samuel and Sarah had moved to Shirebrook and were living at Warren Terrace with their four children, William (14), Albert (7), Charles (3) and Annie Elizabeth (1). Sarah (46) completed the census in 1911 as head of household although she described herself as married. William had joined the Royal Navy the previous year but his siblings Albert (17) who earned his living paper selling and was described on the census as '11 years crippled', Charles (14) a lamp cleaner, Annie Elizabeth (11) and Grace Evelyn (8) were still living at home. Samuel has not yet been traced on the 1911 Census. William married Lottie Love in 1915 (marriage registered O/N/D Westbourne, Sussex). Lottie was living at Lordington House, near Emsworth, Hampshire, when she was notified of William's death in August 1918. However, the CWGC record gives her address as 2 Manchester Terrace, Westbourne, Emsworth, Hampshire. The CWGC record gives Samuel and Sarah's address as 64 Victoria Street, Hucknall Torkard, Nottinghamshire. Sarah Jane died in 1954 at the age of 87 (death registered March, Basford).
He had been a fitter (colliery) when he joined the Royal Navy in 1910
02 Aug 1918
3039829 - CWGC Website
Petty Officer Stoker
HMS Ariel Royal Navy
William joined the Royal Navy on 12 September 1910 on a 12 year engagement (5 years service and 7 years Royal Fleet Reserve), service number SS110322. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: Victory II, 12 September 1910-15 October 1910 (Stoker 2nd Class); HMS Renown, 16 October 1910-21 January 1911; Victory II, 22 January 1911-14 March 1911; HMS Hecla, 15 March 1911-30 April 1912 (Stoker 1st Class 12 September 1912); (-), 1 May 1912-27 July 1912; Victory II, 28 July 1912-28 November 1913; HMS Achilles, 29 March 1913-14 January 1914. On 15 January 1914 William transferred to a continuous service engagement; his original service documents were annotated ‘Transferred to CS on 15 January 1914 vide K21884’ and a new set of service documents raised with effect from 15 January. He then served in the following ships and shore establishments: HMS Achilles, 15 January 1914-1917 (Stoker 1st Class, Acting Leading Stoker 31 January 1914); (-), 1917-23 April 1918 (Stoker Petty Officer 30 January 1918); Wallington (Ariel), 25 April 1918-30 June 1918; Leander (Ariel), 1 July 1918-2 August 1918. William died when HMS Ariel struck a mine in the North Sea on 2 August 1918. His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
HMS Ariel: In 1917, the Acheron-class destroyers Ferret, Sandfly and Ariel were converted to mine laying destroyers, capable of carrying 40 mines. Ariel served with the 20th Flotilla, and operated out of Immingham. On 2 August 1918, while conducting mine laying in the western end of the Heligoland Bight, the V-class destroyer Vehement sank after striking a German mine. In attempting to exit the minefield, Ariel lost her bow and sank in less than an hour. Forty-nine men were lost, including the commanding officer, Lt. Frank A Rothera. (Wikipedia) Lieutenant Frank Alan Rothera, who commanded HMS Ariel June 1917-2 August 1918, was from Beeston, Nottingham, and is commemorated on the Beeston St John the Baptist memorial. Another member of the ship's company from Nottingham, Able Seaman Robert Harold Bee (J.23988. Po), also died (Gedling All Hallows). Samuel's place of birth is given as Nottingham on his naval records but as Hucknall Torkard on the 1891 and 1901 census.
Remembered on


  • Photograph is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.
    William Harrison - Photograph is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.