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  • HMS Invincible
Person Details
Stoneborough, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, United States of America
William Herbert was the son of Herbert and Ella Timmons. His date of birth is given on his Royal Navy record as 4 February 1891 and his place of birth as Alfreton, but as will be seen from other records he was born in America and his year of birth was probably around 1888. William joined the Royal Navy in July 1913 when, according to a date of birth of February 1891, he would have been 20 years old. However, he would have nothing to gain in giving an age up to three years younger than actual. He may, however, have given his place of birth as England to avoid potential difficulties with a birth place in America, although as the child of British parents (his mother was born in America but of British parentage), he held British citizenship. Herbert Timmins was born in Alfreton, Derbyshire, on 21 October 1862, the son of William and Martha Timmins. He was baptised in Alfreton on 30 November 1862. Herbert's parents moved to America and in 1880 were living in Shamokin, Northumberland, Pennsylvania, where his father was a coal miner. William (40)and Martha (36) had three sons, all born in England: Herbert (17), a coal miner, Edmund (14) a shale picker and Joseph (12) who was at school. The family has not been traced on either the United Kingdom 1891 Census nor the US Federal Census of 1890. However, Herbert probably met his wife Ella while he was living in America as Ella was born in Stoneborough, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, the daughter of British citizens. By the time of the 1911 UK Census Herbert and William had been married for 29 years, meaning they had married around 1879; their first child, Gertrude, was born in Tibshelf, Derbyshire, in 1884, while their second child, Ada Martha, was born in America two years later in 1886. Herbert and Ella were eventually to have seven children: Gertrude b. 1884, Tibshelf, Derbyshire (J/A/S Mansfield) Ada Martha b. 1886, Stoneborough, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, America America; baptised Whaley Thorns, Derbyshire, 8 March 1901. William Herbert b. abt 1888, Stoneborough, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, America, (RN - 4 February 1891); baptised Elmton- with-Creswell 10 March 1901. Lenore b. abt 1890, Stoneborough, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, America; baptised Whaley Thorns, Derbyshire, 8 March 1901. Edmund b. Tibshelf (possibly 18 October 1892); baptised Whaley Thorns, Derbyshire, 8 March 1901. Winifred Mary b. 1899, Whaley Thorns, Derbyshire (A/M/J Chesterfield); baptised Whaley Thorns 11 June 1899. Cora Ellen b. 1901, Whaley Thorns, Derbyshire (A/M/J Chesterfield). In 1891 Herbert (28), a miner, and Ella (26) were in England, living on High Street, Tibshelf, Derbyshire, with their four children, Gertrude (6), Martha (5), William (3) and Lenore (1). By 1901 Herbert (38) was still working as a miner and he and Ella (35) were now living at Whaley Common, near Bolsover. They now had seven children of whom only six were living at home on the night of the census: Ada (15), William (13), Lenore (11), Edmund (8), Winifred (1) and Cora (3 months). The eldest child, Gertrude (16) was a nurse (domestic) living in Skegby in the household of William Rainsby, a medical practitioner (own account), his wife Kate and their three young children. Gertrude, now 20, married Archie Henry Gill on 9 July 1904; they were both resident in Creswell Model Village. However, by 1911 they were living at 81 Asquith Road, Bentley, Doncaster. Archie Gill (29), a miner, and Gertrude (26) had one child, Albert Herbert (6). Ada Martha married Arthur Russon on 25 December 1906 at Elmton-with-Creswell; she was 20 years old. In 1911 she and Arthur (29) a clerk at a colliery, were living at 13 Skinner Street, Creswell, near Mansfield. Lenore married in 1910 (O/N/D Nottingham) to either Arthur Allen or Andrew E Browne. She has not yet been traced on the 1911 Census. In 1911 William (23) was still living with his parents who had moved to Crag Villas, Creswell. Herbert (48) was still working as a coalminer as were his sons, William and Edmund (18). Also in the household on the night of the census were Winifred (11) and Cora (10). When William's mother was notified of her son's death in 1916 her address was given as 171 Elmton Road, Creswell, near Mansfield, and this is the address on the CWGC record. The youngest child, Cora, married Harold Brindy Kearlsey on 14 November 1921 at Creswell (O/N/D Worksop); Cora was 20 years old. Edmund may have married Beatrice A Martin in 1922 (A/M/J Worksop) and died aged 80 in 1972 (December Burton on Trent). Herbert Timmons died at the age of 76 in 1939 (March Chesterfield) and his widow, Ella, in 1954 (September Chesterfield) at the age of 89.
In 1911 he was a coal miner. William joined the Royal Navy on 29 July 1913 on a 12 year engagement.
31 May 1916
3038825 - CWGC Website
Stoker 1st Class
HMS Invincible Royal Navy
William joined the Royal Navy on 29 July 1913 on a 12 year engagement (five years plus seven years in the Reserve). He served in the following ships and shore establishments: Victory II, 29 July 1913-27 January 1914 (Stoker 2nd Class); HMS Grafton, 28 January 1914-31 July 1914 (Stoker 1st Class, 27 July 1914) Victory II, 21 August 1914-2 August 1914; HMS Invincible, 3 August 1914-31 May 1916. William was killed when HMS Invincible was lost at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916. His Naval record was annotated: ‘NP 4060/1916. DD 31st May 1916. Killed in action.' His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. At Jutland Lützow and Derfflinger fired three salvoes each at Invincible and sank her in 90 seconds. At least one 305 mm (12-inch) shell from the third salvo struck her midships 'Q' turret. The shell penetrated the front of 'Q' turret, blew off the roof and detonated the midships magazines, which blew the ship in half. The explosion possibly ignited 'A' and 'X' magazines. Of her complement, 1026 officers and men were killed, including Rear-Admiral Hood. There were only six survivors picked up by Badger. (Wikipedia)
Article published 5th February 1915 in the Mansfield & North Notts Advertiser :- Stoker 1st class, William Herbert Timmons, R.N., H.M.S. Invincible, took part in the Battle of the Falklands on 8th December 1914. “It started about eight o’clock in the morning, and finished at about four in the afternoon. We were coaling ship at the time, and all at once the man in the crow’s nest sang out, “Five German cruisers steaming past the mouth of the harbour, about 14 miles to sea.” We started then to raise steam, and about 9.30 a.m. we gave chase, and came up with them about noon, when the fun started. We accounted for their two best ships. The other ship, the Inflexible, that was with us, was out of action for 2½ hours, owing to damage to her hydraulic machine. I have got a few relics of the fight, which I shall bring home when I come. The enemy fought hard and well, and were full of grit right up the end. We picked over 100 of them out of the water, but of these 19 have since died. The others are still aboard as prisoners.” Above article is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Remembered on


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  • Alexandrea Gill writes from New Zealand 'We have a wonderful poem that we'd like to share with you written by Archie Gill for his brother-in-law, William Timmons, on the 11th of September 1921.' Alexandrea's husband Paul is related to the poet.
    Courtesy of Alexandrea Gill - Alexandrea Gill writes from New Zealand 'We have a wonderful poem that we'd like to share with you written by Archie Gill for his brother-in-law, William Timmons, on the 11th of September 1921.' Alexandrea's husband Paul is related to the poet.
  • Courtesy of Alexandrea Gill -