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Person Details
13 Jun 1880
John was the eldest son of James Richard F Spowage and his wife Alice Elizabeth nee Jefford. His father James was born on 24 July 1855 and his mother Alice was born on 18 January 1861 (J/F/M Radford). They were married in 1878 (J/A/S Radford) and had five children of whom four survived infancy: John b. 13 June 1880 (A/M/J Radford), Annie Jane b. 16 February 1882 (J/F/M Nottingham), George Henry b. abt 1884 and Alice b. 1885 (A/M/J Nottingham). In 1881 James (26), a lace maker, and Alice (20), a lace mender, were living at 70 Saville Row, Radford, with their first child, John (10 months) and Ada Jefford (5), described as their adopted daughter but as their sister-in-law on the subsequent census, and Arthur Jefford (3) described as a lodger. By 1891 James (35) and Alice (30) were living at 113 Birkin Avenue, Radford, with their four children, John (10), Annie (9), George (7) and Alice (5). Ada Jeffries (15) a cigar maker, was still living with the family and now described as James' sister-in-law. The family had moved again by 1901 when they were living at 4 Bateman Street, Hyson Green. James (45) was still working as a lace maker. In the household on the night of the census were his wife Alice (40) and their three youngest children, Annie (19) a machinist, George (17) an iron turner fitter, and Alice (15) a machinist. John has not yet been traced on the 1901 Census, but he joined the Royal Navy six years later on 14 January 1907. James and Alice were living at 57 Duke Street, New Basford, by 1911. James (54) was described as a beer retailer (at home), suggesting that they were living on licensed premises. None of their children were in the home on the night of the census but Alice's widowed father, George Jefford (74) a retired bobbin and carriage maker (lace trade) was living with them. Their eldest daughter, Annie Jane, had married Ernest Pepper in 1903 (J/F/M Nottingham) and in 1911 they were living at 10 Highfield Road, West Bridgford. Ernest (29) was a joiner and cabinet maker. He and Annie had had three children of whom only two had survived, Alice (7) and Alec James (4). George Henry had married in about 1907 and in 1911 was living at 7 Hovenden Street, Hyson Green, with his wife Mary (23). He was a fitter's labourer and Mary was an overlocker. They had not had any children but they may have had a son later as there is a record of a child, George H Spowage who was born in 1913 (J/A/S Nottingham, mother's maiden name Smith) and died the same year (O/N/D Nottingham, buried 6 November 1913). John married Ethel E Cocking c. 1907. Ethel (b. Portsmouth 25 January 1882) was living at 82 Clive Road, Kingston, Portsmouth, in 1911. She and John had two children, Dorothy Alice (3, b. 13 January 1908, J/F/M Portsmouth) and James John (1 month, b. Portsmouth 10 February 1911). John was serving in HMS Essex at the time of the 1911 Census. At the time of John's death his family was living at 11 Renny Road, Fratton, Hampshire. Ethel did not remarry. In 1939 at the time of the national register, she and her children, Dorothy a school teacher, and James, a pharmacist's assistant were living in Bournemouth. Ethel died in 1958 (Dec Poole Dorset) aged 76. Dorothy Alice Spowage died in 2006 (April Bournemouth) aged 98. Her brother was still alive in 1957 as he was recorded on an incoming passenger list from Mozambique/South Africa to London. John's youngest sister, Alice, has not yet been traced on the 1911 Census but there is a record of the marriage of an Alice Spowage in 1910 (J/A/S Nottingham). At the time of John's death his parents were living at 101 Whitemoor, Basford. When the 1939 England & Wales Register was compiled James and Alice were living in West Bridgford. James was described as a retired lace maker. His father James died on 5 March 1945 (Mar Mansfield) aged 89, and his mother Alice in 1947 (Sep East Retford, Notts) aged 86. His brother George served with the 2nd Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers (37168 Private) and was killed in action on 12 October 1916 (Guards Cemetery, Lesboeufs, Somme). His sister Annie Jane (Pepper) was living in West Bridgford in 1939 with her husband Ernest, a master joiner. She was described as a 'housewife and help in shop'. Annie died on 24 May 1964; she was by then widowed and living in Bournemouth.
He was a fitter/ turner when he joined the Royal Navy in 1907.
01 Jun 1916
3038597 - CWGC Website
Engine Room Artificer
HMS Tipperary Royal Navy
John joined the Royal Navy on 14 January 1907 on a 12 year engagement. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: Victory 14 January 1907-12 March 1907 (Engine Room Artificer 4th Class); HMS Prince George, 13 March 1907-19 April 1907; HMS Essex, 20 April 1907-21 October 1912 (ERA 3rd Class, 15 March 1910); Victory II, 22 October 1912-12 November 1912; HMS Ariadne, 13 November 1912-31 December 1912; HMS Terrible, 1 January 1913-20 August 1913; HMS Fisgard, 21 August 29 August 1913; Vernon 30 August 1913-12 April 1916 (ERA 2nd Class); HMS Dido (Tipperary), 13 April 1916-15 April 1916; HMS Hecla (Tipperary), 16 April 1916-1 June 1916. His service record was annotated,’NP 4307/1916. DD [discharged dead] 1st June 1916 Killed in action.’ His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial HMS Tipperary, a Faulknor Class destroyer launched in 1915 led the 4th Flotilla at the Battle of Jutland under Captain C. J. Wintour. Tipperary and her squadron pressed home determined torpedo attacks on the German main battle line as it escaped across the rear of the British fleet during the night action, starting at approximately 23:20 on 31 May 1916. The 4th Flotilla sank the German light cruiser SMS Frauenlob, but Tipperary and many of the other British destroyers were sunk or badly damaged. These engagements took place at such close range that some of Tipperary 's squadron were able to hit the German dreadnoughts with their small 4-inch guns, causing casualties that included command officers on the bridges. HMS Tipperary was sunk on 1 June 1916 by 5.9-inch (150 mm) fire from the secondary battery of the German dreadnought SMS Westfalen with the loss of 185 hands from her crew of 197. The wreck site is designated as a protected place under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986. (Wikipedia)
Portsmouth Evening News, 12, 13 and 14 June 1916: Spowage. In ever loving memory of my dear husband, Joh Spowage, ERA, who lost his life in action, May 31st, 1916, on HMS Tipperry. From his sorrowing wife and children, 11, Renny-road, Fratton. RIP.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Obituary published 13th June 1916 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “SPOWAGE. – Lost with H.M.S. Tipperary, E.R.A. John Spowage, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. James Spowage, 101, Whitemoor-road. Deeply mourned. – From his sorrowing mother, father, brother, and sisters.” In memoriam published 1st June 1917 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “SPOWAGE. – In loving memory of our dear Jack, killed Jutland, May 31st, 1916. Sadly missed. – Mother, dad, sisters, and brothers.” In memoriam published 31st May 1919 in the Nottingham Evening Post. :- “SPOWAGE. – In loving memory of our sons and brothers, Jack, killed Jutland May 31st, 1916 [sic]; also George, missing October 8th, 1915. – Ma and pa and family.” Above obituary and 'in memoriam' are courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918 Probate Pepper Annie Jane of 38 Covena Road Southbourne Bournemouth widow died 24 May 1964 at 3 Portman Crescent Boscombe Bournemouth Probate Winchester 6 July to Alec James Pepper joiner and Alice Robinson married woman £1379.
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