[Skip to content]

Person Details
04 Dec 1893
Belper Derbyshire
John George, known as George, was the eldest son of Richard and Emily Beresford (nee Barnes). Richard was born in Belper, Derbyshire, and Emily in Blackwell, Derbyshire, the daughter of George Barnes. They were married at St Peter's church, Belper, on 19 June 1893. Records show they had at least four children: John George b. 4 December 1893 (baptised 31 March 1894, Belper St Peter), Charles (birth registered 1896 J/F/M Belper, baptised 3 March 1896, Belper St Peter), Henry b. Belper and Emily b. 1900 (O/N/D Belper). In 1901 Richard (28) a general surface man at a colliery, Emily (27) and their children George (7), Charles (5), Henry (2) and Emily (6 months) were living at Blunt Street, Smalley, Derbyshire. Also in the household was a boarder, George Hughson (20), and on the night of the census a visiting family, Thomas Harrison his wife Ann and their two young children Edith and Arthur. Neither George nor his mother Emily have yet been traced on the 1911 Census but Richard Beresford may be on a census for Rampton Hospital, Nottinghamshire, living at The Lodging House, Woodbeck, South Leverton - Richard Beresford (38) b. Belper, single, general labourer. Rampton Hospital was a criminal lunatic asylum - an annexe to Broadmoor Hospital, Berkshire - which was built on the site of Woodbeck Farm in 1907. There is no indication on the census that Richard was an inmate and he may have been an employee. The three remaining siblings were living separately in 1911, two in Nottingham, so it appears the family had been split up, a situation reflected in documents relating to Richard's army service in 1918 (see below). In 1911 Charles (15) was a hairdresser's apprentice living at 60 Cummings Street, Derby, in the household of Harry and Louisa Wigley. Charles was described as Harry's nephew. Also in the home was Ann Beresford (64), a widow. Henry (12) was an inmate in the Gordon Boys' Home on Cranmer Street, Nottingham while Emily (11) was a visitor in the household of Arthur Bradley, a boarding house keeper, and his wife Mary Jane at 1 Tryne Street, Nottingham. George joined the Royal Navy in 1912 and in 1916 when both he and his brother Charles were killed within a few months of each other, their mother was living at 1 Nile Street, Sneinton, Nottingham. An article in the local paper about the boys also gives their address as 1 Nile Street. George's CWGC record names both parents and gives their address as 1 Nile Street. Charles' CWGC record gives no personal information. Charles had joined the King's Own Scottish Borderers (11785 Private) in 1914; he was living in Derby which is where he enlisted. He served in France from 19 January 1915 and was killed in action on 18 April 1916 (Ypres Menin Gate Memorial); he qualified for the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. Charles had named his father as his legatee. However, in September 1918 at the age of 45 years and 9 months, Richard Beresford ('coal deliverer') enlisted in the Army Service Corps and although he provided information about his marriage to Emily Barnes he declared her present address 'was not known' and named his next of kin as Lily Wild, of 29 Brookside, New Mills - 'relationship: unmarried-wife'. He was discharged from the army in February 1919 and transferred to the Class 2 Army Reserve. Henry has not been traced after 1911 but it is likely that Emily married Frederick Rickard in 1922 (A/M/J Nottingham) and died aged 73 in 1974 (June, South-east Hampshire, death index gives DOB 29 September 1900).
At the time he joined the Royal Navy in April 1912 he was employed in a telephone works.
31 May 1916
2875705 - CWGC Website
K/14676 (Po)
Stoker 1st Class
Royal Navy
HMS Shark. John George joined the Royal Navy on 9 April 1912 on a 12 year engagement when he was 18 years old. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: Victory II, 9 April 1912-4 May 1912 (Stoker 2nd Class); HMS Renown, 5 MaY 1912-6 July 1912; Victory II, 7 July 1912-7 September 1912; HMS Revenge, 8 September 1912-25 January 1913; HMS Neptune, 26 January 1913-9 March 1914 (Stoker 1st Class, 1 May 1913); Victory II, 10 March 1914-31 July 1914; HMS Sutley, 1 August 1914-9 March 1915; Victory II, 9 March 1915-20 May 1915; HMS Hecla (Shark), 21 May 1915-31 May 1916. His Naval record was annotated, ‘NP4205/1916. DD 31st May 1916. Killed in action.’ He was killed at the Battle of Jutland; his body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. HMS Shark was an Acasta-class destroyer built in 1912 at the Wallsend yard of Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson and launched on 30 July 1912. She joined the 4th Destroyer Flotilla on completion. During the Battle of Jutland, the 4th Flotilla was attached to Admiral David Beatty's Battlecruiser Fleet based at Rosyth, and assigned to cover the 3rd Battlecruiser Squadron. During the battle, at around 6 pm, Shark led an unsuccessful torpedo attack by the flotilla on the German 2nd Scouting Group. The other three destroyers escaped with little damage, but Shark was crippled by gunfire.The forecastle gun was completely blown away with most of its gun crew shortly before the captain, Commander Loftus Jones, declined an offer of assistance from the destroyer Acasta. Soon afterwards the aft 4 inch gun was also destroyed and the bridge wrecked. Jones and three seamen continued working the midship gun, engaging nearby German destroyers and leading to the sinking of V48. The German destroyers closed on the ship and returned heavy fire, during which Jones lost a leg. Shortly before 7 pm he ordered the ship to be abandoned and around thirty of the crew managed to get onto the rafts. Seven were picked up six hours later by a Danish ship, but one died soon afterwards. Although there are reports that Jones went down with the ship survivors told his wife that he was put onto a raft. At 7 pm, the destroyer was sunk by a torpedo launched by the German torpedo boat S54 and which hit her abreast of the aft funnel. In March 1917, Jones was gazetted with a posthumous Victoria Cross. The wreck site is designated as a protected place under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986. (Wikipedia)
Nottingham Evening Post, 4 July 1916; photographs with caption: (left) C Beresford (KOSB) killed in action April 18th, age 19. (right) 1st Class Stoker JG Beresford, lost with HMS Shark, aged 22, both of 1 Nile-street, Nottingham.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Another Nottingham sailor, 227966 Leading Seaman William Edward Orme, also died in HMS Shark (Hyson Green District Virtual Memorial).
Remembered on