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Person Details
30 Mar 1886
Hucknall Torkard Nottinghamshire
John was the son of George Otter and his wife Ann nee Marsh. His father was born in Blidworth, Nottinghamshire, and his mother in Kirkby in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire. They were married in 1876 (O/N/D Basford) and had six children: Joseph Harry b. 1877 Kirkby in Ashfield (J/A/S Basford), Mary Ann b. 1879 Kirkby in Ashfield (A/M/J Basford), Alice b. abt 1881 Kirkby in Ashfield, John George b. 30 March 1886 Hucknall Torkard (April Basford), Sarah Elizabeth b. 1888 Hucknall Torkard (O/N/D Basford) and Lily b. 1892 East Kirkby (O/N/D Basford). In 1881 George (24), a coal miner, and Ann (22) were living in Kirkby in Ashfield with their three children, Joseph (2), Mary (2) and Alice (7 days). Also in the household was George's sister, Hannah (14). By 1891 the family was living on Pond Street, Kirkby in Ashfield. George and Ann now had five children; Joseph (13) who was working at a coal mine, Mary (12), Alice (10), John (5) and Sarah (2). The youngest child, Lily, was born the following year. By 1901 the family had moved to 101 Lowmoor Road, Kirkby in Ashfield. Only five of George and Ann's children were still living at home: Joseph (23), Alice (20), John (15) a letter press printer, Sarah (12) and Lily (8). John joined the Royal Navy three years later in September 1904. The eldest girl, Mary Ann, had married John Brewster in 1899 (A/M/J Basford) and in 1901 they were living at 99 Lowmoor Road, Kirkby in Ashfield, with their daughter Edith Annie (1). Also living with them were John Smith (61) and Ann Smith (74) who were described as John Brewster's grandparents. John married Florence Ada Wardle (b. 26 November 1886, birth registered 1887 J/F/M Basford) in 1910 (J/F/M Basford) and in 1911, when his RN record shows he was serving in HMS Racer, they were living at 17 Park Street, East Cowes, Isle of Wight. John was at home on the night of the census together with Florence and their son John William (b. 19 December 1910). Also in the household was a boarder, Harry William Hobbs (22) who was a shop assistant. John and Florence's second child, Constance Mary was born later that year on 11 December. John's parents were still living at 101 Lowmoor Road in 1911. In the household on the night of the census were their unmarried daughters, Sarah (22) and Lily (18), a hosiery hand, together with Edith Annie Brewster (11, b. 1899 O/N/D Basford) the eldest child of their married daughter Mary Ann Brewster. Their other daughter, Alice, may have married in 1911 (J/F/M Basford) shortly before the census, but she has not been traced positively after 1901. Mary Ann (32) and her husband John Brewster (35), a coal miner, were still at 99 Lowmoor Road in 1911. Of their eight children only seven were still living; the eldest Edith Annie was with her grandparents on the night of the census, but her six surviving siblings were at home with their parents: Florence Millicent (9), Alice Kathleen (8), Doris May (6), James Henry (4), Daisy Mary (1) and Sidney (under 1 month). Also in the household was the widowed John Smith (71) who was described as a boarder but from information on the 1901 Census was John Brewster's grandfather. John's eldest brother, Joseph Henry, had married Evelyn Needham Brown in Kirkby in Ashfield parish church on 18 February 1903 and in 1911 they were living at 58 New Street, East Kirkby. Joseph (33) was described as a life insurance agent. He and Evelyn had two sons, Leonard (b. 2 July 1903) and Ronald George (b. 14 December 1907). Also in the household was a boarder, Timothy Wainman (26), a coal miner. Timothy was to marry Sarah Elizabeth Otter later that year (1911 O/N/D Basford). John's youngest sibling, Lily, may have married Robert P Sewell in 1938 (O/N/D Basford). Lily Sewell (b. 30 October 1892) and Robert Sewell (b. 29 May 1896), a colliery hewer, appear on the 1939 Register at 16 Forster Grove, Nottingham. Lily Sewell died in 1978 (Mar Basford) aged 85. John's brother, Joseph Henry, also served in the war. He attested on 15 May 1916 and transferred to the Army Reserve on 16 May (1st Res. G Bn. KOYLI, from 8 February 1917). He was mobilized on 1 May 1917, 46325 Private, Prince of Wales Own (West Yorkshire Regiment), and served in Malta from 23 June 1917. He was discharged from the Army on 12 March 1919. His home at the time was 60 New Street, East Kirkby. Joseph died aged 80 on 31 August 1957; he was then living at 144 Victoria Road, Kirkby in Ashfield. His wife, Evelyn, survived him. At the time of John's death in May 1916 his wife Florence was living at 45 Worsley Street, Eastney, Portsmouth. However, the later CWGC record gives her address as 35 Adair Road, Eastney, Portsmouth. Florence was still in Portsmouth in 1939. Living with her were her unmarried son, John William (21), a shipwright, and her married daughter, Constance, who had married Charles L Pearce in 1934 (A/M/J Portsmouth), and Constance's two sons, Michael J Pearce (b. 23 August 1936) and David A Pearce (b. 13 August 1939). Florence never remarried and she died on 20 April 1965; her home was then at 21 Margate Road, Southsea, Portsmouth.
He was a greengrocer before joining the Royal Navy on a 12 year engagement on 26 September 1904.
31 May 1916
3037845 - CWGC Website
Petty Officer Stoker
HMS Invincible Royal Navy
John joined the Royal Navy on 26 September 1904 on a 12 year engagement. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: HMS Nelson, 26 September 1904-3 March 1905 (Stoker 2nd Class), Firequeen II, 4 March 1905-31 March 1905; HMS Terrible, 1 April 1915-15 July 1907 (Stoker 6 July 1905, Stoker 1st Class 1 July 1906); HMS Good Hope, 16 July 1907-1 October 1907; Victory II, 2 October 1907-28 March 1907; HMS Gladiator, 29 November 1907-18 December 1907; Victory II, 19 December 1907-6 January 1908; Iris II, 7 January 1908-22 January 1908; HMS Indefatigable, 23 January 1908-10 January 1910; Victory II, 11 January 1910-4 March 1910; HMS Racer, 5 March 1910-5 August 1911; Victory II, 6 August 1911-18 March 1912; HMS Duke of Edinburgh, 19 March 1912-2 March 1914 (Acting Leading Stoker 1 January 1913); Victory II, 3 March 1914-20 March 1914; HMS Fisgard, 21 March 1914-10 July 1914 (Acting Stoker Petty Officer 2 July 1914); Victory, 11 July 1914-2 August 1914; HMS Invincible, 3 August 1914-31 May 1916 (Stoker Petty Officer 2 July 1915). John was killed on 31 May 1916 at the Battle of Jutland. His Naval record is annotated: ‘NP 4060/1916. DD [discharged dead] 31st May, 1916. Killed in action’. His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. The battle cruiser H.M.S. "Invincible", commanded by Captain AL Clay, was the flagship of the Third Battle Cruiser Squadron (Rear Admiral The Hon HLA Hood). The Squadron took part in the Battle of Jutland in which the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet (Admiral Sir John Jellicoe) and the Battle Cruiser Fleet (Vice Admiral Sir David Beatty), joined by the 3rd Battle Cruiser Squadron, faced the German High Seas Fleet (Vice Admiral Scheer). During the battle "Invincible" hit "Wiesbaden" and completely disabled her as well as causing serious damage to the "Pillau." "Invincible" also hit the German battle cruiser "Lutzow" eight times and, sinking by the bows, the German ship pulled out of the line. However, at 1829 "Derfflinger" hit "Invincible" with a full salvo; a shell penetrated one of the midship turrets igniting the magazine. Invincible blew up and sank in less than 30 fathoms; an officer on HMS Indomitable 'saw her two ends standing perpendicularly above water, the ship appearing to have broken in halves, each resting on the bottom.' There were only six survivors - over 1,000 officers and men died, including Admiral Hood
CWGC: Son of George Otter, of 107, Low Moor Rd., East Kirkby, Nottingham; husband of Florence A. Otter, of 35, Adair Rd., Eastney, Portsmouth. Article published 10th June 1916 in the Nottingham Daily Express :- “KIRKBY VICTIM OF NAVAL BATTLE. “Amongst the men lost on the Invincible, in the battle off Jutland, is Stoker John George Otter, who was a native of Kirkby, and was associated with Annesley by his marriage with the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wardle, of The Rows. “The deceased had spent 12 years in the Navy, leaving a Mansfield printing offce when he was 18 years of age. He made his home at Eastney, near Portsmouth, and visited Annesley and Kirkby whilst leave a few weeks ago. Otter had taken part in the Heliogland Bight and Falkland Isles battles.” Above article is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918. Mansfield Reporter 16 June 1916: ‘North Sea Battle. At present we [have] ascertained there are four Kirkby sailors who sacrificed their lives in the recent Jutland naval battle. These are: Petty Officer (-) Otter of the Invincible, who had been (-) years in the navy, and took part in the Falkland Islands and North Sea Battles, Stoker E Wood, of the Tipperary, Stoker B Atkins, of the Black Prince, and Stoker Butler also of the Black Prince. There were a number of other men engaged in the fighting, but these are all the dead [as far] as we know.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Probate: Otter Joseph Henry of 144 Victoria Road Kirkby in Ashfield Nottinghamshire died 31 August 1957 Administration Nottingham 30 January to Evelyn Otter widow. Effects £137 16s. 9d. Probate: Otter Florence Ada of 21 Margate Road Southsea Portsmouth died 20 April 1965 Probate Winchester 4 June to Constance Mary Pearce married woman and Philip David Childs solicitor. £1831
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