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Person Details
21 Jul 1892
Henry's RN record cites St Ann's as place of birth, the 1901 Census Sneinton. He was the son of Henry Horsley and his wife Elizabeth (née Topham). His father was born in Derby and his mother in Nottingham. They were married in 1892 (A/M/J Nottingham). According to the 1911 Census they had had 12 children of whom only nine survived. However, Henry completed the census with the names of all 12 children, three of whose names were deleted but gave their ages as they would have been in 1911 had they survived. He also included, then deleted, the name of his eldest son, Henry, who was serving in the Royal Navy and not in the home on the night of the census. The youngest child was an unnamed daughter who had been born at 5pm on the day of the census and whose age was given as ‘7 hours’. It is probable that Henry and Elizabeth had at least two more daughters after 1911 as Henry’s attestation papers of 1914 gives the names of two sons, John and James, and five daughters, Phyllis, May, Elizabeth, Winifred and Edith [Olive E]; he probably omitted the name of his eldest surviving son, Henry James, as he was serving in the Royal Navy and not living at home. The fourteen children, who were all born in Nottingham, were: Henry: b. 21 July 1892 Emily: probably b. 1893 (O/N/D Nottingham) Henrietta: b. 1895 (O/N/D Nottingham) Polly: name deleted from 1911 census, age 13. Name probably a diminutive of Mary, b. 1897 (J/A/S Nottingham), d. 1898 (J/F/M Nottingham) age under 1 year James: name deleted from 1911 census, age 12. Probably b. 1899 (J/F/M Nottingham) d. 1900 (A/M/J Nottingham) age 1 year. John: name deleted from census, age 8. Probably b. 1902, d. 1902 (O/N/D Nottingham) age under 1 year. Phyllis spelt ‘Phillis’ on census records: b. 1901 (J/F/M Nottingham) John: possibly John Thomas b. 1903 (O/N/D Nottingham) May: b. 1905 (J/A/S Nottingham) Tim: not traced Elizabeth: possibly Elizabeth Ann b. 1909 (J/A/S Nottingham) Unnamed child, probably Ann: b. 1911 (A/M/J Nottingham) Winifred: b. 1912 (O/N/D Nottingham), mother’s maiden name Topham Olive E [Edith]: b. 1914 (J/A/S Nottingham), mother’s maiden name Topham In 1901 Henry (27) and Elizabeth (26) were living at 274 St Ann’s Well Road, Nottingham, with their four children, Henry (8), Emily (7), Henrietta (5) and Phyllis (1 month). By 1911 the family was living at 33 Edwin Street, Nottingham. In the household on the night of the census was Henry (37), a general carter, Elizabeth (35), Emily (17) and Henrietta (15) who were both lace joiners, Phyllis (10), John (7), May (5), Tim (3), Elizabeth (1) and an unnamed female child who was born on the day of the census. Also in the household was Henry’s widowed mother-in-law, Jane Topham (67), and John Furner (sic) (41), a widower, and his daughter Ivy Eliza (9). Henry James had joined the Royal Navy in December the previous year and at the time of the 1911 census was based at Royal Naval Barracks, Edinburgh Road, Portsmouth. Henry senior attested in September 1914, giving his address as 41 Dame Agnes Street, St Ann’s, Nottingham. However, when his wife was notified of their son Henry James’ death in 1916, her address was given as 59 Alfred Street South, St Ann’s Well Road, Nottingham.
He was a carter when he joined the Royal Navy in 1910.
31 May 1916
3036707 - CWGC Website
Stoker 1st Class
HMS Invincible Royal Navy
Henry joined the Royal Navy at the age of 18 on a 12 year engagement, first date of service 30 December 1910. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: Victory II, 30 December 1910-21 January 1911 (Stoker 2nd Class); HMS Renown, 22 January 1911-11 March 1911; Victory II, 12 March 1911-1 May 1911; HMS Roxburgh, 2 May 1911-4 December 1911; HMS Hampshire, 6 December 1911-9 December 1911; Victory II, 10 December 1911-29 January 1912; HMS Hindustan, 30 January 1912-1 April 1912; Victory II, 2 April 1912-22 April 1912; HMS Black Prince, 23 April 1912-20 April 1914 (30 days detention for refusing to work, 6 September 1913-29 September 1913, dates as given on service record); Victory II, 21 April 1914-30 July 1914; HMS Invincible, 31 July-31 May 1916. He was killed at the Battle of Jutland and his service document is annotated, ‘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. 1026 officers and men were killed, including Rear-Admiral Hood. There were only six survivors picked up by HMS Badger. (Wikipedia)
Henry Horsley senior attested in September 1914 giving his age as 34 years 8 months although he was probably 40 years old. He gave his occupation as town carter and address as 41 Dame Agnes Street, Nottingham. He served from 4 September 1914 to 15 October 1914 when he was discharged ‘not likely etc’ ie unable to reach the standard required of a soldier on active service. Henry served just 42 days on Home service.
Remembered on


  • Photograph published in the Nottingham Evening Post, 10 June 1916. Courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918 -