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Person Details
20 Oct 1881
John Henry was the son of Edward Elvidge and his wife Alice Caroline nee Ducker. Both parents were born in Nottingham, his father in about 1858 while his mother's birth was registered in 1863 (J/F/M Radford). They were married in 1878 (J/A/S Radford) and had at least six children who were all born in Nottingham: John Henry b. 20 October 1881, Ada Florence b. 1 January 1883 (J/F/M Nottingham), Mabel Alice b. 23 September 1887 (O/N/D Nottingham), Sarah Blanche (Blanche) b. 1890 (O/N/D Nottingham) died 1891 (A/M/J Nottingham), Edward b. 4 October 1893 and Albert (Bertie) b. 11 November 1895 (O/N/D Nottingham). In 1891 Edward (33) and Alice (29) were living at 7 Byron Square, Sneinton, Nottingham with their four children, John (10), Ada (8), Mabel (3) and Blanche (7 months). Blanche died later that year, shortly before her first birthday. Albert (Bertie) was born four years later in November 1895 and the children's mother, Alice Caroline, died the same month aged 33 (O/N/D Nottingham, burial 21 November 1895). The children appear to have been split up following their mother's death and by 1901, when John was already serving in the Royal Navy, Mabel (13), an errand girl, Edward (10) and Bertie (6) were boarders in what appears to be a lodging house at 16 Pomfret Street in Sneinton, while the eldest girl, Ada (18), a lace dresser, was recorded as a visitor at 4 Pomfret Street, the home of James and Martha Brown. Their father, Edward, has not yet been traced on either the 1901 or 1911 Census but it is likely that he died in February 1921 (J/F/M Nottingham, burial 9 February). In 1911 John (29), now an Able Seaman, was a boarder in the household of Edwin and Emily Mills (or Miles) at 39 Warblington Street, Portsmouth. Also in the household were Edwin and Emily's two daughters, Daisy (19) and Lilian (17). John married Daisy in 1911 (A/M/J Portsmouth) and at the time of his death in 1914 they were living at 12 Nile Street, Landport, Portsmouth. Of John's siblings: Ada married Roland Basdall on 12 October 1901 at Nottingham Register Office and in 1911 she and Rowland (30), a hawker, were living at 4 Palace Place, Walker Street, Sneinton, with their son Harold (6, b. 22 December 1904), the only one of their four children to survive, and Ada's youngest brother, Bertie (15), a dray lad. When Roland attested for the Army (4th Bn Sherwood Foresters) on 31 August 1914 his address was given as 16 Court Street, Hyson Green. He only served to 16 October (44 days) before being discharged as unlikely to 'make an efficient soldier'. However, he succesfully enlisted in the 4th Bn Sherwood Foresters on 17 July the following year, transferring to the Machine Gun Corps on 1 January 1916. He transferred to the Army Reserve on 11 February 1919. Roland died in 1926 aged 46. The widowed Ada was still living in Nottingham at the time of the 1939 England & Wales Register and working as a lace dresser. She shared her home with her son Harold, a clerk with the Corporation, and his wife Annie (nee Parrott, b. 27 December 1908). Ada died in March 1953 aged 70. Mabel married Albert Jesson (b. 26 February 1884) in 1908 (J/F/M Nottingham) and in 1911 they were living at 9 Sketchley Street, Nottingham. Albert (28) was a clay miner and Mabel (23) a lace curtain worker. They had had three children, Edna, Albert and Mabel but only Edna (3) and Mabel (1 month) survived. Mabel and Albert were still living in Nottingham in 1939. Albert , a bricklayers labourer, and Mabel had one child living at home: Stanley (b. 4 December 1920) a cinema operator. Mabel died aged 51 in March the following year (1940 J/F/M, burial 21 March). Edward joined the Royal Navy on 11 March 1912 on a 12 year Short Service Engagement (5 years service, 7 years Royal Fleet Reserve) but his service was extended for the duration of the war and he did not transfer to the RFR until 19 February 1919. He married Winifred Alma Smith (b. 27 January 1895) in 1918. In 1939 Edward, a Commission Agent's clerk, and Winifred were living at 28 Patterson Road, Hyson Green, Nottingham with their second son, Edward (Ted) b. 28 September 1926 (d. 2005 Oct Nottingham aged 79). Their eldest son, John Henry, was born in 1920 (J/F/M Nottingham) and presumably was named for his uncle who had been killed in the Great War. John Henry married Evelyn Blackburn in 1940 (O/N/D Nottingham) and served in the RAF(VR) in the Second World War (1157211 Corporal). He was killed in Burma on 13 February 1945 (Taukkyan War Cemetery). Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’. 27 February 1945: ‘Elvidge. On active service, John Henry, beloved husband of Evelyn, 29 Patterson-road, and dearly loved eldest son of Mr and Mrs E Elvidge, and brother of Ted [Edward].’ Nottingham Evening Post, 27 February 1945: ‘Local War Casualties. Cpl JH Elvidge, RAF, of 29 Patterson road Hyson Green Nottingham. Is reported killed Burma.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk). John's widow remarried in 1950 (Frederick Hollis). Edward died on 11 July 1956 (Nottingham). Albert (Bertie) married Florence M Warner (b. 3 May 1898) in 1921 (A/M/J Nottingham) and in 1939 they were living at 24 Court Street, Nottnigham. Albert was a public works labourer. Two sons were living at home: Roland b. 22 September 1921 (d. Mar 1989), a turner up spring work, and Frank b. 9 June 1926 (d. 2003 Feb Stockport Cheshire), who was still at school. Albert died aged 89 on 30 December 1984 (1985 Jan Nottingham, buried 7 January 1985).
He was a cycle frame maker when he joined the RN in 1898
26 Nov 1914
2871064 - CWGC Website
Able Seaman
HMS Bulwark Royal Navy
John entered the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class on 1 July 1898, and joined on a 12 year Continuous Service engagement on 20 October 1899, his 18th birthday. John served in the following ships and shore establishments: HMS Impregnable, 1 July 1898-8 July 1898 (Boy 2nd Class); HMS Ganges, 9 July-15 June 1899 (Boy 1st Class 20 April 1899); HMS Minotaur, 16 June 1899-26 October 1899 (Ordinary Seaman 20 October 1899); HMS Duke of Wellington, 27 October 1899-4 December 1899; HMS Canopus, 5 December 1899-11 August 1900; HMS (-), 12 August 1900-12 November 1900; HMS Canopus, 13 November 1900-24 April 1903 (Able Seaman 7 September 1901); HMS Duke of Wellington, 25 April 1903-30 June 1903; HMS Excellent, 1 July 1903-14 November 1903; HMS Vernon, 15 November 1903-20 February 1904; HMS Fire Queen,21 February1904-29 February 1904; HMS Hercules, 1 March 1904-18 January 1905; HMS Firequeen/Firequeen II, 19 January 1905-31 March 1905; Victory II, 1 April 1905-31 March 1906; Victory I, 1 April 1906-25 August 1906; HMS Vernon, 26 August 1906-19 January 1907; HMS Albion, 26 March 1907-6 August 1909; Victory I, 7 August 1909-11 September 1909; HMS Crescent, 12 September 1909-24 September 1909; Victory II,25 September 1909-15 November 1909; HMS Mercury, 16 November 1909-21 May 1910; Victory I, 22 May 1910-24 June 1910; HMS Antelope, 25 June 1910-19 October 1911. He was discharged shore when his Continuous Service Engagement expired on 19 October 1911, but volunteered to rejoin the RN on 24 November the same year serving in: Victory I, 24 November 1911-2 December 1911; HMS Vernon,3 December 1911-31 January 1912; HMS Roxburgh,1 February 1912-16 May 1912; Pembroke I, 17 May 1912-3 June 1912; HMS Bulwark, 4 June 1912-26 November 1914. John was killed when when HMS Bulwark was sunk at Sheerness following an explosion. His service document was annotated, ‘NP 3063/14. DD [Discharged Dead] 26/11/14' His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. On the afternoon of Thursday, November 26th, 1914, First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill made the following statement to the House of Commons : ‘I regret to say I have some bad news for the house. The Bulwark battleship, which was lying in Sheerness (on the River Medway) this morning, blew up at 7.35 o'clock. The Vice and Rear Admiral, who were present, have reported their conviction that it was an internal magazine explosion which rent the ship asunder. There was apparently no upheaval in the water, and the ship had entirely disappeared when the smoke had cleared away... I regret to say the loss of life is very severe. Only 12 men are saved. All the officers and the rest of the crew, who, I suppose, amounted to between 700 and 800, have perished. I think the House would wish me to express on their behalf the deep sorrow with which the House heard the news, and their sympathy with those who have lost their relatives and friends.’ HMS Bulwark belonged to a sub-class of the Formidable Class of pre-dreadnought battleships of the Royal Navy known as the London class. Entering service with the Royal Navy in 1902, she sailed with the Mediterranean Fleet until 1907. She then served with the Home Fleet, for a time under Captain Robert Falcon Scott. After a refit in 1912, she was assigned to the 5th Battle Squadron. Following the outbreak of the First World War, Bulwark, along with the rest of the squadron was attached to the Channel Fleet, conducting patrols in the English Channel. (As Churchill intimated), the explosion was likely to have been caused by the overheating of cordite charges that had been placed adjacent to a boiler room bulkhead. (Wikipedia)
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