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Person Details
07 May 1892
Staveley Derbyshire
Harry was the son of John Dennis and his second wife, Mary Ada. Harry was born in Staveley on 7 May 1892 and baptised in Staveley on 20 March 1893. Harry had at least eight half-brothers and half-sisters and 11 siblings although not all these children survived childhood. The children have been identified from the census between 1881 and 1911 but many cannot be traced after the initial census record and it has to be presumed that some of the children of John Dennis' first marriage in particular were either sent to live with relatives, left home as soon as they found work or died young. The places in which John's children were born suggests the family moved a good deal before they settled in Nottingham. The record of John's first marriage has not yet been traced but at the time of the 1871 census John (20, b. Blackwell, Derbyshire), a coal miner, was married to Elizabeth (17) and they were living at 24 Queen's Head Yard, Alfreton, Derbyshire. John and Elizabeth had at least eight children; Sarah Ellen (b. Alfreton), Lydie Ann (b. Sharlston, Yorkshire), Mary Emma (b. 1875 South Wingfield, John (b. Highfield Cottages, South Wingfield, baptised 10 June 1877, South Wingfield), James (b. Toad Hall, Shirland), Charles (b. Blackwell, abt. 1882), Martha (b. Alfreton, abt. 1884) and Eliza (b. Alfreton, abt. 1886). In 1881 John and Elizabeth were living at 208 Primrose Hill, Blackwell, Derbyshire, with their five children; Sarah Ellen (9), Lydie Ann (7), Mary Emma (5), John (4) and James (2). There were three more children, Charles, Martha and Eliza, whose names appear on the 1891 census. The date of Elizabeth's death has not yet been traced but the youngest child was born in 1886 and John had remarried by April 1890. The widowed John (40), married Mary Ada Hanson (20, b. Ripley) in Swanwick, Derbyshire, on 7 April 1890. In 1911 when they had been married for 21 years, John completed the census with the information that they had had 12 children born alive of whom eight were still living. Nine children were named on the census between 1891 and 1911; Jane (b. Alfreton, 1891), Harry, George (b. Mansfield, baptised Staveley 10 May 1898), William J (b. Stanton Hill), Thomas (b. Staveley, baptised 10 May 1898), Albert Edward (b. Staveley, baptised 13 Feb. 1901, d. 1901), Maud (b. Sheffield), Kolit (sic) (b. Nottingham) and Ivy (b. Nottingham). Kolit and Ivy were twin girls. In 1891 John and Mary Ada were living at 3 Queen's Head Yard, Alfreton, with their first child, Jane (3 months), and five of John's children by his first marriage; John (14, coal miner), James (11), Charles (9), Martha (7) and Eliza (5). The family was still in Derbyshire in 1901 but John and Mary were now living at 16 (Poolebrook?), Staveley. Apart from Charles (19, labourer, coal, below ground), none of John's children by his first marriage were in the household on the night of the census; one who has been traced is Eliza (16, apron machinist), who was living in Nottingham at 3 Lucia Terrace, Hyson Green, one of two female boarders residing with Samuel and Ellen Bell. John now had six children by his second marriage; Jane (10), Harry (8), George (6), William (4), Thomas (3) and Albert Edward (2 months) who was born in 1901 but died just a few months later (death registered A/M/J). By 1911 John and Mary were living in Nottingham at 16a Hyson Street. None of John's children by his first wife were in the household and two of John and Mary's children, Jane and William, were either away on the night of the census or no longer living at home. However, their six other children were still at home; Harry (18, coal miner), George (16, coal miner), Thomas (13), Maud (3) and Kolit (sic) and Ivy, twin sisters (10 months, registered 1910 J/A/S). The Royal Navy notified Annie Sketchley, of 32 Maples Street, Hyson Green, of Harry's death; she was described as a 'friend' and Harry had obviously chosen to nominate her as a contact rather than one of his many relatives. John Dennis (b. abt 1851) probably died in Nottingham in 1942 (registered June), aged 91.
Harry was a coal miner. He joined the Royal Navy in 1915 as a stoker.
05 Jun 1916
28
2876470 - CWGC Website
K/26497
Stoker 1st Class
HMS Hampshire Royal Navy
Harry joined the Royal Navy on 26 May 1915. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: Victory II 26 May 1915-22 February 1916 (Stoker 2nd Class, Stoker 1st Class 18 September 1915); HMS Hampshire, 23 February 1916-5 June 1916. Service record annotated ‘NP 4098/1916. DD 5 June 1916. Lost HMS Hampshire was sunk.’ The armoured cruiser HMS Hampshire was on passage to north Russia with Field Marshall Lord Kitchener, Secretary of State for War, onboard when on 5 June the ship was sunk by a mine off Marwick Head, Orkney. Kitchener, his staff and 643 men were lost. Harry's body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 18).
Nottingham Evening Post notice (abridged), 14 June 1916: 'Harry Dennis. Stoker H Dennis late of Hyson Green, lost with HMS Hampshire age 28.' 2016 - A First World War Centenary Wood devised by the Woodland Trust has been planted at Kirkwall, Orkney. The copse will be planted with 746 saplings to commemorate the 737 men lost in HMS Hampshire and also the nine men lost from the drifter Lauren Crown which struck a mine after she was sent to help clear the minefield.
Remembered on