Able Seaman Harry Grantham

Harry Grantham © Dorking Advertiser
Harry Grantham © Dorking Advertiser

Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.

Harry Grantham Birth Registration Transcription © findmypast.co.uk
Harry Grantham Birth Registration Transcription © findmypast.co.uk

Harry Grantham was born on the 19th of November 1887 in Dorking to agricultural labourer and gardener Jesse and Marian Augusta Grantham nee Ingrams.

Harry´s father Jesse was born in the 3rd quarter of 1862 in Dorking to agricultural labourer and gardener George (born about 1819 in Ewhurst, Surrey) and Eliza Grantham. Jesse was baptised on the 31st of August 1862 in Coldharbour by Dorking. During the 1881 Census, the family lived in Holmwood and Jesse was working as an agricultural labourer. His mother, Marian Augusta Ingrams was born in the 2nd quarter of 1858 in Westerham, Kent to agricultural labourer George (born about 1819 in Brasted, Kent) and Sarah Ingrams (born about 1819 in Burstow, Kent). Jesse and Marian  married by banns on the 6th of June 1885 at St Martin´s church in Dorking. At the time of their marriage Jesse and Marian lived in Dorking and Jesse was working as a gardener.

Harry Grantham Baptism Certificate © Ancestry.co.uk
Harry Grantham Baptism Certificate © Ancestry.co.uk

Harry was baptised on the 29th of January 1888 at Christ Church in Coldharbour. His father Jesse was working as a gardener and the family lived at Anstie Farm in Holmwood.

Harry had six siblings: George born about 1886, Margery born about 1893, Herbert born about 1894, Edith born about 1895, Ernest born about 1898 and Wilfred born about 1900, all in Dorking.

Harry Grantham School Log Book © ancestry.co.uk
Harry Grantham School Log Book © ancestry.co.uk
Harry Grantham School Register © Ancestry.co.uk
Harry Grantham School Register © Ancestry.co.uk

On the 31st of March 1891 Harry was admitted to South Holmwood Church of England School. At this time the family lived at Spring Cottages in Holmwood. Harry left the school in December 1894.

Harry Grantham 1891 Census © Ancestry.co.uk
Harry Grantham 1891 Census © Ancestry.co.uk

During the 1891 Census, the family lived at Spring Cottages in Holmwood. Jesse was working as a gardener, Marian Augusta was a dressmaker and was looking after their children Harry and George. Harry´s widowed father George Grantham also lived in the household.

Harry Grantham 1901 Census © Ancestry.co.uk
Harry Grantham 1901 Census © Ancestry.co.uk

At the time of the 1901 Census, the family still lived at Spring Cottages in Holmwood. Jesse was working as a gardener and Marian was looking after their children builders boy George, garden boy Harry, Margery, Herbert, Edith, Ernest and Wilfred.

On the 19th of November 1905, at the age of 18, Harry Grantham enlisted into the Royal Navy for a duration of 12 years. He became an able seaman and his regimental number was 225428. He served on various ships.

Prior to his enlistment, Harry was working as a garden boy. He had brown hair, blue eyes, a fresh complexion and was over 5 feet tall. He also had tattoo marks on both forearms.

Grantham Family 1911 Census © Ancestry.co.uk
Grantham Family 1911 Census © Ancestry.co.uk

At the time of the 1911 Census, Jesse, Margaret and their sons: gardener George and scholars Ernest and Wilfred, were living at Quernmore, Buckingham Road in Holmwood, Dorking Rural. Jesse was also working as a gardener. The family had a boarder, railway clerk Gilbert William Tiller. The accommodation had 5 rooms. Marion stated that she had given birth to 7 living children.

Harry Grantham 1911 Navy Census © Ancestry.co.uk
Harry Grantham 1911 Navy Census © Ancestry.co.uk
Harry Grantham 1911 Navy Census © Ancestry.co.uk
Harry Grantham 1911 Navy Census © Ancestry.co.uk
Harry Grantham Service Record © Ancestry.co.uk
Harry Grantham Service Record © Ancestry.co.uk

At the time of the 1911 Census, Harry was an able seaman on the HMS Superb at Portsmouth.

Harry Grantham Death Notice © Edinburgh Evening News
Harry Grantham Death Notice © Edinburgh Evening News

Prior to his death Harry was an able seamen on the HMS Attack. He went missing on the 4th of March 1915 between 9pm and 10pm at Leith Docks. He is presumed to have drowned on that day. His body was found floating in Edinburgh Docks and was recovered at 6am on the 17th of April 1915.

Harry Grantham Death Notice © Dorking Advertiser
Harry Grantham Death Notice © Dorking Advertiser

According to the 1915 Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser, Harry was “attached to HMS Attack, and took part in several naval engagements, including the Heligoland battle, the shelling of Zeebrugge, the Cuxhaven raid on Christmas Day, and the attack on the Bluecher which resulted in the sinking of that ship. He went through all those battles without receiving any injury.“

Harry Grantham Obituary © Dorking Advertiser
Harry Grantham Obituary © Dorking Advertiser

Lieutenant Commander C. Callaghan of HMS Attack wrote to Harry´s mother Marian: “H. Gratham has been missing since the 4th inst. He was last seen on board at 9pm and since then nothing has been seen of him. From the very slight evidence I can obtain it is apparent that he may have left the ship which was then in Leith Docks, to visit a friend whom he had apparently mentioned, in HMS Vulcan. He was found to be missing at 9PM on the 6th inst, and at 9.50am his cap was found floating in the basin where HMS Vulcan lies.“

His funeral took place at Rosebank Cemetery in Edinburgh on the 20th of April 1915, with full naval honours. The 1915 Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser reads: “Owing to the ´Attack´ being at sea the escort was formed from the ships´companies of HMS ´Vulcan´and HMS ´Cordelia´.“ Harry is buried at Rosebank Cemetery, Pilrig in Edinburgh on the east side of cemetery. His grave reference is Special Memorial Cross, Q.W. 384. The headstone reads “Rest in Peace“. At the time of his death his mother Marion was still living at Quernmore, Buckingham Road in Holmwood, Dorking Rural.

Harry was 27 years old.

Harry’s brother Ernest died of wounds on 13th April 1917 in France aged 19.

Born                             Holmwood, Surrey
Lived                             Holmwood, Surrey

Son of                          Jesse and Marion Augusta Grantham of “Quernmore” Buckingham Road, South Holmwood, Surrey

Regiment                     “H.M.S. Attack” Royal Navy
Number                       225428

Date of Death              4th March 1915
Place of Death             Died in the United Kingdom

Age                              27

Cemetery                     Rosebank Cemetery, Pilrig, Leith, Scotland