John Arthur George Rice was born on the 16th of January 1899 in Wotton, Surrey to Elizabeth Jane Rice. His father is not known, John may possibly had a sister called Winifred Leith Rice born in the 2nd quarter of 1897 in Wotton.
At the time of the 1901 Census, Elizabeth was staying, along with her children Winifred and John, with her parents: estate woodsman William and his wife, Fanny at Broadmoor, Wotton. The household further comprised of William and Fanny’s other children: Ellen, agricultural labourer James, Elsie and Thomas.
At the time of the 1911 Census, John’s grandparents William and Fanny lived at Broadmoor, Wotton. The household further comprised of Robert Rice and Dorking Urban Council roadman William, gardener James and farm labourer Alfred.
John Rice enlisted into the Royal Navy on the 18th of January 1914 for duration of 12 years. He was a Boy II Class and his regimental number was: J30222. At the time of his enlistment he was working as a salt works boy. He was over 5ft tall, had dark hair, brown eyes and a shallow complexion. He served on the HMS Impregnable as a Boy II Class from the 24th of March 1914 to 29th of October 1914. On the 24th of October 1914 he was made a Boy I Class. From the 30th of October 1914 he served as a Boy I Class on the HMS Queen Mary until his death on the 31st of May 1916.
He was killed on board of the HMS Queen Mary during the Battle of Jutland on the 31st of May 1916.
The Battle of Jutland was a naval battle between the Royal Navy and German Seas Fleet from the 31st of May 1916 to the 1st of June 1916 in the North Sea near Jutland in Denmark. HMS Queen Mary was sunk during this battle in its opening phase. She was hit at 4.26PM by shells from SMS Derfflinger which detonated her forward magazines and the ship broke in two pieces and sunk. Out of her 1286 crew, only 20 men survived.
John Rice is commemorated at the Plymouth Naval Memorial on panel reference 13.
His mother Elizabeth Jane Rice later lived at 93 Jersey Road, Custom House in London. She died in 1970 in the Registration District of Dartford, Kent.
Elizabeth’s brother, John’s uncle, Alfred Thomas Rice was part of the Coldstream Guards at the time of the WW1. He was a Private with the regimental number 14791. He was killed on the 18th of June 1916 in the Western Theatre of War.
Rice Family History
John’s mother Elizabeth Jane Rice was born on the 1st of April 1876 in Wotton, Surrey to general agricultural labourer William Rice Jnr and Fanny Rice nee Edwards.
His maternal grandfather William Rice Jnr was born about 1837 in Wotton, Surrey to William Rice Snr and Hannah Charman, born about 1811 in Abinger, Surrey. His maternal great grandfather William Rice Snr married Hannah Charman, by Banns, on the 24th of August 1831 at St John’s the Evangelist church in Wotton, Surrey. Hannah Rice nee Charman later married agricultural labourer William Neale, born about 1822 in Chiltenton, Sussex. At the time of the 1861 Census, the family lived at Chapel House in Wotton. William Neale was working as an agricultural labourer and Hannah Neale was looking after their children: Hannah Neale and Henry Neale. The household further comprised of Hannah’s children from her previous marriage: George, William, Michael and John and two lodgers. All four boys were working as agricultural labourers.
John’s maternal grandmother Fanny Edwards was born in the 2nd quarter of 1849 in Ockley, Surrey to labourer George Edwards, born about 1819 in Ockley, Surrey, and Ellen Edwards, born about 1816 in Horley, Hampshire. Fanny Edwards was baptised on the 1st of July 1849 at St Margaret’s church in Ockley. William and Fanny married on the 19th of April 1867 in Oakwood, Surrey.
John’s mother Elizabeth Jane Rice was born to William Jnr and Fanny on the 1st of April 1876 in Wotton, Surrey. She was baptised on the 28th of May 1876 at St John’s the Evangelist church in Wotton. At the time of the baptism, William Rice Jnr was working as a labourer and the family lived at Broadmoor, Wotton near Dorking.
Elizabeth Jane Rice was a sister of Alfred and Arthur Rice, who would also die during the WW1.
At the time of the 1881 Census, the family lived at Broadmoor, Wotton. William was working as an agricultural labourer and Fanny was looking after her children: William, Ellen, Elizabeth and James.
At the time of the 1891 Census, the family lived at Broadmoor Cottage in Wotton. William Rice Jnr was working as a general labourer and Fanny was looking after her children: Elizabeth, James, Elsie and Albert.
John’s mother Elizabeth married William Charles Mould in the 2nd quarter of 1899 in the Registration District of Dorking, Surrey.
Regiment H.M.S. Queen Mary. Royal Navy
Date of Death 31st May 1916
Place of Death At Sea
Cause of Death Killed in Action
Memorial Plymouth Naval Memorial