Able Seaman Arthur Edwards

© Royston Williamson 2015

Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.

Arthur Edwards Birth Registration Transcription ©

Arthur Edwards was born in the 2nd quarter of 1889 in Kirdford, Sussex to Edward and Mary Ann Lucy  nee Johnson.

Arthur’s father Edward was born on the 26th of November 1844 in Shipley, Sussex to agricultural labourer William, born about 1819 in Capel and Caroline Edwards, born about 1822 in Shipley. Edward was baptised on the 22nd December 1844 in Shipley.

Mary Ann Kempshall Court Case 20th May 1865 © Sussex Advertiser

His mother Mary Ann Lucy Johnson was born in the 4nd quarter of 1847 in Horsham to Lucy Johnson. Lucy was born about 1829 in Shipley. Mary Ann was baptised on the 1st of December 1847 in Horsham. Lucy married William Kempshall on the 20th of May 1848 in Shipley. At the time of the 1861 Census, the family lived at New Town, Horsham. William was working as an agricultural labourer and Lucy was at home looking after Mary Ann. Mary Ann sometimes used the alias Kempshall. On the 19th of April 1865 she obtained the following goods by false pretences: one dress and trimmings, one pair of woman’s boots,  2lbs of butter, 4lbs of sugar, one Dutch cheese, 3lbs of currants, 2lbs of soap, 1lb of tea and tobacco, all the property of general shopkeeper Alfred Baker of Ashington, Sussex. On the 11 of June 1865 she was charged with fraud and sentenced to 6 months of hard labour.

Edward  and Mary Ann married on the 27th of November 1869 in Shipley.

Arthur had one half-brother: William Johnson born in the 3rd quarter of 1866 in Shipley.

He had also eight known blood siblings: Edwin born about 1871 in Ashington, Sussex; James born about 1872 in Billinghurst, Sussex; Fanny born about 1876; Albert born about 1877; Kate born about 1879; Rose (Alice Rosa) born about 1878, all in Shipley; Edward born about 1885 and Frederick born about 1886, both in Kirford, Sussex.

At the time of the 1871 Census, the family lived at Beer House (Rising Sun), Billinghurst, Sussex. Edward was working as an agricultural labourer and Mary Ann was looking after their son Edwin and her son William.

At the time of the 1881 Census, the family lived at Slab Castle, Shipley. Edward was still a labourer and Mary Ann was at home looking after their children: Edwin, James, Fanny, Albert and Kate.

Arthur Edwards 1891 Census ©

At the time of the 1891 Census, the family lived at Fountains, Kirford, Petworth, Sussex. Edward, working as a labourer, Mary Ann was at home. The household further comprised of their children: agricultural labourer James, Kate, Rose, Edward, Arthur and Frederick.

Arthur Edwards 1901 Census ©

At the time of the 1901 Census, the family lived at Ranmore Farm, Little Bookham. Edward was still an agricultural labourer and Mary Ann was at home. The household further comprised of their children: farmworkers Albert, Edward, Frederick and Arthur and Rose and a boarder, farmworker, James Washan.

Arthur’s father Edward died in the 3rd quarter of 1908 in Dorking, Surrey.

Arthur Edwards enlisted on the 10th of September 1906 in Portsmouth into the Royal Navy for five years. At the time of his enlistment he worked as a groom. He had brown hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion. He was an Ordinary Seaman and his service number was: SS/1622. The first ship he served on, from the 10th of September 1906, was HMS Victory I. He served on board of several ships and became an Able Seaman on the 18th of December 1908.

Arthur Edwards 1911 Census ©

At the time of the 1911 Census, Arthur was an Able Seaman on board of HMS St Vincent docked at Portland, Dorset.

Arthur Edwards Royal Navy Register ©

He was transferred into the Royal Fleet Reserve on the 11 September 1911 in Portsmouth.

Arthur Edwards and Emily Jane Luck Wedding Certificate ©

Arthur married Emily Jane Luck, on the 6th of April 1913 at St Martin’s Church in Dorking. At the time of his marriage Arthur was a farmworker and lived at 16 Lyons Cottages in Dorking. Emily lived at The Bakers, Pixham Lane in Dorking.

Emily was born in the 3rd quarter of 1891 in Dorking to baker Thomas, born about 1866 in Mayfield, Sussex and Maria, born about 1866, both in Mayfield, Sussex. At the time of the 1911 Census, Emily was a kitchen maid of Donovan Meredith Touche at Broomfield, Westcott. The house had nineteen rooms.

Arthur and Emily had a son: Charles born in the 4th quarter of 1916 in Dorking Surrey.

Arthur was called up in August 1914 while in the employ of Messrs Attlee as a miller’s carman. He lived in Pixham Lane.

HMAV Patia ©

The last ship he served on was HMAV Patia: from the 4th of September 1915 until his death.

Arthur Edwards Death Record Transcription ©
Arthur Edwards Death Notice 6th July 1918 © Dorking Advertiser

Arthur Edwards was killed in action on the 13th of June 1918 on board of HMAV Patia sunk by the German submarine in Bristol Channel. He was to complete his Reserve Service in September of the next year.

Arthur Edwards Portsmouth Naval Memorial Panel Listing ©

He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire. His memorial reference is 29.

Arthur Edwards National Probate Calendar ©

 Emily received £87, 10s in the Probate.

She lived at 60 Dene Street in Dorking and later at 9 Pixham Lane. Emily re-married Alfred Tylor in the 4th quarter of 1919 in Dorking.


Born Kirdford, Sussex
Lived Dorking, Surrey
Son of Edward and Mary Edwards
Husband of Emily Jane Edwards (nee Luck)
Father of Charles
Regiment H.M.S. Patia. Royal Navy
Number SS. 1622
Date of Death 13th June 1918
Place of Death In the Bristol Channel
Cause of Death Killed when H.M.S. Patia was hit by a German submarine
Age 28
Memorial Portsmouth Naval Memorial
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