Stoker 1st Class Ernest John Crouch (K/14987)

HMS Queen Mary, Royal Navy

Malvern Commemoration: Holy Trinity North Malvern,

Burial/Commemoration: Portsmouth Naval Memorial

Nature of Death: Killed in action at the Battle of Jutland 31/5/16

Age: 25

Next of Kin: Son of Margaret Poole Gillespie (nee Crouch) of 3 Suttons Row, Lower Wyche, Malvern

Education: The Wyche School

Ernest Crouch of the Wyche

Ernest Crouch’s mother married John Thomas Gillespie a chimney sweep of Link Top Villa in March 1910 at North Malvern – at this time she lived at Saxon House, Cowleigh Road, hence the link with the Holy Trinity Memorial.

HMS Queen Mary was the second Battle Cruiser to be lost during the Battle of Jutland at 4.15 p.m., two hours after the first contact was made. She took a plunging salvo on the upper deck, which caused a huge explosion in one of her magazines. She sank with her stern high in the air, and left a towering pillar of smoke.

William Cave who watched the destruction of the huge ship from the battle cruiser HMS Dublin, wrote: “In every detail we could see officers and signalmen with others [on] the ship… [She was] already doing twenty knots with the fore section blown forward, causing a higher bow wave than before only listing slightly to port, then skidding round to starboard towards Dublin. We actually ported our helm to avoid her hitting us but it proved unnecessary; with increasing list she dived, her fore turret guns at full elevation hot with firing, giving off a loud hissing as they met the water. It was terrible to hear those poor souls so near yet so far and being unable to help.”

Mornington George Giles from Great Malvern also lost his life aboard HMS Queen Mary at Jutland.

Holy Trinity Marriage Register
Liddle, P H The Sailors' War 1914 - 1918 London 1985

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