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Roll of Honour

Hartlepool seafarers lost at sea

Clare, Charles

Able Seaman
63, Tower Street
West Hartlepool

Died in hospital at Queensferry, while serving on the Cruiser HMS Crescent

Charles Clare was born in West Hartlepool in January 1899 and was one of ten children born to Louis and Ellen Clare. Two of these children did not survive and Charles was the second youngest in the family.

Louis Clare, his father, was born in Cherbourg in France in May 1854 but, according to one Census, became a British subject. He married Ellen Scott, who had been born in Portobello near Edinburgh. The couple were married on 13th February, 1879, at St Mary’s, South Shields. Where they met is unknown and why Louis Clare left his native France is a mystery.

In 1901, the family lived in Union Place, West Hartlepool and father Louis was a labourer in the engine works. By 1911, they lived in Mill Cottages in Roker Street, where Louis was recorded as an engineer and his wife Ellen as a caretaker of a local public hall. Charles was 12, a scholar and newsboy.

Charles must have signed up for the Royal Navy when just 17 and began his career, not at sea, but at the shore-based HMS Victory 1, an Accounting Base at Portsmouth. His record then says that he joined HMS Crescent at Rosyth on 19th November, 1917.

However, Charles Clare’s time in the Royal Navy was not to be a long one, as sadly he died in hospital in South Queensferry on the Firth of Forth, of septicaemia following acute appendicitis on December 5th, 1917. He was brought home to be buried in West Hartlepool North Cemetery.
His father Louis died in 1925 and his mother in 1946, then aged 86.