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Roll of Honour

Hartlepool seafarers lost at sea

Sharp, Robert

17, Sarah Street, West Hartlepool
West Hartlepool

Lost on the Armoured Cruiser HMS Defence at the Battle of Jutland, May 31st, 1916.

Robert Sharp was born in West Hartlepool on 5th April, 1886, to William Sharp, a road labourer for West Hartlepool Corporation, and his wife Mary  who was from Hulton or West Ayton in Yorkshire. William Sharp was a native of East Heslerton in Yorkshire. The couple had seven sons and one daughter, Mary.

In 1881, the family were living at Claxton near Greatham, where William worked as a farmhand. It seems that the family had travelled around to various farms, as the children were born in Yarm, Preston on Tees, Claxton, Greatham, Claxton again and Rift House. The 1891 Census shows the family living in Sarah Street , West Hartlepool, with William listed as a labourer. In 1901, Robert, just 14 years of age, was working as a labourer in the ironworks.

In 1907, Robert married Mary Elizabeth Davies and by the time of the 1911 census they too were living in Sarah Street, with children Alfred (aged 3), and one-year old Mary Jane. Robert was now a steelworker in the rolling mill.

Robert served as a Stoker on HMS Defence and lost his life when, during the Battle of Jutland, the ship was fired on and suffered a series of explosion killing all crew.
His wife Mary Elizabeth was informed of her husband's death at their home in Sarah Street.