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Roll of Honour

Hartlepool seafarers lost at sea

Hart, William James

42, Bailey Street, West Hartlepool
West Hartlepool

William James Hart was one of 1091 men lost on HMS Indefatigable during the Battle of Jutland on 31st May 1916. The ship was a battle cruiser and was hit several times by the German ship Von der Tann which ripped a hole in her hull. His body was not recovered.

William James,son of William James and Jessie Hart of 42, Bailey Street West Hartlepool, was born in  the town on 1st December 1894. His parents had been married in 1884 in Sunderland where the first two of their 10 children were born. Jessie (nee Simpson) had been born in Sunderland, but William James senior belonged Lambeth,London. On the 1911,1901 and 1891 census returns, the family were living in Hartlepool and William James was a French polisher.

Young William James was a polisher's assistant in 1911. French polishing seems to have been a family business, as his grandfather,another William Hart, was also a French polisher born in High Wycombe and living in Lambeth London in 1871. Indeed, his father before him, another William Hart, was firstly a chair maker and then a chair polisher. Wycombe of course is noted for chair making.

Sadly, as William James Hart tragically died in WW1, the family tradition was broken in 1916. His mother Jessie was informed of his death at the Bailey Street home. He is remebered on the  Chatham War Memorial.