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Roll of Honour

Hartlepool seafarers lost at sea

Smythe, Robert Robinson

Boy 1st Class
5 Bathgate Terrace, Elwick Road West Hartlepool
West Hartlepool
7/5/1900
31/5/1916

Robert Robinson Smythe was born on 7th May 1900 in West Hartlepool and must have been one of the youngest crewmen to lose his life on HMS Queen Mary during the Battle of Jutland where he served as a boy 1st class. It appears from his Naval Service record that he had signed on until 1918, but sadly his death is noted on it.

His mother was Mary Elizabeth Smythe, nee Campion, and she had been born in Whitby to an Irish mother and a Whitby born master mariner, John Campion.

Who exactly young Robert's father was is unclear. His mother married Hartlepool labourer, John George Smythe in 1877 in Hartlepool but it seems he was not Robert's father. 

In 1881, the couple lived on the Town Wall and had two children. By 1891, Mary was a widow and was living with six children ranging from 14 to 4 months in Rokeby St. Records show that her husband had died in 1890. In 1901, Mary, still a widow had  four chil although they both bore his name. 

Mary Smythe died in 1905 in Hartlepool and when Robert lost his life at 16, his sister Lily at 5 Bathgate Terrace, Elwick Road was informed.

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