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Roll of Honour

Hartlepool seafarers lost at sea

Greenwell, Herbert Henry

Stoker RNR
7 Streatham St Hartlepool
Bishop Auckland

Herbert Henry Greenwell  was born on November15th 1882 in Close  House Bishop Auckland and was the son of Joseph Greenwood and his wife Mary, both born in Co. Durham He was one of at least 7 children. In 1891, the whole family were in Melbourne St West Hartlepool but according to the census had just moved there the year before as a one year old child had been born in Bishop Auckland. Joseph Greenwell was a boilermaker's assistant. By 1901, he was a chimney sweep with one of his sons assisting and Herbert Henry, at 22, had the unpleasant occupation of night soil man. 

Herbert married Amy Robson on 11th January 1902 and in 1911, they were living in Back Silver Street with four children. The 1911 census informs us that Amy had borne 6 children and that two had died. Herbert at this point had moved on from night soil collecting and was 'unloading deals' for shipowners.

At the outbreak of WW1, it seems Herbert joined the Royal Field Artillery as his wife Amy, living in Barnard St, claimed an army pension. His service record shows him as a dock labourer and that he was in the army from 30th August to the 30th September 1914. He had four children on the pension document, so another child, Andrew, noted on the 1911 census must have died. Detail on his army record say he was C hurch of England, was 5 feet 3 inches in height, had grey eyes and light brown hair. It seems he had a scar on the right forearm and a tattoo of clasped hands on the left.

Following his discharge from the army, Herbert joined the Royal Naval Reserve. He was serving on the battleship Queen Mary when, during the Battle of Jutland, he was killed along with 1265 other men when the ship was shelled by the battle cruiser Derfflinger.

His body was not recovered and his wife Amy of 7, Streatham Street, West Hartlepool, was informed. Herbert Henry's name is on the Chatham War Memorial.