Date of birth: 15th January 1878
Place of birth: Buckland, Somerset
Date of marriage: 2nd quarter 1906
Place of marriage: Southampton
Service No.: PO/8331
Regiment / Division: Royal Marine Light Infantry
Ship: HMS Motagua
Died: 19th March 1918
Death Location: Irish Sea.
Before the War
Edward was born 15 January 1878 to John and Mary Carver (nee Milgrove), of Buckland Dinham, Frome, Somerset. His parents were married in Frome in the 4th quarter of 1868.
Edward’s 7 siblings were:
William Austin (1851 – 1943)
Alfred Ernest (1873 – 1941)
Emily Jane (1876 – 28/06/1963)
Walter Herbert (1882 – 1949)
Ethel Gertrude (1884 – 1914)
Arthur Harry (1886 – 02/031955)
Catherine Martha (1888 – 12/10/1952)
On 1901 Census Edward’s parents are living at Lower Street, Buckland Dinham, with their son Arthur Harry, who is a carpenter, and their daughters Ethel and Catherine. Edward’s father is a cowman on a farm. Edward does not appear on 1901 Census (maybe he was at sea?)
In 1906 he married Lilias Maud Tanner (1873 – 21/12/1939) and on 1911 Census they are living at 12 Cracknore Road, Southampton. They had a son Horace John (1909 – 1967). Edward was working as a Civil Service Postman.
When Edward died on 19th March 1918 he was serving on the armed merchant cruiser HMS Motagua when it was in collision with USS Manley which was operating off Queenstown, Ireland. It was about 8 am and the collision caused USS Manley’s depth charges to detonate. HMS Motagua’s stern was extensively damaged but she proceeded to Plymouth under her own steam escorted by HMS Bluebell.
“The ship’s log of HMS Motagua of the 19th March 1918, lists 1 Officer and 17 men missing, 2 Officers and 17 men identified killed and 1 unidentified killed. In addition there were 30 on the sick list. HMS Motagua made it to Plymouth assisted by a tug. The Commonwealth War Graves list 2 Officers and 27 men (Navy, Merchant Navy and Royal Marines) died on the 19th or within a month of that date from HMS Motagua. Those killed on the 19th were buried at sea. “
There was a probate dated 26th June 1918. ‘Edward James of 12 Cracknore Road, Southampton, Private Marine Light Infantry died 19 March 1918 at sea on active service. Probate London 26 June to Lilias Maud Carver widow. Effects £210.13s.10d’.
Edward is remembered at the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Plaque 30. This Memorial was created to honour those Naval personnel who lost their lives at sea during World War One.
Researched by Becky Lonergan 2013.