Edward James Carver

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
Rank:                                    Private
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.

Military History
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.


3 responses to “Edward James Carver

  1. Maura Farrell

    My grandfather, CPO, RNR Patrick Arthur Broderick served on the Motagua during this time. Thankfully, he survived this and the 1914-18 conflict. He returned to his family and to service as a coast guard, and customs officer, in the village of Omeath, Eire.

    • Hi there,
      Thank you for contacting us, we have your grandfather as having been killed, are you confirming he survived which is brilliant….if so when I hear from you I will edit his story.
      kind regards
      Becky White for Southampton Cenotaph Families and Friends Group .

      • Maura Farrell

        Hello Becky, Yes, my grandfather survived the incident with USS Manley. He died in Omeath, Co Louth in 1939. The record of his death can be seen in the Dundalk records. Unfortunately, all his medals including, I believe, the DCM for his actions following the collision with the USS Manley, were destroyed in a fire in the 1970s. My aunts remember that he would have night terrors for many years following his return home. I suppose this would now be recorded as post traumatic stress syndrome. He joined the navy as a boy sailor in 1888. He saw action in the Boer War. By the time the Great War started, he was a coastguard and in the RNR. Although he was over forty, he volunteered for service. His family did not see him for the whole duration of the war. They only knew he was alive because his pay always reached them. There is a photograph of him, as a post war customs officer, in the lobby of the Granvue Hotel in Omeath and he is buried with two of his children in the graveyard, only a few hundred yards away,in Omeath. I am told he was a quiet, gentle man with a strong sense of duty. He was remembered with much love.
        If you have any further information on my grandfather or know where I can find it, I would be very pleased to pursue it. For instance, how he came to be listed amongst the dead and from which records this information came.
        Thank you for your interest. Maura Farrell (nee Broderick).

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