Ernest Edward Stevens

Place of Birth            Southampton.
Date of Birth             12th December 1876
Marriage                    1905.
Service Number       269541(PO)
Rank Submariner    Chief Engine Room Artificer 1st Class.
Service                        Royal Navy.
Died                             26th December 1915

Family Life Before The War

Ernest was born 12th December 1876 in Southampton, his father was John Daniel Lovell and his mother was Mary Ann they lived at 13 Upper Dover Road. Southampton.

Ernests’ father John was born on 14th October 1836 in Falmouth Cornwall and worked as a Customs Officer, he married Mary Ann Jauxon in 1856 in Southampton Hampshire, she was born in Somerset. They had 10 children and lived at 3 Upper Dover Street. Southampton before moving to 47 Chapel Road Southampton.

His brothers and sisters were :- Henry Lovell (1858) who had two children after marrying Sophia Trait he was A Boiler Maker, Lovell Jauxson (1859) *A Cordwainer, John William (1861) who married Maria Hughes (1863 – 1936),Thomas G (1862) Robert Charles (1865-1925) A Carpenter, George H (1865) An Approved Moulder, Aaron Raglan (1868).

Alfred Ernest (1872) he was to serve on H.M.S. Comet as an Engine Room Artificer, he was married and Lovell S (1860) he married Caroline(1859) and had 2 children. H.M.S. Comet was an Acorn Class destroyer of the Royal Navy that saw active service in the First World War. She was launched on 23rd June 1910 and was lost after a collision while under tow on 6th August 1918 in the Mediterranean. At first it was believed she was torpedoed and sunk by an Austrian U Boat, but as this was not claimed by any U boat it was discounted.

* cordwainer made soft fine leather shoes

His grandparents were Jane Mills Lovell and Aaron Stevens born in Falmouth Cornwall.

Ernest Edward married Ellen Jane Elisabeth Huson on 18th June 1905, Ellen was born in West Ham. Stratford. London on 10th November 1884. They lived at Time Villa. Kingsway. Dovercourt. Essex.

They had 2 daughters Daphne Ellen M (1907) and Kathleen E M (1908 – 1980). Kathleen  married Fredrick G Walsh (1911 – 1988), they also one son named John Juxon Lovell (1915). Daphne Ellen died on 23rd May 1953 in Southampton. Hampshire.

Military Service.

Ernest Edward joined the Royal Navy and served as a member of the crew on HMS Victorious, one of the nine pre dreadnought battleships of the British Royal Navy. The Victorious served initially in home waters taking part in the Fleet Review for Queen Victorias Diamond Jubilee in 1897, she then passed on to the Mediterranean in 1898 before transferring to the China Station in that year, after which she remained in East Asian waters until 1900 when she returned to the Mediterranean.

After serving with the Victorious he went on to become a submariner, serving as Chief Engine Room Artificer 1st class on HMS E6 submarine, as part of the Grand Fleet.

At the age of 36 he became decorated with a Distinguished Service Medal (DSM) as with E6 he took part in the Famous Battle of the North Sea The Battle of Heligoland Bight on August 28th 1914. It was the finale for the race between Britain and Germany on the sea, it ended in a victory for the British Grand Fleet.

On the day in August 1914 it was planned that the British Navy would attack the German ships situated in the harbour north west of Germany at Heligoland Bight.

There were 31 destroyers, 2 cruisers and submarines which were sent to sink the German ships. 5 battle ships were providing cover, which resulted in 2 German torpedo boats being sunk.

Germany retaliated damaging the Arethusa (British light cruiser). The British fleet then sunk 3 German cruisers and damaged another 3. The battle ended with 712 German sailors being sunk and over 330 sailors being taken prisoner by the British. The British fleet lost 35 sailors and 40 more injured during the battle.

The Admiralty posted the notice in the Naval Despatch on 1st September 1914 :- Among others to receive the Distinguished Service Medal was Ernest Edward Stevens, Chief Engine Room Artificer (1st class) O.N.269, 451
Admiralty, 21st October, 1914.
“The KING (is) pleased to give orders for the following appointments to the Distinguished Service Order, Ernest Edward Stevens, Chief Engine Room Artificer (1st class) O.N.269.451
To be Companions of the Distinguished Service Order.”

At daylight on the 28th August the “Lurcher” and “Firedrake” searched the area, through which the Battle Cruisers were to advance, for hostile Submarines, and then proceeded towards Heligoland in the wake of Submarines “E.6,” “E.7,” and “E.8,” which were exposing themselves with the object of inducing the enemy to chase them westward.

On approaching Heligoland, the visibility, which had been very good , was reduced to 5, 000 to 6, 000 yards, and this added considerably to the anxieties and responsibilities of the Commanding Officers of the Submarines involved, they continued to handle their vessels with coolness and judgment in an area which was necessarily occupied by friends as well as enemies.

Low visibility and a calm sea are the most unfavourable conditions under which Submarines can operate, and no opportunity occurred to close in on the Enemy’s Cruisers to within torpedo range.

During this incident E6 fouled on 2 mines but escaped undamaged.

HMS E6 continued to be used in the patrol of the North Sea until 26th December 1915 when it met its fate, it left Harwich Essex to carry out an anti-submarine patrol in the North Sea, as E6 neared the Sunk Centre Light Vessel, she was signalled by a patrolling torpedo boat to keep clear. E6 continued on her course and in full view of the torpedo boat struck a mine and disappeared.

Ernest E Stevens along with his fellow submariners went down with E6, just outside Harwich Essex as the directions specify – 51.50.100 North – Longtitude 001.46.020 East. The sunk light vessel is an important part of the Sunk Traffic Separation Scheme.

Memorial Information

Ernest is also remembered on the Naval Memorial and Naval Register at Portsmouth Hampshire.

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