George Henry Banks

Date of birth: 1889
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: Not known
Rank: Fireman
Service: Mercantile Marine Reserve
Vessel: HMY Aegusa
Died: 27th April 1916 aged 26 years
Death location: At sea

 

Life before the War
George was the fourth of 6 children born to Alfred Charles and Sarah Anne Banks, nee Andrews.  Alfred senior was born in Portsmouth in 1861 and Sarah was born in Stockbridge in 1859.  They married in 1880, evidence of which has been gleaned from census returns.

George’s 5 siblings – 1 sister and 4 brothers – were:

Alfred Charles   b.1881 Southampton and died 27th April 1916.  Married Louisa Lee in Southampton in 1905.
War casualty.  Please select Alfred’s name to read his story.

Edwin   b.1884 Southampton.  Married Violet A Beames in Portsmouth in 1934.

Martha   b.1885 Southampton and d.1946 Winchester.  Married George Adams in Southampton in 1906.

Henry   b.1891 Southampton.  Married Daisy D Stillman in Southampton in 1919.

Percy Harold   b.1895 Southampton and d.1951 Southampton.   Married Grace L Biddlecombe in Southampton in 1932.

George married Elizabeth B Hallett in Southampton in 1913 and she gave birth to their son George E H in late 1913 who unfortunately passed away in 1945, in Southampton.

 

War Service
The schooner Aegusa was built in 1896 and was subsequently purchased by Sir Thomas Lipton for use as a tender for his racing yachts; he renamed it Erin.

When war was declared the vessel was used by the Red Cross to ferry doctors to France and Salonika.

On 3 July 1915 Erin was requisitioned by the Royal Navy.  Because there was already an HMS Erin the vessel was renamed Aegusa.

She was primarily to be used as an Auxilliary Patrol Vessel in the Meditteranean, and to be crewed by Specially Entered Mercantile personnel who were serving under Admiralty Agreements.

Aegusa perished on the night of 27th April 1916 in the mouth of Valetta harbour in Malta.  Two British warships had already struck mines laid by U-73 earlier in the day, with subsequent loss of life.  Aegusa was attempting to pick up survivors when she struck a mine, with the loss of 6 crew.  The dead included George and his brother Alfred.

 

Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 28th June 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

If you have any additional information about the person named above please complete the Comments section below.

 

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