George Henry Walton

Date of birth: 28th March 1872
Place of birth: Millbrook, Southampton
Official Port No.: RMA / 4307  (RMRA 0696 (Po)
Rank: Sergeant
Regiment: Royal Marine Artillery
Vessel: HMS Aboukir
Died: 22nd September 1914 aged 42 years
Death location: At sea

 

Life before the War
George was the eldest of 7 children born to parents George Henry, born 1846 Totton, Hampshire and Ellen, nee Russell, born 1847 in Twyford, Hampshire.  George senior and Ellen married in 1871.

George’s siblings – 2 sisters and 4 brothers – were:

John Thomas    b.1875 and d.4th November 1918.  War casualty.  Select John’s name to read his story.

Frederick Charles    b.1874  and d.1962

Charles Alfred    b.1878 and d.1967

Ellen    b.1882 and d.1924

Harry    b.1887 and d.1973

Emily Jennie Maria    b.1890 and d.1984

In 1881 the family were living in Mousehole Lane, Southampton.  George senior was a Carpenter.

By 1891 the family had moved to Hop Cottage, Millbrook, Southampton.  George stated his occupation as a Gardener although he was not working at the time of the census.  Charles was working as an Errand Boy.

George married Mary Louisa. Mary was born in 1877. They had 5 children – 3 daughters and 2 sons:

May Louisa    b.26th November 1902

George Henry    b.1904

Ellen Paulina    b.27th August 1906

Frederick Charles    b.24th May1908

Dorothy Emily Violet    b.1910 and d.1911

In 1901 George was a Corporal in the Royal Military Artillery stationed in Devon.

By 1911 George, with his wife and children, was living at 42 Henderson Road, Eastney, Portsmouth.  George was serving in the Royal Marine Artillery as a Sergeant.

 

 

War Service
George lost his life in the sinking of HMS Aboukir in the North Sea.

 

Historical Information – HMS Aboukir

HMS Aboukir

HMS Aboukir

At around 06:00 on 22nd September, three cruisers were steaming at 10K (12mph; 19km/h) in line ahead when they were spotted by the German submarine U-9, commanded by Kapitanleutnant Otto Weddigen.  Although they were not zigzagging, all of the ships had lookouts posted to search for periscopes and one gun on each side of each ship was manned.

Weddigen ordered his submarine to submerge and closed the range to the unsuspecting British ships.  At close range, he fired a single torpedo at Aboukir.  The torpedo broke her back and she sank within 20 minutes with the loss of 527 men.

The captains of the two other cruisers – HMS Cressy and HMS Hogue – thought Aboukir had struck a floating mine and came forward to assist her. They stood by and began to pick up survivors.  At this point, Weddigen fired two torpedoes into Hogue, mortally wounding that ship.  As Hogue sank, the captain of Cressy realised that the squadron was being attacked by a submarine and tried to flee.  However Weddigen fired two more torpedoes into Cressy and sank her as well.

The entire battle had lasted less than two hours and cost the British three warships, 62 officers and 1,397 ratings.  This incident established the U-boat as a major weapon in the conduct of naval warfare.

George is Remembered with Honour on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Southsea Common, Hampshire.

 

Portsmouth Naval Memorial Register
“Walton, Sergt. George Henry, RMA/4307 (RMR/A/0696). R.M.A. H.M.S. “Aboukir”. Killed in action with submarine in North Sea 22nd Sept., 1914. Age 42. Son of George Henry Walton, of 59, Romsey, Old Shirley, Southampton; husband of Mary Louisa Walton, of 7, Milford House, Lemon Rd., Shirley, Southampton”

Portsmouth Naval Memorial

Portsmouth Naval Memorial

History of the Portsmouth Naval Memorial
After the First World War, an appropriate way had to be found of commemorating those members of the Royal Navy who had no known grave, the majority of deaths having occurred at sea where no permanent memorial could be provided.

An Admiralty committee recommended that the three manning ports in Great Britain – Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth – should each have an identical memorial of unmistakable naval form, an obelisk, which would serve as a leading mark for shipping. The memorials were designed by Sir Robert Lorimer, who had already carried out a considerable amount of work for the Commission, with sculpture by Henry Poole. The Portsmouth Naval Memorial was unveiled by the Duke of York (the future George VI) on 15 October 1924.

 

Researcher: Becky Lonergan
Published: 10th October 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

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