George William Hellier

Date of birth: 16th January 1887
Place of birth: Southampton
Regiment / Division: Royal Navy
Vessel: HMS Black Prince
Rank / Service No: Engine Room Artificer, M/3090
Died: 31st May 1915, aged 28 years
Commemorated: Portsmouth Naval Memorial

 

George was the youngest of 3 siblings born to George and Annie Hellier (nee Roberts), who married in Southampton in 1880.

 

George was born in Southampton in 1858 and died in the city in 1899.

Annie was born in Basingstoke in 1859; she remarried in 1889, 10 years before the death of George.

 

She married Arthur Ebeneezer Axton in Southampton, and the couple had 5 children.

At the 1891 Census, the 3 children below were living with their mother and Arthur.

 

Annie passed away in Southampton in 1934.

 

Siblings

Agnes Emma   b. 1881 Southampton   d. 1904 Southampton   Married George Francis Faulkner in Southampton in 1903.

Gertrude Annie   b. 1882 Southampton   d. 1963 Isle of Wight   Married Herbert S. Alcock in Southampton in 1915.

George William

 

George married Lydia FLORENCE Wheeler in Southampton in 1913. They moved to Portsmouth very soon after, where they were living at 27 Teddington Road, Southsea.

 

The couple had one child……

 

Eileen Agnes   b. 1914 Portsmouth   d. 1993 Southampton   Married Keith A. Abbott in Southampton in 1940.

 

 

The Black Prince was an armoured cruiser, completed on 17 March 1906 in Blackwall, London.

At the beginning of WW1, she was one of 4 armoured cruisers serving in the 1st Cruiser Squadron of the Meditteranean Fleet.

 

She saw action in the Red Sea and was back in the Med after gun modifications in March 1916.

 

There is some mystery surrounding the fate of Black Prince during the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916.

She was sighted at 17.33 by HMS Falmouth and there was a wireless signal reporting a submarine sighting at 20.45.

 

At approximately midnight, HMS Spitfire saw what appeared to be a German battlecruiser completely on fire, the vessel exploding soon after sighting.

This vessel is now thought to have been the Black Prince.

 

The German version is perhaps more tangible; Black Prince found herself separated from the Fleet but still attacked the battleship Rheinland.

 

In no time, Black Prince was surrounded by up to 5 German vessels and was hit by at least 12 heavy shells and several smaller ones.

 

She sank within 15 minutes, and all 857 crew perished.

 

 

Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 28th September 2016
Updated:

 

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