Henry James Knight

Date of birth: 28th June 1881
Place of birth: Woolston, Southampton
Regiment / Division: Royal Navy
Vessel: HMS Black Prince
Rank / Service No: Petty Officer, 191818
Died: 31st May 1915, aged 35 years
Commemorated: Portsmouth Naval Memorial

 

Henry was the fourth of 6 siblings born to George LEVI and Maria Marion Knight (nee Martin), who married in Bitterne in 1868.

 

Levi, a blacksmith, was born in Bishop’s Waltham in 1844 and he died in Islington in 1932.

Maria was born in Bitterne in 1849 and she passed away in Southampton in 1891.

 

Siblings 

George   b. 1871 Bitterne   d. 1952 Southampton   Married Louise P. Petty in Southampton in 1910. Married Elsie M. Brown in Southampton in 1923.

William   b. 1873 Woolston   d. 6 March 1932 Southampton

Rose   b. 1879 St. Mary’s   d. ??

Henry James

Ernest Edward   b. 1884 Woolston   d. 1933 Southampton   Married Emma Eliza Bartlett in Southampton in 1907.

Thomas Frederick   b. 1886 Woolston   d. 1973 Enfield   Married May Mary Ann Marshall in Southampton in 1904.

 

Henry married one Mary Ann, but there is no information about the marriage. Mary Ann was born in 1885 and she passed away in Hemel Hempstead in 1923.

 

 

Henry enlisted on 28 June 1899 for the standard 12 years. He re-enlisted after that stint on 28 June 1911 and became a Petty Officer on 4 June 1913.

 

He joined the Black Prince on 21April 1914.

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: 6th October 2016
Updated:

 

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