John Dean Peckham

Date of birth: 17th October 1879
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: 183202
Rank: Petty Officer
Vessel: HMS Invincible
Service: Royal navy
Died: 31st May 1916 aged 35 years
Death location: Battle of Jutland


Life before the War
John was the second of 3 sons born to John and Harriett, nee Dean.  John senior was born in Southampton in 1848 and was a Mariner by trade; Harriett was born in Chelsea in 1846.  They married in Southampton in 1879.

Interestingly, John junior was a patient at Haslar Hospital, Gosport in Hampshire, at the time of the 1911 census.

John junior married Laura Peckham in Bedford in 1913.  Laura was born in Buckingham in 1881 and the couple set up home at 115 Hartington Street, Bedford.

John junior’s siblings were:

Frederic Willis Dean  b.1867.  The dates show that Frederic was apparently born out of wedlock.  Perhaps John was not his father?
Frederic married Catherine Pelley in Sheffield in 1888 and they went on to have 7 children.

Herbert Henry  b. 1881 and d.1946 Southampton.   Married Catherine’s sister Frances in Southampton in 1914.


War Service
The Invincible was the first battlecruiser to be built anywhere in the world.  She was launched on Tyneside in 1907.

Invincible participated in the Battle of Heligoland Bight, on 28th August 1914, but only in a minor role because she was the slowest of the British battlecruisers present.

During the Battle of the Falkland Islands on 8th December 1914  Invincible and her sister ship Inflexible sank the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau armoured cruisers.

Invincible was the flagship of the 3rd Battlecruiser Squadron at the Battle of Jutland (31st May 1916 to 1st June 1916).  Unfortunately she was destroyed by a magazine explosion on the first day after her “Q” turret was penetrated; the ship was blown in half.

John was one of 1026 men who lost their lives in this action, only 6 survived.  One of the six was a Gunner actually sat in the Q turret when it was hit, he was somehow blown clear.


Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 11th May 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

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