Joseph Marett.

Date of birth:                  1882Poppy
Place of birth:                Southampton
Service No.:                    749862
Rank:                                  Fireman
Regiment / Division:   Mercantile Marine Reserve
Battalion/Ship:              H.M. Yacht “Verona”
Died:                                   24th February 1917 aged 35 years
Death Location:             At Sea


Life before the War

Joseph’s father was Frank  (Francis) W was born in St. Helier, Jersey in 1852. His mother Jane E  also born in Jersey 1849. He had  3 brothers and 2 sisters all were born in Southampton.


Francis J b.1873
Frederick E b.1876
Maud Elizabeth b.1878
Alice Margaret b.1883
George John b.1885
Emmeline Elizabeth b.1888 d.1898.

In the census of 1881 the family lived in Southampton at 21, Albert Street, St. Mary’s Parish,  Southampton. Frank was working as an Iron Merchant’s Assistant.

In 1891, the family had moved to 3, Wharf Street, Southampton. Frank was now working as a Dock Labourer and Francis was a Ship Yard Labourer.  In 1901 Frank, his wife and children Alice and George were  at Wharf Street. Alice was working as a Housemaid Domestic Servant and George was an Errand Boy.

There is no further trace of the Marett family after the 1901 census, with no trace of Joseph from the time the 1891 census was taken.

 War Service


Name: Joseph Marett
Rank: Fireman
Branch of Service: Mercantile Marine Reserve
Cause of Death: Killed or died as a direct result of enemy action
Official Number Port Division: (Dev)
Death Date: 24 Feb 1917
Ship or Unit: HM Yacht Verona
Location of Grave: Not recorded
Name and Address of Cemetery: Body Not Recovered For Burial
Relatives Notified and Address: Mother: Jane 32, Elm Street, Southampton


Joseph is Remembered with Honour on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon, Panel reference 26. His memorial reads:Joseph Marett

“Marett, Fireman Joseph, 749862, M.M.R. H.M. Yacht “Verona”. Killed by mine explosion off Portmahomack,
24th Feb., 1917. Age 35. Son of Frank W and Jane Marett, of 32, Elm St., Chapel, Southampton”


Historical Information – H.M. Yacht “Verona”

The “Verona”, was built by Fleming & Ferguson Ltd., Paisley in 1890 and owned at the time of her loss by Royal Navy, and was a British Navy Yacht of 437 tons. She was ordered by the wealthy Australian J. R. Wood as a wedding present for his bride, the famous actress Elizabeth Jennings (aka. Essie Jenyns).

During WWI, she was requisitioned as HM Yacht “Verona” and ordered to take up anti-submarine patrol duties off the east coast from her base in the Moray Firth. She was equipped to attack any U-boat she might meet, with small guns on her counter-stern and two more at the bow, near her long bowsprit. She was later modified to take a single depth-charge.

On February 24th, 1917, “Verona” was sunk by a mine from the German submarine UC-33 (Martin Schelle), off Portimahomack. Sinking in less than a minute, taking 23 crew with her, including her Captain Charles Peter Wilson.

0 responses to “Joseph Marett.

  1. Marc Brown

    I have been research my family tree and Joe/Joseph was my great grandad’s younger brother and was also brother to George John Marett who was also lost at sea, five years earlier, on the Titanic.
    Joe was one of nine with several several not surviving beyond their first years.
    The family was based in old Southampton for many years with my grand mother and her brother and sister all baptised at St. Micheals church in the parish of St Mary, opposite the Tudor house.

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