Percival James Curtis

Date of birth: 25th July 1887
Place of birth: Southampton
Regiment / Division: Royal Navy
Vessel: HMS Queen Mary
Rank / Service No: Leading Stoker, 228547
Died: 31st May 1916, aged 28 years
Commemorated: Portsmouth Naval Memorial


Percy was the oldest of 5 siblings born to James Robert and Annie Elizabeth Curtis (nee Rowley), who married in Poplar in 1886.

James was born in Dibden Pirlieu in 1860 and died in Southampton in 1927. Annie was born in Peckham in 1862 and she passed away in the city in 1933.


Percy was a labourer and married Beatrice May Lacey in Southampton in 1911. She was born in St Denys in 1883, the couple lived at 10 Aberdeen Road, St Denys and did not have any children.



Percy James 

Beatrice Mary E.   b. 1889 Southampton   d. 1949 Harrow   Married William Stone in Southampton in 1926. Married Thomas W. Batten in Bristol in 1943.

William Henry   b. 1893 Southampton   d. 1962 Southampton   Married Annie C. Rogers in Southampton in 1913.

Bertram Frederick   b. 1896 Southampton   d. 1974 Dartford

Dorothy Ethel   b. 1898 Southampton   d. 1982 Southampton   Married Harold R. Burchett in Southampton in 1920.


The Queen Mary was the last battlecruiser built before the outbreak of WW1….she was completed in 1913.

She spent the early part of the war exclusively in the North Sea, as part of the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron.


The vessel had a refit in early 1915 and then participated in the Battle of Jutland in mid-1916. She was hit twice by the German battlecruiser Derflinger during the early exchanges of the battle.

As a result, her magazines exploded , sinking the ship. 1266 lives were lost, just 20 crew surviving.

The wreck was discovered in 1991 in the North Sea…it is a designated war grave.


Portsmouth Naval Memorial was unveiled by the Duke of York (future King George VI) on 15 October 1924. Similar memorials stand at Plymouth and Chatham.

The Portsmouth memorial was extended after WW2, and was unveiled by the Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, on 29 April 1953.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 28th June 2016


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