Roy Harold Gillibrand

Date of birth: 19th July 1897
Place of birth: Leeds
Regiment / Division: Royal Navy
Vessel: HMS Black Prince
Rank / Service No: Able Seaman, J/23811
Died: 31st May 1915, aged 18 years
Commemorated: Portsmouth Naval Memorial


Roy was the second of 5 siblings born to Louis John and Dorothy Gillibrand (nee Murray), who married in King’s Norton in 1894.


Louis was born in Birmingham in 1864 and he died in Southampton in 1936.

Dorothy was born in Portsmouth in 1874 and she passed away in Southampton in 1948.


The family moved from Leeds to Southampton sometime between 1909 and 1911, where they lived at 1 Woodside Road, Portswood.



Gordon Louis   b. 1895 Leeds   d. 1976 Southampton   Married Constance L. Crockford in Southampton in 1919.

Roy Harold 

Madge Nellie   b. 1899 Leeds   d. 1982 Southampton   Married Bernard A. Harrison in Southampton in 1930.

Ivy Myrtle   b. 1905 Leeds   d. 1907 Leeds

Frederick Charles   b. 1909 Leeds   d. 1983 Winchester   Married Florence I. Osman in Winchester 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: 3 August 2016


If you have any additional comments on the person named above, please complete the comments section below.