William George Stroud

Place of Birth           Southampton
Date of Birth            March 1887
Service Number       4863B.(PO)
Rank
Service                      Royal Navy
Ship                           H.M.S Bulwark
Died                          26th November 1914
Death Location        Isle of Sheppey.Kent.

William George was born in March 1887 in Southampton to Harry Charles Stroud and Elizabeth Susan Stroud . He lived at 9 Rose Road. Bevois Town.Southampton.
William had 1 brother Harry born in 1895 who worked as a boatbuilder and 5 sisters May(1890)who worked as a dressmaker ,Nellie(1892)was registered as an invalid, Linda (1899) Rhoda (1901) and Gertie(1903) .

Williams father Harry was born in Lulworth. Dorset in 1860 to Henry and Phoebe Stroud, they had three children Lucy Ellen (1862) George Samuel (1864) and Harry who became a Merchant Seaman and gained his master and mate certificate at Weymouth in 1886 where he went on to serve on passenger ships, he married Elizabeth Susan Chaffin in October 1884. When he died on 9th March 1935 he left £538.14.9p to Elizabeth.

Williams’ grandfather Henry Stroud worked as a Coastguard and although he was born in Cheltenham, he went on to live in at 5 Coast Guard Station. Weymouth, Williams’ grandmother Phoebe was born in Weymouth in 1851.

William worked as a Mariner before joining the Royal Navy.

Military Service

William served on H.M.S. Bulwark which met its fate in a horrific manner.

The Bulwark was a 15,000 ton battleship, and after her refit in 1912 she was assigned to the 5th Battle Squadron.

On the outbreak of the first world war Bulwark and the rest of the squadron were attached to the Channel Fleet which conducted patrols in the English Channel.

On 26th November 1914 the Bulwark was anchored at No 17 buoy in Kethole Reach on the River Medway opposite Sheerness. Isle of Sheppey. Kent. She was moored there for 5 days and many of the crew had been given leave the previous day and had returned to the Bulwark at 7 o’clock that morning so the full complement of men were on board. The crew were having breakfast below and normal duties and routines were being performed.

Suddenly there was a roaring and a rumbling sound and a huge sheet of flame and debris shot upwards, the Bulwark lifted out of the water and fell back. There was a thick cloud of smoke and further explosions, when the smoke eventually cleared the Bulwark had sunk without trace.

The loss of life was 736, there were only 14 survivors, two of which died later in hospital. It was thought the explosion was caused by the cordite charges overheating, as they had been placed adjacent to a boiler room bulkhead.

During January 1915 many bodies of the Bulwark’s crew were washed up on the Kent shoreline, many were identified and many were not. Woodlands cemetery in Gillingham Kent has graves to unknown ratings from the crew members of the Bulwark’s crew. 12 lie in individual graves.

William George Stroud was a crew member who lost his life in that event.

Memorial Information

William  is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial Panel 6.

 

 

 

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