Stanstead Abbotts

Local History Society

Harry James BENTLEY

Leading Stoker 298302

Royal Navy Submarine E 30

Died at Sea 22nd November 1916 aged 35

Born on 27th August 1881 in Nuthampsted Nr Barkway, oldest son of Ralph and Rebecca, brother to Ralph.  Like his father and other brother Francis he worked as a farm labourer.  In the 1901 census they lived at 60 High Street Nuthampsted, by 1911 Harry had left the family home and moved away, for in 1908 he married Ellen Ives in Weymouth and they lived at 44 Landguard Road,Eastney, Portsmouth.  He was working locally as a labourer.

Harry had joined the Navy as a stoker; by 1916 he had been promoted and was a leading stoker on board the submarine E30. He had been mentioned in despatches, as reported in the London Gazette in August 1916.  He died when the vessel was lost in the North Sea, with all its crew of 31, commanded by Lt. G Briggs.  The cause was unknown, possibly as a result of hitting a mine off Orford Ness on the Suffolk Coast as a minefield was discovered there on 25th November 1916.

As his body was never recovered he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

Medals Awarded: British War Medal, Victory Medal, Navy Star