Harry Waters was born on February 24h 1895. He was the second child of George and Harriet Waters. George was born in Yaddlethorpe and after working as an agricultural labourer became a Gas Engine driver at the ironstone mines.
He married Harriet Allison from Brumby early in 1893. Harriet was working as a domestic servant to the Spilman family at Burringham Grange.
(The Spilman family was connected with Ashby Wesleyan Church. Alexander Spilman, who was Harriet’s employer contributed to the building of the present chapel and Miss Spilman participated in the opening ceremony.)
George and Harriet lived at 78 the Screeds and had eight children, three of whom died in infancy. In 1911, when Harry was just sixteen he is shown on the census for that year as still living at home but now working as an agricultural labourer.
Some time between then and 1916 his parents moved to live at number 12 Lindley Street.
Harry’s service record shows that he joined up for 12 years on the 24th of February 1913. It lists where he was based for training and the various vessels in which he served. His final posting was on board HMS Hampshire.
The fate of HMS Hampshire has been recorded, reported and written about many times and at great length. This was the sinking in Scapa Flow of the ship taking Lord Kitchener, the Secretary of State for War to Russia.
The ship struck a mine that had been laid by a German submarine and of the 655 crew and 7 passengers only 12 crew members survived. It took just 15 minutes for the Hampshire to go down in freezing stormy seas.
Lord Kitchener of Khartoum was held in very high regard by the British public and was seen by many as the only man in the government who could lead Britain to victory in the devastating war that now engulfed the country. His loss was seen as the greatest imaginable tragedy and many feared that his death would lead ultimate German victory.
Much was written about the sinking; blame was attributed to anyone who could be held remotely responsible and numerous conspiracy theories, some of which have survived to the present day were aired.
On the 10th June 1916 the Scunthorpe and Lincolnshire Star carried the following article:-
THE KING’S PROFOUND REGRET
THE NATION STUNNED
The Secretary of the Admiralty announced that the following telegram was received from the Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Fleet at 10;30 on Tuesday.
I have report with deep regret that HMS Hampshire (Captain Herbert John Savill R.N.), with Lord Kitchener and his staff on board was sunk last night about 8.pm. to the west of the Orkneys, either by mine or torpedo. Four boats were observed on shore to leave the ship. The wind was north-north-west and heavy seas were running.
Patrol vessels and destroyers at once proceeded to the spot and a party was sent along the coast to search but only some bodies and a capsized boat have been found up to present. As the whole shore has been searched from the seaward I greatly fear that there is little hope of there being any survivors.
No reports have yet been received from search parties on the shore. HMS Hampshire was on her way to Russia.
On the next page of local news under the heading “ASHBY”
“LOCAL NAVAL MEN MISSING” there appeared the following brief statement;-
We have, with deep regret, to report that Joe Clark, son of the late Mr. Jackson Clark is missing. He was on board the Tipperary which was sunk by the Germans in the great naval battle. It is also feared Harry Waters, who was on the Hampshire, went down with Lord Kitchener.