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Ordinary Seaman J/25985 Thomas Henry Parkes

Royal Navy, aboard HMS Defence
Killed in Action, Battle of Jutland, The North Sea, 31st May 1916 aged 18

  • Commemorated: Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Portsmouth, Hants. Panel 13
  • Awarded: Not yet established
  • Son of the George Henry and Charlotte Parkes [nee Owen]
  • NNWFHS Memorial: Nuneaton WW1 Other Regiments

Links to Relevant Information

Military, Census and Family History Information

  • Born 21 Mar 1898 and Baptised 3 Apr 1898 at Stockingford
  • Lived at 411 Arbury Road, Stockingford [1901]
  • Lived at 289 Arbury Road, Stockingford [1911]
  • Thomas was school age in 1911
  • Employed as a Weaver [1916]
  • Enlisted 21 Mar 1916


The Sinking of HMS Defence
During the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916, she was the flagship of Rear-Admiral Sir Robert Arbuthnot. At 5:47 p.m Defence, and HMS Warrior spotted the German II Scouting Group and opened fire. Their shells fell short and the two ships turned to port in pursuit. Shortly afterwards, they spotted the disabled German light cruiser SMS Wiesbaden and closed to engage. When the two ships reached a range of 5,500 yards (5,000 m) from Wiesbaden they were spotted in turn at 6:05 by the German battlecruiser SMS Derfflinger and four battleships who were less than 8,000 yards (7,300 m) away. The fire from the German ships was heavy and Defence was hit by two salvoes from the German ships that caused the aft 9.2-inch magazine to explode. The resulting fire spread via the ammunition passages to the adjacent 7.5-inch magazines which detonated in turn. At 6.20pm the ship exploded with the loss of all 893 to 903 men on board.

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