Rank Able Seaman
Service Number 237998
Service Royal Navy
In December 1914, the Collingham Parish magazine published a list of men associated with the village who it said were serving in the Great War. One of those men was Ernest Power, and the magazine went on to say that he was serving in the Royal Navy aboard HMS Severn. These facts have allowed us to trace his service, but the connection to Collingham is still opaque.
We were able to find that an Ernest Power, with a service number of 237998 had been serving on HMS Severn from the 7th August 1914 to the 15th January 1916, the exact period when the parish magazine was published. Ernest's naval record lists his full career in the Navy, but importantly gives us his date of birth as 21st February 1891. The record also states that Ernest was born in Leeds and that he was a plumber. Ernest had first joined the Navy on the 4th January 1907.
Armed with his date of birth, we were able to trace Ernest's family. Ernest was the son of James and Jane Anne Power who were living at 38 Bachelor Street, Leeds at his birth. Ernest was baptised at St.Saviour's Church, Leeds on the 12th March 1891. A few months later, on census day 1891, the family were at the same address, and consisted of James, Jane Anne and their two daughters, Florence and Sarah J. Power and three sons, John L., James (Jnr) and the 2 month old Ernest.
Ten years later, on census day 1901, the family had moved to 4 Chelmsford Terrace, Leeds and a new arrival, another son, Arthur had arrived.
Another 10 years later, in 1911, we find James (Snr) and his wife living at 97 Easy Street, Leeds. At that time only two of their children are still living with them, James (Jnr) and Arthur. James (Snr) was an iron driller. Ernest was not living with his parents and the 1911 census shows, and is confirmed by Ernest's service record, that on census night 1911, Ernest was one of 17 officers, 8 warrant officers, 1 other officer, 317 seamen, 79 boys and 57 Royal Marines on board HMS Mars in Portland.
Ernest's complete service record was:
24th Aug 1907 - 15th Sep 1970 HMS Ganges
16th Sep 1907 - 22nd Dec 1907 HMS Hogue
23rd Dec 1907 - 10th Jan 1908 HMS Vivid I
11th Jan 1908 - 27th Apr 1908 HMS Niobe
28th Apr 1908 HMS Suffolk
All the above with the rank of Boy Sailor
21st Feb 1909 still with HMS Suffolk Ernest became an Ordinary Seaman
29th Jun 1909 - 2nd May 1910 HMS Suffolk as an Able Bodied Seaman
31st May 1910 - 27th May 1910 Vivid I
Ernest's record then shows he spent three days in the cells, but no reason is given.
31st May 1910 - 11th Jan 1911 HMS Vivid I
12th Jan 1911 - 1st Jan 1912 HMS Mars. During this time the 1911 census recorded Ernest as being on board (see above).
2nd Jan 1912 - 14th Oct 1912 HMS Orion (probably, the writing is hard to read).
Ernest then spent another 3 days in the cells, again no reason is given.
18th Oct 1912 - 3rd Feb 1912 HMS Orion
4th Feb 1914 - 21st Feb 1914 HMS Vivid I. At this point Ernest may have thought his Naval service was over, and his record shows that he joined the Royal Fleet Reserve (RFR) on the 22nd Feb 1914. This would have been 5 years of service (excluding service as a Boy Sailor). However war was about to intervene in any plans Ernest may have had, and on the 5th August 1914, Ernest was recalled to the colours and his service continued:
5th Aug 1914 - 6th Aug 1914 HMS Jupiter
7th Aug 1914 - 15th Jan 1916 HMS Severn. During this time the Collingham Parish magazine recorded his service, and identified he was indeed on HMS Severn.
16th Jan 1916 - 11th Jan 1918 HMS Challenger
12th Jan 1918 - 13th Jun 1918 HMS Vivid II
14th Jun 1918 - 17th Mar 1919 HMS President II
There is then a gap in the record, which continues:
13th Apr 1921 - 9th Jun 1921 HMS Vivid I.
Ernest was demobilised on the 9th June 1921.
After the war, Ernest seems to have returned to Yorkshire and in 1939 we find him, still single, living at 23, Charles Avenue, Leeds with his widowed mother Jane.
We believe Ernest may have died in Leeds in 1957, but cannot be certain, and we have found no direct connection to explain why Ernest was named in the Collingham Parish Magazine in 1914.
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