Henry Richard London

Henry is listed on the War Memorial as one of those who gave his life during the First World War. He is better known as Harry.

Harry was born in Martham on 28th February 1882. His parents were John London & Sarah, nee Flaxman. Harry was their sixth child in a large family of at least nine children, namely: Ann Elizabeth (b1870), John William (b1872), Walter George (b1875), Alice Mary (b1878), Florence Louisa (b1880), Rosa May (b1884), Margery Jane (b1885) and Ethel Edith (1887). He started school at Martham on 14th October 1889 and the school log confirms his father was John and at the time the family lived at White Street. Harry was the uncle of Leslie Victor London who is also commemorated on Martham War Memorial.

The 1891 census showed that Harry was nine and at school whilst living with his parents at White Street. By April 1901 the family had moved to Gibbet Hill and Harry had become an agricultural labourer. In 1909 when he was 27 he married Mary Ann Ethel Yaxley at Great Yarmouth where she lived and in 1910 they had a daughter they named Olive Ethel. He was not listed in the 1911 census and may have been working at sea whilst his wife was listed as being at Cobden Terrace, off Northgate Street.

Harry died on 8th December 1916 when he was lost at sea after his ship, the H.M. Drifter ‘Kent County’ was sunk having hit a mine in the North Sea near the Cross Sand light vessel.  He was 34 and was an engineman on the ship which lost all eleven hands when it sunk. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Royal Navy Memorial at Chatham, Kent as well as on Martham War Memorial.

Royal Navy Memorial at Chatham
War Memorial east side
The drifter 'Kent County' was built by Cochrane & Sons Ltd. of Selby in 1911 and was owned at the time of her loss by the Royal Navy. She was a small craft of 86 tons. In peace time she was operated by the County Fishing Co. Ltd.of Lowestoft.
Those who were lost at sea on the Kent County on 8th December 1916 were:
-ALLEN, BERTIE E.  DECK HAND, RNR  D A 895.
-BARKER, ARCHIBALD.  DECK HAND, RNR. D A 821.
-BURWOOD, SAMUEL R.  TY/SKIPPER, RNR.
-FLETCHER, JOHN  H.  2nd HAND, RNR.
-GALLANT, WILLIAM.  DECK HAND, RNR.
-GATES, GEORGE.  ENGINEMAN, RNR.
-LONDON,  HENRY R. ENGINEMAN, RNR. 
-REMBLANCE, WILLIAM.  DECK HAND, RNR.
-WARD, JAMES R.   DECK HAND, RNR.
-WELLS, WILLIAM. P.O. 1c (RFR B 969) 163809 (Ch).
-YOUNG         PERCIVAL P. TRIMMER, RNR. TS 5604.
For a drifter, this would most probably account for all hands.

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