Redvers William Hector Turner

Redvers is listed on the War Memorial as one of those who gave his life during the First World War.

Redvers was born on 16th September 1900. He was the first child of Herbert Benjamin Turner & Alice Sabina, nee Gallant.  He had a brother called Benjamin.

Redvers was in the 1901 census living with his parents at his grandparents’ home at Cess, Martham when he was 6 months old. He was listed in the 1911 census living with his parents at Damgate, Martham, aged 10 and at school.

He served in the navy in 1918 as a Boy 2nd Class on the Royal Navy ship HMS Powerful. His military serial number was J/91827.

HMS Powerful

Redvers died on 23rd September 1918 in Plymouth Hospital, Devon. The most likely cause of his death is Spanish Flu.  He was only 18.  He is commemorated on the War Memorial at St Mary the Virgin, Martham and is buried in the graveyard at section H, plot E12.

His headstone reads: – In Loving Memory of REDVERS. The beloved eldest son of Benjamin and Alice Turner. Who died in Plymouth Hospital. September 23rd 1918. Aged 18 years

Redvers grave at St Mary’s section H, plot E12.
War Memorial north side
The Spanish Flu: The major peak of the pandemic in the UK was between September 1918 and January 1919. It can be assumed that the vast majority of illness deaths in these periods were due to the Spanish flu. There was definitely something going the rounds. Skimming through a RN base website there were also has deaths 'from illness' in the same period for the same period at HMS Vivid, the RN base at Devonport.
HMS Powerful was the lead ship of her class of two protected cruisers built for the Royal Navy in the 1890s. She was initially assigned to the China Station and then provided landing parties which fought in the Siege of Ladysmith of 1899-1900 during the Second Boer War. After a lengthy refit, the ship was placed in reserve until 1905 when Powerful became the flagship of the Australia Station. Upon her return home in 1912, she was again reduced to reserve for a brief time before she was reclassified as a training ship. The ship remained in this role until 1929 when she was sold for scrap.

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