James Wass

James Wass (1891- 1917) lived at 10 Myland Road and then 131 Bergholt Road when he went to North School. He lived with his parents Joseph and Mary and his older sister Minnie.

He joined the Royal Navy in January 1907 when he was 18. He had dark brown hair, blue eyes and was 5ft 5inches tall. He served first on HMS Ganges, joining the HMS Vanguard as an Able Seaman on 9th July 1917.

Eight hours after joining the ship and shortly before midnight he was killed in an internal explosion in Scapa Flow. Over 800 men were killed in the explosion that was caused either by faulty cordite or raised temperatures aboard the ship igniting the cordite. The wreck of HMS Vanguard is protected as a war grave.

James’ body was not recovered for burial, but he is remembered on the Chatham Naval Memorial.


Sources
1894 – 1903 Admission Register
1903 – 1913 Admission Register
1901 census
UK, Royal Navy Registers of Seamen’s Services, 1853-1928