Tag Archives: australian relations

Australian Relations: William Joseph Henry BATEMAN (The Navy Years: 1898 to 1912)

29 Jul

This is the second in a series of articles about William Joseph Henry BATEMAN and his family from Australia. This is an ongoing research project and so far much of the research is based on index entries and is unverified, if you have more information or corrections then please get in touch.

It wasn’t until I located William Joseph Henry (WJH) BATEMAN’s marriage record in the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages that I discovered that he had served in the Royal Navy.

Prior to this I had been unable to work out how WJH had ended up in Australia. We knew he was in Australia and had a rough time frame from postcards that had been sent home, but I couldn’t find him on any passenger lists.

The only information I have is from his entry in Registers of Seamen’s Services (downloadable from The National Archives) which doesn’t appear to go into as much detail as the British Army service records do, and the quality of the digital copy is not brilliant.

On top of this I am not an expert on the Royal Navy, so can only pull out some basic details from the record. I am sure given time I could certainly find out more, but for now I will stick to the basics and please forgive me (and correct me) if I get anything wrong.

It appears WJH enlisted either at the end of 1897 or the start of 1898. His first period of service was from the 3rd January 1898 on the Impregnable, a training ship. When he enlisted he would only have been 16 years old. His height was given as 5 ft 5½ ins, his hair was dark brown, his eyes brown and his complexion “fresh” (at least I think that is what it says).

Presumably because of his age he started his career as a Boy, 2nd Class, about nine months later, whilst serving on the Lion, he became a Boy, 1st Class. When he reached eighteen in January 1900 he became an Ordinary Seaman and in December that same year he became an Able Seaman.

Although his twelve years continuous service started only started on his eighteenth birthday, it appears he joined the Royal Fleet Reserve on the 24th December 1905. By this time he was sailing in Australian waters, and looks like he had been for a couple of years at least.

From what I understand once in the Royal Fleet Reserve he was back on dry land and able to return to his normal day job, although having started as a boy he didn’t really have an occupation (when he enlisted his occupation was given as “errand boy”. It sounds like he would have been able to carry on a normal life with the possibility of being called back to the navy at any time up to the end of his twelve years service (which finished in January 1912).

Whilst I don’t know much detail about his naval career, the most important event during his time with the navy was his marriage on the 22nd April 1905 to Annie Clark BULL. I don’t know whether this brought about his transfer to the Royal Fleet Reserve or whether that would have happened regardless.

Australian Relations: William Joseph Henry BATEMAN (The Early Years: 1882-1898)

28 Jul

This is the first in a series of articles about William Joseph Henry BATEMAN and his family from Australia. This is an ongoing research project and so far much of the research is based on index entries and is unverified, if you have more information or corrections then please get in touch.

William Joseph Henry (WJH) BATEMAN was my 2x great-uncle. He was born in Brighton, Sussex on the 19th January 1882. His birth was registered in Q1 1882 in the Brighton Registration District, although I don’t have a copy of his birth certificate yet. So far I have yet to find a record of his baptism, although I haven’t made a thorough search of all the parishes in Brighton yet.

His parents were Henry BATEMAN and Dorothy Isabella KINGHORN who were married in Brighton Registration District in Q4 1881, again I don’t have a copy of their certificate yet nor have I found their entry in the parish registers. This is an interesting marriage, Henry was from Gloucestershire and Dorothy was from London, and it appears that they met whilst working at Spratton, Northamptonshire.

In a very short space of time the couple have moved to Brighton, got married and had a child. The speed with which this happened makes me suspect this was all rather unplanned. In the 1881 census they are living close together (probably both working at Spratton Hall), by the end of the year they are married and at the start of the following year Dorothy gives birth to a son.

I don’t know a lot about WJH’s early years, he appears in the 1891 census as a nine year old boy living with his parents at 19 Yardley Street, Preston, Sussex (just on the outskirts of Brighton). Also living there with WJH is his one year old sister Dorothy May (my great-grandmother) and his grandmother Isabella KINGHORN.

The family appear to have moved to Yardley Street around 1889, but I don’t know where they were before then, other than Brighton. I have yet to find out which school WJH attended and when, but I am sure that given time I will uncover the details. Around 1897 the family moved to Hurstpierpoint, Sussex although it is not known whether WJH was still living at home at that time.

What is known is that at the start of 1898 WJH joined the Royal Navy and it was this that ultimately led to him settling in Australia several years later.

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