A large collection of British Naval and Marine fatalities in the First World War has recently been made available online.
Ancestry.co.uk says: “World War I wasn’t just about trench warfare in the Somme and Ypres. While the front lines clashed in France and Belgium, an equally important conflict was being fought at sea. Our new collection honours those who lost their lives in this conflict.
“Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919, is the largest collection of British WWI naval casualties available anywhere online. It details over 40,000 sailors from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines who died all over the world.
“Find a naval ancestor here, and you’ll discover their rank, service number, the name of their ship, date and cause of death, and where they were buried. You may even find a next–of–kin – providing a vital clue for further research. The records include both officers and ratings.
“You can use the records to follow the marine services’ fate through the War. Their biggest blow came at the Battle of Jutland, off Denmark, when HMS Queen Mary was sunk, taking more than 1,200 souls to the sea bed with her.
“HMS Invincible, Good Hope, Defence and many other ships also sank in WWI, causing thousands more deaths. However major sea battles were rare and in many smaller encounters only one or two sailors were killed.
“Often they gave their lives protecting cargo vessels from the new threat at sea – U–boats, used in an attempt to blockade Britain. The Navy responded with heavily armed, steel–hulled battleships, cruisers and minesweepers, providing security for transatlantic convoys.”