Rank: Stoker, 1st Class
Number: SS/114954
Unit: HMS Nottingham ROYAL NAVY
Date of Death: 19 August 1916
Age: 24
Cemetery: Plymouth Naval Memorial

Peter was born on 31 August 1894 in the Stockport area. His mother was Mary Ann Shanley but his father’s name is not recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. He worked for hatmakers, Sutton & Torkington Ltd, Piccadilly, Stockport until he enlisted in October 1914 and was assigned to the Royal Navy.

HMS Nottingham was a light cruiser weighing nearly 5500 tons and had a crew of 400 men. She was commissioned in 1914 and was armed with several 6-inch guns and an anti-aircraft gun. Peter will certainly have been part of the crew when, in May 1916, the ship was part of the Battle of Jutland – the only significant “set piece” naval battle of the War.

On 19 August, she was on patrol in the North Sea, some 120 miles south-east of the Firth of Forth. There was a thick mist and, at 6am, she was hit by two torpedoes from the German submarine U52. Twenty five minutes later, another torpedo struck her and she sank at 7.10am. There was plenty of time for boats to be lowered and most of the crew managed to escape the ship. There were only a few deaths. Unfortunately Peter was one of them.

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