Robert Ernest Stafford


About Robert Ernest

  • Name
    Robert Ernest
  • Initials
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
    23 March 1872
  • Birth town
  • Resided town
  • Commemorated
    Chatham Naval Memorial, Family grave in Scarth Road Cemetery, Grimsby
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
    off Hastings in the English Channel
  • Date of death
    7 March 1917
  • Married
  • Occupation

Service Information

  • Royal Navy

  • Service Number
    4589 ES
  • Rank
  • Ship
    HMS Vivanti


Robert Ernest Stafford was born in Leeds on 23 March 1872 to parents George, a hotel keeper and Julia (nee Sharpe), a nurse.

Robert married Charlotte Elizabeth Burton at Great Grimsby, Lincolnshire on 6 January 1897, and gave his address as 16 Ravenspurn Street, Grimsby and his occupation as an engineer.  In 1901, Robert’s wife Charlotte (26) was living at 70 Wood Street, Grimsby on her own. In 1911, Charlotte (36) is living at 15 Duncombe Street, Grimsby with daughter Ettie aged 8.  Robert Stafford is not listed, although he may have been at sea.  In 1911, the couple had been married for 14 years and had four children, three of whom had died.

Robert passed through Peterborough East Station and signed the visitors’  book on 6 February 1917.  He initially signed up with the 3/5th Lincolnshire Regiment (Service No: 2072) Territorial Force but was discharged from the Lincolnshire Regiment on 25 February 1916 and transferred to the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.

Robert served as an engine man on board HM Trawler Vivanti, which had been hired and converted to a minesweeper.  Robert was killed in action by a mine explosion off Hastings on 7 March 1917 on board HMS Vivanti along with twelve other crew members.

Tragically their daughter Ettie died in December 1918, aged 16.  In 1939, Charlotte was living at 14 Duncombe Street, Grimsby.  She died in Grimsby in March 1947.

Robert was awarded the British War and Allied Victory Medals.  He is commemorated on Chatham Naval Memorial and on the family grave in Scarth Road Cemetery, Grimsby.

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