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William Henry Prentice of West Hartlepool, Durham, England

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William Henry Prentice of West Hartlepool, Durham, England
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Summer 2005 and Revised 23 Apr 2005

Update of 13 Jul 2007: This article has now been replaced by our later article, William Prentice of Maldon, Essex, England .

1. William Henry Prentice was b. c. 1864 in West Hartlepool, Durham, England. He appears in the 1891 and 1901 census in Stranton Civil Parish, Durham, with his wife, Mary, b. c. 1864, and children:

  1. William Henry Prentice, b. c. 1882, West Hartlepool, Durham. . . . . . . . [2]
  2. Robert Prentice, b. c. 1883, West Hartlepool, Durham. . . . . . [3]
  3. Thomas Prentice, b. c. 1887, West Hartlepool, Durham. At home in 1901.
  4. Frederick Prentice, b. c. 1888, West Hartlepool, Durham. At home in 1901. . . . . . . [4]
  5. Albert Prentice, b. c. 1890, West Hartlepool, Durham. At home in 1901.
  6. Evelyn Prentice, b. c. 1895, West Hartlepool, Durham. At home in 1901.
  7. Clifford Prentice, b. c. 1897, West Hartlepool, Durham. At home in 1901.
  8. Gordon Prentice, b. c. 1900, West Hartlepool, Durham. At home in 1901.

WW I military death records report that he was the Master of the Mercantile Marine vessel "Beeswing" when he died at age 51 on 4 March 1915. His wife, Mary, was called "of "Pallion" The Oval, West Hartlepool. His memorial can be found at Tower Hill Memorial. A Google search discloses the following:

    The Tower Hill Memorial commemorates men of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets with no known grave. It stands on the south side of the garden of Trinity Square in London (England), close to the Tower of London. The older 1914-1918 memorial stands on Tower Hill, while the adjoining sunken garden contains the 1939-1945 memorial. The Names of the Dead are carried on bronze panels, arranged alphabetically under their ships of the Merchant Service.

    Some 34,000 merchant seafarers (men and women) were killed in World War II . There are 24,000 British seafarers (with no grave but the sea) commemorated on the ships' plaques at Tower Hill. Their names and details are also recorded in the CWGC M.N. registers (volume 1, parts 1 to 8 and volume 2, parts 9 to 16).

    Another 10,000 Colonial and Commonwealth seafarers killed when serving in British registered ships also have no grave but the sea. Their names are honoured on Merchant Navy Memorials at Halifax, Bombay and Chittagong, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Their names and details are commemorated in CWGC M.N. register volume 3 (parts 17 to 23). Volume 3 also records the names and details of merchant seamen buried in Britain and overseas.

2. William Henry Prentice, b. c. 1882, West Hartlepool, Durham. WW I military death records identify him as a First Mate in the Merchant Marine aboard his father's ship, S.S. "Beeswing" when he, too, died 4 Mar 1915, son of William Henry and Mary Prentice; husband of Margaret Ann Prentice (nee Bruce) of 42 Kimberley St., West Hartlepool. His memorial, too, is at Tower Hill Memorial (see his father's memorial, above).

3. Robert Prentice, b. c. 1883, West Hartlepool, Durham. At home in 1901. Like his father, William, Robert appears in WW I military death records as a Second Engineer, Mercantile Marine, S.S. "Hildawell" (West Hartlepool), who d. age 22 on 20 Dec 1916, son of Mary and the late William Henry Prentice; husband of Elizabeth Ford of 16 Topcliffe St., West Hartlepool. Born at West Hartlepool. His memorial can be found at Tower Hill Memorial.

4. Frederick Prentice, b. c. 1888, West Hartlepool, Durham. At home in 1901. Subject to further investigation, he is tentatively identify as the Frederick Prentice who m. Hilda Emily and had a son:

  1. George Frederick Prentice who is identified in WW II military death records as a Stoker Petty Officer Mechanic, Royal Navy, H.M.S. Agincourt, who d. at the age of 30 on 14 Nov 1947, son of Frederick and Hilda Emily Prentice, of West Hartlepool. His grave is Grave 126, Hartlepool (Stranton) Cemetery.

Who are William Henry Prentice's Parents?

William does not appear in the IGI, but we do have some clues:

  1. Emily Prentice, perhaps his sister, was b. c. 1860 and d. at the age of 18 months on 14 Sep 1871, Hartlepool.
  2. Emily Prentice, perhaps his sister, was b. c. 1870 and d. at the age of 1 on 14 Sep 1871, Hartlepool.
  3. Ernest Prentice, perhaps a brother, was b. c. 1883 and d. at the age of 16 months on 8 Mar 1885, Hartlepool.

We also found in the 1881 Hartlepool census, living at 1 Henry St., a Jane Prentice, perhaps William's mother, b. c. 1845, Whitby, York, with no husband shown, but with children:

  1. Mary J. Prentice, b. c. 1868, Hartlepool.
  2. Frederick Prentice, b. c. 1873, Hartlepool
  3. Harry Prentice, b. c. 1875, Hartlepool
  4. Sarah E. Prentice, b. c. 1878, Hartlepool
  5. Albert Prentice, b. c. 1879-81, Hartlepool

Note that the names Frederick and Albert also occur in the family of William Henry Prentice (were they named after Henry's brothers>). Also shown in that same 1881 census is a R. Prentice, b. c. 1845, Hartlepool, who is a 2nd mate aboard the vessel "Celeste" in Stranton, Durham. He may well be Jane's husband who was not counted in the census at home if it was because he was aboard the "Celeste."

If you have any information about the folks mentioned in this article, please send your information to us at the Prentice Newsletter. Be sure to give the full title and date of this article in the Subject line of the email.

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