|Bugler (16) killed in nlghtactionA LADY in Sheffield had received a box of personal papers belonging to a great uncle of hers, Albert Hewett, who had died in India in 1947.
I received a phone call from her regarding one of the pieces, a photo of a shipmate of his, a Royal Marine bugler boy, Albert Edward Flory, who was killed in HMS Castor at the Battle of Jutland on May 31,1916, aged just 16.
On the back of the photo was his mother's name, Margaret Flory, my grandmother. My contact in Sheffield had unearthed the family details via the web and decided it was time this young man "went home".
She was anxious to find out more about him as she felt her uncle must have regarded him as a close friend, having carried his photo for so long.
My grandfather Arthur Flory was himself a RMLI private who married in 1890. He was recalled when World War I broke out and his five eldest sons all followed their father into the Marines. Two of them were killed in action.
My father, George Thomas Flory, was at the Somme in 1916 and was wounded. He left thj Marines in 1938 as a sergeant. Joining the RM Police (later the MOD Police) he served at Bedenham Depot during World War II and was still there when the big explosion occurred, just post war.
The RM Museum at Eastney has a collection of medals and photographs of the Flory family, who between them gave something like 150 years plus to the Service. - L. Q. Flory, Wickham, Hants
The light cruiser HMS Castor was involved in two night engagements at Jutland, in the second of which she claimed to have sunk a German destroyer by gunfire at point-blank range. She herself was hit four times. One shell hit the disengaged side of the fore-bridge and "wiped out everybody in the way of signalmen, messengers etc who had gathered there, with the exception of one man," according to a personal account quoted in The Fighting at Jutland (Chatham £25), the personal experiences of 60 officers and men compiled shortly after the war by H. W. Fawcett and G. W. W. Hooper
"This man had a miraculous escape, the four-inch shell bursting practically between his legs, but all the force of the explosion must have gone on in the direction in which the shell was travelling, for it blew a large hole in the deck of the bridge, and through this the man fell. He landed on another man who had been killed by that same shell, but he himself was practically unhurt."- Ed