Hezekiah is not remembered on the war memorial at Christchurch Park.


Born: 5th February 1898, Ipswich.

Died: 9th July 1917; age 19; Killed by internal explosion of vessel at Scapa Flow.

HMS Vanguard a St. Vincent class Dreadnought Battleship, part of the grand fleet saw action during the Battle of Jutland in May 1916 seeing most of her service in the North Sea during WW1.
9th July 1917 HMS Vanguard was anchored in Scapa Flow north of Scotland and suffered a series of explosions in her magazines shortly before midnight, rapidly sinking with the loss of 843 men of the complement of 845 crew.

Residence: 10, Mill Street, Military Road, Colchester, Essex.

Occupation: Errand Boy.

Enlistment Location: Chatham, Kent; signed up for 12 years on the 5th February 1916. Height: 5ft 2ins, fresh complexion, grey eyes & light brown hair. Small scar on forehead.


Ganges – Boy II Class – 17th May 1913

Ganges – Boy I Class – 9th December 1913 – 9th December 1913

Royal Arthur – Boy I Class – 10th December 1913 – 19th April 1914

Pembroke I – Boy I Class – 20th April 1914 – 24th June 1914

Vanguard – Boy I Class – 25th June 1914

Vanguard – Ordinary – 5th November 1915

Vanguard – Able Seaman – 17th May 1916 – 9th July 1917.

Character – Very Good.


Rank: Able Seaman; Service Number: J.24645.

Regiment: Royal Navy, ‘H.M.S.’Vanguard.’


Memorial Reference:


Chatham Naval Memorial,




Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Walter & Elizabeth Gaff, of Parkeston, Essex.




1901   Providence Place, Barrack Street, Colchester, Essex.


Hezekiah was 3 years old and living with his parents & siblings.

Walter John Gaff, 35, a Labourer – Coal Carter, born Ipswich.

Elizabeth Gaff (nee Howlett), 37, born Ipswich.

George Walter Gaff, 13, born Ipswich.

Bathsheba Gertie C. Gaff, 11, born Lawford, Essex.

Arthur Samuel Gaff, 9, born Harwich, Essex.


1911  2, Bridge Cottages, Parkeston Road, Dovercourt, Essex.


Hezekiah was 13 years old he was living with his parents & siblings.

Walter, 45, a Quay Labourer.

Elizabeth, 47.

George, 24, a Quay Labourer.

Gertie, 21, a Corset Factory Worker.

Arthur, 20, a Officer’s Steward 2nd Class.



One Comment

  • Hezekiah Gaff was my 2nd great uncle, would love to know what he looked like, no one in our family seems to have any photos


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