Image from 1917 Suffolk Chronicle & Mercury newspaper.

Family photographs courtesy of John Warne.

Born: 3rd September 1880. St. Helen’s, Ipswich.

Died: 9th July 1917; age 36; Killed by internal explosion of vessel at Scapa Flow. Served 21 years.

Enlistment Details: Location: Chatham; Date: 29th July 1898 – signed up for 12 years. Occupation: Boot Finisher. Height: 5ft 8ins, dark complexion, brown eyes & black hair.

Passed educationally for Petty Officer – 3rd March 1914.


Impregnable – Boy 2nd Class – 24th August 1899 – 30th June 1901

Lion – Boy 2nd Class – 1st July 1900 – 31st August 1901

Lion – Boy 1st Class – 1st September 1901 – 15th June 1902

Australia – Boy 1st Class – 16th June 1902 – 5th October 1902

Rupert – Boy 1st Class – 6th October 1902 – 15th November 1906

Rubert – Ordinary Seaman – 16th November 1906 – 8th October 1911

Rupert – Able Seaman – 9th October 1911 – 21st November 1911

Pembroke I – Able Seaman – March 1914

Wildfire – Able Seaman – 22nd November 1911 – 30th July 1915

Pembroke – Able Seaman – 31st July 1915

Northampton – Able Seaman

Hawke – Leading Seaman

Hawke – Petty Officer 2nd Class

Wildfire – Petty Officer 2nd Class

Magnificent – Petty Officer 2nd Class

Magnificent – Petty Officer 1st Class

Africa – Petty Officer 1st Class

Pembroke – Petty Officer 1st Class

Hogue – Petty Officer 1st Class

King Edward VII – Petty Officer 1st Class

Ganges II – Petty Officer 1st Class

Queen – Petty Officer 1st Class

Pembroke I – Petty Officer 1st Class

Vanguard – Petty Officer 1st Class

Vanguard – Petty Officer.


Rank: Petty Officer; Service Number: 189723 (Ch)

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


Memorial Reference:


Chatham Naval Memorial,




Relatives Notified & Address: Son of the late Moses & Harriet Warne; husband of Louisa, of 18, Evelyn Terrace, Kew Foot Road, Richmond, Surrey.






1891   5, Regent Street, Ipswich.


John was 10 years old and living with his parents.

Moses George Warne, 40, a Bricklayers Labourer, born Ipswich.

Harriet Eliza Warne (nee Brown), 31, born Tanner’s Lane, Ipswich.


1901   Port Said, Mediterranean.

John was 20 years old, a crew member, ranked an Able Seaman on board H.M.S. ‘Rupert’ a Twin Screw, Coast Defence.

1911   Gillingham, Kent.


John was 30 years old, a Petty Officer- 1st Class Military Branch. H.M.S.’Rupert.’                                                      

On the 10th August 1913, at Christ Church, Richmond, Surrey, 32 year old, John, a Petty Officer – Royal Navy, married 32 year old, widow, Louisa Barbeary (nee Minett), both of 58, Selwyn Avenue, Richmond. Louisa was born 1879, Kingston on Thames.

They has 2 sons:

John George Warne, born February 1914, Richmond, Surrey – baptised: 15th December 1916, at St John the Divine, Richmond, of 18, Evelyn Terrace, Richmond – John was a Petty Officer 2nd Class.

Ernest William Warne, born September 1917, Richmond – died 1918, Richmond, Surrey.

Step daughter: Dorothy May Barbeary, born May 1909, Richmond, Surrey.

John is also remembered on the war memorial at St John the Divine, Richmond, Surrey.


H.M.S. ‘Vanguard’, Royal Navy

 Ipswich men lost on the Vanguard:

Henry Metcalf
Private RM
age 19

Arthur Palmer Athroll
Able Seaman
Age 21

William Henry Warne (brother)
Boy 1st Class
age 17

Images and information courtesy of Wendy Sadler

Henry Metcalf was my Great Uncle – my Grandmother’s younger brother

We have visited Scapa Flow twice on the anniversaries of the sinking of HMS Vanguard and hope to be going to the Centenary commemorations this year.

Centenary commemorations

It was attended by 40 descendants of the Vanguard crew, along with the civil diving team that carried out exclusive surveying of the wreckage, as well as taking some amazing photos and videos.
We were also supported by local historians who have done an amazing job tracing many descendants as well as helping to organise the event along side the Royal Navy, RNLI, the Navy Chaplain, Orkney Council and some crew members of the current HMS Submarine that carries the Vanguard name, who provided an outstanding honorary guard the whole weekend.
The service included a laying of personal wreaths at the Vanguard Buoy in Scapa Flow, then a visit to the War Cemetery on Hoy island.
It finished with an emotional night time service in St Magnus Cathedral at exactly the same time the explosion occurred on the Battleship -11:20pm.  A 2 minute silence was observed, and then the descendants were given the opportunity to view the Book of Commemoration and the Ensign flag that has been attached to the Vanguard, underwater, since 2009.

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