image from 1917 Suffolk Chronicle & Mercury newspaper



Born: 1887, Ipswich.

Died: 5th March 1917; age 29; Drowned as a result of an enemy submarine in the North Sea.

Residence: 89, Albion Street, Ipswich.

Employed: as a Coal Trimmer, from the age of 15 for the Great Eastern Railway river boats. Promoted to Fireman and afterwards drafted to the Continental boats.

Joined the Naval Reserve –  29th October 1914, and was out at the Dardanelles for a year and seven months, when his ship was torpedoed. He was discharged from the Navy in September 1916, and went in to the Copenhagen.


Rank: Fireman.

Regiment: Mercantile Marine, S.S. ‘Copenhagen‘ (Harwich).


Medals Awarded: British War & Mercantile Marine medal.


Memorial Reference:

Tower Hill Memorial,



Relatives Notified & Address: Husband of Alice Rose Flory (formerly Chaplin, nee Bennett), of 86, Albion Street, Ipswich.




1891   1, Chapel Court, Fore Hamlet, Ipswich.


William was 3 years old and living with his parents, sister & cousin.

William Chaplin, 33, a General Labourer, born Barham, Suffolk.

Ellen Clara Jane Chaplin (nee Worby), 22, born Ipswich.

Ellen Beatrice Chaplin, 2, born Ipswich.

Minnie Webb, 13, born Ipswich.


1901   15, Albion Street, Ipswich.


William was 13 years old and living with his parents & sisters.

William, 43, an Engine Fitter’s Labourer.

Ellen, 29.

Ellen, 11.

Emily Eliza Chaplin, 8, born Ipswich.

Ethel Maud Chaplin, 5, born Ipswich.

Florence May Chaplin, 4, born Ipswich.

Gertrude Elizabeth Chaplin, 2, born Ipswich.

Elsie Victoria Chaplin, 1, born Ipswich.


In 1911, William’s family were living at their family home, of 89, Albion Street, Ipswich, his sisters and a guest were also living at the home.

Alice, 23.

Lilian, 1.

Ethel Chaplin, 15, a Factory Hand – Corset Factory.

Gertrude Chaplin, 12.

Rachel Eliza Crisp, 18, a Factory Hand – Corset Factory, born Bedford, Bedfordshire.


On the 23rd October 1908, William’s father, William Chaplin, a labourer, of Albion Street, was charged with neglecting to cause his child Ethel, age 13, to attend school. He was fined 2s. 6d.


In 1909, Ipswich, William married Alice Rose Bennett, born May 1888, Ipswich.

They had 4 children:

Lilian Chaplin, born 1909, Ipswich.

William C. Chaplin, born February 1912, Ipswich.

Helen V. Chaplin, born 1914, Ipswich.

a male child born in the summer of 1917, Ipswich – died summer 1917.


William’s medals were despatched on the 21st June 1921 to widow Mrs. Alice R. Flory, of 89, Albion Street, Ipswich.


Probate to Alice Rose Chaplin – widow.


William is also remembered on the war memorial at Holy Trinity Church, Ipswich.


Merchant Navy / Mercantile Marine. Both services suffered heavy losses from German U-Boat attacks, enemy ships and under water mines. U-boats sank 7,759,090 tons, with the loss of 14,660+ merchant seafarers 2,479 British merchant vessels and 675 British fishing vessels were lost. The sea trade was important to the war effort supplying food and materials as well as arms around the globe. The Mercantile Marine War Medal was instituted by the Board of Trade and approved by the King George V.


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