Petty Officer John William Bonser K/7761

Soldier Factfile

Name:  Petty Officer John William Bonser K/7761

Date of Birth:  2.4.1892


Parents: The Nook, Anstey

John: 64, Rochdale Road, Harpurhey, Manchester

Parents Names:  Thomas Bonser (Shoe Riveter) and Elizabeth (Shoe Machinist)

Occupation before the war:  Stoker in the Royal Navy

Siblings Names:  

Elizabeth b 1881  |  Florence b 1883  |  Kate b 1886  |  Thomas b 1890  |  Eliza b 1897  |

Date Died:   2.8.18

Age:  26

Place of Death:  (At sea) The North Sea

Place of Burial/Memorial:  Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hants

Cause of death:   Drowned when HMS Ariel hit a mine and sank in less than an hour.

Regiment:  Royal Navy


Any other information (e.g. Service Record/ appearance etc)

  • John married Jessie Peace in the last quarter of 1913.
  • When he dies his wife’s address was given as: The Common, Barwell, Hinckley, Leics.
  • John enlisted into the Royal Navy to serve a 12 year engagement on the 19th July 1910 and was allocated the service number K/7761 in Portsmouth, Hants.
  • His medical examination recorded that he was 5 foot 3½ inches in height, had a chest measurement of 37¼ inches and had dark brown hair and blue eyes; his complexion was described as sallow. It was noted that he had a broken dagger and clasped hands tattooed on the back of his right forearm, and a snake and tree on his left forearm, he gave his trade or calling as a bootmaker’s apprentice.
  • On 2 August, HMS Ariel was laying mines in the western end of the Heligoland Bight. The destroyer Vehement sank after striking a German mine and then in attempting to exit the minefield, Ariel lost her bow and sank in less than an hour.] 49 lives were lost including her commanding officer, Lieutenant Frank A Rothera.