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Ambrose Laverty (1887-1917)

Hebburn shipwright served on HMS Laurentic

Ambrose Laverty was born on 7 August 1887. His father was also called Ambrose Laverty (1861) and was a riveter from Sunderland. His mother was Hannah Brannan (1863), a labourer’s daughter from Newcastle. His parents married in South Shields in 1882 and the 1911 census indicates that in their 29 years of marriage to that date they had ten children six of whom had survived.

In 1891 the Laverty family were living at 14 Victoria Close, Hebburn. In 1901 they were living at 45 Ann Street, Hebburn and Ambrose was working as a telegraph messenger. By the time of the 1911 census he had become a shipwright and was working in HM Dockyard in Plymouth, Devon. He was lodging with the Gould family at 55a North Street, Plymouth. He married one of the daughters in the family, Violet Gould, in 1911 in Plymouth.

Ambrose joined the Royal Navy on 4 July 1916 to serve for the duration of hostilities. He was rated as shipwright 2nd class and given the service number M21469. He served aboard HMS Laurentic, an armed merchant cruiser. On 25 January 1917, in storm force winds and snow, Laurentic struck a u-boat laid mine off Lough Swilly, Donegal, Ireland. She sank within one hour. Out of a crew of 475 officers and men, a total of 347 died, including Ambrose. Many died from exposure in the lifeboats.

Ambrose is buried with 63 crewmates in one large grave in St Mura’s Church Cemetery, Upper Fahan, County Donegal, Ireland. There are a further four officers from Laurentic in an adjoining grave.

Ambrose Laverty was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal for his service in World War One.

Civil Parish: Hebburn

Birth date: 07-Aug-1887

Death date: 25-Jan-1917

Armed force/civilian: Navy

Residence: 14 Victoria Close, Hebburn (1891 census)
45 Ann Street, Hebburn (1901 census)
55a North Street, Plymouth, Devon (1911 census)

Employment: Shipwright (1911 census)

Family: Parents: Ambrose Laverty(1861), Hannah Laverty nee Brannan (1863)
Siblings: Ellen Laverty (1883), William Laverty (1885), Catherine Laverty (1890), Edward Laverty (1890), Hugh Laverty (1893), Joseph Laverty (1896), James Laverty (1898)
Spouse: Violet Laverty nee Gould (1889)

Military service:

Shipwright 2nd class
HMS Laurentic

Medal(s): British War Medal
Victory Medal

Memorial(s): St Mura’s Church of Ireland Churchyard, Upper Fahan, County Donegal, Ireland

Gender: Male

Contributed by David D, Stanley, Co Durham

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