Presentation on theme: "The Life of a Naval Rating Over 130 men lost their lives in the bombing raid on the Royal Naval Barracks Drill Hall on Monday 3 September 1917. This is."— Presentation transcript:
The Life of a Naval Rating Over 130 men lost their lives in the bombing raid on the Royal Naval Barracks Drill Hall on Monday 3 September This is the story of just one of them….
Arthur Edward Voice
Arthur Edward Voice was born on 14 August 1895 at Lily Cottage, Horley, Surrey.
The youngest of the five children of Albert and Jane Voice, he was the ‘baby’ of the family.
An accomplished artist, his painting of ‘The Mill Hole’ on the River Mole is displayed in Horley Public Library. The painting was completed when Arthur was eleven years old.
Arthur joined the Horley Town ‘Prize’ Brass Band alongside his father and his two brothers Albert and William. He later became organist and choirmaster at Merstham Church in Surrey.
A good swimmer, Arthur won many trophies and medals in various competitions.
It was through his continued involvement with Horley and District Swimming Club that he met Miss Winifred Leppard who became his wife on 1 February 1916.
Their son Raymond was born on 3 September 1916.
Arthur had originally enlisted in the Navy on 7 February 1916 (although he was not recalled to H.M.S. Pembroke at Chatham until 5 December 1916) where he served as a Painter 2 nd Class. His messmates said he was ‘a real good comrade’.
His naval service record indicates that he was 5 feet 5 inches in height, had a 37 inch chest, fair hair, grey eyes and a fresh complexion; his conduct was always ‘very good’. The record makes no note of any distinguishing features.
At around 11:00 p.m. on 3 September 1917, while Arthur and hundreds of other naval ratings were resting in their hammocks in the Drill Hall, four German Gotha aeroplanes were following the moonlit River Medway and heading for Chatham.
Their bombs hit the Drill Hall at 11:12 p.m.
Arthur was known to be sleeping where most of the ratings were killed. His body was one of the last to be identified.
He died on his son Raymond’s first birthday.
With thanks to the Voice family for sharing Arthur’s story.