Name on Plaque
J. A. C. HUNNS
Connection with Effingham
He was not native to Effingham and nor were his parents. In 1948 his parents and brother Ronald were living here at “Newcombe” in Strathcona Avenue [1948 Electoral Register].
His forenames were those of his great-grandfather John, his grandfather Albert and his father Charles.
John Hunns was evidently born in Eynesbury, Huntingdonshire around 1823, but a baptism record for him has not yet been found. He married Martha (née Trayfoot) Thompson in 1845 [GRO Ref: St. Neots 14 293, 1845 (Q2)]. She had been born to parents Daniel and Frances and was baptised at Peterborough on January 3rd 1819 [IGI: Batch I007296]. She had first married in 1841 [GRO Ref: Peterborough 15 535, 1841 (Q2)] to William Thompson who is presumed to have died by the time she remarried to John.
Here are John and Martha in 1861:
No. 33, Clayton Street, Islington, Middlesex : PRO Ref: RG9 Piece 130 Folio 96 Page 7
John Hunns : head : mar : 37 : shoemaker : Amsbury [sic – Eynesbury], Huntingdonshire
Martha Hunns : wife : mar : 42 : dressmaker : Peterborough, Northamptonshire
William D. Thompson : son-in-law [step-son] : unm : 18 : corn chandler : Buckden, Huntingdonshire
Matilda Hunns : dau : unm : 15 : pupil teacher : Buckden, Huntingdonshire
George H. Hunns : son : unm : 13 : grocer’s boy : Buckden, Huntingdonshire
Frances Hunns : dau : unm : 10 : scholar : Buckden, Huntingdonshire
Martha T. [Trayfoot] Hunns : dau : unm : 8 : scholar : Buckden, Huntingdonshire
In 1862 their son Albert was born [GRO Ref: Islington 1b 252, 1862 (Q1)].
In 1867 their daughter Matilda married William Frederick Dron [GRO Ref: Pancras 1b 172, 1867 (Q3)].
Here is the family in 1871:
No. 35, Story Street, Islington St. Andrew, London : PRO Ref: RG10 Piece 265 Folio 71 Page 45
John Hunns: head : mar : 48 : shoe maker : Huntingdonshire
Martha Hunns : wife : mar : 53 : dress maker : Peterborough, Northamptonshire
Frances Hunns : dau : unm : 21 : dress maker : Huntingdonshire
Matilda Dron : dau : mar : 26 : feather maker : Huntingdonshire
Martha Hunns : dau : unm : 19 : feather maker : Huntingdonshire
Albert Hunns : son : unm : 10 : scholar : Islington, Middlesex
It is not known what had become of Matilda’s husband – no reference has been found to him after their marriage. However, in 1872 Matilda remarried as “Matilda Hunns” to William Washbourn [GRO Ref: Shoreditch 1c 231, 1872 (Q1)].
The family was at the same address in the 1881 Census:
No. 35, Story Street, Islington, London : PRO Ref: RG11 Piece 237 Folio 49 Page 47
John Hunns : head : mar : 57 : shoemaker : Eyensbury [sic – Eynesbury], Huntingdonshire
Martha Hunns : wife : mar : 62 : dressmaker : Peterborough, Northamptonshire
Albert Hunns : son : unm : 19 : joiner’s [or printer’s? – unclear] machinist : Islington, Middlesex
Albert’s future wife was Zilpah (née) Allen, born in 1855 [GRO Ref: St. Pancras 1b 100, 1855 (Q1)]. He married her in 1884 [GRO Ref: Holborn 1b 846, 1884 (Q1)]. Shortly afterwards his mother Martha died aged “65” [GRO Ref: Islington 1b 189, 1884 (Q2)]. In early 1891 he and Zilpah had a son Charles born to them [GRO Ref: Holborn 1b 773, 1891 (Q2)], but it appears that Zilpah was ill by the time of the census: she was in a hospital, Albert was alone, Charles was in the care of Albert’s sister Matilda and one of Charles’ siblings (John A.) was in the care of Albert’s father:
St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, St. Bartholomew the Less, London : PRO Ref: RG12 Piece 237 Folio 86 Page 10
among numerous patients:
Zilpah Hunns : patient : mar : 32 : — : Somers Town, Middlesex
No. 42, Bartholomew’s Buildings, St. Luke, London : PRO Ref: RG12 Piece 230 Folio 60 Page 6
Albert Hunns : head : mar : 29 : wood sawyer : Islington, London
No. 40, Judd Street, St. Pancras, London : PRO Ref: RG12 Piece 122 Folio 124 Page 55
one of several households:
William Washbourn : head : mar : 43 : printer compositor : Nailsworth, Gloucestershire
Matilda Washbourn : wife : mar : 43 : — : Buckden, Huntingdonshire
with their six children, together with:
Charles Hunns : nephew : unm : under 2 months : — : Pancras, London
No. 35, Story Street, Islington, London : PRO Ref: RG12 Piece 158 Folio 56 Page 44
John Hunns : head : widower : 67 : boot maker : Eynesbury, Huntingdonshire
John Hunns : grandson : unm : 5 : scholar : Islington, London
Very soon after this census Zilpah died aged “32”, probably in the same hospital [GRO Ref: London C. 1c 13, 1891 (Q2) – misindexed as “Humms”].
In 1893 Albert remarried, to Mary Ann (née) Tysoe [GRO Ref: Islington 1b 473, 1893 (Q2)]. She had been born in 1860 [GRO Ref: Clerkenwell 1b 559, 1860 (Q1)].
In 1899 Albert’s father John died aged “76” [GRO Ref: Islington 1b 252, 1899 (Q4)].
The 1901 Census finds the family still in Islington, with Charles – the future father of John Albert Charles – now aged 10:
No. 20, Thane Villas, Islington, London : PRO Ref: RG13 Piece 199 Folio 116 Page 10
Albert Hunns : head : mar : 40 : wood working machinist : Islington, London
Mary A. Hunns : wife : mar : 40 : — : Islington, London
John A. Hunns : son : unm : 15 : — : Islington, London
Millie H. Hunns : dau : unm : 13 : — : Islington, London
Charles Hunns : son : unm : 10 : — : Islington, London
Frederick G. Fillis : boarder : unm : 24 : — : Islington, London
It seems that Albert and Zilpah had failed to register the births of their children John and Millie.
Charles’ future wife was Rose (née) Mascall. She was probably the Rose Annie Mascall born in 1892 [GRO Ref: Croydon 2a 254, 1892 (Q3)]. Her father Frank was born in Notting Hill around 1861. It is strongly suspected that he was the son of a John Mascall who married Sarah (née) Drinkwater at Uxbridge (her birthplace) in 1859 [GRO Ref: Uxbridge 3a 31, 1859 (Q2)]. The 1861 Census finds them living at 44, Archer Street in Kensington St. Mary Abbott [PRO Ref: RG9 Piece 14 Folio 86 Page 40]. John, aged “24” and born in Brighton, was occupied as a corn merchant. With them was a son “Fred” who had been born on January 29th 1860 [GRO Ref: Kensington 1a 85, 1860 (Q1)] and baptised at St. John the Evangelist in Notting Hill on October 28th 1860 [IGI: Batch C042421]. Frank may have been born later in 1861 – in any event, no clear birth registration has been found for him. The family has not been found in the 1871 Census. Sarah died aged “40” in 1876 [GRO Ref: Kensington 1a 47, 1876 (Q4)]. The 1881 Census finds Frank aged “20” living as a servant in the household of a meat carrier William Sprules at 15, Blagrove Road, Kensington and occupied as a carrier’s driver [PRO Ref: RG11 Piece 38 Folio 14 Page 21]. He first married in 1886 [GRO Ref: Fulham 1a 416, 1886 (Q4)] to Eva (née) Beckinsale, who had been born in 1866 [GRO Ref: Witney 3a 592, 1866 (Q3)]. Here they are in 1891, together with Frank’s brother Fred:
Cresswell Road, South Norwood, Croydon, Surrey : PRO Ref: RG12 Piece 594 Folio 125 Page 39
Frank Mascall : head : mar : 29 : carman : Notting Hill, Middlesex
Eva Mascall : wife : mar : 24 : — : Aston, Oxfordshire
Frank W. Mascall : son : unm : 3 : — : Notting Hill, Middlesex
Eva E. Mascall : dau : unm : 5 months : — : Notting Hill, Middlesex
Fred Mascall : brother : unm : 31 : stoker on railway : South Norwood, Surrey
It may be that Fred had indeed been born in South Norwood but registered in Kensington.
In 1899 Frank remarried, probably in South Norwood, to a widow Mary Ann Elizabeth (née Aldred) Erratt [GRO Ref: Croydon 2a 591, 1899 (Q3)], but there seems to be no GRO reference to Eva having died by that time. Mary Ann had been baptised (parents William and Georgianna) in Suffolk on December 6th 1857 [IGI: Batch C132022] and had married Thomas Erratt in 1893 [GRO Ref: Brentford 3a 208, 1893 (Q4)]; he had died aged “29” in 1896 [GRO Ref: Brentford 3a 79, 1896 (Q1)]. The 1901 Census finds Frank – now a horse keeper – back in Kensington with Mary Ann and children from both their former marriages, including Rose:
No. 24, Western Dwellings, Ladbroke Grove, Kensington, London : PRO Ref: RG13 Piece 30 Folio 39 Page 70
Frank Mascall : head : mar : 40 : horse keeper : Kensington, London
[Mary Ann] Elizabeth Mascall : wife : mar : 41 [sic] : — : Lowestoft, Suffolk
Frank Mascall : son : unm : 13 : — : Kensington, London
Ellen Erratt : step-dau : unm : 13 : — : Chiswick, London
Mary A. Erratt : step-dau : unm : 12 : — : Chiswick, London
Thomas Erratt : step-son : unm : 11 : — : Chiswick, London
Edith Mascall : dau : unm : 11 : — : Norwood, London
John Erratt : step-son : unm : 9 : — : Chiswick, London
Rose Mascall : dau : unm : 8 : — : Norwood, London
Ethel Aldred : visitor : unm : 15 : — : Hammersmith, London
Alice Mascall : visitor : unm : 2 : — : Norwood, London
By 1911 Frank was apparently widowed, although the GRO index contains no definite reference to Mary Ann having died:
No. 159, Bravington Road, Paddington, London : PRO Ref: RG14 Piece 14 Schedule 193
Frank Mascall : head : widower : 52 : carman [carrying] meat : Kensington
Edith Mascall : dau : unm : 22 : laundry assistant : Norwood
Rose Mascall : dau : unm : 20 : — : Norwood
Kathleen Mascall : dau : unm : 8 : [at] school : Notting Hill
Alice Tottham : boarder : mar : 22 : laundry assistant : —
Emily Tottham : [boarder’s] daughter : unm : 2 : — : Kensal Rise
Meanwhile, Rose’s future husband Charles Hunns was now in Jamaica serving in the Royal Marines Light Infantry on board HMS “Melpomene”, an Apollo class protected cruiser that had originally been launched in 1891 under the name HMS “Indefatigable”:
Ship “Melpomene”, Port Royal, Jamaica, West Indies : PRO Ref: RG14 Piece 34790 Page 7
among numerous other marines:
Charles Hunns : private : unm : 20 : RMLI Royal Marine : Clerkenwell, London
H.M.S. Indefatigable (subsequently Melpomene) in 1892.
Rose’s father Frank died aged “57” in early 1916 [GRO Ref: Paddington 1a 58, 1916 (Q1)]. Rose married Charles in the following quarter[GRO Ref: Paddington 1a 94, 1916 (Q2)].
It appears from the GRO index that Charles and Rose produced just two children – John Albert Charles, born on October 22nd 1920 [GRO Ref: Paddington 1a 32, 1920 (Q4)] and Ronald V.B., born in 1925 [GRO Ref: Brentford 3a 375, 1925 (Q3) – mother’s maiden name misindexed as “Mascell”].
We currently know nothing of the military service of John Albert Charles other than that, like his father, he joined the Royal Marines. His step-grandmother Mary Ann (née Tysoe) Hunns died aged “80” in early 1941 [GRO Ref: Islington 1b 290, 1941 (Q1)]. Soon after he lost his life in the sinking of H.M.S. “Hood”, on May 24th 1941. The great battlecruiser had engaged the Germans’ “Bismarck” and “Prinz Eugen” in the Denmark Strait and been hit by shells from both of these. Her magazine exploded, breaking her in half. She sank within three minutes with the loss of 1415 lives; just three of her crew survived.
John Albert Charles is commemorated not only at the main Portsmouth Memorial but also at the Hood Chapel in the Church of St. John the Baptist in Boldre, Hampshire.
Later in 1941 his grandfather Albert died aged “79” [GRO Ref: Islington 1b 175, 1941 (Q3)].
His father Charles died aged “73” in 1964 [GRO Ref: Surrey Mid.E. 5g 210, 1964 (Q2)] and his mother Rose died aged 80 in 1972 [GRO Ref: Surrey Mid.E. 5g 190, 1972 (Q4)].
1. Service Record – not yet available
2. Commonwealth War Graves Commission Record
Date of Death
HUNNS, JOHN ALBERT CHARLES
Royal Marines, H.M.S. Hood
Son of Charles and Rose Hunns, of Bookham, Surrey.
Panel 59, Column 1.
PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL