JOHN LENNARD 1886 – 1915

Second Mate John Lennard, S.S. Teeswood Mercantile Marine died from diabetes 23 October 1915 aged 28.  He is buried at Fecamp (Le Val Aux Clercs) Communal Cemetery, France.[1]  A local commemoration has not been traced.

Family Details

John Lennard was born 27 October 1886 [2], the son of John and Hannah Margaret Lennard.  There were at least 7 children, all born at Whitby:

  • Hannah bc.1885
  • John bc.1886
  • Ann bc.1888
  • Charles bc.1890
  • Margaret bc.1892
  • Mary bc.1894
  • Keith bc.1897

In 1891, John the father then aged 37 was recorded as “Master Mariner” and was able to employ a servant, 16 years old Christina [surname undecipherable].  The family lived at 8 Newton Street, Whitby.[3] By 1901, Hannah was a widow living with her 7 children including 14 years old John was employed as a “Telegraph Messenger [postal]” and a lodger, a bank clerk, Bernard Miles from Liverpool.  The family lived at Chubb Hill, Whitby.[4]

In 1910, John Lennard married Lily [surname not recorded].[5]  The 1911 census records 23 years old Lily Lennard living at Rose Cottage, Thorpe, Fylingdales, North Yorkshire with her 4 months old son, John.  Her husband, John was not recorded at home.[6] He died in 1915.

In 1918, Lily Lennard married William Linsley.[7] William was born about 1875 at Cockfield, the son of Robert and Margaret.  Robert Linsley was a coal miner and the family lived at East Butterknowle. [8]  By 1891, the family lived at Lands Bank through to 1911, when 36 years old William still lived with his now widowed 80 years old  mother.  William worked as a coal miner.  By 1939, William and Lily had moved to Haltwhistle in south Northumberland.  There may have been 2 children living with them but their records are “officially closed”.  William was unemployed coal miner.[9]

Service Record

The mercantile career of John Lennard has not been researched.  CWGC details record that John Lennard’s vessel was SS Teeswood.  This ship was a British cargo steamship which was sunk 19 September 1914.[10]  It is known that 28 years old John Lennard was aboard the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company vessel “Avon” which departed from Buenos Aires, Argentina bound for Liverpool.  The arrival date was 7 August 1915.[11]  Since he died in October 1915 and is buried in France, it is assumed that his services were required by another merchant vessel and he became ill shortly after.  Presumably, he was taken ashore for treatment but failed to respond.


Second Mate John Lennard, S.S. Teeswood Mercantile Marine is buried at grave reference 10, Fecamp (Le Val Aux Clercs) Communal Cemetery, France.  Fecamp is a small fishing town on the coast of the Seine-Infericure, about 9 miles north east of Etretat.  There are 11 sailors of the British Mercantile Marine buried here.[12]  John Lennard’s headstone bears the date of his birth [Born October 27th 1886] and the epitaph “AT REST”.[13]


[1] Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Fecamp Communal Cemetery register

[2] England & Wales Birth Index 1837-1915 Vol.9d p.479 1886 Q4 Whitby and CWGC Cemetery headstone register Note: the date of birth and the epitaph were paid for by Mrs. L. LInsley 22 Lands Bank, Cockfield

[3] 1891 census

[4] 1901 census

[5] England & Wales Marriage Index 1837-1915 Vol.9d p.767 1910 Q1 Whitby

[6] 1911 census

[7] England & Wales Marriage Index 1916-2005 Vol,10a p.418 1918 Q1 Auckland

[8] 1881 census

[9] 1939 England & Wales Register

[10] http://www.scapaflowwrecks.com/wrecks/blockships/ss-teeswood.php

[11] UK & Ireland Incoming Passenger Lists 1878-1960 no.124665

[12] Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Fecamp Communal Cemetery register

[13] CWGC

Photo courtesy of Find A Grave website