P/JX 291056 Ronald S. G. HOSKINS, HMS President III, RN: 08/09/1944, Service Number + history help

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Saracensix, Sep 7, 2021.

  1. Saracensix

    Saracensix New Member

    Hoping to commemorate a young soldier who died 77 years ago tomorrow.
    P/JX291056 Able Seaman
    Ronald Samuel George Hoskins
    HMS President 111.
    Could anyone tell me what the service number letter prefixes mean and I know that he died by accidental drowning In Ipswich docks, trying to find out the circumstances.
    JimHerriot likes this.
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    For record, full CWGC details -

    Casualty Details | CWGC

    Service Number: P/JX 291056
    Regiment & Unit/Ship: H.M.S. President III, Royal Navy
    Date of Death: 08 September 1944
    Age 23 years old
    Buried or commemorated at SWINDON (RADNOR STREET) CEMETERY
    Grave Reference: Plot C. Grave 4838.
    Location: United Kingdom
    Additional Info: Son of Samuel George and Alice Sophia Hoskins, of Swindon.
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  3. Pat Atkins

    Pat Atkins Patron Patron

    Just in case you weren't aware (I'm sure you were), according to Ancestry's UK, British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records he was born in Noogum village, India, 25 Jan 1921. HMS President III seems to have been a shore establishment for training DEMS gunners, at least (see e.g. here). Don't know about 'SS Empire', though there were a fair number of shipe named e.g. SS Empire Simba, SS Empire Gem, SS Empire Mersey, etc.
    Screenshot 2021-09-07 at 12.15.06.png
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  4. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Ronald S.G. Hoskins was a Royal Navy D.E.M.S. gunner not a soldier and he was serving aboard ss EMPIRE NUTFIELD.
    His service number indicates that his home port was Portsmouth and the JX indicates either a seaman or a communications rating but in his case we know he was a seaman gunner.
    To find out more about the circumstances of his death you may wish to obtain the ship's official logbook, narrative section, for 1944 under her official number 143169 which should be held at Kew in piece
    BT 381/2810
    This document is best obtained by visit to Kew or via a researcher who knows how to search MN logbooks.
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  5. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Just for clarification. HMS President III was an Accounting Base and where the DEMS gunners' records and accounts were held. It was not responsible for training.

  6. Saracensix

    Saracensix New Member

    Thank You all very much for the information supplied, I knew some of it but not other bits. Being a new member to this group I am astonished at the amount of historical knowledge shown. AB Seaman Hoskins grave is looked after by our volunteers at Radnor Street Cemetery, Swindon. Once again Thank You all .
    JimHerriot likes this.
  7. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Given the cause of death it is just possible that there is a Coroner's report. The death certificate should confirm if this is the case.

  8. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Found some info about the SS Empire Nutfield's activities in August 1944 & eventual fate.

    On 23 August 1944 SS Empire Nutfield came alongside the stricken liberty ship SS Richard Montgomery which had become aground on Sheerness Middle Sands. It provided steam hoses to enable the Montgomery's own steam cranes to operate & offload some of its large cargo of explosives. It was hoped reducing the load would enable the Montgomery to be refloated at a later high tide in September. As an older ship the Nutfield was considered 'expendable' in the event of a blast.

    I found no date for when the Nutfield left the scene, but on 24th August welded steel plates on the Mongomery cracked washing bombs on to the sands and on the 8th Sept she broke her back, ending any hopes of being refloated. Salvage of the cargo continued till 25th September when the wreck was abandoned.

    As is well known, the wreck of the Montgomery is still there and a hazard to both shipping & potential disaster for the area if the remaining cargo explodes.
    Southend Timeline

    The Nutfield's fate was to be scuttled in 1946 with chemical ammunition on board.

    Last edited: Sep 7, 2021
  9. Saracensix

    Saracensix New Member

    Thanks for that Travers1940
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