Norman Leslie Hartwell

Able Seaman J/16434, HMS Black Prince, Royal Navy

1895 - 1916

Laid to rest: Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 13)

Son of John Thomas and Ellen Elizabeth (Nellie) Hartwell of Wantage Road, Brightwell. In 1911 Norman was 16yrs old, a boot repairer, and living with his parents and 7 siblings. The census recorded 11 children, 9 living at that time.

Extract from “Jutland” by Captain MacIntyre 1957 “The cruiser Black Prince which had followed her flagship Defence into action and been roughly handled at the same time the Defence had been blown up and Warrior disabled, had been left behind by the Grand Fleet’s turn to the southward after deployment. For some reason which will never be known, she was still at this time far astern of, and out of touch with, the British fleet, but when the line of battleships was dimly seen ahead, it was no doubt thought that they were the British squadron. Course was altered to close with them. At a bare half mile range, the German recognition signal flashed out. The horrified Capt Bonham swung his ship away in a desperate effort to escape, but it was too late. In the battleship Thuringen the same deadly efficient night action that had been displayed at the head of the line went into play. Brilliantly lit by half a dozen searchlights, the Black Prince was raked from stem to stern by a tornado of shells and lay a helpless wreck before she could even fire a shot in reply. As she drifted down the German line, Thuringen, Ostfriesland, Nassau and, finally, as the flagship Friedrich der Grosse added her quota, the Black Prince met the same end as the Defence, blowing up with a tremendous explosion, vanishing with all hands…..”