FITZROY, Edward Henry

Lieutenant, Edward Henry FITZROY
Aged 23

H.M.S. "Simoom", Royal Navy
Killed in Action on Sunday, 23rd January 1917

Edward Henry Fitzroy was born in Euston on 13th July 1893 (Thetford Q3-1893 4B:378), son of Rev. Lord Charles Edward FITZROY and Lady Ismay Mary Helen Augusta (née FITZROY). He was the grandson of the 7th Duke of Grafton

1901 census...Aged 7, he was at The Rectory, Euston, with his father Charles Edward FITZROY [43] clergyman, born London; sisters Anna Ismay Ethel. [16] and Victoria A.M. [14], both born in London; brother Charles Alfred Euston [8] born Euston (later to become 10th Earl of Grafton). His father was the 3rd son of the 7th Duke of Grafton

1911 census...Aged 17, he was at The Rectory, Euston with his parents (mother Ismay M.H.A. FITZROY, [47] born London); sisters Anna and Victoria; brother John P.S. [11] born London; visitor (grandmother) Ismay, Lady Southampton [72] born Dublin. His father died later in 1911. There was also another sister, Violet Frederica FITZROY (whereabouts unknown)

Probate was to his mother, Hon. Ismay Mary Helen Augusta FITZROY, commonly called Lady Charles Fitzroy. His address was given as Hawstead Lodge, Bury St.Edmunds.

His cousin, Viscount Ipswich, William H.A.Fitzroy, was killed in an air accident in 1918 with the Royal Air Force. see here

Edward joined the Royal Navy on 1906, and was at various training establishments until 15th May 1915 when as a midshipman he joined HMS Vanguard, and was with her until January 1914, being promoted to Acting Sub-Lieutenant on 15th September 1913.
There is then a gap in records until he joined HMS Centurion on 6th May 1914, promoted to Sub Lieutenant on 15th June 1914 and posted to Phaeton(depot ship for TB-8) from 29th July 1914 to 10th February 1915. On 10th February 1915 he joined HMS "Dido", the depot ship for HMS "Mentor". Promoted to Acting Lieutenant on 15th May 1916, he was then posted to HMS "Simoom" and promoted Lieutenant on 15th June 1916.

His records show his senior officers considered him hard working but plodding at first, going on to be slow but reliable. Still slow he was then considered to be good with the men. Eventually he was deemed to be a promising officer with considerable force of character.

The destroyer HMS "Simoom", pennant H-53, was an "R" Class destroyer built in 1916. On the night of January 1917, commanded by Commander E T Inman, she was sunk in an engagement between British and German destroyers in the Flanders Bight. The Harwich Force were out to intercept a German flotilla, which was making for Zeebrugge. Between the North Hinder Light and the Maas at 2.45 a.m. the two forces met. During the engagement the German destroyer S50, which had lost touch at about 4 a.m., ran into a line of four British destroyers, led by HMS "Simoom". After an exchange of salvoes the S50 fired a torpedo which hit the "Simoom" and exploded her magazine, causing heavy casualties. The S50 then escaped. The destroyer HMS "Morris" took off all the "Simoom"s survivors and she was then torpedoed and sunk by the "Nimrod" on Commodore Tyrwhitt's orders.

Wall mounted plaque in St Genevieve, Euston

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Edward Fitzroy is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, panel 20
also in All Saints Hawstead

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details