JOHN CHARLES TAPSON OF PLYMOUTH, ROYAL NAVY
His Certificate of Service records that John Charles, the only son of John Tapson, joined the Royal Navy as a boy entrant on 8 January 1870. After a year at H.M.S. Ganges he joined H.M.S. Amar as Boy st Class on 19 January 1871, and he subsequently served at this same rank on H.M.S. Ocean and H.M.S. Kingdom. Although his baptismal entry (page 279) gives his date of birth as 12 August 1853, his naval documents assert that he was born on 14 September 1854. He initially enlisted for a ten-year engagement to begin on 14 September 1872, his eighteenth birthday, and later, on 12 August 1882, re-enlisted for a further ten-year engagement to begin on 14 September 1882. His service record is detailed in the Register of Seamen’s Services (PRO ADM188/55):
“Name Date of Birth Place of Birth Date and Period of C.S. Encasement
John Tapson 14 Sep 1854 Plymouth 14 Sep 1872, 10 years. 14 Sep 1882, 10 years
Height 5 Ft Hair Dk Brown Eyes Brown Complexion Fresh Official No. 70049
[FOR FULL SERVICE RECORD SEE
John Charles was married in the Register Office for the District of West Derby and Toxteth Park, Liverpool:
“13 Jan 1879 John Tapson 24 Bachelor Seaman 238 Beaufort Street, Toxteth Park (Father: John Tapson deceased. Wheelwright) Mary Ann Netherton 21 Spinster
238 Beaufort Street, Toxteth Park (Father: Joseph Netherton deceased, Miner) by Licence in the presence of Joseph Pennington & Mary Jane Netherton.”
The first child of John Charles and Mary Ann was named Elizabeth Ann. Her birth certificate* states that she was born on 21 November 1879 in the St. Aubyn sub-district of Stoke Damerel.
John Charles was on naval duty aboard H. M. S. Thunderer in Malta Harbour when the 1881 census (PRO RG11/5637 Fo. 20) was taken: “John Tapson A B Married 26 St. Andrews, Plymouth, England”
The Thunderer was described as a First Class Turret Ship with a complement of 365.
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