James Amery is on the Wolverhampton Roll of Honour at http://wolverhampton-roll-of-honour.webs.com/

Although they weren’t locally born, he and his wife were living in Wolverhampton in 1911. James Amery was a Petty Officer, Ist Class, in the Royal Navy, (R.F.R./Ch./A/1116) HM Yacht “Kethailes,” Service No: 129483. His death occurred on the 11th of October 1917, and he is buried in the South-West part of St Mary’s Churchyard at Llanaber, per CWGC Records.

At http://www.warsailors.com/gb8.html is this mention of him: “H.M. Yacht Kethailes was the 600 ton steam yacht donated to the Great War effort as an armed patrol vessel. It sank in the Irish Sea after a collision on the 11th October, 1917, after which several bodies of the crew were washed up in the Barmouth area of North Wales, UK, one of which carried a tag inscribed with J. Emery.P.O.RNR 12948 – John Crawford Ex commercial fisherman and retired 2nd Mechanic Barmouth Lifeboat.”

The UK Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll 1914-1919 has James Amery, Rank: PO 1st, Birth Date: 13 March 1869, Birth Place: Kilkenny, Ireland, Branch of Service: Royal Navy, Cause of Death: Killed or died by means other then disease, accident or enemy action, Official Number Port Division: 129483 (RFR ChA 1116) (Ch), Death Date: 11 Oct 1917, Ship or Unit: HM Yacht Kethailes; Location of Grave: 3.1.14, Name and Address of Cemetery: Llanaber Churchyard, Barmouth, Merionethshire, Wales, Relatives Notified and Address: Widow: Rose Eliza, 39 Larches Lane, Wolverhampton. The National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) has the entry AMERY James of 39 Larches-lane Wolverhampton first class petty officer No 129483 belonging to HM armed yacht “Kethailes” died 11 October 1917 at sea in home waters. Probate Lichfield 19 November to Rosanna Eliza Amery widow. Effects £296 17s.

Information found on line is that “Kethailes” was a Gentleman’s Steam Yacht owned by William Johnston (founder of the Johnston Line which became part of Furness Withy), built in 1903, crew 50+, at Thornaby-on-Tees, County Durham. She was named KETHAILES by the owner for his four daughters: Kathleen, ETHel, AILeen, EStele. On 24 September 1914 she was voluntarily handed over to the Royal Navy for use as an Armed Naval Auxiliary (also known as an ‘Admiralty Armed Yacht’) and renamed ‘H.M. Yacht Kethailes’. Initially she patrolled in the North Sea, then transferred to the Irish Sea. On 11 October 1917 she was sunk in the Irish Sea in a collision near the Blackwater Light Vessel, off Wexford on the south-eastern tip of Ireland. The CWGC records 16 lives lost. 6 bodies were buried (only one identified) at Llwyngwril (St. Celynin) Churchyard, and one identified body at Llanaber (St. Mary) Churchyard, both near Barmouth in Merionethshire, mid-Wales. Cause of death in all instances is given as drowning, even for the bodies with no known graves. The identity of the ship that ran the ‘Kethailes’ down, which as confirmed by modern divers’ photographs of the wreck, is what actually happened, is unknown.

James Amery age 12 appearson the 1881 census living in Paddington with his grandparents Richard and Caroline Gillingham in Paddington, London. He next appears on the 1911 Census, living at 31 Queen Street, Wolverhampton, age 42, Occupation: Navy Pensioner Curator Commissionaire, with his wife Rose Eliza, age 34, Birthplace: Northampton. The couple had been married for 14 years; there were no children of the marriage.

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