Gunner Thomas Lee

Gunner Thomas Henry Lee, Royal Marine Artillery. He was killed on 30th December 1915 ,aged 32, aboard H.M.S. “Natal” when the cruiser blew up whilst anchored in the Cromarty Firth. He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.  He had been born in Portsmouth and was the son of Thomas Lee of  Southsea, Hampshire.  The connection to Kirknewton is unclear. H.M.S. “Natal” was a Duke of Edinburgh class armoured cruiser built in 1905 of 13,550 tons and with a main armament of six 9.2 inch guns.  An admiralty inquiry put the loss down to an internal explosion of faulty cordite in one of the aft magazines. 421 Officers and men were lost. As Gunner Lee was with the R.M.A. his battle station would have been in one of the main gun turrets.

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