The Life Of, Edwin Charles Diaper.

I’ve always been fascinated by the Diaper, branch of my Hubbies family tree. I think it’s because of the strong family resemblance, or maybe the amazing story of Marks 2nd great-uncle John Joseph Diaper, who survived the tragic sinking of the Titanic.
These are only two reason why the Diaper family are absolutely fascinating.
They are not the easiest family to research, as they use the same forenames over and over, those names all seem to be very popular biblical names, which makes researching even more tricky.

If I’m totally honest with you, I have been a tad terrified to post the latest life story, in this series, in fear that I have gotten something terribly wrong.
As you will read, my Hubbies, Great Grandfather, Edwin Charles Diaper, was in the Navy, and believe it or not, some Royal Navel Ships have very limited information and photographs available online and, I fear, I may have made mistakes in my research of the ships he served on.
I do apologise if I have, I sincerely tried my hardest to get the information right. I’m only human after all and mistakes happen to the best of us but please let me know if you spot any so I can put the information right.
I won’t bore you with my waffling any longer and cut right to the chase.
So without further ado, I give you,

The Life Of Edwin Charles Diaper,
Through Documentation

It was the year 1890, Queen Victoria, was on the throne, Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury (Conservative) was prime Minister, Southampton Docks were on strike, London‘s City & South London Railway, the first deep-level underground railway in the world, opened. It runs a distance of 5.1 km (3.2 mi) between the City of London and Stockwell and construction began of Britain’s first council housing at Arnold Cross, Shoreditch in the East End of London, but more importantly to us, Edwin Charles Diaper was born.
He was born on Saturday the 25th of January 1890, to Mary Jane Diaper, and Richard Diaper, a merchant Navy Seaman. Edwin Charles was born at home, Peartree Green, St. Mary’s, Southampton, Hampshire, England. His Mother, Mary Ann Diaper, registered his birth on the 4th March 1890.

Edwin Charles, lived in Peartree Green, St Mary’s, Southampton, Hampshire, England, on Sunday the 5th of April 1891, with his parents Richard and Mary Ann Diaper and his siblings, Charlotte, George, John and Alice. His father Richard was working as a Platers helper.

Edwin’s sister Ethel May, was born on 21 May 1892, in Southampton, when Edwin Charles was 2 years old.

His sister Dorothy Lilian Myrtle was born on 2 February 1895 when Edwin Charles was 5 years old. She was born at, Peartree Green, St Mary’s, Southamoton, Hampshire, England.

Edwin’s father, Richard Diaper, died on Friday the 22nd of April 1898, at, Manor Road, Sholing, South Stoneham, Southampton, Hampshire, England when he was 48 years old. Richard died from, Cancer of the throat and Exhaustion. His Brother In-law, William Diaper, of Itchen, St Mary’s Extra, was in attendance and registered his death on Monday the 25th of April 1898.

Edwins half brother James Diaper/Proudly was born on the 20th December 1900. I haven’t been able to locate a birth record for him as of yet. Through Ancestry DNA it has been proven that his birth Father was called John Proudley.

Edwin Charles was mentioned in the National School Admission Registers & Log-Books 1870-1914 for his administration to Sholing school on the 30th of September 1901. He had previously attended Woolston School.

Edwin Charles, his Mum Mary and his siblings, John, Alice, Ethel, Dorothy and Frederick, were residing at Back Road, Itchen, St Mary’s, Southampton, Hampshire, England, on Sunday the 31st of March 1901. Mary was working as a Laundress and John as a Coal wharf labourer.

Edwin Charles Diaper joined the military on 10 October 1907, serving in her Majesties Royal Navy when he was 17 years old.

Edwin Charles served aboard HMS Nelson, from 18th October 1907 to 21st March 1908.
HMS Nelson was a Nelson-class armoured cruiser of the Royal Navy, built by John Elder and Co, Govan, Scotland and launched in 1876, commissioned in 1881, and sold for scrapping in 1910. The Nelson was built in Glasgow and completed in 1880. She was 280ft long, 60ft beam, and 7630 tons displacement. Her engines, by Elders, gave her a speed of fourteen knots. She was sheathed with zinc. Her side armour was 9in. and 6in. thick. She was stated in Brassey’s “Naval Annual” to carry four 18-ton muzzle-loading guns, eight 12-ton muzzle-loaders, four 4.7in quick-fire guns and twenty quick firing guns of small calibre, eight machine guns, and one boat gun.

Edwin Charles served aboard the HMS Forsight from the 22nd March 1908.
HMS Foresight was one of two Forward-class scout cruisers built for the Royal Navy during the first decade of the 20th century. The ship was in reserve for most of the first decade of her existence. After the beginning of the First World War in August 1914, she was initially assigned to the Dover Patrol and was then transferred to the 8th Destroyer FlotillaForesight was sent to the Mediterranean in mid-1915 and was then assigned to the Aegean Sea a year later, together with her sister shipForward, and remained there until the end of the war. After returning home in 1919, she was sold for scrap in 1920.

Edwin Charles served aboard the HMS Attentive (1904) from the 15 August 1910 to the 26th October 1911.
HMS Attentive was one of two Adventure-class scout cruisers built for the Royal Navy during the first decade of the 20th century. Completed in 1905 the ship was placed in reserve until she was commissioned in 1907 as part of the Home Fleet. She then spent the next seven years moving on and off of active service in British waters. The ship sank one destroyer and damaged two others in collisions. Attentive was assigned to coastal defence duties when the First World War began in 1914, and spent most of the war assigned to the Dover Patrol. She played a minor role in the Zeebrugge Raid in early 1918 and was then assigned to escort convoys to Gibraltar. The ship was sent to the White Sea later in the year to support the unsuccessful North Russia intervention in the Russian Civil WarAttentive paid off at the end of 1918 and was sold for scrap in 1920.

THE ROYAL NAVY IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR (Q 75427) Scout cruiser HMS Attentive. Copyright: � IWM. Original Source:

Edwin Charles aged 22, married Nellie Kennard, aged 25, Daughter of Henry Kennard and Edith Kennard nee Blake, at the Parish Church of St. James, Southampton, Hampshire, England on Sunday the 25th of December 1910. They were both residing at Number 30, Rupell Street. Their witnesses were Nellie’s Brother, Micheal McNamara and Eliza Mary Blake. Their fathers were named as Richard Diaper, deceased Yachtsman and Henry Kennard, deceased, Fireman.

On the eve of Sunday 2nd April 1911, the census was taken which shows Edwin Charles, residing aboard His Majesty’s Ship, Attentive, in Portland, Somerset.

Edwin Charles served aboard the HMS Victory II, from the 27th October 1911 to 25th November 1911. HMS Victory II, was a land based training establishment for stokers and engine artificers, based in Portsmouth. It is believed that once they had completed their initial training, parade drill, naval history, housekeeping and rifle drill, they were assigned to His Majesty’s Ship (HMS) Victory II. I have been trying to locate a photo of HMS Victory II, so far no luck and rather little information either, sorry.

Edwin Charles, served aboard HMS Dryad (1893) from the 26th November 1911 to the 10th October 1912.
HMS Dryad was the name ship of the Dryad-class torpedo gunboats. She was launched at Chatham Dockyard on 22 November 1893,[2] the first of the class to be completed. She served as a minesweeper during World War I and was broken up in 1920.

Edwin Charles was once again aboard the HMS Victory II, from the 11th of October 1912 to 12th October 1912. HMS Victory II.

Edwin Charles, was transferred to, RYR Portsmouth on the 13th October 1912.

Between the January and March quarter of the year 1914, Edwin Charles and Nellies, daughter Edith M Diaper was born in the Southampton district of Hampshire.
Edith went on to marry Walter James F Graham

Edwin Charles served aboard, HMS Vindictive (1897) from the 2nd August 1914 to 30th June 1916.
HMS Vindictive was a British Arrogant-class cruiser built at Chatham Dockyard. She was launched on 9 December 1897 and completed in 1899. The vessel participated in the Zeebrugge Raid.

Edwin Charles, served aboard, HMS Skipjack (1889), from the 11th November 1916 to 3rd February 1917. HMS Skipjack was a Sharpshooter-class torpedo gunboat of the British Royal Navy. She was built at Chatham Dockyard from 1888–1891. She was converted to a minesweeper in 1908–1909 and continued these duties during the First World War. Skipjack survived the war and was sold for scrap in 1920.

Edwin Charles and Nellie’s daughter Nellie Margret Diaper (My Husbands Grandmother), was born on Sunday, the 8th of April 1917, at their home, Number 28, Russell Street, Southampton, Hampshire, England. Edwin was working as a Stoker in the Royal Navy ( Dock Labourer). Nellie registered her birth on the 27th of April 1917.
Nellie would later marry, George Edward Green.

Edwin Charles, served on HMS Lord Lansdowne from the 4th September 1917 to the 31st December 1917. HMS Lord Lansdowne was 289 tons launched 1913, Admiralty No 3020, Port No H.1004 (Hull) armed with 1 x 12 pounder and 1 x 7.5 inch bomb thrower, minesweeper, requisitioned February 1917 and returned 1919.

Edwin’s brother, George William Richard Diaper, died in the October to December quarter of the year 1917 in the Southampton district of Hampshire, England, when he was 34 years old.

Edwin Charles serves aboard the HMS Nesman, from the 1st January 1918 to the 13th December 1918.
I havent found much information about HMS NESMAR, apart from it was a hired drifter, Adty No 2514. Built 1911, 87grt, Lowestoft-reg LT.1112. Armament: 1-3pdr. It was in service 1.15-1920 as a stores & water carrier, net vessel, minesweeper. It was renamed NESMAR II on 12.17.

Edwin Charles, served aboard HMS Victory X (shipjack) from the 14th December 1918 to 17th February 1919. HMS Victory X was the accounting section from 1917-19

Edwin Charles was once again aboard the HMS Victory II, from April 1920 – 5th July 1920. HMS Victory II, was a land based training establishment for stokers and engine artificers, based in Portsmouth. I wonder if he was teaching or what the reason was, why he was aboard the training ship again.

Edwin Charles Diaper was awarded the 1914-15 Star and the General Service and Victory Medals for his service in the Royal Navy military from 1914 to 1920.

Edwin was discharged from the Royal Navy in January 1920. He was mentioned in the National Roll of the Great War, about his time served. It reads,

DIAPER, E.C., 1st Class Stoker, R.N. He was in the Navy when war broke out, and later served on board HM ships, “Skipjack” and “Vindictive.” He was engaged throughout in mine-sweeping in the North Sea, and did much good work until discharged in January 1920. He holds the 1914-15 Star and the General Service and Victory Medals. 28, Russell Street, Southampton.

Edwin Charles and Nellie’s son, Edwin John Diaper was born on Thursday the 19th of May 1921, in Southampton, Hampshire, England.
Edwin went on to marry, Joan Winterton.

Edwin and Nellie’s daughter, Bertha Diaper was born in the January to March quarter of the year 1924 in Southampton, Hampshire, England.
Bertha later married, Eric Lewis and Douglas H Rhodes.

Edwin’s mother Mary Jane Diaper, died on, Wednesday the 12th of December 1928, at Number 54, Lower Canel Walk, Southampton, Hampshire, when she was 70 years old. Mary Jane, widow of Richard Arthur Diaper, a yachtsman, died from, Broncho Pneumonia, Bronchitis and Myocardial Degeneration. Mary’s daughter Charlotte Louise Smith nee Diaper, was present and registered her death on Wednesday the 12th December 1928.

Thelma Irene Diaper was born on 10 June 1933 in Southampton, Hampshire.
I am unable to find a birth index for Thelma.
Rumour has it that Thelma wasn’t actually Edwin and Nellies daughter but possibly their grandaughter. I believe there are adoption papers somewhere, which will finally answer this mystery.
Thelma was known as Bunty to the family. She went on to marry, Trevor R Kilgour.

In the January to March quarter of 1936, in Southampton, Hampshire, Edwin and Nellies daught Edith M Graham nee Diaper passed away. She was no age at all, only 22 years old. I will never understand why the young die. Maybe they are too pure for this earth and are destined for better things.

Edwin Charles, his wife Nellie and three of their children (only two are named at present) Edwin and Thelma were residing at 137 Beaver Valley, Southampton, Hampshire, England, on Friday the 29th December 1939.
Edwin Charles and Edwin J, are both working as General Dock Labourers and Nellie a unpaid domestic duties.
The registery gives their date of births as, Edwin Charles, 25th Jan 1889, Nellie 15th November 1890, Edwin J 19th May 1921 and Thelma 10th June 1933.

Edwins half brother, James Diaper/Proudly died on 12 September 1940 at Sea, when SS Gothic “Ship hit a mine in the North Sea”, His body was found in the North Sea. 11 of the crew were lost at sea.

Royal Navy, Able Seaman, James Diaper, Service Number: P/SS 11000, was laid to rest in Row 6. Grave 4 at St Peter & St Paul Churchyard, Ingoldmells, near Skegness.

More heartbreak followed when Edwins beloved wife, Nellie Diaper nee Kennard, died on, Monday the 20th of January 1941, at home, Number 50, Oaktree Road, Southampton, Hampshire, when she was 50 years old.

Nellie died from, Cachexia and Carcinoma of stomach (Stomach cancer). Edwin Charles was present and registered her death on Monday the 20th January 1941.

Edwin Charles laid his wife, Nellie Diaper nee Kennard, to rest at, Hollybrook Cemetery, Tremona Rd, Shirley, Southampton, Hampshire, England, on the 23rd January 1941 in in Grave Sect no K011 255, internment no 020913

Edwin, Nellie and family.

Just under 9 short months later, Edwin avoided solitude when he married a lady called, Freda May Potter a spinster at, The Register Office, Southampton, Hampshire, England, on Friday the 3rd of October 1941, when he was 51 years old and Freda was 22 years old. Their witnesses were J W Potter and B Diaper. Their fathers were named a Richard Diaper, a yachtsman (deceased) and Frederick Charles Potter, a Police Officer.
Edwin’s profession was given as a, General Labourer and Freda, a Cable Factory Machinist.

It wasn’t long until Freda was in the family way. Edwin and Freda’s first born Son, Barry K Diaper was born in the July to September quarter of 1943, in Southampton, Hampshire.

In the the July to September quarter of 1950, in Southampton, Hampshire, Edwin and Freda welcome a daughter into the family. They name her, Susan Diaper.

Over the next 10 years, Edwin lays his sisters, Dorothy Lily Myrtle and Alice Maud and his brother John Joseph to rest.
Dorothy Lily Myrtle Jents nee Diaper died in the October- December quarter of 1954 in Southampton.
Alice Maud Lacey nee Diaper died in the July-September quarter of 1956 and John Joseph Diaper, Survivor of the Titanic, died on the 2nd March 1955 at Haselbury, Plucknett, Somerset. He was laid to rest in a double grave with his wife Alice Strange.

More sadness and loss followed when Freda, Edwin’s second wife, died on the 22nd October 1961, at their home, Number 50, Oaktree Road, Southampton, Hampshire, England. Southampton. Freda died from a Ruptured diluting aortic aneurysm and natural causes. Edwin Charles was present and registered her death on the 25th of October 1961.

Freda May Diaper nee Potter, was cremated and interred at, Hollybrook Cemetary, Tremona Rd, Shirley, Southampton, Hampshire, England, on Tuesday the 12th of December 1961, in Grave Sect number K011 255, internment number 035981. She was interred with her husband Edwin Charles Diapers first wife, Nellie Diaper nee Kennard.

Yet more death follow when Edwins sister Charlotte Louise Smith nee Diaper died in the July – September quarter of 1965 in Southampton.

On Tuesday the 9th November 1965, Edwin Charles Diaper, life came to an end. He died at The Royal South Hampshire Hospital, Southampton, from, Superior mesenteric artery occlusion and, Thrombosis.
His Son Edward Diaper was present and registered his death on the same day, 9th of November 1965.

Probate was granted on the 3 March 1966 in Winchester.
His probate reads, 

DIAPER Edwin Charles of 50 Oaktree Road, Southampton, died 9th November 1965 at The Royal South Hampshire Hospital, Southampton. Administration Winchester 3 March to Nellie Margaret Green married woman and Bertha Lewis single women. £258.

RIP Edwin Charles Diaper
1890 – 1965
You will never be forgotten.

I have brought and paid for all certificates throughout,
Please do not download or use them without my permission.
Thank you.


3 thoughts on “The Life Of, Edwin Charles Diaper.

  1. Pingback: Chapter 3 – April 2022  | Intwined

  2. Pingback: Chapter 4 – April 2022  | Intwined

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