Cyril joined the Navy on March 5th, 1915 signing on for twelve years. He trained upon HMS Vivid, Ganges and Victory, all port based and serving as a ‘boy’ and then as ‘signaller boy’ until his 18th birthday when he became an ordinary signalman. Cyril joined HMS Indefatigable in January 1916 as an ordinary signalman, and died in the Battle of Jutland on May 31st, 1916.
The Battle of Jutland was the largest naval battle of the war. An extract from the official history of Naval Operations by Sir Julian S, Corbett records that
‘...at the other end of the line the duel between the Indefatigable and the Von der Tann had been growing in intensity till, a few minutes after 4.00 the British ship was suddenly hidden in a burst of flame and smoke. A salvo of three shots had fallen on her upper deck and must have penetrated to a magazine. She staggered out of the line, sinking by the stern when another salvo struck her; a second terrible explosion rent her, she turned over and in a moment all trace of her was gone ......’³⁵
Only two of the crew of 1019 are reported to have survived.
The National Museum of the Royal Navy
Ordinary Seaman Cyril Hardwick
HMS Indefatigable. Signaller
Killed in action, the Battle of Jutland May 31st, 1916, aged 18
Remembered at Portsmouth Naval Memorial
born in the county between 1905 and 1910, Thomas was working as a railway foreman.
In the 1911 Census Cyril is still in school and living at home with his parents. Before enlisting he worked as a junior railway porter for the Midland Railway.
See page 75
Cyril was born in Brecon on December 25th, 1897. He was the eldest child of Thomas Hardwick, a railway worker and his wife Rose, nee Miffling. His father Thomas, also born in Brecon, was a brother to William Emlyn Hardwick who also features in this book³⁴.
The family had moved to Colne in Lancashire by 1901, with Thomas working as a railway checker, but soon moved on to Stockport, in Cheshire and Cyril’s three siblings were all