You are viewing this site in staging mode. Click in this bar to return to normal site.

Osmond James Prentis: Wednesday 18th April 1915

Osmond was in command of destroyer HMS Leopard in Devenport in 1906, and later was a Naval Commander (promoted 1 January 1909) of HMS Wolverine.  According to the London Gazette of August 1915, he was posthumously commended for service in action between 19 February and 24 April 1915 in the vicinity of the Dardanelles.

He was killed by shore gunfire aged 40 at the first battle of Krithia in the Gallipoli campaign and is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.  A Chief Petty Officer and Sub Lieutenant also suffered the same fate on the Wolverine that day out of a total of 12 naval casualties for the day.  Probate was granted on 12 June 1915 to Geoffrey Holt Stilwell, a banker for £242.

The First Battle of Krithis was the first allied advance of the Gallipoli Campaign and the battle plan was described as “overly complex, poorly Communicated”.

Osmond James was born 17 July 1874 in Maidstone. Osmond was one of four children, Agnes 5 years older, Ellen one year younger, and Monica 4 years younger. His father was the late Captain William Taylor J., of the Royal Scots Greys, who was educated at Rugby, served in the Crimea, later being a JP & wine merchant, and having died in June 1890. He married Edith Mabel in 1904 in Portsmouth, they lived at 153 Trinity Road. He went to St Augustine’s College and the following appeared in the East Kent Times on 2nd December 1916.

‘THE SUPREME SACRIFICE’ 29th November 1916

Prentis, Commander O.J. Royal Navy. “Requiem Mass for Old Augustinians”. On Wednesday, the vigil of St. Andrew, a solemn Requiem was sung in St. Augustine’s College Chapel, Ramsgate, for the repose of the souls of the past students who have already given their lives for their country. The Mass was celebrated by the Right Rev. Father Abbot Egan, assisted by the Rev. Father Columba Swanson as Deacon, and the Rev. Dom Cuthbert Smith as Sub-deacon. Before vesting for the Holy Sacrifice, Father Abbot addressed the assembled students, making a touching reference to the sad events that had called them together to unite in offering to God, the all-powerful, prayers of the Mass for the speedy relief of the souls of those Old Boys who might still be explaining their faults in the purifying flames of Purgatory. He said that the long and slowly increasing list of heroes who’s deaths we had to mourn was a source of personal grief to him, for the names it contained recalled to his memory the edifying lives of so many that had been under his care for years. Those lives were the examples and models upon which the present boys might well strive to base their actions, even to the making of that supreme sacrifice which the country’s need might yet call upon them, too, to make. The Mass was followed by the Absolution for the Dead. A catafalque, covered by the Union Jack had been erected in the Sanctuary, the College Cadets forming a Guard of Honour, and the ceremony was one that filled the mourners with reverence and devotion.

Edith later moved to 9a Scarsdale Studios Stratford Road Kensington and is believed to have died in 1966 in Dorset. They do not appear to have had children.