Tonight we had our Carol Service in Chilbolton. It was a full church, maybe we were the youngest but my eye caught the memorial plaque on the East Wall. I had seen it before but tonight thought about it in more detail and wondered who still thought of him buried at sea off the West Coast of India in 1928.

In memory of George A Robbins
Able Seaman H M S Effingham
25/10/1926 aged 22 buried at sea of the West Coast of India

A few facts in my research gave a slightly different date of death of 1928 (Royal Navy Roll of Honour) but here are some interesting items I have found. In the 1911 census he is noted as aged 4, living in Gravel Hill, Chilbolton. However his birth date is 1906 according to his Naval Service Record.


Not much will be known about his early life but he enlisted as a Boy Class 2 for a 12 year term. In 1922 he was serving on H M S Impregnable aged 16. This was a training ship and life would have been very tough indeed.


HMS Impregnable was a training establishment for boys and consisted of two ships: HMS Howe and HMS Inconstant. George was here for training as a boy seaman 2nd class for 4 months. The boys were exercised at fire stations and at abandoning ship.

impregnable (1)

He served with good conduct though he did desert his post on sentry duty when only 19. However his career carried on to H M S Effingham which was the Flagship of the Far Eastern Squadron.

He developed acute appendicitis barely a year after joining this wonderful ship, died on board and was buried at sea off India.


I thought about him this evening.

3 thoughts on “A son of Chilbolton, Hampshire

  1. Thank you Thomas. How wonderful to bring this young man’s tragically short story to life, with dignity. Some punchy names for HM ships too.

    Happy Christmas!



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