George Frederick Fuggles (1891-1915) – LCpl 14856 Royal Marine Light InfantryGeorge Fuggleswas the middle of three sons born to William and Mary Elizabeth Jane Fuggles who moved to Christ’s Hospital in 1904. William was a Navy man and George followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry as a Boy Bugler on the 2ndOctober 1905 aged 15 having already started work as a telegraph messenger.On reaching the age of 18 George was promoted to Private and in the 1911 census he is serving on the sloop HMS Cadmus in the South China Seas. Two years later he was promoted to Corporal and was posted to HMS Formidable.HMS Formidable was the lead ship of her class of pre-dreadnought battleships.In 1912, she was assigned to the 5thBattle Squadron and, following the outbreak of WW1, the squadron conducted operations in the English Channel and was based at Sheerness to guard against a possible German invasion.The sinking of HMS Formidable on the 1stJanuary 1915 resulted in the death of George Fuggles and 546 others from a crew of 780.The 5thBattle Squadron had spent 31stDecember participating in gunnery exercises off the Isle of Portland. After the exercises, that night the fleet remained at sea on patrol although submarine activity had been reported in the area.With rough sea conditions and the wind increasing, submarine attacks would have been difficult to carry out and so were not thought to be a significant threat. HMS Formidable was at the rear of the squadron off Portland Bill when in the early hours of 1stJanuary a torpedo from U-24 struck. It was thought that the ship might be saved by reaching the coast but the ship began to list heavily and Captain Noel Loxley gave the order to abandon ship. Darkness and worsening weather made it difficult to get the men and boats over the side, with some small boats being thrown into the water upside down, then about half an hour later HMS Formidable was struck by a second torpedo. In heavy seas the boats were launched and two light cruisers came alongside and managed to pick up 80 men in the deteriorating weather. By 5am the ship was in imminent danger of capsizing and a few minutes later rolled over onto many of the men in the water and sank quickly. Captain Loxley remained on the bridge along with his Fox Terrier Bruce, overseeing the evacuation of the ship. Although many of the men who died are buried in the churchyard of St Marys, Burton Bradstock on the Dorset coast, George’s body was never found and he is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial. He is remembered on the War Memorial in St Nicholas Church, Itchingfield and on the family grave in the churchyard.He was awarded the 1914/15 Star, the Victory and British War Medals for his services.