Chief Engine Room Officer - Royal Navy - HMS Picotee - Service No. C/M 7074,
Cecil Ironmonger was born on 31st October 1898 in Strood, Kent. His father was Thomas Henry Ironmonger, a Labourer, and his mother was Mary Ann (née Tapp). The first school that he attended was Higham School.
In 1909 he won a Scholarship to The Gravesend County Day School – now known as Gravesend Grammar School. The Head Master at that time was Henry F A Wigley. The County Day School was located in Darnley Road, Gravesend close to the Railway Station (now the Victoria Centre for Education). In 1938 the School moved to brand new premises in Church Walk, Milton, Gravesend opposite to Milton Church.
The School’s Admission Register lists Cecil’s address as 4 Telegraph Hill, Higham.
In 1913 Cecil left the School and served in the Royal Navy on the Dolphin in World War One. He was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. His brother Frank served in World War One with the Royal West Kent Regiment as a Corporal in the 2nd Battalion (L/9689), he was killed in action on 30th October 1914 and is remembered on the Menin Gate at Ypres. Another brother Ira also served with the same regiment as a Lance Corporal 8th Battalion (G/2774), he too was killed in action on 26th September 1915, he is remembered on the Loos Memorial at Loos–en-Gohelle, Pas de Calais.
In 1924 Cecil married Minnie Elizabeth Targett and they had two children. In the 1930 Kelly’s Directory he is listed as a Confectioner at 29 Queen Street, Gravesend. When the 2nd World War started Cecil re-enlisted with the Royal Navy as a Chief Engine Room Officer Service Number C/M 7074, joining the HMS Picotee.
On the 12th August 1941 HMS Picotee was hit by a torpedo from a U-boat, U-568, while on convoy escort duty in the North Atlantic. The ship sank about 70 miles south of Iceland. Cecil Ironmonger was 43 years old. He is remembered at Chatham Naval Memorial Panel 46, 2
His son, Cecil Thomas Ironmonger (born 1927), attended the School in 1938-1943.
There are links below to Newspaper Clippings and Photographs from the Gravesend Grammar School Archives.
Below are links to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and a few other websites that might be of interest: