Victor Charles KNIBBS, son of Henry KNIBBS and Margaret BRION , was born 08 January 1887 in Windsor, Berkshire, England. He married Ellen Elizabeth LEE 18 May 1912 in Great Greenford, Middlesex, England. He died 21 March 1943 in Sherbourne St. John, Hampshire, England. Ellen Elizabeth LEE was born 18 August 1893 in Brentford District, Middlesex, England. She died bet. January and March, 1982 in Ealing District, London, England.

Children of Victor Charles KNIBBS and Ellen Elizabeth LEE are:
1. Margaret Elizabeth S KNIBBS, b. 13 August 1917 See Eric Raymond VENISON & Margaret Elizabeth S KNIBBS
2. Edward Charles KNIBBS, b. 04 November 1919 See Edward Charles KNIBBS & Lois Irene WILLIAMS
3. Harry William KNIBBS, b. 07 September 1921 See Harry William KNIBBS & Maisie E LAMPRELL
4. Joan M KNIBBS, b. Private See George V WOLFE & Joan M KNIBBS OR George H COOPER & Joan M KNIBBS
5. Victor Alfred Henry KNIBBS, b. 11 June 1913 See Victor Alfred Henry KNIBBS & Violet L HARRIS
6. Alan KNIBBS, b. 08 October 1939 See Alan KNIBBS & Margaret A BALL

Other Marriages/Unions for Ellen Elizabeth LEE:
See Henry George W VENISON & Ellen Elizabeth LEE

Notes for Victor Charles KNIBBS:

Victor joined the Royal Navy on 26 Nov 1902. We can see from his naval records that he was 5'2" tall with dark brown hair, blue eyes and a fair complexion when he joined. He signed up for 12 years from the age of 18. He joined as a Boy, 2nd Class and became a Boy 1st Class on 8 Oct 1903. On 8 Jan 1905, on reaching the age of 18, he became and ordinary Seaman. He was promoted to Able Seaman on 21 May 1908 and I think, to Leading Seaman on 22 Aug 1915.

Details of his drafts are as follows:.
HMS Boscawen 26 Nov 1902 to 16 Oct 1903 (Portland - Training Establishment)
HMS Minotaur 17 Oct 1903 to 31 Dec 1903 (Portland - Training Ship)
HMS Boscawen II 1 Jan 1904 to 11 Mar 1904 (Portland - Training Ship)
HMS Boscawen III 12 Mar 1904 to 20 May 1904 (Portland - Training Ship)
HMS Juno 21 May 1904 to 5 Jan 1905 (Cruiser)
HMS Pembroke 6 Jan 1905 to 14 Feb 1905 (Chatham - Shore Base)
HMS Berwick 15 Feb 1905 to 13 Jul 1905 (Armoured Cruiser)
HMS Dark P(?) 14 Jul 1905 to 6 May 1907 (?)
HMS Pembroke 7 May 1907 to 12 Jun 1907 (Chatham - Shore Base)
HMS Adventure 13 Jun 1907 to 9 Aug 1908 (Cruiser)
HMS Pembroke 10 Aug 1908 to 17 Aug 1908 (Chatham - Shore Base)
HMS Indomitable 18 Aug 1908 to 19 May 1911 (Battlecruiser) [1]
HMS Pembroke 20 May 1911 to 7 Dec 1911 (Chatham - Shore Base)

At this point in his record it states that his performance and character were "Satisfactory/Invld" with a written comment that looks like "(Desense of Stomach)" on his record. The record then states that he joined the Royal Fleet reserve on 17 Jan 1914. I'm not sure what this all means, but wonder if perhaps he was temporarily discharged with stomach problems having only served 8 of the 12 years, and then rejoined at a later date? His draft record continues as follows:

HMS Cressy 2 Aug 1914 to 22 Sep 1914 (Armoured Cruiser) [2]
HMS Pembroke I 23 Sep 1914 to 30 Jan 1915 (Chatham - Shore Base)
HMS Mars 31 Jan 1915 to 16 Feb 1915 (Battleship)
HMS Pembroke 17 Feb 1915 to 18 Nov 1915 (Chatham - Shore Base)
HMS President III 19 Nov 1915 to 10 Dec 1916 (Accounting Base) [3]
HMS Pembroke I 11 Dec 1916 to 13 Nov 1918 (Chatham - Shore Base)
HMS President II (P.O.W.) 14 Nov 1918 to 31 Jan 1919 (Accounting Base)
HMS Pembroke I 1 Feb 1919 to 7 Apr 1919 (Chatham - Shore Base)
HMS Pembroke I R.F.R. 8 Apr 1921 to 7 Jun 1921 (Chatham - Shore Base)

See images of the ships on which he served.

We also know from Merchant Navy records that Victor was assigned to several Merchant Navy vessels during his time in the Royal Navy. These were:
MV Tactician 8 Jun 1915 to 9 Sep 1915 as Royal Fleet Reserve
MV Huntsman 6 Jul 1915 to 8 Oct 1915 as a Gunner.
MV Collegian 23 Aug 1915 to 19 Nov 1915 as an Able Seaman

The above dates only indicate the dates between which he will have served on them, hence the overlap.

The Huntsman was a Three-Masted Steel Screw Steamer. The ship's manifest stated that his previous ship was the Reflection, so quite clearly, Royal Naval mariners were moved at frequent intervals around the merchant fleet.

The collegian was sunk by torpedo in October 1919 off the coast of Alexandria, but long after Victor's time aboard her.

[1] In 1909, Indomitable embarked the Prince of Wales (soon to be King George V) on a record trip to Canada and back. In 1910, at the Review of the Combined British Fleets off Spithead

[2] Shortly after the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, Cressy and her sister ships Bacchante, Euryalus, Hogue and Aboukir were assigned to the 7th Cruiser Squadron, patrolling the Broad Fourteens of the North Sea. They were supporting of a force of destroyers and submarines based at Harwich which blocked the Eastern end of the English Channel from German warships attempting to attack the supply route between England and France. The ships were very vulnerable to a raid by German surface ships and the patrol was nick named the "live bait squadron".
In the early hours of September 20th 1914 the cruisers HMS Euryalus, HMS Aboukir, HMS Hogue and HMS Cressy were preparing to go on patrol under Rear Admiral Christian in Euryalus. Early on September 22nd the German submarine U9 sighted HMS Cressy, Aboukir and Hogue steaming NNE at 10 knots. The U9 manoeuvred to attack and at about 6.25 AM fired a single torpedo at HMS Aboukir, striking her on her port side. Aboukir rapidly suffered heavy flooding and was eventually abandoned by the crew.
The U9 then fired two torpedoes at HMS Hogue hitting her amidships as he was attempting to rescue the crew of HMS Aboukir. HMS Hogue sunk in just 10 minutes.
The firing of two torpedoes affected the trim of U9 which broke the surface briefly and was fired on by Hogue without effect.
HMS Cressy had also stopped to rescue the crew of HMS Aboukir but sighted the U9's periscope and got quickly underway. However at 7.20 AM U9 fired two torpedoes, one of which hit HMS Cressy on her starboard side. The damage was not fatal but U9 turned round and fired her last torpedo which hit Cressy sinking her within a quarter of an hour.
Survivors were picked up by several nearby merchant ships including the Dutch Flora and Titan and the British trawlers JGC and Corainder. Flora returned to Holland with 286 rescued crew who were quickly returned to Britain even though the Dutch, being neutral, should have interned them. In all 837 men were rescued but 1459 died, many of which were reservists or cadets.

From the Leeds Mercury - Saturday 26 September 1914:
Victor Charles Knibbs was listed amongst those saved from the sinking of HMS Cressy.


[3] In 1918, towards the end of the war, another ship he was serving on (the SS Georgic) was also sunk and he became a prisoner of war in Germany. His record shows that at this time he had been drafted to HMS President which I believe was simply an accounting base from where they managed his pay and rations. He was in fact serving on SS Georgic when it was sunk by a German raider and in December 1916, Victor became a prisoner of war in Germany.

The Index of British Fisherman and Merchant Seamen taken Prisoner of War 1914-1918
confirms that Victor was serving on the Georgic when he was captured in December 1916, and held prisoner at Brandenburg in Germany. His home address was given as 5 Church Cottages, Greenford, Middlesex.

The Georgic was a merchant ship belonging to the Shaw Savill and Albion Line, built primarily for transportation of livestock. In 1916 she was travelling from Philadelphia in the USA to Brest in France with a cargo of around 1,200 horses, wheat and barrelled oil, when, on 10 December, she was shelled and stopped in mid-Atlantic by the German merchant raider "SMS Mowe". One man was killed in the attack. The others were taken prisoner aboard the Mowe and the Georgic was sunk. The horses went down with the ship causing quite an argument between the crews of the Georgic and the Mowe. It's believed that the Mowe couldn't spare sufficient crew to man the Georgic to take her to a German port as a prize.

We see Victor in 1911 stationed at Medway, Kent, England:
Military Victor E Knibbs UnM 24 Able Seaman Medway Kent

From The Chronicle, 2 February, 1912:
An allegation was made against the rum retailed in Windsor when Victor Charles Knibbs, seaman of the fleet reserve, living at Clewer, was summoned for drunkenness and disorderly conduct in Victoria Street on January 25t
He was found using very bad language shortly after 11 o'clock by Sergeant Skelton, who put in a written specimen of the sentiments expressed by the seaman, which were nothing if not picturesque.
The sergeant said the man explained he had been upset by some soldiers, against whom be was using the bad words.
It appeared that the defendant had been a teetotaler for some time, and the whole trouble was caused from the wonderful propensities of the rum retailed in Windsor, as Chief Constable Carter said the man held that the beverage served on board ship sent him to sleep, whilst that of Windsor made him mad.
There was nothing known against Knibbs' character previously, so the summons was dismissed on payment of costs.


We see Victor and Ellen living at 130 Windmill Lane, Ealing. Middlesex at the time of the 1939 Register.
Also at the same address were son Harry and daughter Margaret.

Knibbs Victor Charles of 4 Otter-road Greenford Middlesex died 21 March 1943 at Park Prewett Hospital Sherbourne St. John Hampshire Administration Llandudno 1 June to Ellen Elizabeth Knibbs widow. Effects £208 10s. 4d.

Sources for Victor Charles KNIBBS:

  1. 1901 British Census,
  2. FreeBMD,
  3. National Archives for England,
  4. GRO England & Wales, from 
  5. - England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966,
  6. - Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921,
  7. 1939 Register,

Notes for Ellen Elizabeth LEE:

I suspect it was this Ellen Elizabeth Lee who was born in Brentford District during q3/1894.

The 1901 census return has her as born in Greenford which is where Victor Charles gave as his home address in 1916.

Sources for Ellen Elizabeth LEE:

  1. FreeBMD,
  2. GRO England & Wales, gave middle name 
  3. 1939 Register,