George Allen KNIBBS, son of George Henry Large KNIBBS and Elizabeth BIRCHLEY , was born 08 June 1898 in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England. He married Eva Muriel BORRETT bet. July and September, 1922 in Woodstock District, Oxfordshire, England. He died bet. April and June, 1971 in Oxford District, Oxfordshire, England. Eva Muriel BORRETT was born 02 July 1898 in Southolt, Suffolk, England. She died April 1985 in West Oxford District, Oxfordshire, England.

Children of George Allen KNIBBS and Eva Muriel BORRETT are:
1. Barbara J KNIBBS, b. Private See Arthur Thomas Alexander BUCKINGHAM & Barbara J KNIBBS

Marriage Notes for George Allen KNIBBS\Eva Muriel BORRETT:

Notes for George Allen KNIBBS:

We can see from George's military record that he served in the Royal Navy from January 1915 through to what looks like March 1930. Also, from 25 September 1925 to 6 February 1928 he seems to have been seconded to serve with the Royal Australian Navy. It is simply recorded as "Lent RAN" on his military record.

He joined the Royal Navy as a Boy II Class in Jan 1915 and became Boy I Class in Feb that same year. It seems from the record that he undertook his initial training aboard the cruiser HMS Powerful. He became an Ordinary Seaman in Jun 1916 and eventually, an Able Seaman in 1917. He achieved the rating of Leading Seaman in Sep 1925 and at the same time he was loaned to the Royal Australian Navy. He then served in the RAN until Feb 1928 when his record shows he reverted back to the Royal Navy. Much of the detail on his service record is difficult to read, but I note that in Feb 1925 he was trained in Minesweeping.

At the age of 15 when he joined the Navy he measured 5'1ΒΌ" tall with a 31" chest. At 30, he was 5'5" tall and a 37" chest. He had Brown Hair, Brown Eyes and a fresh complexion.

His Character was marked as Very Good throughout his career. His Ability was marked as a combination between Satisfactory and Superior.

He was drafted to the following ships and shore establishments throughout his career:
HMS Powerful 21 Jan 1915 to 7 May 1915 (Armoured Cruiser)
HMS Pembroke 8 May 1915 to 15 May 1815 (Chatham - Shore Base)
HMS Calliope 16 May 1915 to 31 Mar 1919 (Cruiser/Training Ship)
HMS Vivid 1 Apr 1919 to 9 May 1919 (Devonport - Shore Establishment)
HMS Cambrian 10 May 1919 to ? (Devonport - Training Ship for Stokers)
HMS Vivid ?? to ?? (?)
HMS Victory XI (Barcelona?) ?? to 20 Feb 1925 (?)
HMS Vivid 21 Feb 1925 to 25 Sep 1925 (Devonport - Shore Establishment)
London Depot RAN 26 Sep 1925 to 8 Oct 1925 (Lent RAN)
HMAS Cerberus 9 Oct 1925 to 23 Nov 1925 (Western Point Bay, Victoria- Shore Base)
HMAS Brisbane 24 Nov 1925 to 13 Oct 1926 (Cruiser/Sydney Training Ship)
HMAS Melbourne 14 Oct 1926 to 13 Oct 1927 (Cruiser)
HMAS Penguin 14 Oct 1927 to 25 Nov 1927 (Cruiser/Accommodation Ship)
London Depot RAN 26 Nov 1927 to 5 Feb 1928 (Reverted)
HMS Vivid 6 feb 1928 to 17 May 1928 (Devonport - Shore Establishment)
HMS Osprey (Heather) 18 May 1928 to 29 Apr 1929
HMS Vivid I 30 Apr 1929 to 20 Nov 1929
HMS Adventure 21 Apr 1929 to 3 Nov 1931
HMS Vivid 4 Nov 1931 to 23 Mar 1932
HMS Victory XI (Harebell) 24 Mar 1932 to 30 Jun 1932
HMS Boscawal (Harebell) 1 Jul 1932 to 15 May 1935
HMS Drake I 16 May 1935 to 12 Jun 1935
HMS Glorious 13 Jun 1935 to 17 Aug 1935
HMS Drake 18 Aug 1935 to 6 Jan 1936
HMS Apollo 7 Jan 1936 to 30 Nov 1936
HMS Drake 1 Dec 1936 to 26 Aug 1939

On 17 February, 1937, he was classified as unfot for service at sea due to Gastric Ulcers.

See images of the ships on which he served.

See George's Royal Naval Service Record

Historic Note: In August 1915 the Calliope took part in the hunt for the German minelayer Meteor, patrolling off the Norwegian coast. In February 1916 she took part in the hunt for the raider Greif. Both hunts ended in success.
At the battle of Jutland the 4th Light Cruiser Squadron formed part of the anti-submarine screen for the Grand Fleet as it sailed towards the battle. During the main battle it took part in the destroyer battle between the two fleets
After the German battleships had turned away for the second time, the Calliope was one of the few British ships to maintain contact, firing a torpedo from 6,500 yards before coming under heavy fire for ten minutes while retreating.
During the battle she was hit by four shells, and suffered 10 dead and 9 wounded.
In October 1917 Calliope and the 4th Light Cruiser Squadron were amongst the ships deployed in an attempt to find German ships believed to be at sea. The effort failed, and the Germans were able to attack and destroy a
Scandinavian convoy, before returning home safely.
Calliope took part in the last great fleet movement of the war in April 1918. This saw the High Seas Fleet attempt to destroy a British battle squadron known to be guarding another Scandinavian convoy. The Grand Fleet came out to sea in response, but the German timing was wrong. They reached the convoy route in a gap between sailings, and returned to Germany before the Grand Fleet could reach them.


The Australian Archives database shows George's service record for the time he was attached to the RAN. It shows his next of kin as his wife Eva, and she was then living in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England.

From 26 Sept 1925, he was on loan from the Royal Navy and was given the following drafts:
London Depot 26 Sep 1925 to 8 Oct 1925
HMAS Cerberus 9 Oct 1925 to 23 Nov 1925
HMAS Brisbane 24 Nov 1925 to 12 Oct 1926
HMAS Melbourne 13 Oct 19217 to 13 Oct 1927
HMAS Penguin 14 Oct 1927 to 25 Nov 1927
London Depot 26 Nov 1927 to 5 Feb 1928

It states he was returned to the Royal Navy on 5 Feb 1928.

See George's Service Record from the Royal Australian Navy.

I know he was awarded the 1914-1915 Star medal. His Australian service record also shows that he was awarded a Chevron for a wound he received on 6 Jul 1915 which would have been during his time on HMS Calliope in the Royal Navy. I don't know any further details of that.

We see George and Eva living at 7 New Road, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, at the time of the 1939 Register.

Sources for George Allen KNIBBS:

  1. Oxfordshire Parish Register - Woodstock,
  2. GRO England & Wales,
  3. Military Registration Card,
  4., England & Wales, Death Index: 1837-1983 
  5. 1939 Register,

Notes for Eva Muriel BORRETT:

We see Eva in 1901, living with her parents and siblings at North Park Farm, Southolt, Suffolk:
John Borrett Head M 42 Agricultural Labourer Wilby Suffolk
Fanny Borrett Wife M 30 Monk Soham Suffolk
Violet Elizabeth Borrett Daur S 11 Kenton Suffolk
Ethel May Borrett Daur S 8 Southolt Suffolk
Victor John Borrett Son S 2 Southolt Suffolk
Eva Borrett Daur S 1 Southolt Suffolk

Eva's father, John Borrett, died aged 52 during q1/1909 at Hartismere District, leaving his wife Fanny with 5 children under 10 and a newborn baby.

As a consequence, in 1911, Eva and four of her siblings were inmates at the Hartismere Children's home:
Eva Borrett Inmate 10 Suffolk Southolt
Ivy Borrett Inmate 9 Suffolk Southolt
Faith Borrett Inmate 7 Suffolk Atelington
Victor John Borrett Inmate 12 Suffolk Southolt
Clifford Borrett Inmate 9 Suffolk Southolt

Eva's mother and younger brother were inmates at the workhouse at Eye, Hartismere, Suffolk:
Fanny Borrett Inmate Wid 39 Suffolk Monk Soham
Nelson Borrett Inmate 2 Suffolk Otherlington

Eva married George Knibbs in 1922.

Sources for Eva Muriel BORRETT:

  1. Alan Jackson GRO,
  2. 1901 British Census,
  3. GRO England & Wales, gave DOB 
  4., England & Wales, Death Index: 1984-2004