Edward William Herford Blake was born in the Falkland Islands in 1890. He was the son of Robert and Dorothy Blake.

Edward went to a small, private school (only three boarders) in Withington, Lancashire. He joined the Royal Navy around 1908. He was made a sublieutenant in February 1909 and Lieutenant in June 1910. In 1911 he was serving aboard HMS Neptune - a first-class battleship stationed at Portsmouth. During the first world war he was gunnery officer on numerous ships including HMS Theseus, HMS Challenger, HMS Lion and HMS New Zealand.

By 1925 he was Commander of HMS Coventry. In that year he married Lettice Audrey Marriott of Hinton St George, Somerset on 30 March 1925 - they were both 35. The marriage took place at St Paul’s Cathedral, Malta (See report of Commander Blake's Marriage in Malta in the Singapore Free Press 8th June 1925 on the right). Edward was placed on the retired list, at his own request, on 11th June 1935 with the rank of Captain. At sometime after his retirement they purchased Wetherby, Eastella Road, Yelverton.

blake-portsmouth-memorialHe came out of retirement to serve onshore at the beginning of World War II. During 1940 the Germans attempted numerous bombing raids on Portsmouth. On 20 April that year a bomb landed in No 2 dry-dock, where Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory was docked. The ship suffered minor damage and the only casualty was Captain Edward Blake. He was 50 years old.

He is commemorated on panel 92 of the Portsmouth Naval Memorial - for those who died on shore (pictures left). Also on the Buckland War memorial at Crapstone and on a small framed parchment in St Paul’s Church, Yelverton.

He left £15,567 5s. 2d. in his will, administered by his solicitor brother, John Humphrey Blake. His widow, Lettice, continued to live at Wetherby until she died, aged 95, in June 1985.

Sorry, this website uses features that your browser doesn’t support. Upgrade to a newer version of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Edge and you’ll be all set.