Luke Stanley Speed

Luke Stanley Speed was born at Newton-by-Daresbury on 10th September 1890. He was the son of Luke (born Preston Brook) and his wife Elizabeth (nee Hopkins) who was born in Runcorn.

The 1891 census recorded the couple living in Newton-by-Daresbury with their four children: Margaret (7), Cecil (5), Frank (3) and 6-month-old Luke Stanley. The father was a waterman on a barge.

Ten years later they were living at 71, Shaw Street in Runcorn and the father was still employed as a waterman. The family now had three more children: Joseph S. (7), Alec (2) and 6-month-old Eric.

A daughter Norah was born in 1902, but died the same year. Sadly Eric also died in 1902 and Alec died in 1903.

In 1911 the census showed that Luke Speed (senior) was the master of a flat called “Gilbert”, which was moored at a wharf on the Bridgewater Canal at Preston Brook. The flat belonged to the canal company. His wife was living at 177, Chatsworth Street in the Edge Hill area of Liverpool, with Margaret who was assisting at home and Sydney who was a grocer’s assistant. There was also a grandson called Sam who was seven years old. Cecil was a mate on a barge called the “Linacre”, moored at Liverpool and Frank had already married and was living with his wife Mary and their four-month-old son Luke Stanley and a stepson in Vescock Street in the Vauxhall area of Liverpool. Frank was also a waterman on canal boats.

Luke Stanley (enumerated as Stanley) would appear to have been in Devonport, Devon as a Stoker 1st class in the crew of HMS Aboukir. He claimed that he was born at Christchurch, Runcorn. He had joined the Royal Navy in October 1908 at the age of 18 years. He was described as 5’3’’ tall, with dark brown hair, grey eyes and a dark complexion. He served in the Royal Navy for 12 years until December 1920. He was in several naval establishments and ships: HMS Vivid 11(two) which was a shore base, HMS Donegal (an armoured cruiser), HMS Orion(a dreadnought battleship), HMS Mars(a pre- dreadnought battleship of the Majestic class), HMS Heather(a minesweeper), HMS Endymion (which served in the Mediterranean) and HMS Tamar (which was anchored off Hong Kong). During the Great War he had the service number K1476.

In 1937 Luke Stanley (known as Stanley) married Gertrude E. Jones at Liverpool. They had a daughter Marjorie R. on Christmas Day that year, followed by a son John Sydney in early 1939. They lived at 293, Park Road, Toxteth in Liverpool. Luke Stanley was incorrectly enumerated as John S. Speed. He was employed as a dock labourer.

Luke Stanley Speed died in 1962 in Liverpool South, predeceasing his wife Gertrude by ten years. He was said to be 70 years old, but must have been at least a year older.