William Hockridge Biography: World War One Hero from Bude
William Hockridge was born on the 20th October 1892 – at Wharf Cottages in Helebridge, Marhamchurch, just outside Bude. Born to a large family, he was one of 11 children, many of whom would also later serve in ‘The Great War’.
William was just 19 when he joined the Royal Navy, in which he served from 1911 to 1923. During World War One he saw active service in the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Seas.
He was also involved in the famous battle of Jutland – a naval battle that took place in the North Sea coast of Denmark’s Jutland Peninsula) from 31st May to 1st June 1916. It was the largest naval battle – and the only full-scale clash of battleships in WW1.
The British lost 14 ships in the battle, and over 6,000 lives, and so William was lucky to return home. The Germans lost 11 ships and had over 2,500 casualties. The Germans claimed that Jutland was a victory for them, as they had sunk more capital ships than the British, however, the German fleet was never again to be in a position to put to sea and challenge the British Navy in the North Sea.
William was awarded the following medals: the 1914 Star, General Service and Victory Medals.
To find out more about William Hockridge, our war hero from Bude, and to discover the fate of his brother who also served in the war, please come along to the free exhibition held at The Castle in Bude. The exhibition titled ‘Lest We Forget – A New Dawn’, has been put together by the Bude-Stratton Old Cornwall Society and The Castle’s archive team, and it will present information and memorabilia celebrating the end of World War I, in memory of local people who served their country at home and abroad.
The exhibition takes places in the Willoughby Gallery and the Blanchminster Room at The Castle in Bude, Thursday 8th November – Tuesday 27th November 2018. Free entry.