Beringer, William Ernest (Willie)
Stoker First Class
No. 309949, HMS Goliath, Royal Navy
Killed in action on Thursday 13 May 1915 (aged 28)
No known grave
Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent, England (Panel 11)
Ballyphilip Parish Church of Ireland Church Portaferry (Berringer)
Family grave headstone in Ballyphilip Graveyard
In some records his surname is spelt Berringer.
William Ernest (Willie) Beringer was born on 2 November 1886 in Portaferry and he was the third son of Frederick and Elizabeth Johanna Beringer (nee James) who were married on 13 September 1882 in Ballyphilip Parish Church of Ireland Church Portaferry. Both of his parents were born in England. Frederick Beringer (aged 36), a watchmaker from Ballyphilip, Portaferry was a son of Joseph Beringer, a watchmaker. Elizabeth Johannah James from Ballycastle, Co Antrim was a daughter of John James, a manager of mines.
The Beringer family lived in High Street, Portaferry.
Frederick Beringer Senior was a watchmaker and jeweller and he and Elizabeth had nine children:
Frederick George (Fred, born 19 July 1883 in Portaferry)
John Joseph (born 16 January 1885 in Portaferry; worked as a lighthouse keeper; married Louisa Chermside on 7 March 1916 in Ardquin Parish Church of Ireland Church)
William Ernest (Willie, born 2 November 1886 in Portaferry)
Richard James (born 5 October 1888 in Portaferry)
Helena (born 20 October 1890 in Portaferry; died 9 February 1974)
Thomas Humphrey (born 20 November 1892 in Portaferry; died in Portaferry 28 July 1910 aged 17 of shock from a fractured skull accidentally caused by an acetylene gas explosion)
Elizabeth Johanna (born 11 May 1894 in Portaferry)
Charles Douglas (born 31 December 1895 in Portaferry; died of manition 19 January 1896)
Edith (born 16 January 1897 in Portaferry; died of manition 16 January 1897 aged 4 hours)
Their mother Elizabeth died of heart disease on 26 August 1912 (aged 59) and their father Frederick died of heart disease on 1 August 1919 (aged 73).
William Ernest (Willie) Beringer worked as a servant before joining the Royal Navy on 25 April 1906 and he signed on for 12 years.
Willie Beringer was killed at around 1.00 am on 13 May 1915 when the Battleship HMS Goliath was torpedoed by the Turkish Torpedo Boat Destroyer Muavenet-i Milliye while she was anchored in Morto Bay off Cape Helles.
There was a massive explosion and more than 500 of the 700-strong crew were killed as the ship sank.
Stoker First Class Willie Beringer was one of three men with Ards/North Down connections who were killed aboard HMS Goliath.
Stoker First Class Willie Beringer (No. 309949) was 28 when he died and his body was never recovered from the sea.
During the First World War his brother John served in the Mercantile Marine and he survived the war.
Stoker First Class Willie Beringer (No. 309949) is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial in Kent; in Ballyphilip Parish Church of Ireland Church Portaferry (Berringer) and on the family grave headstone in Ballyphilip Graveyard Portaferry.